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.
For those who have always wanted to build the theme park of their dreams and haven’t played this on PC, Planet Coaster is a no-brainer purchase. The different game modes offer a good amount of challenge and the creativity and customization are bursting at the seams. The management options are admittedly still lacklustre after all these years and those not interested in the creative aspects and wanting something a little more challenging should probably wait before picking this one up. For everyone else, Planet Coaster is a wonderfully creative and aesthetically pleasing theme park game that raises a very high bar in the sim genre.
When it comes to utilizing the power of the Playstation 5, Miles Morales is a taste of what we can come to expect from this new generation. This is a well polished, beautifully rendered and emotionally engaging game that takes everything that made the first so good and amplifies it with some crackling, juiced-up venom. The ensuing explosion produces a real gem and one well worth the price tag to play.
In a bid for Ubisoft to try and remain politically neutral, Watch Dogs: Legion loses any sharpness it could have had with a more urgent and focused message. Instead, what we get is a watered down open-world experience that feels like just another NPC in a sea of open-world players.