The term 'more of the same' is bandied about a lot in this industry, but when it comes to Crackdown 3, it is absolutely more of the same. With a few tweaks here and there, and a new city, there's no doubting that the gameplay still absolutely holds up. The structure and busywork tasks issues still persist from previous iterations though, which is perhaps the most disappointing aspect. Fun but repetitive best sums up Crackdown 3.
The final chapter of Sora’s story is full of surprises, but it absolutely delivers something that fans have been waiting years for and Square Enix certainly know how to bring a person to tears in a very beautiful way. But the studio has gone above and beyond by giving players so much more to do then just the core story, with a variety of extras to jump back in to. Kingdom Hearts 3 is a thoroughly enjoyable experience that you’ll find yourself wanting to come back to for more.
Still thoroughly good fun, Onimusha: Warlords is nonetheless showing its age, and unfortunately doesn't really hold up in 2019. For a fan like me, revisiting Capcom's samurai survival horror is genuinely welcome, but anyone experiencing it for the first time might come away perplexed.
BELOW evokes a fantastically ominous air of foreboding with its soundtrack, and its visual style is unquestionably superb, but as an example of the roguelike, Capy's game does nothing new. Perhaps it's intentionally pared-down, but the resulting game is enjoyable for an hour or two, and a relentless chore thereafter.
A sequel that on paper had huge potential, Just Cause 4 is unfortunately a bit shabby and light on genuinely new ideas, beyond the novelty of lightning storms and tornadoes. The core gameplay remains good, explosive fun, but Rico is evidently running out of steam.
Darksiders III's shift to a more Dark-Soulsy experience seems to fit perfectly within the Darksiders universe. The third outing in the franchise is a solid effort by Gunfire Games – one of my favourite gaming experiences of the year, in fact – let down only by some shaky traversal mechanics, a dodgy compass and some downright unpleasant frame-rate issues.
Battlefield V builds upon its predecessor in meaningful ways, DICE stripping away practically every one of the series' fripperies to get to the nub of what truly makes the series tick. This is Battlefield at its most undiluted and raw, and it's all the better for it.
Hitman 2 is a solid follow-up to our 2016 Game of Year, delivering five huge killer sandboxes to explore to your heart's content. Yes, the maps might not be as unique as iterations gone-by and there is seemingly fewer than normal, but boy, are they great maps. Factor in Contracts mode and the excellent Ghost Mode, and Hitman 2 is very much worth your time. Where else can you dress up as a mascot or get involved in a poisonous drinking game to take down a target? Answer: no-bloody-where!
A fun distraction from the mainline Final Fantasy games, this is a game you're going to want to digest in small pieces. World of Final Fantasy Maxima is so sickeningly cute and twee that it sometimes comes off as unbearable (thanks to the main characters) but when you get past that, there is a compelling and intelligent battle system waiting for you.
A neat continuation of the LEGO DC series, Super-Villains offers a neat twist in casting your custom character and a range of iconic faces from the comic books as the protagonists in a raucously fun story. Yes, it's the same old LEGO game that you'll have played several times before, but damn it, it's still good. And indeed, good to be bad.
A stunning, elegiac western that features some of Rockstar's best writing to date, Red Dead Redemption 2 is also the studio's finest open-world to date, handcrafted with real, tangible care and attention, defying the boundaries of what a video game can be. Arthur Morgan will also inhabit a special place in your heart, as a likeable, relatable rogue striving to find his way in the world. Good ol' Arthur.
Back after a six year hiatus, SoulCalibur VI proves that the series has lost none of its sparkle. If this is the final SoulCalibur we ever see (and we sincerely hope it isn't), at least we can rest assured that the series went out with a bang rather than a clang.
In pruning the campaign from its suite of modes, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has discovered a renewed focus on the nuts and bolts of what most players demand from Activision's undying shooter series. Blackout is a superb addition, in which Treyarch improves upon the battle royale formula, ensuring the gamble in losing single-player ultimately pays off.
Each year, WWE 2K seems to be gradually getting better and better, and in WWE 2K19, the series appears to be making moves towards reestablishing itself as the enjoyable grappling game it once was. We live in hope that even bigger changes will be introduced for WWE 2K20, because WWE 2K19 is certainly a step in the right direction.
A case of refinement rather than dramatic change, Assassin's Creed Odyssey nonetheless injects even more depth and detail into the series, with dialogue choices and the ensuing consequences that follow proving a worthwhile addition. If you enjoyed Origins, Assassin's Creed Odyssey will scratch the same itch, and then some. A sensational sequel that's thankfully not a Greek tragedy.