With a bit more to say The Last Worker could’ve been a great game, but the paper thin plot and clunky controls hold back what is otherwise a stylish and unique time with or without VR. Hopefully there’ll be more to come from this world as it’s an interesting premise, but for right now it’s a decent couple of evenings spent.
God of Rock has flashy, entertaining visuals with a thematic flair. While its style and level editor excel, the rhythm gameplay and fighting mechanics feel shoe-horned together, creating a clunky and messy whole. The music is great and the idea could work, but this isn’t the rock-charged moshpit that it promised to be.
Throwing out the dour and the drab, Dead Island 2 is all about killing in style. From the beautifully rendered wastelands of HELL-A, to the equally visceral limb destruction system, there’s endless fun to be had here. With enough to do solo or with friends/strangers, not to mention the upcoming expansions, Dambuster Studios have rewritten how to enjoy oneself in the face of Armageddon.
In conclusion, Europa Universalis IV: Domination is an excellent DLC that expands upon the game in several areas significantly and adds many hours of content to some of the most popular nations in the game, even if there are niggles here and there. Releasing along with the accompanying Free-LC update, ‘Ottomans’, there is plenty here for veterans to sink their teeth into, and for lapsed EU4 fans this is a great jumping on point if you’ve not played it for a while.
A much improved and expanded second lap for the series, Formula Retro Racing – World Tour is a retro inspired racer that attempts to modernise the Virtual Racing and Outrun formula. It succeeds, to some degree. There’s still unfulfilled potential however, as the game lacks a variety of game play modes and the single player content can be completed in just a few hours.
NotGames have commandeered the airwaves with Not For Broadcast. An immensely funny satirical romp through the lens of news broadcasting that really hasn’t been done before. Its specifically British tone might not click, but the surreal and poignant narrative is one to admire. The gameplay is overwhelming and it doesn’t develop, leaving me wanting more. However, if you like your FMVs and branching narratives, this one has it in spades.
In conclusion: Wartales is a mix of great ideas tempered by some questionable design decisions. I really want to love this game, and there is plenty of fun to be had, but I can’t help but feel like there was a missed opportunity to make a good game a true great. For fans of the genre I do recommend picking it up and giving it a go, but I really hope that the game gets expanded upon in the future to let it live up to its full potential.
Meet your Maker is a solid new adventure for Behaviour Interactive, boasting a strong community-driven set of systems and mechanics that encourage creativity and ruthlessness in their design. The lack of available options, a poor progression system and grid-locked currencies dull the excitement of raiding somewhat, but the core structure of this outpost should allow it to harvest for some time yet.
Far more than just a remake of the 2007 game, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened (2023) is a character driven deep dive into the psyche of the titular detective and a competent, enjoyable mystery game to boot. It might not be the most accommodating to newcomers to the series, but if you're a fan of the Frogwares Sherlock Holmes titles, this is yet another cracking crime solver.
Some of its endings might leave you feeling a little derezzed, but the branching narrative journey you take to get there makes Tron: Identity an experience worth having. Thought provoking writing and incredible music are coupled with an enjoyable card game in a tale that tackles new frontiers in the world of Tron which will be essential for those the 'fight for the user'.
Crime Boss: Rockay City is exactly what we thought it would be. A turgid waste of a solid central idea with a cast stacked with actors who sound like they’d rather be anywhere else or are just purely hateful. There’s a little delight in falling into b-movie nostalgia, but it’s few and far between. There’s very little here to recommend because very little of it works, if anything at all. Well, the title is fun to say at least.
After taking a year off to refine the formula, WWE 2K23 is back with a bang. Graphically impressive, filled to bursting with wrestlers and content, it’s a fitting continuation for long-time fans. It’s just that little bit too overwhelming for lapsed fans that are coming in fresh, but it does at least try to accommodate.
On the surface, Pupperazzi is a pleasant way to relax and have puppy photoshoots. The audio and visuals further extended that pleasantry by being distinctively designed and colourful, making it a soothing game to explore. Though the game’s performance on Switch is less than stellar, hampering the overall enjoyment of the game.
Redemption Reapers is a passable strategy RPG with a focus on tight squad-based tactics that’s probably too simple for genre veterans. Its campaign is disappointingly dull and does nothing to pull your attention away from its forgettable squad and stilted animations.
Mile 0 is a new and exciting avenue for Road 96. The rhythm sections are euphoric and the world-building is complex and fulfilling. Zoe and Kaito’s story is a great entry point but it does feel like it’s just getting started as it ends, falling under the traps of being a prequel.
Another barebones dinosaur expansion which only brings 4 new variants of reptile, the Feathered Species Pack has a lot of furry cuteness but not a whole lot else to make it worth investing in. Thankfully, Frontier Developments continue to support the game with free updates which softens the blow and keeps Jurassic World Evolution 2 on track to be the greatest dinosaur museum ever.
Troublemaker is another Deadly Premonition, in that it’s a game that’s objectively flawed, broken and messy. Even so, the ridiculousness and sheer enjoyment it’ll bring to your face as you continue to play will make you love it for what it is – an immature, hilariously enjoyable beat-em-up with a non-sensical story and repetitive gameplay. One of the best worst games you’ll ever play.
Curse of the Sea Rats takes some good ideas for gameplay systems but fumbles them in the execution. As a Metroidvania, it could be a good entry point and if it is, it can only go up from here. However, the animation that is in the game and the music does make a pirate life one for me, just not an overall great one.
Vertical 2D battles in a giant tower are a great USP, but GrimGrimoire can’t reach the pinnacle with a battle system more bloated and complex than fun. Vanillaware’s beautiful signature artwork and clever narratives are as ageless now as they were back in 2007, but some design choices leave a bitter aftertaste.