Overall, Dungeons & Dragon: Dark Alliance is a fantastic example of a third-person action RPG, offering a great amount of story and lore through varying missions. With only a few minor setbacks aside, I’d have no problem saying that Tuque Games has brought my Drizzt Do’Urden and companions fantasies to life in all of the best ways. I’ll be seeing this game through to the very end without a shadow of a doubt, and have no issue recommending it to anybody that enjoys action RPGs. Grab some buddies and head to Icewind Dale — you won’t regret it!
With a fantastic roster of stories to play through and characters to interact with, Weird West is sure to please any fan of the Old West. Its mix of fantasy and spaghetti western tropes blends beautifully to create a memorable experience that twists and turns around the believable and magical. While there are a few niggles here and there, the overall experience feels polished throughout and WolfEye's attention to detail is noticeable in all aspects.
Just Die Already is a game that offers you the odd few hours of reprieve from other, more serious experiences, handing you the reins and coaxing you into experimenting with every ridiculous idea that pops into your head. It's fantastic fun in short bursts, silly, but structured well enough to offer you a challenge if that's what you're looking for. I'd recommend grabbing a couple of buddies and seeing what chaotic exploits you can get up to. It's certainly worth the time — especially at the game's price point — even if it's not the kind of thing that you can sit down to play for hours at a time.
Chivalry 2 is a game that thrusts you into the brutality of medieval warfare without remorse and allows you to fully experience the reality that soldiers faced in those bloody times. The rewards come from extended gameplay and mastering your class and weapon choices, ultimately learning how to effectively defend yourself and go on the offensive. This is a must-have for anyone that enjoys melee combat within video games and wants to put their skills to the test. Aside from a few minor issues, the game feels polished throughout, and I look forward to playing it for many, many more hours.
Chernobylite is a lovingly crafted example of what a post-apocalyptic game can and should be, offering players a rollercoaster of a story with plenty of choices that naturally lend to an overarching sense of freedom. Aside from a few technical issues, Chernobylite does everything right and wraps it all in a tense, and oftentimes uncomfortable, package that has you wanting to see what’s lurking around the next corner. If there has ever been a game that makes you want to pack your bags and take a trip to a dangerous part of the world, this is it.
Back 4 Blood is the co-op survival shooter that we’ve been waiting for since Left 4 Dead took the world by storm. The introduction of Corruption Cards really helps the game stand out, while offering players varied gameplay that doesn’t feel stale at any point. The current issues surrounding solo play are certainly a turn-off, but not enough for me to not recommend playing it, especially if you have a group of friends ready to go. With a little TLC, Back 4 Blood has every ingredient necessary to flourish, and perhaps even dethrone its predecessors… maybe.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed brings a welcoming and whimsical approach to the asymmetrical multiplayer genre while ensuring that it remains faithful to the franchise's incredible history. Taking on the Busters as a Ghost offers you plenty of opportunities to be cheeky at every turn, just as you would expect from the creatures in Aykroyd's universe. While a couple of issues have stopped me from scoring this a little higher, I have no doubt that fans and newcomers alike will have a great time with this well-crafted gem. If you've grown a little tired of the dark and foreboding theme found in similar games, I highly recommend you pick up the phone and call the Ghostbusters now to apply as a new recruit. It's time to get busting!
Evil West feels like a fresh take on the typical 'Old West' settings we see, offering a satisfying combat system and enough gore to sate the appetite of the most bloodthirsty of vampires. Its dark narrative and compelling characters are both engaging, but some questionable level design choices hamper the experience a little in places. There is no doubt, though, that Evil West should be played by anyone with a love for the Western setting and occult references. In good cowboy fashion, this is a tale filled with sadness, pain, action, and perseverance through adversity, and it does a damn good job of it!
Gungrave G.O.R.E proves that keeping with a series' core elements, no matter how old, can be a positive weapon to use when bringing an older franchise back to the masses. Its arcade-style gameplay loops offer quick ten-minute bursts of explosive action that are thrilling to play out while challenging to master at higher difficulties or chasing top ranks. Iggymob has created a game that brings nostalgic PS2-era mechanics to the latest generation of consoles and Xbox Game Pass, and you should definitely check it out. Grave remains the badass hero we need in our lives.
Bright Memory: Infinite is a promising new entry from a small studio, with visuals and a gameplay loop that give it the opportunity to sit alongside some of the heavy hitters in the genre. While it's lacking in a few elements that could carry it through to greatness, it's also dripping with potential and could be the start of a successful franchise if FYQD-Studio polishes some of the game's foibles. All-in-all, it's a short romp through action-focused levels that's sure to offer any FPS fan a burst of fun and have them feeling like a killing machine in the process.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Aliens: Fireteam Elite and aside from a handful of bugs, the game shows promise of a solid third-person co-op survival game. The rich lore and stunning level design put it on par with other successful Alien titles in terms of presentation (if not in terms of being faithful to the source material with its hordes of papier-mâché Xenomorphs), and although there isn’t anything revolutionary about the gameplay, the experience itself feels well crafted. I hope to see some of the issues resolved in the near future, but can happily say that this isn’t just another game to toss on the Aliens failure heap.
Right now, Battlefield 2042 is offering plenty of new features and gameplay elements that will benefit the series’ veteran players, although I’m not sure if there is enough there to hold the attention of players that don’t already have a vested interest in it, at least while they wait for the various problems to be fixed. That really is a shame because even though the persistent issues are frustrating, unnecessary, and annoying, underneath it all is a game that is brimming with potential, and one that I’m enjoying much of my time with — combat is tense, challenging, and unpredictable, and it offers the very best Battlefield experience in recent years... when it hits right.