PlayStation Universe's Reviews
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition continues to be exactly what makes Skyrim popular: a massive world to explore with tons of different ways to develop your Dragonborne. Outside of that, mods make an appearance and add a bit to the formula in their own way. Outside of that, this Skyrim is exactly as you remember, except it loads a bit faster and plays a lot smoother.
As it stands now, Battlefield 2042 is a formidable and enjoyable shooter that once again delivers on the series promise of peerless open world combat theatre in a way that no other series or franchise has managed to match. It's just a shame that while Battlefield 2042 looks to the future for its setting, so too must players for the short-term as EA and DICE scramble to fix what could potentially be the best Battlefield in years.
As whimsical and relaxing lo-res indie adventure games go, A Short Hike is up there with the best. It draws you in with its freewheeling 'go where you like' vibe, charms you with some beautiful artwork and music and offers up great pleasures in exploration as you stroll, climb and glide around the small mountainous island. You'll only be there for a few hours, but every moment is a chilled out pleasure.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy Definitive Edition isn't exactly the disaster it's been made out to be, but it is still a frustrating, underwhelming attempt to modernize three very important games. The quality of life improvements are generally welcome, and in many places, there's a faithful upgrading of the iconic visual style of the PS2 era titles. Unfortunately, not every change is welcome, and in the case of San Andreas, perhaps a little less of it might have done it a few favours.
While not too much has changed, everything we love about Isaac has been expanded on. With a massively improved multiplayer mode, new bosses, items, paths and challenges, Isaac is at his tearful best. The PS5 version is the best console version of Isaac and contains everything ever made, and while it may be pricey, you get a hell-load of content for your money. If it sucks you in - and it probably will - you'll be treated to one of the best roguelikes ever made.
If you can get through the relatively humdrum, lifeless and unneeded open world of Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One you'll uncover a whip smart detective adventure that is up there with the series best. It's just a shame that a smattering of technical issues and poorly executed combat sections detract from what should have been the Pride of Baker Street's triumphant return to PlayStation.
It's a shame that Blue Reflection: Second Light couldn't live up to the expectations it set for itself. Though the story and characters development is good, the game is held back by overly complicated combat mechanics that seem to make encounters harder and longer when they didn't need to be. With the franchise now two games deep, I have to wonder if a third entry will ever get the light of day and if so, will GUST Studios finally be able to get the formula right.
Neptunia x Senran Kagura Ninja Wars maintains the cheeky charms of both franchise, bringing in the fun, safe jokes and jabs at the gaming industry. However, it taxes that charm with the gameplay choices made at the end of the game. There's enough here to bring in longtime fans, and even some crossover fans between the franchises, but not many others will rally to this mashup.
Carrion presents you with an opportunity to take the reigns of an invading monster, and it delivers on all fronts with visceral gore and effects that translate vividly even through its pixelated style. The lack of a map combined with navigational and interaction clumsiness make for a more cumbersome Metroidvania formula, but the payoffs of gameplay and exploration outweigh the issues that Carrion presents.
Riders Republic is at its core a fun game that only wants you to have fun, more than most games. Its UI isn't the best, and there still seem to be some bugs that need to be ironed out, but there are no issues that really breaks your fun all the way. On top of the gorgeous presentation, Riders Republic is easy to recommend for anyone with a liking towards a game where they can flip around three times on a pair of rocket ski's mid-air while dressed as a giraffe.
Weird, unique and brilliantly designed, Backbone is a game like no other in 2021. The narrative is both mysterious and absorbing, the characters and dialogue are fun and it never overstays its welcome. I wish I was given a little more information in the second half of the game and the ending a bit more fleshed out but I was left wanting more. Backbone surprised me massively and I enjoyed it a lot.
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars cloaks a very traditional JRPG in an alluring tabletop veneer. Sure, it doesn't really shake up the genre in any real meaningful way, but the unique presentation and laid back approach to player engagement all combine to make one of the more relaxing and easily accessible JRPG offerings to come along in a good while.
NHL 22 does an excellent job at bringing back old arcade-y mechanics and blending it with today's simulation quality presentation in a way that works together rather than against itself. Some modes could still use a refresh, but the core gameplay of NHL 22 shows that the NHL series is really hitting its stride with this release.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water does some things well and misses the mark on others. It generates tension well, but it depends too much on the simplistic, yet rewarding camera-based combat. Either way, Maiden of Black Water offers something compelling for horror fans to dig into, as long as you can accept its shortcomings.
Eidos Montreal has crafted one of the best superhero games to date. Their attention to world-building and characterization should be followed by many studios to come. The Exciting combat, which blends action RPG elements with strategic player commands, and breathtaking visuals and animations, is something to behold. But what truly sets this title apart is the fantastic writing, not just for the Guardians themselves, but for every character you come across. If you weren't a fan of the franchise before, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy might just change your mind.
Fancy working as a game developer, learning on the job? In VR, Probe just about succeeds as an educational experience which may slowly grind you down with its frustrating and time-wasting controls. Non-VR players should give it a wide berth as those control problems kill it stone dead.
The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes is the best entry in the series yet, packed with gripping storytelling, compelling characters, and solid performances. Your choices feel impactful, and seeing your relationships grow or fall apart based on your decisions carries a lot of weight. With tons of collectibles, an improved camera, and solid pacing, House of Ashes will keep you glued to the screen until the credits roll.
Sheepo shows a ton of potential and executes rather well. The two brothers who worked on this game should be proud of what they created. While the map and controls need a little more streamlining, Sheepo offers up a cool, passive option to the Metroidvania formula.
I found joy in Ghostrunner where some would find frustration. The precision that is needed to meander through waves of enemies and platforming challenges sometimes seems overwhelming. However, when you finally overcome that tricky section you have been dying over and over on for a while, the feeling is magnificent. The PlayStation 5 updates really enhance Ghostrunner, especially the Dualsense controller, I do feel this is the best place to play this unique title.
Between all three games, the Crysis Remastered Trilogy effectively provides something of a microcosm of how the first person shooter genre has evolved over the years, with the completely freeform open world beats of the first game soon being replaced by the linear opulence of the final game in the trio. That said, if you're a fan of the genre in general or have been hankering to play Crytek's impressive trio of shooter offerings for sometime now, there really is no better place to jump in than with the Crysis Remastered Trilogy.