Ubisoft's open-world shooter digs into what makes the series great. Some of those experiments bear fruit, others bring frustration.Julian Benson
Easy to master and a campaign full of action movie-worthy missions but the game is let down by frustrating checkpointing and simplistic combat.Julian Benson
Just Cause 4 refines everything that made its predecessor great. It's still one of the most generous and bombastic open world games, but its new systems don't progress the sandbox as much as they should.
Fallout 76 isn't to be compared with other Fallouts - it's a spin-off that wants to be something new. Unfortunately, the multiplayer sandbox it tries to be is stagnant and intensely frustrating to play.
Everything about the dinosaurs is a joy, as it should be in a Jurassic World game, but it makes the weakness of the park management layer plain. The disparity between managing the dinosaurs and managing your guests is all the more apparent because Frontier made the excellent Planet Coaster.
This is where BattleTech shines, it's not about completing missions on your best day, it's about playing as best you can on your worst.
11 Bit Studios have done marvellous work on evoking the symbolism of the engine giving life.
A breathtakingly intense shooter that drags a little towards the end.
All of this makes Titan Souls a tough game to recommend. Personally, I found it a chore, becoming so caught up in my frustration that it became difficult to enjoy the detailed pixel artwork, take in the soundtrack, or even find satisfaction in finally killing a boss. However, I think there are players who will love this game. It is an unforgiving, unrelenting challenge that almost no other game offers.
I wanted to like Hotline Miami 2. I adored the first game, and everything the trailers promised - new weapons, enemies, mechanics, and violence, oodles of violence - looked excellent. However, it's just not as enjoyable. The first game felt like a focussed blast of adrenaline. Hotline Miami 2's always stopping and starting, its new characters feel rough and buggy, and the new reliance on guns restricts how you can approach combat.
The strange characters you meet never become more than a whimsical cut-outs with a few lines of dialogue. Shortly after you meet them you're off to the next surreal setpiece. It gives the sense that the city simply looks lovely but the team haven't put similar thought into the people who live in the place. In games like Broken Age, which is far weaker on the puzzle front, there's a fascinating story that's pulling you through the game. It lets down an otherwise excellent game.
The real problem is that Talos suffers in comparisons. While Portal was just a series of connected puzzle chambers it always felt that a developer was leading you through it. The Talos Principle feels like boxes within boxes, left by the developer for you to play in.
All these problems could be fixed in the coming months - the bugs can be patched out, quests can be rewritten and made more varied and lively, crafting can be balanced to make it worthwhile, and the number of dynamic events can be increased. Something can be done, too, to encourage team play. But, until then, there is no reason to start playing.
In The Fall, NFusion have taken a scalpel to to Human Revolution's template, collected together a pile of game meat - the essential giblets of a Deus Ex game - stitched it together and presented you with a serving. It's recognisably Deus Ex but it's not very appetising. NFusion get an extra point for not including a single boss fight.
This is a big planet and there are a lot of caves needing clearing, think of raids as housekeeping. You go in and kill as many bugs as you can before your timer runs out and we extract you. You won't be furthering our campaign but you will be earning cash for every bug you kill and hive you burn. The opportunities for combat are endless
Foul Play should have brought down the house. But the pacing leaves the game corpsing