Completing matches earns you XP, and as you level up your character and each weapon, you'll unlock more cosmetics. It's a very simple structure, but the game is fun and frantic enough to keep you hooked. With just 10 weapons and three maps, it feels a little barebones at launch, although this will undoubtedly be supported over time. What's here is a great start, and well worth checking out for some simple multiplayer mishaps.
The game leans heavily into its whimsical style, too. Colourful graphics and cute creatures make the world a fun place to explore, and unlockable cosmetics mean you can dress up your doggies as well. The whole thing is just happy, eager to please, and family friendly — like an actual dog, really.
If you've just got yourself a PS5, don't sleep on DIRT 5. It brings bombastic, arcadey racing to the console's launch lineup, giving you something totally different to play alongside the heavy hitters. Although the haptic feedback implementation is basic and one or two visual bugs remain, the core experience is seriously fun, and well worth checking out if you like driving sideways.
That's not to say the gameplay isn't good. Both sides of the game are fun to play, and again, controls are well thought out, allowing you to hop between the two to make progress. Most interesting is when the duo have an effect on each other, such as crafting upgrades for Dan using Ben's inventory items. There's a lot going on here, and while it's occasionally a little clumsy, its humour and ingenuity make it a success.
Bugsnax is a strange concoction of elements that come together for a truly unique adventure. Finding and catching the titular creatures is great fun, but the gameplay is broken up by story beats that belie the game's simple, whimsical style. The mysterious narrative and memorable ensemble cast will keep you interested between hunting for snax, too. Despite loading screens interrupting the flow and a handful of repeated beasties, this curious game is an unusual blend of flavours that works wonderfully.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered brings back a fantastic arcade racing game, and is still brilliant fun 10 years down the line. Autolog feels right at home in 2020, and the over-the-top cops vs. racers gameplay is a blast. While the remaster itself is a little underwhelming, and some of the original title's issues remain, this is nonetheless a great game for petrol heads and adrenaline junkies everywhere.
The game doesn't get everything right. Menus and UI are a little clumsy, and you're unlikely to feel attached to any of the teams in the career mode. However, it has it where it counts — fun, speedy racing, lots to do, and a CoLD SToRAGE soundtrack. WipEout fans looking for a new entry: this is as close as you'll find.
A real strength of Carto is its cast of NPCs, written with real warmth and charm. The world they inhabit is also surprisingly well fleshed out, even though you can breeze through it in six or seven hours. This is a puzzle game, but it also tells a sweet, worthwhile tale about tradition and companionship. Combined with lovely visuals and chilled out music, this is a refreshing, relaxing game that's worth marking on your map.