Anthem is a game with unmet potential at every turn. The gameplay is fantastic and recreates the '30 seconds of fun' that has made its competitor Destiny such a success. But in its current state of bugs, server issues and poor design decisions, it is planted firmly in the 'play it in six months' category.
Beat Saber is possible the best VR experience ever made. It is an incredibly satisfying rhythm game which uses the immersion of VR to evoke a sense of scale, power and energy that hugely enhances the underlying gameplay loop. The mechanics, music and VR environment tap into something deep in your psyche that creates an irresistibly fun and empowering experience.
Despite a growing industry-wide acceptance that open-world games developed for the screen do not adapt well to VR – Gearbox bowled on ahead with their, years too late, adaptation of Borderlands 2. A port with unsurprisingly fails to fix the inherent problems with this transition – with gammy controls and gameplay not well adjusted for the VR medium.
With Super Smash. Bros Ultimate, the development team set themselves the lofty goal of bringing together an incredible amount of the franchises back catalogue of characters, stages and other miscellanea. With this much fan service-focused content, there was always the danger that the game would get buried beneath it. But thankfully, the game sits proudly on top of it, in this game that simultaneously celebrates the very history of gaming while presenting a deep, incredibly fun fighting game for everyone and everyone, no matter how you choose to play.
The multiplayer integration of Fallout 76 opposes the core tenets of the Fallout games at every turn – utterly undermining the core formula. What's worse, it then fails to justify the multiplayer in any way. Buried beneath the bugs, network issues and multiplayer allowances, it is possible to see what could have been a wonderful single player experience in a fascinating time and location – but one that we will never experience.
Pokémon: Let's Go is a fun, light nostalgia trip for long time players, and an easy on-ramp into the Pokémon console games for new players. Its greatest feat is presenting a stunning graphical style and approach which wonderfully blends players desire for 3D Pokémon games with the core tenets of the franchise – setting high expectations for the Generation Eight debut on the Switch next year.
Diablo 3 on the Switch may be a graphical step-down and far from the best place to play multiplayer, but if you're looking for the perfect platform on which to sink into the end-game grind by yourself – there is no place better to play it.
If you're a fan of Call of Duty multiplayer offerings - boy howdy do Treyarch have an instalment for you. But, if you're in it for the single player, you're going to be severely disappointed – though hopefully that's not a surprise, considering we've known there would be no campaign for five months. The combination of Multiplayer, Zombies and the brilliant new Battle Royale mode Blackout, offer a multiplayer feast. A smorgasbord of experiences which makes it feel like a package which will remain interesting, fun and exciting far beyond the release of the next annual COD instalment.
Forza Horizon 4 continues the incredible success of this series, taking its already lofty achievement to even greater heights. The team at Playground games have created a title that cleverly balances realism with fun in a dynamic, beautiful world with a wide range of exciting and meticulously designed events and activities.
In 2013, Crystal Dynamics presented a Lara Croft grounded in interesting psychology for the first time and setup the beginning of an arc for the character which could have taken this franchise to new heights. But now, with the final entry in this chapter, new developer Eidos Montreal have unfortunately plummeted this journey to new depths instead. In this logically inconsistent entry into the trilogy, we are presented with an unlikable Lara in a story-line which cannot meld its own premise with the actions of its characters. Though the games mechanics remain familiar and fun, the finale to this trilogy is dragged down into the mud by the failings of its narrative and the depictions of its once celebrated character.