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What did I want from Forza Horizon 4? I wanted to jump in my car, join my friends seamlessly and tear up the road all day and night without getting bored. To be able to chill on my own, search for cars in barns, spend hours creating custom designs, and fine tune my vehicles. A map that would take me weeks to search every inch of, collect all the point boards and complete all the events and tasks. I wanted a game that promised substantial support and continued content. Did Forza Horizon 4 deliver on my expectations? Yes. I’m having a blast with friends, in some of the world’s finest automobiles, in picturesque Britain full of fields of autumn red leaves and spring fields of blossoms, crashing my way through most of the country-side. With Forza Horizon 4 you get what you would expect. It’s another Forza, there’s only so much variety you can get every year whilst still staying true to the core of what Horizon is about, however I have I am really enjoyed this year’s version of ‘the festival’.
Race Arcade had good intentions, but it failed to deliver something worth considering for everybody. The graphics package is pleasing, the content is aplenty, but some problems in the game mechanics prevented me from recommending this game to everyone.
Fun from start to finish. Light-hearted humour with a grim twist that provides for hours upon hours of gaming enjoyment. Proclaimed by Zoink Games as their “Spiritual successor to our well-received game Stick it To The Man!”, Flipping Death shares a very similar art style, whilst taking a completely new gameplay direction. An adventure game based on platforming puzzle solving progression that will challenge you with every chapter you progress through whilst leaving you with a strong sense of accomplishment (or frustration depending on how quickly you figure out the games mechanics). At the time of this review no release date has been announced.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie Videogame is another great game in the LEGO series. Although there are some notable technical glitches and one particularly irksome glitch rendering the 100% coveted score unobtainable, it is still worthy of your time and energy. Some great mechanics and welcome modifications to the standard formula streamline the experience in a good way.
When it comes to gaming, this is by far the most welcome surprise I’ve had all year. Practically every issue I had with the first Evil Within is addressed here in some shape or form. The horror is ramped up, the storyline intriguing, the leads interesting and the gameplay fantastic. The Evil Within 2 takes the premise of a ‘single player, linear, story-driven game’ and proves that it can be done without placing too much emphasis on the ‘linear’ part of the equation. What Tango Gameworks has accomplished here is nothing short of fantastic. Well done!
Monster of the Deep is a lot of good light hearted fun. Whilst there were a couple of little issues with calibration early on, an update fixed that pretty quickly. The minor complaints that I mentioned in the review didn’t effect my enjoyment of the game enough to stop me wanting to play it. All in all it’s a well designed game and I highly recommend this pick up for PSVR owners. It doesn’t matter if your not a Final Fantasy fan as the main fun of this game is the act of fishing. Being Square Enix’s first attempt at VR content, Monster of the Deep is a great start to what I hope will be many more VR experiences from them.
The Frozen Wilds expansion for Horizon: Zero Dawn is worth every single penny. Depending on how you play it and the amount of activities you completed you can breeze through it as quickly as 10-12 hours, or spend as long as 20-25 hours completing everything. The environments are spectacular and second to none that I have seen in other video games, with memorizing glacier glows and chilly blasts of icy snow, and the new machines have an added color range which really lights up the screen. Whilst the storyline is not quite as compelling as that of the main game – naturally, it is still a lot of fun to play and feels like it has clear purpose. I highly recommend The Frozen Wilds to anyone who just enjoys good video games, and am thoroughly looking forward to any further expansions that Horizon: Zero Dawn has to offer in the future.
Faith in the Call of Duty franchise – Restored. I am very impressed with basically every element of the game (apart from a few minor gripes about framerate drops and spawn positioning). As someone that was expecting to strongly dislike this game, I am utterly relieved to say that I am very impressed with all game modes and look forward to losing hundreds of hours of productivity playing it. If you are new to the franchise this is a great place to start as there is a real return to form in WWII. Sledgehammer’s take on zombies is refreshing whilst staying true to the identity of the game mode, the campaign is compelling and visually spectacular, and the multiplayer is fast-paced boots on the ground fun.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Middle-earth: Shadow of War. I'm a huge fan of the lore and world here, so that should come as no surprise. What ultimately clinches the deal however, is just how much fun this is to play. I'm utterly addicted to the Nemesis system and everything it churns out, not to mention taking part in epic sieges and open warfare. Yes, the soundtrack is honestly a letdown. On top of that, I'm wary of the very idea of lootboxes touching a singleplayer game, even one as content-packed as this. Not to mention, if you aren't enjoying everything the game has to offer, it might feel like a bit of a grind towards the end. Ultimately however, that doesn't take away too much from what Monolith Productions has accomplished here: An epic conclusion to the story that was started in Shadow of Mordor, a legitimately living world that reacts to player decisions or indecision, and a game set in Middle Earth that feels awesome to play.
I have thoroughly enjoyed playing through Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator. It has some genuinely humorous moments, when the planets align and you get the perfect set up. The style and audio goes together really well too. That being said, it feels fairly limited in replay value and is fairly repetitious. It's certainly not a game you could spend hours getting lost in, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't dip a toe in from time to time.
I’m hooked! I knew I would be before even starting the game as so much about the mechanics of the Destiny franchise appeal to me. There was certainly room for a lot of change that just doesn’t seem to have been utilized, and the expanse of the tower also feels a tad unrealized (it is however, more extensive than that of its predecessor). The general improvements to leveling up, the class system and greatly improved storyline are extremely welcomed and focus on character development really leaves an impression on you. Whilst I love just about every element of the Destiny 2 I do however, feel like I am playing a massive expansion to Destiny as opposed to a completely new game. I know that the universe is the same and there is only so much that can be changed in that regard however, enough is the same that I felt instantly at home again as opposed to playing a completely new entry in the franchise. In saying that I am happy with level of familiarity as I know there is a lot still yet to come that will define Destiny 2 as its own entity. Overall I am very impressed with Destiny 2 and will most certainly be pushing forward with the grind to get ready for the inbound raids and expansions.
Ark: Survival Evolved is very interesting case study of a game, with fascinating history due to its prolonged time in Early Access / Game Preview. At the same time, it's undeniably one of the biggest success stories for Early Access as a whole, a program flooded with survival titles. No, there really isn't much of a story, which is a shame given the few cryptic hints of lore that are present. Yes, there are still glitches, bugs and server issues that need to be addressed. All of that in mind, if you are fan of survival games, this is undeniably THE definitive survival game to play. Taming dinosaurs and exploring an island that defies time is wondrous, doubly so if you have friends to play it with. At a full retail price of $60, if you are both a fan of survival games and are intent on forming a tribe with people you play games with, it's definitely worth a go.
It would be really easy to phone in another "movie tie-in" money maker and do a really simple game that poorly handles and looks like mud. Thankfully this isn't the case with Cars 3: Driven to Win, it is a fun and interesting game with lots to do and a fun universe to do it in. As long as you can hear past the repetitive voice lines and the lack of online multiplayer. There's some fuel in this old engine yet.
Overall Injustice 2 has made many improvements from Gods Among Us whilst staying true to what we loved from the first installment. Even through some of the annoyances that I faced I still found Injustice 2 to be one of the most enjoyable fighting games that I have played. There is a strong storyline with loads of content for both single player and multiplayer preferences, along with great value for money with its replay value.
If you like NBA Street and NBA Jam, you will enjoy NBA Playgrounds. Just be warned though, that unless you happen to be lucky with your location and can join random opponents in the online matchmaking, you are going to be playing this by yourself until future updates expand the game.
Ultimately, I feel that Deck13 Interactive has established themselves, showing a willingness to adapt and experiment with the gameplay and genre present in Lords of the Fallen. However, it isn't just a shift of setting but rather an expansion of the gameplay mechanics that help to set The Surge apart. It's a decently realized world that feels legitimately fun to play. With that in mind, it's also clear that certain aspects are still being held back, especially in regards to the pacing, story and soundtrack. It's a shame really, as it's a combination that keeps The Surge back from being a special game, into merely a good one.
When you take all these different elements into account, it becomes clear that Prey is greater than the sum of its parts. The intriguing story that adapts to your decisions, the emphasis on player creativity and thinking your way out of problems, the beautiful art design, it all works together well. Yes, the loading screens might get annoying. Yes, hearing the exact same tones when you die is groan worthy. Yet those don’t take away from the countless other things Prey gets right. Frankly, deducting points for those two incredibly minor things, especially given how they might not even annoy other players depending on how they play, feels utterly vindictive. There are so many other things done right here that this amazing experience is not held back in any way. Obviously there’s no such thing as a truly perfect game. However, I must say that Prey comes incredibly close.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is almost a "Mario Kart: Greatest Hits" with an absolute tonne of content in terms of tracks, characters and modes, you will be playing Mario Kart by yourself or with others for months to come. A must-buy for your Nintendo Switch!
Outlast 2 is what I hoped it would be. It’s horrifying, dark, gritty and disturbing. I was left wondering how the concepts that are implemented into this game were even conceived. After the team at Red Barrels gets a chance to relax from launch I think they should all check into a mental health wellness retreat just to clear their heads of the horror they created for our enjoyment. I also particularly enjoyed how Outlast 2 pays homage to other games in the industry such as DOOM and Mortal Kombat, this adds a rather quirky element of humor to these moments in the game. The new mechanics introduced are a major plus, the added layers to the storyline bring a new element to the franchise, and the sense of fear and dread are almost overwhelming at times. Well done Red Barrels, you smashed it out of the park and I will be sure to forward an invoice to you for the many ours of lost sleep I can look forward to from ANY noise I hear in the dark for many weeks to come.