Wolf's Gaming BlogHomepage
Wolf's Gaming Blog's Reviews
It’s clear that there’s a strong demand for a simple, fun co-op shooter and Helldivers 2 is exactly that. Whether you’re hanging out with a group of loyal friends or teaming up with random citizens of Super Earth, Helldivers 2 is a blast to play. Mowing down bugs in the name of democracy and dismantling socialist robots is immensely satisfying, as is calling down terrible rains of fire from your personal super destroyer. If a few other Helldivers happen to get caught up in the devastation, well, they knew what they were signing up for. Freedom must be achieved at all costs, and freedom is rarely this fun.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a pleasure to play and a welcome return for a series that has been dormant for far too long, even if it doesn’t have that much in common with its fully 3D ancestors. A weak story and a few pacing issues hold it back from breaking into the highest echelons of the Metroidvania genre and duking it out with the likes of Hollow Knight, but it’s pretty far up there and a fantastic way to kick off the year. It might even be in the top 10.
In the end, I'm not sure who Stargate: Timekeepers is for. It certainly isn't for anyone who isn't already intimately connected to Stargate, that much is sure. But at the same time, it's so loosely woven into the Stargate universe that it doesn't feel like it's for fans of the TV shows, either. As a huge Stargate nerd who went into this looking forward to finally seeing Stargate come back, I didn't get anything from Timekeepers. It doesn't tie in well with the existing lore, it doesn't expand the universe at all and it doesn't tell a meaningful Stargate story. That just leaves the gameplay, and in that area Stargate: Timekeepers is decent but forgettable, and vastly overshadowed.
There’s a lot I like about Sovereign Syndicate. I like how it steers away from combat in favour of dialogue and decisions. I like its characters and its world. But there are chunks of the game that don’t quite work for me, from the levelling and skill checks which feel disconnected from everything else, to the final chapters of the story that struggle to bring our heroes together in a satisfying way. When it’s all working right, the story is absorbing and the world is fascinating. When it isn’t working right, the text becomes hard to parse and the sensation that Sovereign Syndicate is more like a book with mild interaction floats back to the surface.
Steamworld Build is the very first game in the franchise, which spans multiple games across multiple genres, to be made by a different studio, and it’s unfortunate that it also happens to be, in my opinion, the weakest of the bunch. That doesn’t mean it’s not still a pretty good time though, and certainly a good addition to the Game Pass catalogue. Maps that pushed you to build a bit more creatively and a slightly less stiff progression system could have elevated this one up to a four, I reckon. Still, it’s well worth playing if you already have Game Pass or if you’re maybe a grizzled city-building veteran who fancies something a tad simpler before they delve back into spreadsheets and optimal street layouts.
Like a cyberpunk human coming in for a couple of upgrades, Ghostrunner 2 is the first game with a few augmentations bolted to its body. Most of the new hardware its chosen to get is an improvement, but a couple of pieces weren’t really needed. There’s more focus on a story that isn’t very interesting and the experiment with open areas falls flat. However, the core mix of platforming and combat remains immensely satisfying and fun and the new bike sections are cool. Fans of the first game should be more than happy with this sequel.
Perhaps best described as Firewatch in Space, The Invincible is a narrative game that weaves a compelling mystery, but not compelling gameplay. The slow-burn story takes a little while to get going and the ending leaves something to be desired, but everything in the middle tells a thoughtful, traditional sci-fi story of people, evolution and what mysteries we might find in the universe should we ever be able to travel through the void of space. I’d recommend this one only to the more die-hard walking sim and sci-fi fans who have the patience needed to fully enjoy The Invincible’s narrative.
For the most part, Mirage is indeed a return to those days, though it doesn’t entirely abandon some of the modern Assassin’s Creed DNA. Though not perfect and certainly not mind-blowing, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a solid entry in the series that might show Ubisoft that games don’t have to cost the world to develop or contain hundreds of hours of content.
If, like me, you’re a Mortal Kombat fan then Mortal Kombat 1 is a no-brainer – it’s as fun as ever with a great roster and an excellent new Kameo system. However, if you’ve found yourself tiring of the MK formula over the past few games and were hoping the timeline reboot would herald a big new change, then MK1 isn’t going to change your mind. It’s a very safe release, and considering how incredibly popular the modern Mortal Kombat games are it’s understandable that Netherealm don’t want to change the formula too much lest it all end in a brutal Fatality.
It’s so tightly designed from end to end, smartly tying in its gameplay mechanics with its story in ways I think a lot of other games could learn from. While I think some players might prefer the structure of Desperados 3, the supernatural pirate theme, big environments and excellent characters make Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew the best game Mimimi has ever made, and a fantastic way to wrap up their career.
Moving Out 2 is a solid sequel to an already excellent game. Not every new addition is a hit but the majority are, adding in plenty of barmy ideas to an already manic game. It’s a hoot with a few pals sitting on the couch and having a laugh as they hurl a microwave through a window and bounce it off a parasol into the truck. Just be careful that the farmyard levels don’t turn your friend group into an angry mob baying for blood.
No matter what I was doing, me and Dave were having a pretty good time and along the way a strange little family of misfits was born, all based around my own favourite food: sushi. Dave the Diver isn’t as deep as the ocean, but it’s deep enough and casts its net wide to drag in all manner of crazy elements. The mix of underwater water adventuring and sushi bar management is like a sumptuous piece of salmon nigiri: simple yet elegant, basic and yet somehow so effortlessly tasty. The game’s other elements serve as the soy sauce for dipping and wasabi for that little touch of tingle on the tongue
I think AEW: Fight Forever is a good start for Yukes to build upon, whether that’s through iterative sequels or as a long-term platform. The core wrestling is a lot of fun, accessible and captures the bombastic nature of the sport in a way that the WWE games don’t. It’s a smart move because it means AEW: Fight Forever positions itself as an alternative rather than a direct competitor. If Yukes can start adding a lot more content to the wrestler creation systems and flesh out the Road to Elite mode, this could be a winner.
Although I do think the premise for the game was good, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a slog to get through. The boring missions, bland environments, flat gameplay, poor graphics and average story combine to make this, at best, a completely mediocre experience. But once you take the multiple issues into consideration and the fact that Daedalic wanted £60 for it, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum becomes like its namesake: a pitiful wretch corrupted by the allure of the One Ring.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a tough game to recommend, and yet I think for the right people it may be a case worth taking on. It’s just a shame that the clunky controls and the dull combat really hurt the rest of the game because there’s a lot to like. The puzzles are generally fun to solve, the world is interesting, the story has some cool ideas and it looks terrific. Hopefully, a couple of substantial updates may be able to improve the overall feel and do justice to everything else.
Ravenlok delights in its straightforwardness. It’s not trying to be an epic triple-A adventure or a deeply meaningful tale of morality. Instead, it’s content to be a charming little gem that’s great for younger gamers or anyone just looking for some stress-free, relaxed gaming. Provided you understand what you’re jumping into, Ravenlok will be a pleasant and comfortable way to spend 3 or 4 hours hacking through a bunch of brain-dead foes and admiring the vibrant landscape.
Strayed Lights is a gorgeous journey through a dreamlike world, one that is often haunting in its size and sense of loneliness. It's a fantastic debut, a promising start for a new studio looking to make their mark in the incredibly competitive indie-game market. A few missteps hold Strayed Lights back and stop me from recommending it to everyone, but for the right group of people this is an excellent game.
Maybe Moviehouse is intended to be some sort of crazy parody of the modern movie machine. Perhaps it’s supposed to make you feel like Disney, mindlessly churning out scripts and movies to feed the insatiable appetites of movie-goers, each new film built on an established template. I think that’s giving Moviehouse too much credit, though, and even if that was the intent it wouldn’t fix the big problem – it’s just not fun.