Don’t fall for the similar name, Bus Driver Simulator Countryside is nothing like its popular predecessor. It is bland, it is ugly, and if it is meant to be an accurate depiction of driving around Russian suburbs, it is offensive to Russia. Don’t wait around for this one, seek alternate routes of enjoyments.
There was potential here. All the developer had to do was take a piece of paper, write “Why do people love Golden Axe?” in the middle and go from there. They even gave us couch co-op, three different character class and even some RPG-esque attribute/skill progression system. It’s just a shame that the end product is [literally] flat and uninspired. I can’t even say, “Yeah but the combat’s fun” or “The story is a masterpiece”.
A bland and uneventful horror puzzler, S.W.A.N. offers nothing new yet still manages to disappoint. A disjointed narrative, ugly visuals and monsters that seem about as uninterested in events as the protagonist is make for a forgettable game.
Not even fans of the genre should put themselves through this, let alone casual racer fans. Whilst it may be too niche a concept for a mainstream company, there’s a lot more that could be done with it than this terrible offering. For the mean time, if you want some decent offroad-ish racing, give Wreckfest a try instead.
Another drop in the vast ocean of action RPG’s, The Last Oricru brings nothing new to the much-treaded waters. Worse still, it lacks the refinement and polish to make it a barely passable romp, feeling as rough around the edges as Alpha Protocol did back in the day.
Whilst it may seem like an intermission before Bloodlines 2 comes out, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong isn’t engaging enough to fill the gap. Lacklustre gameplay, unsightly character models and a sense of “You should know this already” are enough to put off the new players. Maybe for the fans, but that’s only if they’re coffin up the money for it.
What could have potentially been a good hybrid of walking simulator and multiple choice adventure is instead buried under boring gameplay and eye-straining visuals. Ashwalkers squanders any narrative replayability by being an all-round drab experience that is as uninspiring as the wastelands it’s set in.
A modern, “retro-inspired” title in the shape of Shovel Knight and Ghost ‘n Goblins, Sword & Bones is clearly a small team’s love letter. Once that veil drops, however, it just devolves into a needlessly hard platformer that doesn’t feel like persevering with.
Damsel gets a middling recommendation. If you’re looking for something you can file under “slightly difficult to get used to, eternity to master” then this would be in that rather specific category. As I said at the start, this won’t look out of place on the Switch or Steam library, as those two are bread and butter for this kind of game. Whereas on the supposed powerhouse that is the Xbox, it just seems like a waste of potential. Granted, this is only an indie title, so there isn’t going to be mass dollar behind it. It’s just that the end result on the Microsoft flagship is a bit of a damp squib.
A shame, then, that Road Redemption falls a bit flat for this generation. Boasting graphics that wouldn’t challenge Motorcross Madness in any beauty pageants, combined with some flaky controls and handling, it becomes more of a challenge than enjoyment.
A beautifully dark throwback to the classics, Aeterna Noctis revels in its classic charm. The difficulty also apes that of its forebears, which for some they might enjoy, others it might be too much. For those impartial, it’s another in a massive catalogue of Metroidvania titles.
What could have been an interesting premise about religion, murder and cults, soon devolves into a bland and uninspired point-and-click. Saint Kotar has some originality with its faith-testing plot, but ultimately will only really appeal to die-hard fans of the genre.