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.
Alex Chen’s journey is a good one and the five chapters provide a concise, slick story that gets the job done without much fuss. Unfortunately this also exemplifies how often certain areas are reused and the relatively simple choices given to players. Thankfully, True Colors dazzles its flaws with a vibrant, enjoyable adventure that’s well worth checking out
Technical issues aside, Rift Apart is well worth a play. It’s a wonderful game with polished gameplay, a decent enough story and an absolutely gorgeous aesthetic. While the combat grows a little stale on the final few worlds and those glitches and bugs are very annoying, there’s enough here to highly recommend.
Returnal is a moody, atmospheric and adrenaline-soaked thrill-ride. Like the most extreme rides at a theme park, this won't be for everyone. Those taken by the challenge though can buckle up safe in the knowledge that they're on-course for a bold, brutal and absolutely brilliant game.
If you like police procedurals or walking sims, Observer: System Redux is essentially a collaborative wired hybrid of the two. Tying both these genres together, Redux’s augmented bulk is held in place by a murder mystery that consumes the bulk of this 6-8 hour game. If that sounds like your jam, Observer: System Redux is definitely worth a play - and it's incredibly pretty too. For everyone else on the fence, Redux's gameplay leaves a lot to be desired and is probably a better option to rent than outright buy.
In a year that’s already brought us some stunning platforming titles, Astro’s Playroom feels like another well-oiled cog in a larger, towering machine. The nostalgia is enough to carry this one though and as someone who’s grown up with gaming since the early Amiga days right the way through to Sony’s 5 different PlayStation consoles, Astro’s Playroom is an incredibly fun, beautiful trip down memory lane.