Robert de Wit
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart not only exemplifies what the PS5 is capable of, but it's also everything that a video game should be: fun. The story has been masterfully crafted to engage with new audiences, as well as long-standing fans that have been with Ratchet and Clank through the past 19 years without having to beat the nostalgia-machine to death.
As much as I can break down all the great things about Returnal, I think a simpler statement would be that this is the strongest candidate for Game of the Year so far for me. More importantly, is the addictiveness that is repetitive insistence in trying to conquer a challenge that has done nothing but beat you down. The joy and elation when you finally beat a section you have struggled with, or a boss that has given you your backside, is a feeling that is indescribable, and that is what Returnal is: indescribable.
Little Nightmares 2 is an absolutely brilliant puzzle platformer, with just enough creepy to keep you on the edge of your seat. An excellent step-up from their first outing, Tarsier Studios has created a phenomenal world, tackling incredibly adult concepts from the perspective of a child.
I was rather looking forward to seeing what NBA had to offer – especially with all the buzz of next-generation – hoping for some fresh ideas and a bit more life injected into NBA 2K21. However, this was not to be, as we simply got a familiar refresh of years past – and not that it’s a bad thing, its just a little underwhelming. NBA 2K21 still offers an immensely fun, and impressive, basketball title, with a ton of modes to play through, but its time for NBA 2K to start switching up their plays a little bit.
UFC 4 takes a huge leap for EA Sports, and is really one of the best sport games you can play at the moment. The evolution of the formula from UFC 3, shifting it more to an arcade-y “simulation” experience makes the fighting that much more satisfying. The overhauled career mode is excellent too; there is just something about UFC 4 that is positively addictive and that we cannot recommend enough.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order delivers a magnificent Star Wars experience that lives up to so many expectations, and then some. The marvelous blend and execution of platforming, challenging combat, and developed characters woven into a singular adventure is simply mesmerizing.
MXGP 2019 is a fantastic motorcross experience that caters to both simulation fans, as well as arcade racers. The visual details, physics engine, and performance optimisation have all been improved, making MXGP 2019 one of the best Milestone games so far.
F1 2019 does an amazing job, once again, at making you feel like an actual Formula 1 driver, and the attention to detail is what has always set this franchise apart. The inclusion of F2 into the F1 campaign is fantastic, but it would be great to see it extended.
MotoGP 19 expands on its offering as the greatest motorcycle racing experience out there - short of actually getting on a bike - and the improvements to the physics engines, the addition of the historical riders, the helmet customisation, and potential great online modes, makes MotoGP 19 another smash hit for Milestone.
Overall, Days Gone is an absolutely brutal, rewarding, and phenomenal narrative experience, mixed with great action, and fun gameplay. It's the perfect combination of survival mechanics to make the title more intense, with natural characters, a rewarding storyline, and addictive gameplay.
The Division 2 offers a fantastic loot-and-shoot experience, and one that doesn't actually make it feel like a grind to get to the Endgame, where all the good loot is. The story is serious enough to make tasks memorable, and the side content is fulfilling and contributes to the game's progression.
Farming Simulator 19 is a complex and intricate farming experience but it is incredibly fun once you have grasped all the mechanics. The relaxing nature of the game sets you up for a great couch gaming experience, and the amount of work to be done on your land, as well as others, will give you endless hours of gameplay.
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is a great improvement over the first game, and the addition of the ‘Season Mode’ adds that extra layer of fun. Mechanically, the game remains a classic arcade experience, with a sprinkling of difficulty, just enough to make things interesting.
Simply put, it is a game that brings the pirate experience to life perfectly, but after a couple of hours, you will feel less like Blackbeard, and more like his manager. Rare could’ve done so much more with this opportunity, and hopefully, they will add some new content to spice things up.