There's a strong case to be made for Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga being the best Lego game to date, with a massive variety of gameplay styles, oodles of additional content, and that perfectly pitched playfulness that evens out the highs and lows of the Star Wars main series into a uniformly entertaining experience. The whistle-stop nature of the translation from silver screen to video game means that die-hard fans could find that some of their favourite scenes don't make the cut, but it's generally a rock-solid playable summary of all nine movies, all wrapped up in that typical Lego charm.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands expands on Borderlands 2's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC in some interesting and meaningful ways, but feels like it struggles to stretch out what was a fantastic gimmick for a shorter expansion to fill a full-length campaign without falling back on repeating its material. Gunplay is typically great and the numbers-go-up power fantasy as gratifying as ever, but even though it's notably less aggressive than Borderlands 3 in its attempts to make you laugh, there are still plenty of limp pop culture references and cringeworthy 'topical' gags that are likely to grate on even fans of the series' brash humour.
OlliOlli World takes the tight, rewarding gameplay of its simple predecessors, dresses it up in a beautifully colourful and quirky new art style, and layers on a bunch of new systems that make it even more satisfying to master. It's a masterclass in how to make score attack games that can have players attack the same spot for hours at a time in search of those vital few points that would give them the lead over a rival, with dozens of awesome hand-crafted levels and countless procedural ones on which to chase those big numbers.
As much as I enjoy the moment-to-moment gameplay of Rainbow Six Extraction and have had a blast with it both solo and in co-op, it's impossible to overlook the glaring balance issues and lack of any kind of appealing endgame it has at the moment.
Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One deviates little from the established Frogwares detective game template, but that doesn't stop it from being a compelling adventure and perhaps one of the studio's stronger games overall. It's got a meaty and intriguing core story, loads to see and do off the main path, and some swerving cases that will take some serious sleuthing to come to the right conclusions — I'm not sure what more you could really ask for from a game like this besides that tried-and-tested trifecta, except maybe a little more polish. The lack thereof doesn't hurt the game too much, mind, so if you enjoy solving crimes while being really, really, really ridiculously good-looking, this mid-price mystery should definitely find its way onto your wishlist.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 certainly has a fitting title, because it's exactly that — a true evolution. The campaign might be a little on the short side, performance problems are unfortunate, and only having a handful of the movie actors reprise their roles can feel a little jarring (the Chris Pratt soundalike is kinda terrible). But rustling beyond the foliage of these superficial issues is a simulation game with the kind of depth and nuance that the original game promised but never really delivered.
Beautiful, vast, creative, varied, and exciting, Forza Horizon 5 is an incredible game that will have you hooning around Mexico for months. There's an amazing sense of variety to everything about this game, and the smart Accolades system should have many achievement hunters hooked as they explore the full extent of what this remarkable racer has to offer. Fantastic handling, interesting events, and a wonderful history-spanning selection of cars makes for an amazing experience — arguably the best game in the series to date, and inarguably the best game in the series to DOOT. See you in Mexico, amigos...
BPM is an amazing concept, realised wonderfully. It's not the easiest of recommendations due to the game's brutal difficulty level and heavy metal skew, but if you're on board with those things, willing to learn something new (and get your ass handed to you repeatedly in the process), and prepared to overcome the whims of some random elements to bring down Nidhogg, you're in for one hell of a time. Honestly, well executed passages are next-level satisfying, from triple-tap kill combos to the beat to the simple act of reloading some of the fiddlier weapons. Completions beware, though — the list is a bit silly.
Fans of the toy line will likely find stunning digital recreations of the cars they love here, whether now or in one of many content updates already on the cards, along with a generally competent racer to use them in. Still, said fans may find that the dedication to the brand here elevates the experience to a degree, although those with less love for Hot Wheels in general might just see this passable racer as more of a slightly cynical vessel through which to peddle pretend toy cars for the next few years. Shiny and on-brand, but nothing particularly special, honestly.
There's no doubt in my mind that Sable is a game that will work best when experienced as a personal, non-thorough Gliding that comes to a natural end long before any rot has a chance to set in. But with so many incentives (both in and around the game) for trawling every sandy inch of the world in search of worms, badges, and whatever else, the mixed messages Sable sends are probably going to lead to a lot of people playing in a way that actually works to the game's detriment.
Hades goes above and beyond what you'd expect from a game like this, resulting in a unique experience that you'll likely still find yourself diving back into long after the completion is wrapped up. Supergiant has an incredible track record, but with Hades, the studio takes its throne alongside the gods of the indie scene.
The Ascent is a beautiful and entertaining action-RPG when everything is working as intended, but those moments are sadly much rarer than they should be. We know the team already has several patches planned so hopefully, a lot of the issues we encountered will be ironed out by the time you dive into the game — I'll be keeping an eye on these updates and will look to update and/or modify this review should things be significantly improved, because I'd have liked to have scored The Ascent higher. Combat is frantic and fun, the world is amazing, and there are some really satisfying abilities to bust out against foes, but you need a hell of a lot of patience to put up with all the technical nonsense going on with the game in its current state.