Banishers is not quite the unqualified win I wanted it to be, but it’s easy to appreciate on its merits. While the combat overstays its welcome and the exploration leaves a lot to be desired, there’s enough here to like for those who like strong narratives with great characters.
Individually, enough of its elements are enjoyable enough to engage with. The combat, particularly its shooting, feels pretty good. But so much of the rest of Starfield feels cobbled together so inelegantly that it can’t help but to get in way of the experience.
Remnant II is fortunately an improvement in nearly all respects, expanding on the the first game in interesting ways that push greater player agency and cooperative engagement while maintaining the same tight gun play. In that same breath, the problems from the first game are still present, though to varying degrees of annoyance.
The real reason to stick with it is the great attention to detail regarding Slavic folklore and how it weaves into the gameplay in ways that can make the player feel clever. It won’t be the flashiest game anyone plays this year, but there is a good time to be had.
Though the deck-builder is running the risk of being overexposed, Roguebook has enough interesting ideas at play to make it a worthwhile investment of time. It’s not likely to replace Slay the Spire or Monster Train for fans, but it carves out enough of its own niche that I can see it existing side-by-side.
The lack of depth isn’t too much of a detriment as the game is short enough to ever feel tired. Better yet, what is there is good, a foundation with easy room to be expanded upon and a strong demonstration of Cold Symmetry’s understanding of core concepts that are the strength of the genre. Mortal Shell is a exemplary use of limited resources to make a tight, fun game, even if it only takes a weekend to beat.