Last of Us Part 1 delivers visual quality that is beyond what you would expect from a remaster. The graphical detail surpasses that of the second game making it one of the best-looking games on PS5. Unfortunately, some of the more clunky mechanics for evading or choking out enemies remain that are a little frustrating. Overall, combat is intense and exciting with the same heart-punding interactions with clickers. For newcomers, this remaster is a real gem and a must-have. Unfortunately, outside of the graphical improvements, there is little else to justify the full price tag for those who have already played the previous remaster.
The Walking Zombie 2 almost comes close to being a really fun game. The biggest mistake was to taking itself too seriously. The game is unintentionally funny and often seems like it is a game for children. While there is still some fun to be had with this game, the absolutely horrendous UI design combined with all of the microtransactions make any interaction with the character menu a dreaded chore.
Postal: Brain Damaged provides plenty of laughs with the wild selection of weapons and your ability to urinate on anything at a moment's notice. Jokes aside, while the combat is fast-paced and fun, like many retro shooters, the levels just feel a bit dull. While the initial suburbs level gives you a feeling that this may be something a little different, it quickly jumps back to the generic sewers and grimy old buildings that we saw far too many 2000s-era shooters rely on. Combined with a constant lack of ammo, you never really get to do the kind of blasting you would like.
Soda Crisis has all the makings of an epic, modern tribute to some classic action side scrollers like Metal Slug. Instead of building a bigger, badder experience, you will get some slick controls and high octane combat smushed into tiny levels that never work together to build a larger picture. Soda crisis is just a series of mini levels, no better than the likes of Angry Birds but is presented with the guise of a fully fleshed-out action-adventure. Once you get stuck into the meat, you will find there is very little on offer here after the first 30 minutes.
Deadcraft is not a bad game but because it tries to do so much and does it all to a bare minimum, there is very little that is going to impress you. Everything just feels so basic and many mechanics feel like they are implemented just enough to tick a box but not enough to provide the player with anything new and exciting. At its core, Deadcraft is just a grind fest from start to finish with nothing noteworthy to entertain you along the way.
Horizon: Forbidden West delivers everything that made the first game unforgettable and then piles on so much more. Character realism and environmental detail have been turned all the way to eleven. Every single element of this game has been crafted by perfectionists. Fighting off hordes of high tech machines keeps your heart pumping and the hugely diverse spectrum of machines to take down make you put a lot of effort into fine-tuning your approach to combat. The narrative lays down a perfect sense of urgency that drives you through a 20+ hour campaign that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Horizon: Forbidden West has raised the bar for the PlayStation 5 and is an adventure you won't forget.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus is a massive step in the right direction for the Pokemon franchise which has started to feel a bit stale in recent years. An exciting new way to catch and battle Pokemon is a much welcome introduction and is a lot of fun. The open world experience of having wild Pokemon roaming free in the wild is what the franchise has been screaming out for and we finally got it. Despite getting the most important things right, the game falls a little short of the levels of quality you might expect from a Pokemon game. The visual quality is poor, the map feels like an AI could have designed it and the games menus for tracking progress and travelling are in need of a lot of quality of life improvements. Flaws and all, Pokemon Legends: Arceus is a lot of fun and should be used as a stepping stone to help the Pokemon franchise evolve.
For an early access game, we cant expect The Anacrusis to be perfect. The Jetsons themed retro-futuristic setting is brimming with potential, none of which is used effectively. The bland characters fit right in with the bland soundtrack and story. It feels as though the strength came from the theme and when it came to designing the rest of the game, everyone ran out of ideas. It's a swing and a miss, quite a shame when the potential was there but could not be realised.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves combines Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy into a bundle that makes up the best example of stunning game visuals worthy of a blue ribbon. Everything that made Uncharted 4 perfect has remained unchanged, now with jaw-dropping visuals. It is unfortunate there were no expansions or additional content like we saw with Iki island for Ghost of Tsushima but this is still an incredibly good value for money purchase for owners of the game on PS4 that will keep you going until we see Naughty Dogs first official PS5 release.
There was once a time where you would never struggle in your quest to be the ultimate Pokemon trainer. These feelings were often fueled by the fact that you were currently playing the biggest and boldest adventure so far. A lot has changed in 15 years that has this title feeling a little too lacklustre. The relentless pokemon battles try to distract you from the fact that the region map is rather small and offers very little to do outside of grinding up Pokemon levels. Diamond and Shining Pearl may have been great in their day but after the release of Sword and Shield and the prospect of what is to come with Arceus, this title just feels too dated outside of being a nostalgia trip for some, it falls far too short of what a fun pokemon adventure is these days.
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One might take the franchise in an awesome new direction with a really nice island to explore, lots of fun mysteries to solve and some good production values as an overall package. The game lets itself down when it comes to the clunky quest diary and the nonsensical system of having to pin items of importance in order to make conversations and even items appear in the world that should have already been there. The game's lack of handholding is by far its biggest strength but by adding so many pieces of ambiguous evidence to a mystery and making you pin the right one so items appear in the game world becomes frustrating to figure out what to do when you get stuck and have dozens of items to pin to see if you get a response out of people.
Doctor Who: Edge of Reality had the potential to be a really good game. The actual actors behind the doctors were on board to do the voice work. The story had a strong premise and there are 100s if not 1000s of episodes of Doctor Who to draw inspiration from. What we ended up with was a massively rushed, half baked experience that tried to cram as many classic Doctor Who references into a game that has no mechanics to make any use of it. The story is strung together so incoherently where you save the universe by solving a few puzzles and things just happen to work out in your favour.
Guardians of the Galaxy delivers exactly what you want from a video game in so many areas. The characters' appearance and demeanour feel like they have been crafted so carefully to ensure you get an authentic experience that lives up to the colossal scale of the movies while remaining true to the source content and all while delivering a game that is a blast to play.
Death Stranding: Directors Cut adds a lot of new content that greatly enhances the base game. For those who have never played Death Stranding, the Directors Cut will provide a version of the game that is far more exciting and enjoyable than the original. For returning players, you may not find enough substance to make it a worthwhile purchase. The firing range, racetrack and new mission will give you some moments of fun but unless you plan on playing the game from the start, the new content will not occupy your time for long.
It is rather disappointing how Monster Harvest introduces an interesting concept but gives such a watered-down implementation of everything it tries to do. The combat couldn't possibly be any more basic. Farming is pretty much a one-click task that you eventually automate. The tiny stamina bar forces you to go to bed or waste money to restore stamina if you want to really get the most out of a day. With the two core gameplay mechanics of this game feeling half-finished, there isn't much else for you to really do that brings any entertainment. This game desperately needs a long term goal that players need to really invest in the game in order to reach. In its current state Monster Harvest feels more like an early access game that isn't quite finished yet.
Aliens Fireteams is a pretty solid shooter that is quite a bit of fun to play with a team of friends. The combat is flexible enough that it is fun but not too complex that you need extended tutorials to figure everything out. The aliens are incredibly well recreated and can give you chills when they are crawling along the walls or just straight up sprinting toward you as you are trying to fill them with bullets before they lunge on top of you. The different classes add a lot to the combat when your squad makes use of the different perks. The lack of incentives to replay the game is by far the biggest flaw that will prevent this game from being one that you keep coming back to.
The Director's Cut of Ghost of Tsushima makes an already stunning game one of the most impressive looking games on the market today. Iki island brings you on a fun adventure that takes a break from the more historically believable story of the main game. The adventure might be a little short but packs quite the punch. It is unfortunate that there isnt more to do on Iki island outside of the main story but considering there is quite a lot of content in the base game that you can still enjoy, the Director's Cut is a worthwhile purchase for anyone looking to step into the shoes of a samurai.
Skyward Sword is definitely one of the better games in the Zelda series. Some experimental ideas and mechanics were implemented that breathe some fresh air into the dungeons and puzzles throughout the adventure. When viewed from the timeline where Breath of the Wild exists, it is really interesting to see how Nintendo took the franchise from Twilight Princess to where it is now. Skyward Sword is absolutely a must-play for anyone who is a fan of the franchise.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is exactly what you would have hoped for on the PS5. Beautiful environments with a visual fidelity that would stand up to an animated movie. A massively diverse arsenal of weapons, although disappointingly, no groovitron. The combat is rock solid and it is all wrapped up in a bow with one of the more Hollywood action style stories we have seen in a Ratchet & Clank game. It is a real shame that there is next to nothing to do outside of the main story but it doesn't stop this from being one of the best games in the series and a stellar title to add to the lineup of first-party PS5 exclusives.
Returnal is a whole lot of fun to play. The adrenaline-fueled combat is complemented with flawless controls. The Dualsense haptics further amplifies the action, absorbing you into the game. The story contains more than enough mystery to catch the attention of any sci-fi lover. It drives you to discover more and does a great job at trying to explain the mechanics of a roguelike in a more mature and detailed way. The randomness of the game can be a little frustrating at times when you just can't find the items you need to survive. The inability to apply any permanent upgrades that impact your combat strength makes it very hard to stay engaged when you are faced with an obstacle that is proving to be a real challenge. Difficulty goes hand and hand with the genre and despite making your blood boil from time to time, Returnal is a masterpiece for the roguelike genre and was a worthwhile risk for the development team that really paid off. It doesn't matter how much you get your ass kicked, you will keep coming back for more.