YouTubers Life 2 is a very unique simulator. While not exactly “based on real-life”, it does a good job of offering gamers a glimpse into what might be involved in the process of becoming a fancy pants online celebrity. It accurately portrays the glitz and the glamour of garnering likes and building a reputation for millions of viewers, while the person behind the camera slowly counts the subscriber count and wishes for it to skyrocket overnight. There is a tiny bit of overlap with other games like the Sims, but in the end YouTubers Life 2 stands on its own as a prominent new simulator worthy of interest and playtime. It may not be profound in any way, but it certainly is good fun.
Back 4 Blood has clearly been designed as a multiplayer first title, and this is where it excels. From the rather basic narrative, through to the exceptional level design and progression systems, Back 4 Blood inspires extreme nostalgia while adding enough to carve its own path in the gaming zeitgeist. In this sense, the card and deck-building systems work very well (despite an odd caveat or two) to provide a wonderful level of team based strategy whilst keeping the repetitive gameplay fresh. Alas, the wonky AI and barebones narrative leaves a lot to be desired for solo players. When coupled with friends, however, it provides one of the most entertaining and insanely enjoyable multiplayer experiences currently available, and acts as a worthy successor to Left 4 Dead.
At first glance, Far Cry 6 appears to provide the quintessential triple-A open-world experience. However, upon closer inspection and by allowing the game to truly showcase its strengths, it quickly becomes apparent how much love and attention has been put into it. From an excellent cast spearheaded by one of the most captivating villains to appear in video games, through to an enthralling world designed around its sounds and culture; everything about the game is of a very high polish and calibre. Further cementing this notion is how the title is not filled by random missions and events; rather the missions are cleverly placed to accommodate the amigos and the plethora of gear players come across. Thus providing a wonderful sense of immersion in a world feeling alive with possibility. Although the narrative may seem plain and cliche at first; the plot soon hooks and flourishes into a veritable masterpiece of storytelling. In a sense, Far Cry 6 is a game that loves to reward scrutiny. In this way, it consistently amazes with new and exciting events while a constant dramatic narrative rumbles along in the background. It truly is exceptional and easily serves as the new bar for what this franchise can be, and ultimately is.
Overall, DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power is a power trip through the everyday lives of three of Dark Comics’ most beloved female leads. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast does not become playable at any point – understandably so. The game is surprisingly faithful to its source material, which is [and it must be stressed] a whacky and warped television show based on the comics. The show, while not to everyones taste, does have a lot of heart, and so does the game. It is just an extreme shame how the game has no clear target audience: it looks and feels like a children’s game with strong messaging about obsession and social media. At the same time, however, it is a surprisingly deep arcade brawler, complete with customisation and extra game modes that tie back into the main experience. DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power serves as a neat escape into the world of the television show, but ultimately fails to wow thanks to an obvious conflict around who the game’s target audience is supposed to be.
Deathloop may not be Dishonored 3 or a Prey sequel, but one thing is certain: Arkane Lyon delivered yet another intellectual property worthy of keeping an eye on. The game simply astonishes with how its world-building, narrative, and gameplay all work together in masterful ways to deliver an incredibly unique experience. At face value, the game looks like any another Arkane title, and upon first boot, it may even feel like it is. After a little bit of further inspection and a whole lot of prodding, however, the surface-level worries are immediately blown out of the water. There is an ocean of gameplay possibilities, new and unique ways of Memento mori inspired storytelling, and world-building unlike any other. The game may not be the be-all-and-end-all, but it most certainly sets the bar for first-person action going forward. Simply superb.
While not exactly what fans of the franchise might want (more so after the outstanding remasters released in recent years), The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD serves its purpose: closing/starting the confusing time loop for the current generation. Hardcore fans and collectors will definitely find their money’s worth in this title, and new players can be rest assured how it will bring them a decent amount of entertainment as they wait for the next inevitable remaster or remake… or Breath of the Wild 2.
Quake Remastered is a fantastic release. While rumours for a remaster have swirled around for years, a remaster that is both as simple and as nuanced as Quake Remastered defies all expectations. It may look rather bland in a world where Fortnite seems average and Skyrim sees its eightieth release, but it truly does have a hell of a lot to offer. Pun most definitely intended. In short: the game is exceptional.
It comes as a massive disappointment to call Aliens: Fireteam Elite a mess, but that is exactly what it is. Take some solace in knowing many of the issues displayed in the game can easily be patched out; but gamers should never bank on that happening when purchasing a title. The game has a few things going for it (namely the franchise), but the sheer amount of unfortunate design decisions, whether out of budgetary constraints or release schedule, overshadows even those. With great sadness, Aliens: Fireteam Elite does nothing more for the Aliens franchise than Aliens: Colonial Marines before it… and that is a crying shame.
Gamers who are not fans of simulation games will most likely grow bored of a title like this in a few hours. However, RiMS Racing is not meant for the ‘casual’ crowd. For a start, the game has nowhere near the number of bikes on offer as more mainstream titles (think Forza) and requires far more patience and nuance to earn enjoyment when compared to many competing simulation games. Despite these trade-offs, RiMS Racing fits right in with the best available simulation racers on the market. Career mode is packed to the brim with features, while in-depth tutorials and training sessions exist to help bring newer or inexperienced players into the fold. The key feature of the game is its unapologetic focus on singular parts and how they are installed on the bikes. It is a crazy, truly wonderful and utter satisfying inclusion for the most hardcore of simulation enthusiasts. While the game may not have all the polish in the world, it sets a crazy new precedent for racing simulators; thus raising the bar in many more ways than even RaceWard set out to do – an exceptional feat for the studio’s first outing.
It is extremely challenging to think of a reason why anyone would want to buy and play the game if it is already available on other, more accessible platforms, for free. Furthermore, Afterpulse is an anomaly of a title that feels like it has no place on Nintendo Switch due to how the experience seems to be the same – or inferior in some cases – across the other respective platforms. It is clear fundamental changes needed to be made for it to work on anything other than mobile. Auto-aim, for instance, is so heavy-handed that no skill is ever required to win a match; while guns can be levelled up and more powerful equipment be made available at the swipe of a credit card. Players who do want a decent first-person experience are much better off looking at something like Call of Duty Mobile or just trying this one out on iOS or Android. The game is not bad, but it leaves a heck of a lot to be desired on a console platform like the Nintendo Switch.