Like Final Fantasy VIII's gunblade or Gears or War's active reload, Dust & Neon knows that a solid, satisfying mechanical input can make or break otherwise rote gunplay. It's a small distinction, sure, but it lifts David Marquardt's twin-stick, sci-fi Western out of the metaphorical dust.
Other than its sudden release, there are precious few surprises in Metroid Prime Remastered, but that's not a criticism. The original is so precious that it's near-impossible to find fault over such a straight-up remaster.
Neither a reinvention of the series nor a return to its roots, Fire Emblem Engage finds a comfortable middle ground. It's another polished skirmish (with Suikoden-like town planning on the side) that will keep Fire Emblem fans happy, but its lacklustre plot and lack of branching choice (like Three Houses) ultimately hold it back.
With its close-hugging third-person camera and its mood of air-locked foreboding, it's hard not to judge The Callisto Protocol through a lens tinted by Glen Schofield's earlier creation, Dead Space. And while its more violent tendencies diminish the tension somewhat, there's still plenty to recommend here.
This XCOM meets X-Men effort from Firaxis isn't flawless, but its a fantasy dinner party of superheroes elevates the experience above its formulaic story and forgettable hero.
If Ragnarök spells the end of God of War, as both its themes and talk from Santa Monica Studio suggest, then it will serve as a fitting end for Kratos. Not just because it would make an impressive swansong for the God of War, but because that level of weariness and relief that Kratos feels from completing his lengthy endeavours is, by its end, projected onto the player, completing theirs.
Bayonetta 3 is an awful lot more, but it's also an awful lot more of the same. It's a game that revels in its spirited too-muchness.
With its striking production values and next-gen rat rendering, it's hard escaping the notion that A Plague Tale: Requiem is, like Microsoft Flight Simulator before it, more of a tech demo or portfolio piece for Asobo Studio. But for fans of the original, the prospect of more of the same – only bigger and flashier, and without the 'Allo 'Allo! accents – is certainly enticing.
Most video games that model themselves on H.R. Giger's biomechanical monstrosities are purely aesthetic. Scorn wears its influences not on its sleeves, but inside them; a mass of ooze and darkness and gnarly, desiccated things; a grimly singular puzzle, but perhaps one that didn't need the combat to deliver its horrors home.
There's very little that's new in Easy Come, Easy Golf that wasn't in Everybody's Golf before it – save for its team mechanic and those frightening golf-baby clones – but that doesn't matter. None of that matters. The fact we've got a Clap Hanz golf game on a Nintendo console, at long last? That's a hole in one, for sure.
They say you can't go home again, and there are few wells more daunting to return to than Monkey Island. But with Gilbert at the helm and Grossman by his side, Return to Monkey Island really is the full monkey.
In a world where 2014's Mario Kart 8 is still going strong, on the face of it, it seems hard to justify a third full fat Splatoon game in the same time frame. While it might not be groundbreaking, Splatoon 3 is nonetheless a high watermark for the series, and is a welcome premium product in the era of battle passes and microtransactions.
In a medium preoccupied with guns and bombs and violent, power-fantasy notions of heroism, Gerda: A Flame in Winter treads a quieter path through its World War II setting, and is perhaps all the more powerful for it.
Sam Barlow's Immortality switches digital footage for celluloid film, and it's a better fit. His fixation with scrambled narratives has found its natural home, not in the realm of computers, those ghost-free machines, but here, on coils of vulnerable tape.
Mothmen 1966 is a valiant first effort from LCB Studio, and it certainly scores highly on presentation, but clunky writing and those awful interactive sequences derail what was, on the face of it, a promising adventure.
Familiar but refreshed, Nintendo Switch Sports is an excellent party pastime with the promise of more fun to come. An unfussy online implementation also improves the experience for solo players.
In so many ways, Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness is a frenetic, baffling, exhausting, draining experience. But, somehow, that’s not a criticism? You’ll come away feeling like you got hit by a train, but in a really positive, memorable way.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a thrill for the senses and will frequently tickle your nostalgia bone. However, it lacks creative spark and is content to regurgitate its source material instead of building something new. A Kyber pass, just about.
Triangle Strategy takes time to unfurl, but your patience is rewarded with an intricate narrative and finely crafted tactical combat. The impressive visuals, music, and storytelling ensure the game will live long in the memory and demand multiple playthroughs.
FAR: Changing Tides doesn't surpass the achievements of FAR: Lone Sails – but it comes close – and is another example of Okomotive's considerable talents.