Given the original title is over 15 years old, the remaster may be forgiven for some of its strange quirks. Although a much longer and deeper narrative or a more streamlined and involved gameplay loop would be preferred, it is a product of its time. This knowledge helps to ease any discontent the title may exude from dated gameplay and narrative elements. In addition, developers Black Forest Games have made some wonderful improvements to the older title, including the addition of the long lost Area 42 Mission - originally cut from the game due to time constraints. Overall, the enhanced visuals, slightly updated gameplay, and old fashioned call-it-as-it-is humour; helps to elevate Destroy All Humans! as one of the better action games of 2020. Granted, it may not be a grade-A contender by modern standards, but it is a faithful and wonderful remake of a classic, and is far better than anyone could have hoped for.
It may still have a long way to go before it can be considered a “full-fledged” release, but there is no denying how wonderfully complete Artificer: Science of Magic already feels. Similarly, the game plays like the best of its genre while carrying an art style that is simultaneously unique and exceptionally creative. The combination of art style, addictive gameplay, and manufactured “need” to survive “just one more day” is real, and well worth investing time into.
As far as these ports go, they are pretty solid. The entire Borderlands Legendary Collection runs at a locked 30 frames per second and comes with the added benefit of very quick loading times. The stuttering issues can always be patched out with future updates and the bad texture loading can likewise be solved by optimising future builds of the games. Unlike the Handsome Jack Collection, the Borderlands Legendary Collection includes the first game, as well as the second and their prequel/sequel. For ten or twenty bucks more, it would have been nice to have included Borderlands 3. Nevertheless, the package is great for anyone who has yet to play the franchise or for gamers who desperately need it on the go.
Paws and Soul may not be some triple-A action spectacle, but it is a beautiful and colourful display of what it may be like to explore and reflect on memories of a life long lived. It does so with aplomb as well, as it showcases wonderful and easy puzzle segments that never hurt the brain. The music helps to immerse you while the gameplay lets you embody the game's literal spirit. Paws and Soul successfully accomplishes what it is set out to be, a beautiful tale with ethereal ideologies to make it an experience worth enjoying.
Ghost of Tsushima focuses intently on telling the story of the last Samurai of Tsushima. It tells the tale of Jin's inner struggle to contain the demon he was destined to become, and to bring peace to Japan before the war reaches the mainland. The game ensures players have as many options of play available at all times, with an extreme focus on just how much they can do while exploring a beautiful open world. While the game does not push the limits of story telling or graphical prowess, it does serve as an excellent open-world title where becoming a samurai is enjoyable, engrossing, and as morally challenging as real life.
Ultimately, the XCOM 2 Collection serves its purpose of bringing a masterpiece to a mobile platform. Granted, it could do with additional polish and optimisation, and the very cumbersome UI could be better on the small screen. However, the game looks and plays well beyond the aforementioned issues, and adequately serves as a great mobile way to play what is arguably the best tactical turn-based shooter of the last decade.
While Iron Man VR is not the most spectacular or ground breaking VR title available, it does a great job of making you think and feel like you are Tony Stark. The world is big and beautiful and you can get lost in it so easily, that it is astonishing how limited the actual campaign actually is by comparison. It is also nice to see all of the classic characters make their warranted appearances throughout the experience - particularly the banter between two of Tony’s virtual assistants, Gunsmith and Friday. Naturally, it also helps how great everything looks, despite the massive lack of anti-aliasing. Overall, the game is great fun. While there is little reason to return to the game after completing the campaign, it is possible the title could become a household go-to for children and big fans of the character. Iron Man VR does an incredible job of driving home the fact that you can be Iron Man, and that is the only thing that counts in this PlayStation VR experience.
The Last of Us Part II does an incredible job of letting you know the world is a lived one, where people exist, and animals and places have continued on with or without the protagonist. However, with all of these things going on in the background and the world, it ensures you know you are living every single moment of Ellie’s journey. You get to experience her meeting new people, learning to trust these people, and eventually love these people. You get to see her memorable moments with Joel, and how she managed to grow up into a young woman capable of doing the most perilous of tasks herself. You also get to see the slower side of her life, where she sits down and reflects, where she plays the most beautiful acoustic cover of Take on Me on the guitar, and how she sits on a balcony and stares out into the sunset. This is Ellie’s journey, and it is one of the most beautiful, aggravating, heart wrenching, entertaining, fun, and riveting stories I have ever played (and enjoyed). It may not be perfect for all types of gamers, especially those who might get irritated during sections where the combat will result in Ellie’s death; but it is perfect, beautiful, engrossing and gorgeous in every other way! Although a new decade has only just begun, The Last of Us Part II is already at the top of “absolute must play titles” for the decade ahead.
There are no two ways about getting the expansion if you are already a fan of the game. It adds so much to the vanilla experience that going back to an expansion-less version seems like a foreign idea. While many of these changes will undoubtedly filter their way down to those of you who are holding out on the expansion, the value is there in both the new setting, the expansive new story, and the first free seasonal pass and level 30 boost.