Immortals Fenyx Rising is a strange beast, then. Much of it feels very familiar, and you won’t find many things here that haven’t been done before. Yet, it manages to pull together so many different aspects with such proficiency and love for the source material that it’s impossible not to simply enjoy soaking it all up, in an adventure worthy of the Greek heroes of old.
For some reason, I always have a preconceived notion that I won't enjoy this year's Call of Duty. How can a series that releases every single year without fail possibly maintain a consistent quality bar? There are detractors who'd say it doesn't, but let's be honest – it does. Call of Duty: Black Ops
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is yet another impressive entry in Ubi's unstoppable franchise. The hidden blade is back and as lethal as it should be, combat remains a joy, and Eivor proves an immensely likeable lead in a glorious world of dizzying scope.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is about the importance of friendship and striving to become a better person, which is a message we could all do with right now. It also happens to be a sensational new dawn for a series that's brave enough to shake up the formula and accomplished enough to pull it off with aplomb. To quote Ichi, “let's do some hero shit!”
As far as immediate arcade thrills go, few games can compete with the level of gratification you're guaranteed to get from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2. If you enjoyed the originals or fancy seeing what all the fuss is about, you're in for an absolute treat either way.
At its core, Marvel's Avengers is so very nearly there, and while there are some glaring similarities to Anthem – BioWare's maligned attempt at aping Destiny – it's still an enjoyable and addictive game, for the most part, with a compelling gameplay loop that makes it easy to overlook the lack of multiplayer mission variety. If you were just to play Marvel's Avengers for its campaign, you wouldn't feel too hard done by, but clearly this is something that's built to last, and on that front we're unsure of where the game's fortunes will ultimately lie.
Yes, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is the third Yakuza game for Xbox One this year, but on the strength of this, SEGA can keep them coming as far as I'm concerned. If you've played Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza 0 (and even if you haven't) you need Yakuza Kiwami 2 in your life. You need Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima in your life. Now let's have Yakuza 3, 4, 5, and 6 on Xbox, please.
Carrion is an excellent power fantasy that casts you as the monstrous villain in your own horror film. The wonderfully gloopy animation and conception of Carrion's meaty monster makes it enjoyable to play, especially when tearing through the unfortunate humans that stand in your way. But dull exploration, a lack of memorable environments and disparate gameplay ideas that never really come together, mean that Carrion never truly reaches its full potential.