Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories is clunky, broken and buggy. The framerate regularly struggles to stay in the high 20s. It’s ugly, with small, bland environments and some occasionally finicky controls. And yet despite all this, Disaster Report 4 is remarkably engaging, using a variety of small scale stories and encounters put together against the backdrop of a cataclysmic earthquake. Disaster Report 4 might be technically lacking in a lot of areas, but it is stuffed full of heart.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a solid game, severely hampered by technical and control limitations on consoles. The best way to play remains the PC version, as it suffers from none of the PS4’s control problems and a lot less of the technical ones. Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a game positively overflowing with content, and will keep you entertained for countless hours if you wish it. It’s not a game that necessarily does anything new to reinvent the genre, but it shows great love for the original source material which should indebt it to fans of the tabletop RPG.
Billed as a more stripped down and linear experience perhaps set within a Deus Ex-style hub world, Cyberpunk 2077 could have lived up to expectations. But as an “Ur-game” which would allow players to do just about anything they wanted, and which the marketing relentlessly teased, Cyberpunk 2077 is just a shadow. A pretty shadow, but a shadow nonetheless.
Although it covers fairly deep emotional subject matter, The Magnificent Trufflepigs is generally an extremely relaxing, easy-going game with no fail states; a “walk-‘em-up” where you wander across several fields, digging up old bits of rubbish while reminiscing with an old friend.
Samurai Warriors 5 is an extremely over-the-top, ridiculous game. It’s a game where your character can slice his enormous sword at a battalion of soldiers, obliterating them in a massive fireball. It’s a game where you can ride your horse through hundreds of archers, cutting them down while barely getting a scratch on you. It’s a game where if you pull off the correct combination of moves, your character can basically “fly”, zipping around with inhuman speed while inflicting devastating power attacks. All of this from what is on paper supposed to be a realistic, historical action game. This juxtaposition of a relatively serious story with the ludicrous action is a formula that works surprisingly well, creating a core gameplay loop which is engaging, if sometimes a bit repetitive. If you accept the game for what it is, you’ll find a satisfying hack-and-slash with plenty of replayability.
No Longer Home doesn’t out stay its welcome and is a relatively short experience, but I generally found it interesting and inventive. It clearly borrows heavily from Kentucky Route Zero, but wisely doesn’t try to imitate it, but rather borrows narratively and structurally. Ao and Bo’s relationship is very well fleshed out, and they are honest and truthful to each other in a refreshing way, their dialogue never feeling forced or unnatural. This is commendable, as realistic romantic relationships are often difficult to accurately convey in video games. It’s a game which pauses and asks you to value the small moments in life. I took this lesson to heart, using every opportunity I could to pet the flat’s two cats, Luna and Autumn. Sometimes, just petting a cat can spark joy. Life consists of a multitude of small moments, and at some point, we all must move from old homes and build new ones. No Longer Home, like Gone Home before it, proves the adage “you can’t go home again” remains as true as ever.