At its heart, this Mario game was made for video game fans of all ages. The new open worlds and fancy graphics are there to appeal to younger gamers, while older Mario fans get these fantastic throwback moments where the game switches to 8-bit mayhem, allowing them to showcase decades old skills. Cappy’s powers make for some fresh puzzle solving and a new line up of supporting bad guys have been added. Toss in a storyline that is totally bonkers, really all that matters is that Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach, and you end up with an Odyssey for the ages.
Amsterdam-based studio Guerilla Games, best known for PlayStation's grim but visually impressive Killzone franchise, spent more than six years on Horizon Zero Dawn, and it shows: in the beauty of the game's visuals, the depth of its backstory and the tightness of its design. Hopefully this isn't the last we'll see of this high-tech savage land. (Horizon Forbidden West, maybe? Please?)
Despite its problems, The Last Guardian is an incredible piece of imaginative world-building. As a game, it mostly succeeds. As something we've been anticipating for nine years… well, that might be too tall an obstacle for even a giant flying dog to get over.
While I'm not sure any game will replace my nostalgic, rose-coloured memories of the original Deus Ex, Mankind Divided is a small but satisfying step forward for the franchise, offering tons of player freedom in a dark, dangerous and intricately detailed future.