Ultimately, Dead Space is a game that a lot of horror developers can learn from when it comes to creating suspense and a feeling of dread in its players. And as far as remakes go, Dead Space has me thoroughly pining over a decade-old series. That’s a success, if you ask me.
As a fan of older Fire Emblem and strategy games in general, I was thrilled to see the depth of combat and the level to which you can make battling your absolute focus. That’s still true even if Engage doesn’t quite get the balance in its execution right in a way that might put a small subset of Three Houses lovers off.
Repackaged into one of the sharpest Remaster releases I’ve ever seen, it’s a relatively irresistible package - warts and all. The blemishes upon its carefully airbrushed visage are, in many ways, part of the charm. This is a joyous little time capsule of 2000s Square - and perhaps a curious aperitif before Remake part 2. It’s easy to recommend.
This isn’t to say there isn’t a good game oozing within the sticky flesh of this Frankenstein, though; it just feels like it’s not what Striking Distance wanted it to be. It’s not the next step in horror gaming, the evolution of Dead Space, or a proposition unlike anything you’ve seen before – it’s the opposite. An amalgam, less than the sum of its parts, whose main focus becomes overwrought and frustrating by the time you’re halfway through its short run-time. The scariest thing about The Callisto Protocol, sadly, is all the potential that’s been wasted on a small moon in Jupiter’s orbit.
Midnight Suns is honestly a brilliant bloody time: an extremely fun tactical RPG nestled amongst an adorably wholesome relationship simulator. A superhero game which understands that the appeal of comics is often much less about punching Venom than it is about seeing a bunch of daft looking folk cutting about in a big house, being nice to each other, bickering about leaving towels on the floor. Real stuff. Relatable stuff. The stuff of life.
All in all, I came away pleasantly surprised by The Knight Witch. At a time where so many games are vying for your time and attention, a neatly packed present of an indie, clearly made by a team that knows what it's doing and a quirk not found elsewhere makes for a great refresher. While I don’t believe it quite makes the cut as a classic, nor will it make many game of the year lists, it is still well worth your time. Personally, I think Super Mega Team is a studio I'll be keeping track of from here one out.
However you feel about Evil West, the $50/$60 asking price is too steep for what’s on offer: the nature of its level design, limited enemy variety, and forgettable story will get in the way of your enjoyment, even if you’re only there for the combat. As engaging as it is, that action just doesn’t make up for Evil West’s shortcomings elsewhere.
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet is more than the sum of its parts. Those parts include the woeful performance and optimization problems, which are a real drag – but much of the rest of the title soars so high that it does go a long way to make one ignore them, after a fashion.
I still would recommend The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me on release if you can handle the technical issues at present. If Supermassive Games manages to implement some updates and fix the performance issues, then I’d perhaps even recommend it – highly! – to seasoned horror fans. In spite of its flaws, The Devil in Me tells a riveting tale of a horrific killer in a thoughtful manner, opens up important discussions about human obsession with sanctifying spectacles, and it shows great potential for the future of the series. It’s just a shame about… everything else.
This one game about an entitled goat does everything I wish the original Goat Simulator did and more. The goatfits, the whimsical joy of discovering a level like the Cellar of Doom, and witnessing just how much disarray one uncontrollable goat can cause will make Goat Simulator 3 one of the best co-op games to sit back and reset with. Watch this space, because me and Pilgor are quite the unstoppable duo – and this won’t be the last you see of us.
Bloody Ties is a fun DLC, especially if you enjoyed the side activities in the main game, but it’s hard not to think Dying Light 2’s first expansion could have benefited from a bit more time - even after the delays - to help it live up to its full potential.
In truth, I’m not the biggest thinker when it comes to media. I watch a film, read a book, play a game, and take what’s happened at face value. If meaning is hidden behind a 10k-post Reddit thread, then, well, maybe it wasn’t conveyed well enough. Somerville doesn’t have this problem. It’s affecting in all the right ways, and a game I really can’t recommend strongly enough.
Pentiment is about that phenomenon, and also a manifestation of it. It's one of the most engaging and accessible works of living history ever commissioned, and the fact that it exists at all - let alone as a major platform holder's first-party RPG heading into the Christmas season - is a miracle worthy of the saints.
In a world where we've seen Square Enix fall down with remasters (examples include the lacklustre Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters and the egregious Kingdom Hearts on Switch), Tactics Ogre: Reborn highlights something special – a change of the guard, so to speak, that bodes remarkably well for the rest of the publisher's classic RPG oeuvre.
Although it starts out remarkably similar to the 2018 God of War both mechanically and graphically, God of War Ragnarok gradually builds into a meaningful evolution for the series, expanding the scope of gameplay both stealthily and overtly, while delivering a tense and twisty story that bends legend around its characters in exciting and endlessly interesting ways.
Modern Warfare 2’s campaign is a cocktail of modern mechanics, updated characters, and callbacks to classic missions and villains. By the end of it, the campaign ends up saying little of substance. And though that is certainly true of its predecessor, it at least had the gall to try.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope delivered the most fun I’ve had in a Mario game or a Ubisoft game since Mario Odyssey, and is a game I’m going to keep going back to in a perhaps misguided attempt to polish off all the side missions. This really feels like the best of both worlds type experience, and is a triple-jump-sized leap over the original