Unfortunately, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is proof that nostalgia will only get you so far. It'll get you to boot up the game with rose tinted glasses, there waiting for you are the GTA experiences we have all loved from years ago. They aren't the same though. Improvements are masked by flaws, and they don't truly feel elevated close to "definitive" edition status. The CEO of Grove Street Games has promised updates and hopefully these can fix the qwirks, the bugs and the oddities, which chip away at those rose tinted glasses. We all wanted Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition to allow us to once again sink hours into those glorious games of old. Perhaps they will get there, it's been a rocky start and currently it's not the hidden package we were looking for.
Perhaps it is being overly critical of Earthfall with limited lore, and a sense of ease of completion, when the same issues can be found in Left 4 Dead, a title it is easy to sing the praises of. The comparisons are not subtle, yet Earthfall feels more like a missed opportunity to drag the genre forward in similar ways as Vermintide has managed to.
Railroad Ink Challenge is a solid experience, which lacks some features which could take it to the next level. Booting up players can try to beat their own highscores, or play the ever changing daily challenges. Lakes, Lava and more are missing but the release of the Forest and Desert DLC has helped instill some extra variety into the experience. A proper multiplayer experience would have been nice, yet the chance to just hop on, roll some dice and make networks is a pleasant experience in its own right.
Comparison aside, Anthem can be a fairly chilled game to play with friends, despite explosions big enough to fill screens, and this is 100% the way to play the game. The constant challenges to defend areas or collects things are made less of a chore with a competent ally. Also, having a friend to cooperatively combo with helps push all of the over the top fun to the surface. The niggles are still there and present but it is much easier to forgive when not solo. With all the glorious map there to fly around, the vast ways to cause explosions and cooperative play, Anthem is well worth playing, especially once the roadmapped content starts to come online.
When you hatch and release a dinosaur, see it roam out into the paddock, drive the Rangers jeep and even see a live goat destroyed by a T-Rex all add together to make a memorable experience; one that just seems to pitter out too soon, especially when you look at the standard of the developers of park based title Planet Coaster.
For all its clunkiness, control problems and continued loading there is something at its core that fans of the series will find hard to not enjoy. This is driven by the early interactions with the iconic characters of the franchise and sets the game world of Gun Gale Online up to be a memorable one. If you’re a fan of Sword Art Online this could be for you but otherwise it might be worth switching out.
Hood Outlaws & Legends has a solid basis to build on. By focusing specifically on the one game mode the developers have crafted a dynamic experience. While elements might feel the same no two matches are ever quite the same; thanks to the way that vaults move and players have choices of where to extract from. Matches go until the very end, with victory occasionally stolen out of what looks like a definite defeat. Visually the world is a dark shadowy one and this is awesome to stealth through, it's just a shame that by the extract stage in matches stealth goes out of the window. There are improvements to be made but with season passes already planned for the first year, it seems that Hood Outlaws & Legends should be able to entertain players for many months to come.
Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training will be a welcoming experience for new and experienced players. For those that have played the games before there might not be a wave of newness. Nevertheless, the game puts you straight back into the mentality of slowly improving your brain age. The exercises can be hard, the Sudokus can be brain-burning – though there are others to relax to. Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training won't captivate players for hours on end but it has the potential to keep players coming back for their 30 minutes of brain training every day.
For those wanting more content, the Planet Zoo Arctic pack’s campaign levels can provide ample hours of entertainment. For those still with plenty of base game to go, unless one of the animals speaks to you, it may be best to wait a little before picking it up.
Far Cry New Dawn offers a solid gaming experience, full of vivid slightly familiar landscapes, a fun range of weapons and an appropriately crazy pair of sisters to go up against. Hours of entertainment are packed in whether you've visited Hope County before the nukes went off or not, with the easter eggs really great touches for fans of the series. However, New Dawn and the transformation of Hope County offered more hope on what the game could be. More could have been changed and surprisingly, given the epic craziness that was Blood Dragon, the insane dial hasn't been cranked up enough.
Simply put, Catastronauts is like Overcooked in space. It has a similar, rather cartoony, art style and same hectic gameplay. The only real difference is gone are chopping boards and pans, with players are instead onboard various spacecraft which are under attack. In a similar way to Overcooked players constantly feel under pressure and as if they don't have enough hands to juggle the required jobs, but that just makes the experience entertaining. If the theme captures you more this could beat out Overcooked, otherwise it needs a tad more content to make the game out of this world.
Whether swapping NPC conversations for other players works is a bit subjective, though the change is not as severe a detriment to the experience as expected. While the roots of Fallout 76 are firmly in Fallout 4 the final gameplay experience is quite different and so there's no guarantee that fans of that game will enjoy it. Fallout 76 is worthy of recommendation with two caveats. You have to go in expecting a light multiplayer survival game in an interesting setting, rather than a deep story-focused role-playing game. On top of this, Fallout 76 is a game that really is better with friends, as that is the real replacement for the NPC dialogue in the world – if you're going in as a solo player you might come away dissatisfied.
When the weakest part of a game is the gameplay often it is enough to see the game instantly hitting the bargain bins or at least strongly criticised. Forgotton Anne manages to break that logic by featuring a compelling, deep and questioning storyline and jaw-dropping presentation that makes the mediocre puzzles worth muddling through. Taking around seven hours to complete the game isn't super long and a few hours of that time can be attributed to journeying across the 2D screen. If you appreciate the art style this doesn't feel like wasted time, instead time for indulging and enjoying the world. A world that is the perfect mixture of the believable and bizarre. Forgotton Anne might not be for everyone but those drawn in by the art and the promise of a story won't be disappointed.
In its current form Iron Harvest 1920+ offers a solid RTS experience, which brings an incredible alternate universe to life. It doesn't break from the norm in terms of gameplay but it is the narrative and setting that sets the game apart from the rest.
Victor Vran is an RPG designed with players like myself in mind, those whom like the idea of an intriguing world but with no class based limitations on what they can and can't do. It's fun for 5 minutes tearing your way through enemies, chaining attacks together, yet suddenly hours have past and you'll still be happily swinging a mighty warhammer. The environments fit the style and steampunk theme of the game, though some do fade into the background – being somewhat unremarkable. Nevertheless, for the fun that is on offer Zagoravia is a city worth venturing in!
Midnight Ghost Hunt takes the fun of prop hunt and by giving it that spooky Ghostbusters twist, takes it to the next level. Whether you're hiding in a gargoyle or a saucepan, or running after them with a flamethrower going and radar spiking, there is fun to be had. The games are short sharp fun regardless of which team you're put on, something impressive as these style games often feel like one side is there to almost facilitate the fun of the opponents. Despite a few bugs and hosting issues, this is a ghostly experience everyone should believe in.