Video game players are familiar with the law of diminishing returns. Even as new entries in a series tirelessly improve upon their predecessors, our interest nevertheless wanes; with games, improved is somehow less exciting than new. Mario Kart 8 is a rare thing, then: the best entry in a series and the most exciting yet.
In fact, Hearthstone is unlike a lot of games. It's a card strategy game that is bright and accessible. It's a free-to-play game with generosity of spirit. Heck, it may not have all the features its fans are demanding just yet, but it's even a Blizzard game where "coming soon" actually means coming soon. It's overflowing with character and imagination, feeds off and fuels a vibrant community of players and performers, and it only stands to improve as Blizzard introduces new features, an iPad version and expansions. And now it's finally finished! I can't wait to see where it goes next. Job's done.
'The sacred river ran, through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea,' reads Coleridge's poem, Kubla Khan, from which the game takes its name and setting. It already knows that you will take up the challenge and bravely attempt to measure these caverns. The better question, and the one that Sunless Sea asks in countless ways is: how?
FIFA and PES seem to have swapped shirts, with neither catering to the original audience they once set out to attract. Based on this year's offerings, though, it's PES that has the clearer direction of where it's headed. Perhaps most tellingly of all, PES 2015 is more satisfying in defeat than FIFA 15 is in victory.
Ultimate Evil feels like a good place to stand back and see what Diablo 3 actually looks like now, with the auction house dead and the first expansion bedded in. There has been time, hopefully, for players to set aside the game they wanted Diablo 3 to be and understand the game that it is.
The combined effect of this maze of vivid, diverse, shifting scenes is memorable. You are Alice, touring wonderland, seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes. In Hohokum, it goes an awfully long way: it's deep, it's wide and, perhaps most importantly, it's temporally long. This is a game that sticks with you long after you switch it off.
New 'n' Tasty! is angry because it holds a cartoon mirror up to the injustices of the modern world: to every clothes factory that falls down or blows up because corners were cut in the race to make 99p T-shirts, and to every water supply privatised in the name of hamburgers or fizzy drinks. Graphics lose their luster. Design tricks become predictable and then forgettable. Injustice, it turns out, rarely goes out of fashion.