Amnesia: Rebirth is a more than worthy new entry in the popular series, and one of the best horror games released this year, thanks to its engaging story, very good writing and unnerving atmosphere that can make playing the game feel almost uncomfortable. And if a horror game manages to achieve this, small issues like a lack of gameplay innovation and limited replay value don't really matter.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is heavily dependent on the amount of free floor space you have available. If you have a large home, space to drive under the sofas, no extra rugs or thick carpets, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will be an amazing experience to share with the children. If you live somewhere fairly cramped or have a lot of clutter that's going to get in the way, then you will find this very difficult to enjoy indeed. Great for the kids at Christmas, as long as you have the space.
Genshin Impact is a remarkable game in many respects, boasting vibrant visuals, a rich, sprawling world, deep systems, and finely-tuned action. Unfortunately, the game's free-to-play gacha business model often undermines its own sense of adventure and excitement. Genshin Impact is a good -- potentially great -- game locked in a loot box it can't quite escape.
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is an undeniable and great improvement on the original. Featuring a huge amount of content, including some brand-new game modes, as well as a revamped and improved portion of the original campaign, there's a lot on offer. The AI is improved, though does have a few niggles here and there. Particularly so with pathfinding. This issue is overwhelmed by the amount of content on offer, great improvements to the aesthetics of the game, improvements to multiplayer as well as changes to the home city system outside of the campaign. While not as outright fantastic as Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, this is still a brilliant release and comes in at a very low price.
With its interesting setting, engaging story, great combat mechanics, and tons of customization options, Aquanox Deep Descent is a more than worthy new entry in the classic series. Bland mission design and a repetitive structure does damage the experience a bit, but all those that enjoy dogfighting games, no matter where they take place, will find plenty to like in the game.
Partisans 1941 blends differing aspects of the tactical squad genre with mixed results. While the staging of ambushes and scouting of strongholds is as satisfying as any other game, the actual combat and fireworks leave a little bit to be desired.
Everything Torchlight III does, it does worse than one of its contemporaries. Primarily Diablo. While what is here looks good and plays fine, it's repetitive and lacks the magic of games it shares a genre with. But all of that could've been forgiven if it had at least allowed me to suffer through it with a friend in local multiplayer, but it couldn't even do that. If you get the urge to play Torchlight III, just play Diablo III instead.
Overcrowd: A Commute 'Em Up is an incredibly compelling game that can suck you in for hours, and days. With a charming aesthetic covering up a game with a massive amount of detail, there's a surprising amount to get yourself lost in as you try to build a series of ever-more detailed metro stations, managing facilities, staff and more. Now, it's not perfect, it can be a little clunky at times and some features are lacking, by choice and due to the style of the game. Still, the game does all it can to make itself as accessible and approachable as possible.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is as much a brand new title as it is closely entwined with the history of the PlayStation 1 trilogy. Long time fans will find something new to enjoy, while first time players stepping into the jorts of the orange chordata might fall prey to cheap deaths, time and time again.
Star Wars: Squadrons is a mostly-successful throwback offering impressive sights, intense action, and the opportunity for fun multiplayer throwdowns. Some mechanical quirks, a couple irritating missions, and a lack of depth holds Squadrons back from being a true bullseye, but those who have missed blasting TIE Fighters should find the game worth the ride.