- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Resident Evil 2
If you have a VR headset and are itching for something to play, Red Matter 2 is a must-play. It’s a clever little puzzle adventure game that continued to surprise me throughout, thanks to its intelligent puzzle design that keeps things interesting and varied. Not to mention the occasionally gorgeous visuals that must be pushing the Quest 2 to its limits.
Soulstice is a love letter to the PlayStation 2 era of the action genre, with frantic fast-paced combat and its own spin on things. However, it does bring some of that baggage with it and there are some glaring issues with pacing and repetition, especially in the opening hours. Thankfully, Soulstice does recover in the end and for fans of the genre it is absolutely worth checking out.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man is a surprising game for sure. I never got the chance to play it back in its PlayStation 4 release and was admittedly skeptical it was going to be this good. I was very wrong: I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game thanks to a great story, fast-paced combat and traversal mechanics that are just way too exciting. Hopefully we can expect more quality ports from Sony going forward.
As a whole, Thymesia feels like a missed opportunity. The plague weapons and unique sense of progression carry its gameplay that can often feel a touch unfinished and forgettable. It’s short and very uneven: just when it’s starting to feel a bit more interesting, it ends in a very unspectacular fashion. If you are foaming for more soulslike games, then I guess that Thymesia can (maybe) be a good time. Even so, I’d strongly recommend grabbing it on sale.
As a whole, Twilight Zone VR provides three distinctively different experiences that all thematically work together within the same game. However, the game mechanics are far too simple to recommend and VR only barely elevates it into something a bit more playable. Without VR, this simply wouldn’t be a game worth anyone’s time.
DreadOut 2 isn’t necessarily a good game, but it’s got its charms. The combat is clunky and slow, explorations can be needlessly vague, and it’s not graphically impressive to say the least. That being said, it does still have some good ideas that make it somewhat entertaining. If you want to play a low budget horror title, I would highly recommend checking out the original DreadOut first and if you like that give the second one a shot. Otherwise DreadOut 2 doesn’t offer anything terribly interesting.
If you are a fan of musou games then you probably already have this one on the myriad of consoles it had been ported over the years. However if this is your first time, or you’re looking for some titles for your brand new Steam Deck (where it ended up fitting surprisingly well, glitches aside), then Warriors Orochi 3 provides a solid entry point for the genre. It provides players with dozens upon dozens of hours of content to dig into the button mashing genre of musou.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is exactly what you would expect; more of the same sweet sweet gameplay loop. There’s a bunch of new monsters to fight in new and old locations. The only things letting down Sunbreak are the early game pacing issues, and depending on your tastes, not the finest roster of new monsters. Saying that, there is more than enough to keep you busy for many hours to come as you progress through the brutally tough Master Rank and endgame content. If this is the end of Rise, then Capcom sure have done it justice.
MADiSON is one of the most terrifying horror games I have played in the past few years. Unfortunately, it is held back from true greatness by some of its presentation and tedious sections. I can understand that for many it might rely a little too heavily on jumpscares, but I would argue that many of them are still very effective. MADiSON provides a relentless barrage of horror that few games can really compete with.
The tense exploration of the hotel calls back to the good old days of Resident Evil. It’s a wonderfully designed location that is easy to get lost in thanks to the little direction, yet still doesn’t feel too obtuse. Unfortunately, the game is let down by some weak combat and a story that is completely forgettable.
Neon White is not only the most surprising game of the year so far, but also my personal favourite of this year. It provides an interesting story told in the strikingly beautiful visual novel format. It also provides one of the most addicting and satisfying gameplay loops since Ghostrunner. The thrill of moving up those leaderboards and cutting down your times millisecond by millisecond never gets old. I really hope we see a lot more from Neon White in the future.
The horribly named Apotheorasis: Lab of the Blind Gods is a truly unique experience that almost certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Uniquely driving an entire FPS entirely through sound is something that hasn’t really been done before. If you want something that dares to be different and breaks away from standard video game conventions then Apotheorasis is well worth checking out.
Vampire The Masquerade: Swansong is a flawed game for sure, with some rough visuals and a gameplay loop that certainly won’t be for everyone. However, if you are looking for a compelling vampire mystery and don’t mind quite a few annoyances that are usually present in modern AA games, then there is a lot to like about this flawed, but certainly captivating detective adventure.
Teardown is an exciting and experimental destruction engine with some stunning moments. Whilst the heist missions do add a little extra variety to the sandbox, its full potential isn’t reached with them. Regardless ,if you just want to blow stuff up, then Teardown is a good time if your PC is up to the task.
Godlike Burger could and should have been so much better. It is an amalgamation of really bizarre ideas that come together to create a really unique (and mental) gaming experience. However, it suffers from a myriad of technical and design issues, such as a clunky user interface, awkward progression system, and annoying controls that do bring the experience down several notches. Not all is lost, though. There is potential in here, so I really hope this idea isn’t abandoned, but instead built upon via patches or a sequel.
Green Hell VR makes a successful transformation into a VR title. Making full use of the extra level of interactivity and immersion that VR can provide whilst delivering a (almost) complete gameplay experience. There are some rough spots, but it’s well worth picking up, especially for long time fans.
Despite being a regular Destiny player, I am also a cynic. The last couple of years haven’t been kind to the game (and the franchise as a whole) and I didn’t go into this expansion with the greatest of expectations. However, Witch Queen has quickly become my favourite Destiny experience to date and a huge step in the right direction. We ended up getting an amazing and rather beefy campaign that shows Bungie at their very best, but there’s still a long way to go with everything else in the game.
Winter Ember is a game I am heavily conflicted on. On one hand it’s an immersive Thief inspired game with tense stealth aspects. On the other hand it’s frustrating to play, thanks to its zoomed in camera and lack of consistency. There’s a lot of potential that was unfortunately wasted in here. If you really want to satiate your Thief hunger, it pains me to say this isn’t the solution. Just play the original and its sequel for the upteenth time…
Ikai was a horror title I was actually really looking forward to. A game steeped in Japanese folklore in a self contained location could (and to be fair, should) have made for an absolutely terrifying and unique experience. However, it just didn’t manage to make the cut: its short runtime, generic gameplay loop and complete lack of scares resulted in a really underwhelming and, more often than not, frustrating, horror title you should avoid.