There's no getting around it - Helldivers 2 is a supremely fun, frequently unintentionally hilarious and bombastic squad shooter that builds upon its predecessor and deftly sets up a long-term future in the process. Though the lack of split-screen is keenly felt and Helldivers 2 is by and large identical to its predecessor in so many ways, Arrowhead Studios highly anticipated sequel nonetheless does a great job of repackaging a shooter that not nearly enough people played into a thunderous current-gen offering that sets a new bar for extraction shooters everywhere.
War Hospital is nowhere near the most sophisticated, nor the most polished strategy game money can buy, but it nonetheless does a commendable job of making you feel what managing an overwrought war hospital at the forefront of one of the most deadly wars in human history could be like. Though it's relatively simplistic tactical beats might not appeal to expert strategists, War Hospital's more narrow scope and poignant subject matter do make it a much more easily digestible proposition for both genre newcomers and perhaps more crucially, for first-person shooter folks who have ever given thought to what happens after they pull the trigger on an enemy soldier.
Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is the sort of game that the Warhammer 40K setting has long needed. A disgustingly massive, social calendar swallowing CRPG offering, Rogue Trader's numerous presentation issues aren't enough to distract from its galaxy-spanning odyssey into Games Workshop's most famous and beloved setting.
One of the best surprises of the year when it comes to the strategy genre, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin generously lavishes a glorious amount of detail on its presentation of the tabletop Age of Sigmar setting from which it derives. Though its more streamlined tactical beats might prove too simplistic for genre veterans looking for a broader dose of macro strategy, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin nonetheless provides a gorgeously framed and immediately compelling RTS offering that offers an irresistible on-ramp for newcomers into both the Warhammer property and the RTS genre as a whole.
Underneath the thick red skin of its unpolished exterior there is an entertaining and surprisingly sophisticated roguelike brawler to be found in Hellboy Web of Wyrd. It's just a shame that sluggish combat, uninteresting lore and poorly executed exploration all conspire to drag Hellboy Web of Wyrd down into the depths.
Ultimately, The 7th Guest VR is the best sort of surprise. A great mix of entertaining puzzles, compelling exploration and some unexpectedly cutting edge visual design, for this Halloween there's probably no better reason to get out your PS VR2 headset than this.
Full of emotional highs that will make you get out of your chair and cheer at the screen in a way that few games have managed to achieve in recent memory, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 represents Insomniac Games operating at the apex of its considerable powers. Spectacular and amazing, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is a superior, spectacle stuffed action adventure that provides players with the ultimate superhero fantasy. Full of surprising heart and delicate moments that balance beautifully with the sort of blockbuster superhero bombast that its developer has refined to a fine art, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is a toweringly polished, unparalleled masterwork that redefines the superhero video game genre at large and is better than the previous two games in every way imaginable. This is exactly what you've been waiting for.
Though Lil Gator Game isn't especially long, it leaves an indelible mark on you, like a high-five with a loved one that leaves your hand with a pleasant soreness to remind you of the fact. Lil Gator is restorative in a way that many games just aren't - it slowly strips away your layers of resistance until you fall in love with its straightforward, though greatly satisfying adventure platform beats. Lil Gator Game is unreservedly pure, distilled happiness and innocence all in one glorious concoction and couldn't we all do with a bit more of that these days?
Project Wingman: Frontier 59 will certainly slake your thirst for something Ace Combat flavoured, that much is for sure. Developer Sector D2 has absolutely nailed the fundamentals of that formula and has crafted an engaging dogfighting effort as a result. Though it lacks the sheen of its more famous counterpart, Project Wingman: Frontier 59 nonetheless arguably offers more over the longer term, thanks to its neat Conquest mode and limited, though still impressive, implementation of Sony's PlayStation VR2 technology.
Despite being a port of a nearly four year old release, Paper Beast remains a roundly effective showcase for the capabilities of PSVR 2. A ponderous flight of fancy into an alien world filled with exotic flora and fauna, Paper Beast Enhanced Edition invites players to play a key role in the development of its engaging ecosystem, all the while taking them on a stirring adventure through a realm that will remain long in the memory. If you previously owned a PlayStation VR and didn't buy Paper Beast, now is the time to correct that mistake.
While the relatively laid-back and plodding pace likely won't be for everybody, it's fair to say that Bilkins' Folly represents an almost perfect storm of engaging characters, gorgeously framed visuals and refreshingly non-combat focused adventuring that gamers of any age can fully enjoy.
I never wanted Trepang2 to end and that was the problem - it ended much, much too quickly for my tastes. While it lasted through, Trepang2 was a glossy, flying-kicking, baseball-sliding, slow-motion neck snapping first-person shooter extravaganza that provided me with some of the most satisfying shooting I've seen all year. More of this, please.
An unapologetically old-school shooter that has been brought kicking and screaming into 2023, courtesy of those remaster wizards over at Nightdive Studios, Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition is certainly one for experienced genre fans. This is in no small part thanks to its well-designed, FPS assault course style levels which will challenge even the most itchy of trigger fingers. However, despite the stellar work by porting studio Nightdive Studios, Rise of the Triad's aging tech often ends up betraying itself, often resulting in frustration, while a less than comprehensive feature set makes the PS4 version feel incomplete when compared to its more fully-featured PC counterpart.
Much like the Eldritch horrors that are chronicled in the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Forgive Me Father has seemingly manifested from nowhere. An inventive and hyper violent shooter laced with survival horror and ARPG style progression elements, Forgive Me Father might be less refined than I would like, but all the same I cannot deny just how well the central concept of blowing Lovecraftian horrors apart has been wrought here.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series is a hugely enjoyable analogue to both the beloved television show and series of books that it is based on, and one that shows that Telltale Games is still very much capable of putting out involving, episodic stories with a cast of characters that are effortlessly engaging. With Cara Gee's thoroughly excellent performance as Camina Drummer anchoring the whole package, only an emaciated final episode and divisive plodding pace tarnish this otherwise triumphant return to form for Telltale Games.
There's no denying that MythForce absolutely laser targets old crusties like me that used to sit cross-legged in front of a boxy CRT, with cereal pouring down my face as I sat agape at the Saturday morning heroics that were playing out in front of me. Peer beneath its attractive audiovisual presentation however and though a satisfyingly enjoyable roguelite soon reveals itself, it's also one rife with flaws which hint at an offering that has a wealth of presently unrealised potential.
Crossfire: Sierra Squad isn't Call of Duty VR and neither is it an ultra-realistic, tactical shooter in the vein of Pavlov VR. What it is however, is an eminently enjoyable appreciably straightforward arcade FPS that fees great to play, respects your time and has bucket loads of progression and replay values for folks looking to get stuck in over the long term. Crossfire: Sierra Squad is quite the pleasant surprise to say the least and sets down a compelling blueprint for other arcade style FPS offerings on PSVR 2 to follow in the future.
As arguably the biggest, full-fat PSVR 2 first-party release since Horizon: Call of the Mountain, it's clear that Firewall Ultra doesn't quite match the deservedly lofty expectations that have been set for it. This is thanks in no small part to a modest amount of content and a progression system that is currently grind-heavy to say the least. However, it's also clear that this is a gorgeously realised tactical shooter that approaches excellence when everything falls into place with your fellow human players - it's just that, as of right now, such occasions are more fleeting than I would like thanks to so much for Firewall Ultra's promise being locked behind promised future updates that have yet to arrive.
Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot: The London Case is an enjoyable, if unambitious detective yarn. Though its simplicity might fail to stimulate the tactile minds of more practiced video game sleuths, the resolutely relaxed and accessible detective beats on offer mean that newcomers will find few better introductions to the genre and should probably feel free to add a point to the review score below in the process.