As a tranquil Indie experience, SEASON certainly isn’t bad but it's not a particularly good game either. It does have some stand-out moments and the general worldbuilding is pretty good but everything else around that is woefully substandard. Traversing the world on your bike is surprisingly dull (don’t expect to fall off your bike or find any physics applied to this), while both the animation and general mechanics at play here leave a lot to be desired. SEASON's simplistic design is both its biggest selling point and its Achille's heel.
If this was just a collection of the mini-levels thrown together with a sort of hub area to hone your skills, Frontier may have been a solid Sonic game. As it stands though, there’s so much wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to start. Some will undoubtedly have fun with this one, pointing out other, worse, Sonic games on the market, but compared to platforming giants like Mario and Crash Bandicoot, this one barely stumbles out the gates before being left in the dust.
Midnight Suns is definitely worth checking out. The game has a lot going for it and the story is actually pretty interesting across the board. There’s a lot of scope for the future with this one, including playable characters like Venom and Morbius (not to mention THAT teaser after the final battle!) this game may just be the brightest star in a dark Marvel sky this year.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is not a perfect game but it is a perfect example of how to take everything that's come before and improve all facets of its development. From the beautiful soundtrack to the stunning locales; from the thematically resonant story to the tight gameplay mechanics; Plague Tale: Requiem is an absolute joy to play through and easily one of this year's best games.
Freshly Frosted isn't the most innovative title of 2022, but it is easily one of the best puzzlers. It's armed with a simple premise, but the way the gameplay constantly evolves, along with a near-perfect difficulty curve throughout, makes this doughnut factory tick at every turn.
Good graphics and lighting can only go so far and unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing else here worth getting excited about. The Callisto Protocol is this generation’s The Order: 1886. It could have been great. There are flickers of greatness here. But in the end, this turns into a great big disappointment.
The Devil In Me should be a devilishly moreish entry in the Dark Pictures anthology, and it definitely has the narrative chops to make for a bloody good horror. Unfortunately, those aforementioned bugs and glitches haunt this title and hold it back from being a better experience. If you can get around these issues though, there’s lots to like here.
In many ways, The Quarry is just as good as Until Dawn, which is a solid 8/10 in this reviewer’s eyes. However, the lack of narrative depth and meaningful choices, the annoying graphical glitches mentioned and a surprising lack of ways to kill characters until late on, hold this back from being an outstanding offering in this genre.
Horizon: Forbidden West is undoubtedly a beautiful game, with expanded lore and a pretty good story (minus a disappointing sequel-baiting third act.) The platforming is still terrible though, some of the design choices are questionable and Aloy’s constant chatter is borderline game-breaking. Having said that, there’s been a good deal of improvement and care put into fighting machines – which is still this game’s biggest draw. There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline-soaked fights with the larger behemoths in this world. Forbidden West is not perfect but this is a solid sequel to one of the better open worlds in recent times.
While Gran Turismo gets a lot right, it also gets a lot wrong too. The microtransactions and insidious roulette gambling are absolutely disgusting and have no place in a “AAA” game. Oh, and that’s before mentioning the mandatory always-online connection too. Without them this would be an easy 7.5/10. If you can stomach the inherent flaws and don’t have a history of addictive tendencies, Gran Turismo 7 is a decent racing title on the track but it misses a podium finish by spinning out on the home stretch.
Dying Light 2 is not a good game. It’s a frustrating medley of intriguing ideas and concepts buried under a thick, post-apocalyptic sludge of mediocrity. From dull combat and dull characters to an abundance of dull side quests, Dying Light 2 is one of the biggest disappointments of recent years.
Reverie Knights Tactics is a simple tactical RPG, one with a lot of potential that’s never quite explored as much as it perhaps should be. Despite its story flaws and simple battle tactics, this is still a fun game to play. With no microtransactions, predatory lootboxes or noteworthy bugs at launch, this is not a bad title to splash £20 on.
It’s such a shame then that the narrative fails as badly as it does because when it comes to gameplay, most of It Takes Two is brilliantly designed. Much like The Last Of Us Part 2, this is going to be a narrative that divides many people. Unlike TLOU2, the mature themes here are tackled immaturely, with a weird tinted veil that completely brushes over the complexities of the issues being discussed. Gameplay-wise, this title is a blast to play through. Narratively though? This one’s a clanger.
The fact that God of War still holds up after its release in 2018 speaks volumes about the great work Santa Monica Studio have done with this “not really a reboot but not really a sequel” game. When it dropped on Playstation as an exclusive, it rightly received critical and fan acclaim the world over. Fast forward to 2022 and that same experience is now available to PC users, in a port that’s just as good – if not better – than its Playstation counterpart.
I mentioned in my last review for Far Cry 5 that this franchise was in desperate need of an overhaul. And much like Ubisoft execs haven't listened to its workforce to cut out the abuse, Far Cry 6 hasn't listened to its fanbase to make meaningful changes to push this franchise forward. This is a shallow, uninspiring open world slog.
This is a solid, well-written entry in the Dark Pictures Anthology, typified by excellent characterization for Jason and Salim. It may not be the best game of the year, but like an old acquaintance who drops by around the holidays, this is a welcome distraction and a fun way to pass some time.