The only other flaw to the combat of The Lamplighters League is the limited camera control. Strategic combat requires a good overview of the battlefield, and with the lack of any camera zoom or control over the viewing angle, you are stuck with a static isometric view of the fighting. You can rotate and scroll the map, but keeping track of a large map without any extra controls is cumbersome. It’s not enough to turn me away from recommending The Lamplighters League to any avid turn-based combat fan, but it is definitely a big miss.
The funny thing, though, is no matter how much Path of Exile changes, it always feels the same. You are always striving to push deeper into the game, always working to figure out the perfect build. And that, my friend, is the difference between a good ARPG and a great one.
Besides grabbing a truck and running supplies to the front line or possibly playing as a medic, Siege Camp has done little to support solo-minded players. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by how well Foxhole accommodates both casual and hardcore gamers. As a casual gamer, I can jump in at any point during a war, grab some gear, and head straight to the front lines to join up with a group of players. After a couple of hours, I can switch to a Logi role, run supplies for a while, and then jump back off again. I can jump back in the next day or the following week and do it all over again. All the while, hardcore players will happily be trudging along, gaining or losing ground. They won’t even notice my absence but will have no problem filtering me into their plans whenever I’m around. Sure, the hardcore players will most likely be part of a regiment and have more access to armored vehicles and other powerful weapons, but casual players can always find a place in the overall scheme of things. Grunts still make up the bulk of any real-world army, after all.
Harebrained Schemes has done an excellent job porting the Shadowrun Trilogy to consoles. I only tried the PlayStation 5 version, but I would expect to have the same experience on the PS4 or any of the Xbox consoles. As a primarily PC gamer, I must admit that the team did an excellent job of adapting the UI to support a controller and big-screen TV. I would even say it’s worth paying full price to get the console version over the PC version, which can be found at a discount. The only thing missing is an upgrade in performance. Maybe Harebrained Schemes is saving that for another foray into the Shadowrun universe.
Everything about my experience points to GATO Studio either running out of time or money (or both) before they could complete The Waylanders. A story that starts off in a fresh setting and filled with interesting characters, nice visuals and outstanding voice acting is quickly derailed by technical flaws and an ever-growing list of bugs. I rarely complain about too many side missions or additional features like romantic endeavors being added to a game, but this is a perfect example where cutting out unnecessary features would have allowed GATO Studios to focus on the things that really mattered. Sometimes, less can be more, and that appears to be the case here.
Sands of Salzaar, for all intents and purposes, feels more like a work in progress as opposed to a final release. If this were an early access preview, I would say that each of the core components has potential and just needs to be fleshed out. As a final product review, I must say that even though Sands of Salzaar promises an intriguing blend of RPG and strategy elements, it fails to provide the depth and complexity needed for long-term replayability.
Just like a visit to the carnival, even though it wasn’t the greatest experience ever, I haven’t ended a day playing Elyon feeling like I had a bad time. The bigger question for me is how long this carnival can last? We’re only a month past launch, and if you aren’t online for the daily reset, finding a group to run dungeons with can be difficult. The same can be said about finding a match for the various types of PvP. The fewer players there are, the harder it will be to turn a profit, so it won’t be long before the financials start to dictate what items go into the cash shop. And when that happens, the player base will shrink even further. So I guess I’ll keep on riding this roller coaster until it breaks down. Aaaaand, it’s gone!
With the Fifth Crusade, Owlcat Games has unsuccessfully attempted to create an expansive and immersive world. The overworld army combat and city building are merely copies of systems that are done better in other games, and it all ultimately ends up being a bunch of time-consuming rigamarole that destroys the pacing of the core RPG experience. Sometimes less is more.
Ultimately, Aliens: Fireteam Elite is more hit than miss. Although it does little to advance the survival shooter genre forward, Cold Iron Studio has done a great job of combining the familiar source material with fun, action-packed combat. The few flaws are merely a minor distraction and don’t mean game over, man!
Is Tribes of Midgard fun? Yes. Is it all it can be? Not yet, but there's hope. This is the first of several scheduled seasons. We don’t have long to wait for more content either. Season 1 has a mid-season patch scheduled for September, followed in November by Season 2. ToM has room for growth, and those upcoming seasons may hold that one piece of the puzzle that gives Tribes of Midgard the longevity it deserves. If they don’t, Norsfell Games will find the excitement surrounding the launch of Tribes of Midgard will be overcome by Ragnarok.
In the end, the inclusion of a wide variety of environments and styles of fishing doesn't offset the simplistic and redundant mechanics of catching and reeling in fish, resulting in a long and boring grind to reach the big catches the ocean fishing has to offer.
There are only so many ways to build a bridge but Poly Bridge 2 finds a way to add enough to give new life to the aging original. The lack of a tutorial can make the first few levels more challenging than necessary, but the mix of traditional bridge-building and unconventional solutions will keep you engaged level after level. When the 64 levels included in the game are done the community fueled Gallery and Workshop levels will keep you going for hours on end.
With a short campaign mode and lack of crafting, Minecraft Dungeons may not be a hardcore offering that will give you hundreds of hours of play, but it is a perfect way to spend a few hours playing together with friends or your kids while you wait for the next season of your favorite dungeon crawler to start up.
STATIONflow provides the management sim enthusiast with a new environment to test their building mettle. The ever-evolving needs of new passengers and the accompanying facilities that need to be built come at a steady pace to provide increasing complexity to the station without overloading the player with too much at one time. Unfortunately, some glaring quality of life omissions paired with a lack of detailed data keeps STATIONflow from being a top tier game in the genre.
Ultimate Racing 2D comes very close to being a good racing simulator but is hindered by elements usually reserved for arcade racers. Blending the two styles together ultimately leads to an identity crisis for the game, and the resulting gameplay ends up being bland.
Almost two years after its PlayStation 4 debut, developer Quantic Dream has brought Detroit: Become Human to the PC via the Epic Games Store. With beautiful graphics and a complex branching story line, be prepared to make tough choices as you live the life of three androids as they shape the events of the days prior to the android uprising.
Archeage Unchained is Gamigo's try at creating a level playing field for everyone by removing the pay to win mechanics of the legacy version of the game. Unfortunately, exploiters and bad design of the ArchePass have already created an imbalance. While the game lacks any innovation (the original released in 2014), it does provide a full sandbox experience with elements that will appeal to both PVP and PVE players.