One of 2019's biggest surprises so far. Outward brings a whole slew of unique and interesting mechanics together to create a sub-genre of its own. With 30-40+ hours of content alongside a lower than normal $40 / £28 price-tag, it's hard not to unequivocally recommend the game. It's admittedly not perfect, but there's certainly a whole lot to like here.
Generation Zero offers glimpses of a superb game - it has brilliant atmosphere, a vast world, plenty of intrigue and some fun combat opportunities, particularly when played in co-op. However the package as a whole feels grossly incomplete, with an incredibly rough UI, copious amounts of bugs and a huge list of issues. This could be great one day, but right now it's hard to recommend.
The Division 2 feels like a new benchmark for the looter shooter genre. The game feels surprisingly well refined at launch, with a wonderful amount of content, solid endgame and great gameplay changes coming from the original. The combat feels both tactical and fun, particularly when played with others, and D.C. is teeming with loot around every corner. Whilst there's some bugs here and there, and the game's narrative could be significantly better, The Division 2 provides a fantastic base for Ubisoft to build upon moving forward.
The OlliOlli series offered some of the best skateboarding games you could buy back when they released many years ago. Fast forward to 2019 and both games still hold up brilliantly. OlliOlli: Switch Stance is a fantastic port of a superb set of games, and it's priced fairly to boot. This slick yet brutally addictive gameplay loop is just as much of a blast to play as it was 5 years ago.
Hyper Jam harkens back to the golden era of Xbox Live Arcade. A low priced no-frills arena brawler that oozes style and nails what's important, whilst offering a brilliant amount of hidden depth for higher level players. It's easy to pick up and play, and full of hilariously enjoyable moments thanks to the incredibly tight feeling moment to moment gameplay. A true indie classic.
Genesis Alpha One is a fairly unique and interesting mix of genres that offers a lot of promise initially. Despite some enjoyable base building mechanics, the overall gameplay loop is a little too repetitive and the combat is disappointingly weak throughout. With updates, improvements and more content this could turn into something that's both memorable and great, but right now it's an ambitious title that just misses the mark in some all-important areas.
Jagged Alliance: Rage offers a lot to like for fans of XCOM and other similar titles. It's one of the few games in the genre to provide a genuinely great two player co-operative experience. Whilst the game suffers from numerous bugs, a rough UI, plenty of smaller issues and overall low production values, it still manages to feel like a diamond in the rough. Don't sleep on Jagged Alliance: Rage - you might be surprised just how much fun there is to be had here.
Darksiders 3 shifts the series in a new Souls-like direction. Whilst not all of the new elements are a home-run, the game's combat is fantastic throughout. Despite some frustrating difficulty spikes and performance issues here and there, the game still manages to provide a whole lot of fun from start to finish. In an era of microtransaction riddled experiences, Darksiders 3 feels like a breath of fresh air.
Fallout 76 is undoubtedly the worst Fallout title to date. A game which does away with what the series does so well, and instead replaces it with an under-baked and under-realised multiplayer. Fallout fans will still find things to enjoy here, there's fun to be had. However, 76 is so rough around the edges, and so riddled with questionable design decisions that it's hard to ignore. Hopefully Bethesda can turn this ship around over time.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most impressive games I have ever played. A truly monumental achievement. It's not without its flaws, nor will it be for everyone. However the staggering attention to detail and sheer number of stunningly impressive elements put it up there with some of my favourite moments in gaming. A genuinely superb open world experience in almost every regard.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a stunning game - a gigantic beautiful recreation of Greece, with wonderful ship combat, smooth traversal and plenty of satisfying gameplay moments. Unfortunately numerous design decisions lead to a mix of frustrating gameplay with numerous glimpses of greatness. It's not perfect, but it undoubtedly offers plenty of the series' best.
Marvel's Spider-Man is an absolute blast to play from start to finish. This is clearly an incredibly expensive game to make, one that shows an amazing attention to detail and level of polish throughout. Visually stunning, mechanically fun and just downright fantastic in almost every aspect. Whilst not quite perfect, it's easily Insomniac's finest hour
Immortal: Unchained takes the Souls formula and applies a sci-fi setting with an interesting focus on ranged combat rather than the genre's usual melee spotlight. Unfortunately it's let down by numerous bad design decisions, and a major lack of polish throughout, alongside plenty of frustrating elements. It's not a terrible game, it's just not a great one either.
PES 2019 is one of the best football games in recent memory. On the pitch, the core gameplay is absolutely superb - Konami's constant iteration really shows. It's a joy to play with each match feeling dynamic and exciting. It's not perfect however, off the pitch there's still certainly room for improvement - the game's menus and presentation overall could still use some serious work.
Shadows: Awakening is a great singleplayer ARPG. It plays well and introduces some refreshingly unique mechanics to the genre. Unfortunately however it's let down by some odd decisions and numerous niggling issues. If you're a fan of the genre it's absolutely well worth checking out, if not though it's best to wait for a sale.
A solid but underwhelming co-operative shooter. Strange Brigade nails the 1930's campy aesthetic but is unfortunately let down by safe gameplay choices failing to push the title forward. If you loved Zombie Army Trilogy, you'll find a lot to like here. Whilst there's certainly fun to be had, at a full priced release of £39.99 the game could and should have been so much more.
Titan Quest on the Switch is a solid port. The game looks good, runs smoothly in portable and docked modes (most of the time) and controls well. Other players have experienced some fairly serious bugs, but in my lengthy time with the game things have been largely smooth sailing. Whilst the port is a little unambitious in scope and shows its age in spots, over a decade later Titan Quest remains a blast to play and is just as addictive as ever.
Defiance 2050 offers great value for a free package. Whilst there were many serious lag and crash issues at launch, Trion have shown a commendable willingness to resolve these early on. Despite fun to be had the game isn't perfect, it shows its age in many areas and there's a lot of room for improvement, but 2050 provides a solid base for the team to build upon.
A solid remaster which has evidently had plenty of work put into it. Red Faction Guerrilla still holds up today thanks to its fantastic destruction which remains relatively unrivalled. Whilst some areas of the game do show their age, this is still a great game being sold at a fair price point.
Jurassic World Evolution is a lot of fun. An incredibly polished park management sim, wrapped in a gorgeously nostalgic package. Frontier continue to showcase their talent for creating these kind of games, but unfortunately a lack of depth lets the game down.