Gianni Di Giovanni
Until now there has been a weird gap where playing the Metal Gear Solid series legitimately was trickier than it needed to be, and it's fantastic that you won't need to go pricey second hand stores to go on another adventure with Snake (Solid, Liquid, Naked and the rest).
You know when I knew Assassin's Creed Mirage had got me? I found myself searching for the historical places and people just to learn more. That's something I remember fondly doing when playing the original on my Xbox 360 and Ubisoft have done a great job of recreating that feeling from all so long ago. If you've bounced off previous titles, this could be the game to bring you back the world of the Hidden Ones.
If you've worked in retail you'll recognise the little snapshots of a regular customer's life as they pop in and out of your life. It's those little relationships that this game captures so well and that still works well the second time around, but I did find myself feeling like the magic of the first game didn't hit quite as hard the second time around.
There are real monsters in the deep blue sea, and Black Salt Games' fishing adventure keeps pushing to dive in deeper and deeper. With a perfect balance of risk and reward DREDGE is compelling in short bursts perfect for the Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch
MEG’S MONSTER is the perfect game for a parent, it’s a succinct experience that draws heavily on the 16bit era with a colourful cast of loveable characters. It might even make you cry, I’m warning you and if you're like me you'll find yourself smiling as you play.
Channeling some of the best moments of Assassin's Creed SAIL FORTH is a fun and light adventure that feels really fun when you've made that perfect line, approaching each island chain strategically, managing and outfitting my fleet and adjusting tack to make sure my crews didn't succumb to the briny depths.
PENTIMENT is the sort of game that I don't expect is going to appeal to everyone, the point and click narrative game from Obsidian Entertainment (THE OUTER WORLDS, PILLARS OF ETERNITY) is very dense and it takes its time unfolding. Fans of history and the evolution of culture are in for something pretty special as you walk the labyrinth in contemplation of God, each decision weighing heavily on you, each decision determining what survives and what gets painted over. A masterclass in meticulous storytelling and design
SONIC FRONTIERS is clearly inspired by some of the best games of the last five years and on the whole is a fast, fun experience, with the odd speed bump along the way. It ties nostalgic classic Sonic courses with modern 3D platforming in a way that mostly works but isn't always seemless.
Playing THE LAST OF US PART 1 makes me wish this was the very first time I was playing the series, taking my first steps into post apocalyptic cordyceps infected world. If this game came out for the very first time in 2022, it'd easily make everyone's game of year lists it'd be collecting high marks everywhere, it's a thoroughly excellent game with some unforgettable storytelling and gripping gameplay. But this game is for better and worse the ultimate version of that 2013 title, which means if you've experienced Joel and Ellie's first story, you've played this game already.
CULT OF THE LAMB will have you jumping back and forth between base management and roguelite dungeon crawling with such ease and pleasure, you'll definitely see hours disappear as you craft the perfect cult. Each of the systems in this surprisingly packed sandbox game build up slowly, steadily and in no time you'll be racing off to catch some fish, cooking up a hearty meal, cleaning out the latrines, tending to your farms all before church. What is most surprising is how well meshed all these systems are, I never felt while playing that either of the two main components, random dungeon crawling "crusades" and the town simulator base building, ever took over, they kept alternating perfectly.
13 SENTINELS: AEGIS RIM is a game that's so complex it shouldn't work, with branching narratives, time travel, flashbacks and thirteen different perspectives on the same story, but Vanillaware have managed to pull together an experience that all scifi fans should play.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is easy to pick up, beautiful to look at and fun to play by yourself or with friends in co-op and you might just find yourself spending way too long absorbed in this cute world as the time just slips on by.
At it's core it's a BORDERLANDS game through and through, move from area to area, completing missions while levelling up to collecting ever better gear, and it doesn't dramatically break that looter-shooter gameplay loop you'd would be familiar with. Where it does succeed is some genuinely heartfelt and funny writing that comes from a good understanding of what it's like to play tabletop roleplaying games with your mates.
WEIRD WEST wants to push back at you. It wants to make every step you take through its dust covered, occult landscape feel layered with consequence. Who are you? How does the world react to you and your choices? Are the people you’ve wronged going to get their revenge? Why did that witch give you a mysterious box and should you open it?