With a little more polish, this could've been one of PS4's better indie platformers. As it stands, Unruly Heroes is a beautiful game with gameplay flaws putting a dampener on things. It's largely a fun game to play, especially in co-op, but controls aren't as tight as they should be, and combat devolves into button mashing territory all too easily. The result is a decent, if unremarkable, side-scrolling action title.
One of PS4's strangest offerings, Trover Saves the Universe is a mouthy, madcap adventure with words that speak louder than its action. It's not all that long, but the promise of free DLC will extend the adventure later down the line. The option to play on the TV as well as PSVR is welcome, although it's clear the game is built with the immersive headset in mind. However you play it, the unusual landscapes, characters, and scenarios are what make this a game worth playing, but be aware of the silly and often dark humour before you take the plunge.
We don't want to drag Team Sonic Racing down for ultimately quite trivial points. At the end of the day, Sumo Digital has served up a solid kart racer that succeeds in bringing something new to the table. It won't be to everyone's tastes, but the cooperative racing adds a nice layer of rapid fire strategy. It's implemented well, to the point where standard races feel distinctly secondary. It might be lacking the wow factor SEGA's other IPs brought to Sumo's other racers, and it's a shame performance is a little rocky, but this is a good option for PS4 players who want some arcadey thrills.
Despite some repetitive mission design, Shakedown: Hawaii manages to entertain in much the same way as its predecessor. It swaps out pop culture references for jibes at the modern world, and it's an angle that slots right into the GTA-esque design. The business management aspects are what will keep you hooked, with each day bringing you more and more cash to splash. Its brand of action is simple but satisfying, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the game if you're after some breezy open world antics -- just don't expect it to blow your socks (and sandals) off.
Jupiter & Mars is an enjoyable underwater experience that sadly doesn't push the boat out. The visuals and music mix for a trippy swim through Earth's ruins, but the lack of interactivity makes the journey surprisingly dry. If you're after a relaxed dive through colourful caverns, this might be worth a look, but don't expect it to make a big splash.
Dangerous Driving is a decent effort to bring back the boisterous, fast-paced racing of Burnout, and while it somewhat delivers on that promise, it's not without its fair share of problems. Technical issues hinder the experience, and one or two issues with handling stop the game from being a top arcade racer. However, the chaos and tension within the various event types makes for some good, old fashioned, adrenaline-fuelled action, and fans of this breed of racing will likely be able to burn a few hours here.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a fiercely challenging, yet highly compelling action adventure. The posture-based combat is tricky to learn but wonderfully rewarding to master, and all the nips and tucks to From Software's usual tropes make for a game that's surprisingly accessible for new players. Despite some slightly ropey traversal and occasionally dodgy performance, this game will keep you hooked from start to finish with its built-in "one more go" death mechanic and a bleak yet gorgeous world to explore. This is a fresh new spin on From's formula that fans and newcomers alike should definitely give a stab.
The Messenger is a rock solid action platformer that balances out its retro stylings with modern touches and brilliantly slick controls. Blasting through the lengthy story is compelling, as new story beats and abilities are thrown into the mix. It perhaps flies a little too close to the sun later on as you hunt down the final few collectibles, but by and large, it's a cloud-stepping joy. Fans of 2D action games should have a blast with this, and that's a message we're happy to pass along.
Move or Die is a frantic, fast-paced multiplayer game that will have you falling out with your mates in no time. Though your mileage may vary, the rapid pace and variety of gameplay should keep you coming back for more. It's a shame the title is marred by audio bugs, as this is otherwise an accomplished party game with a unique hook.
There's nothing you've not seen before in The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame -- unless you haven't seen the film yet. This is largely a by-the-numbers LEGO platformer with a variety of open levels in which to find collectibles and solve simple puzzles. The low difficulty makes this perfect for children to play with friends or family, and the sandbox area will let you get a little creative too. It's a safe entry in the series that fans will enjoy, but if you're getting tired of the same old formula, there's not much new to see here.
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a relentlessly faithful retread of the 90s classics. Fans of the funky alien duo are sure to enjoy it, but clumsy gameplay and some frustrating design choices date it in a bad way. Mixing elements of the two Mega Drive titles works well, and the oddball stylings and music are as good as ever. However, it just feels a bit tired, and maybe could've benefitted from a modern shot in the arm. If you love ToeJam & Earl, this is well worth a look, but fans of other PS4 roguelikes might be less impressed.
The Witness is an intelligent, expertly crafted puzzle game with ceaselessly satisfying gameplay. It becomes bafflingly complex, yet the free-roaming nature of the island means that you'll never be stuck for long. In addition, the way in which it communicates new elements is nothing short of masterful. All in all, Jonathan Blow's latest is an enormous triumph.
Following on from its predecessor, DiRT Rally 2.0 is the pinnacle of rally on PlayStation 4. The simulation handling is brutal, but a lot of fun to learn and brilliantly satisfying to conquer. The raw driving experience is highly intense as you travel at insane speeds, always verging on disaster. While it's missing some of the more casual-friendly features of DiRT 4, the suite of modes and options will keep any rally fan going for a long time. Even if the sim label puts you off, we'd encourage you to take this for a test drive; it's easily one of the most thrilling racing games in recent years.
The Hong Kong Massacre's inspiration is clear, but unfortunately, it doesn't have the gameplay, the personality, or the energy to stand alongside it. The slow-mo shooting can be fun, but with tough enemies and a janky dodge manoeuvre, you'll more often than not be frustrated by death after death. With a little more polish, it could've been an entertaining romp, but as it stands, redeeming qualities are few and far between.
Although the gameplay feels a little on the shallow side, Wandersong is a disarmingly joyful game. Singing your way through this cutesy adventure may not offer much of a challenge, but mixed in with a varied cast of characters and a sweet story, it's definitely a hard game to hate.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is a top entry in the long-running series that sees a return to the PS2 glory days. The war opera story is enjoyably charming, despite a rather flat cast of characters, while the gameplay is, crucially, as dramatic and slick as it's ever been. Online multiplayer and PSVR are both implemented well, and serve as great companion pieces to the main campaign. Whether you're a diehard fan or coming to this game fresh, Skies Unknown is a joy, and a series highlight.