Assassin’s Creed Odyssey keeps the familiar formula, adds some new bits and places players at the heart of it all. It’s hard not to like the presentation here despite familiarity setting in pretty much as soon as the game begins. Greece is a wonderful playground, Kassandra a lovely character and the quests meaningful fodder. It’s easy to dismiss Odyssey as Origins in a new skin, but would not be fair on the obvious high quality production. If you tire of Assassin’s Creed games, then perhaps this one won’t bring you back into the fold in any meaningful way. However, for action adventure fans after a massive open playground to stamp their mark it doesn’t get much better than this.
Black Ops 4, looks great with its excellent designed maps (which all run smoothly on PC by the way). The bots do a decent job of keeping players on their toes, and the zombies provide enough drama to keep you coming back for one more attempt. The entire package works despite the lack of an actual campaign. The bite-sized chunks of modes make up for this offering plentiful replay value. The bonus in all of this is once you feel competent enough to play with others then that option is available as well depending on how good your Internet connection is. Black Ops 4 is worth a punt if you enjoy the game modes on offer. If a more story based antics appeal to you more then it’s a no-brainer this isn’t going to scratch your itch.
Starlink Battle for Atlas is a cool game which adults and younger gamers can enjoy in equal measure. The toy aspect is awesome but not compulsory which is plus point – especially given the cost of extra parts. The core game whilst repetitive in some respects, has enough charms to keep players entertained for many hours. The game has seen a lot of love obviously making for a wonderful space shooter. Great visuals, excellent designs and unrestrained freedom makes for a welcome game. The core target audience should lap this up especially if toys come as part of the deal.
SoulCalibur VI comes as a welcome addition to the series despite some niggles. Overall, the package is grand and certainly appeals to fans of the franchise. It’s an accessible title for newcomers and generally heaps of fun to play across all its modes. Obviously, the lack of a bigger budget shows here, but what is provided is enough to charm like-minded players. That said, the creation mode whilst limited in comparison to previous offerings is the star of the show. It’s a game in itself to customise the default roster or make your own deranged or beautiful fighter. The fact players share creations online is a massive boon.
To conclude, it’s great fans have a new Leisure Suit Larry game to play with. Leisure Suit Larry Wet Dreams Don’t Dry looks good and plays as expected. However, it’s not the best game in the series and won’t entice new players into the fold. This is in part due to its poor pacing and archaic game design. A game which relies on obscurity, bundles players with numerous objects and basks in trial and error doesn’t make a good all-round experience. That is despite some pleasant positives with the script and cartoon visuals. If you can stomach aimless wandering around without giving in to a guide, then check this out. It’s fun to play and amusing to see where it ends up. Anyone else though should avoid unless they are quite happy looking up hints online every time thrown spanners hamper progression.
HITMAN 2 feels like it sits on well-trodden ground with little deviation from 2016’s HITMAN game despite some notable differences. The core game isn’t broke and needs no adjustment – although a classic mode complete with suspicion and awakening KO’d NPCs is a desire. With plenty of options to suit the skills of a varied audience, HITMAN 2 presents itself as the ultimate assassination/murder/subterfuge sandbox game. It accomplishes its goals with ease and with all the trimmings included means fans of the series will have a blast. HITMAN 2 is accessible to new players and vets in equal measure making for a slick and stylish action stealth game to eat away the Winter nights. Ultimately, it’s fun, easy to understand and well executed. Additional features waiting in the wings such as the elusive targets means players have more to look forwards to in terms of game support.
Red Dead Redemption 2’s pacing might get to some players, that’s a given. The combat can feel a little wonky at times too. The overwhelming attention to the simple things might get the better of some players. Then there is the horse AI. But when all is said and done, this is a quality experience that I am glad to have played and found closure after so many invested hours. I can only fully recommend RDR2 to gamers who want a thoroughbred entertainment experience. That said, it comes with a cost of requiring some effort from the participant. Something players should most willingly provide.
Fallout 76 might sound good on paper and in some ways it works for players with very specific gaming requirements. With friends, the multiplayer aspects are sure to be fantastic and filled with joyous moments. However, for those who play alone or don’t have friends willing to join the adventure, making new ones here is a tough campaign. Fallout 76 isn’t a bad game per se, far from it. But a little more refinement in its systems would help provide it a better footing in the grand scheme. What remains for what we assume for the majority of players is a solitary experience, devoid of any redeeming qualities after extended hours playtime that hands gamers a by the numbers card. This approach ultimately feels lifeless and lacking in memorable charm. A shame then, as the core game is commendable and fun to play in smaller doses.
So, is Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal worth a look in especially with newer titles which offer more characters and spin-off gameplay (looking at Bon-Appetite and Peach Beach Splash)? Yes, if you’re a fan wishing to relive the handheld glory on the big screen, and wish to own a complete collection (assume the next game in the series converts as well). It is light on characters though which might bother some players expecting more content especially given the £35 price tag. All in, this is fun game to play predominantly for fans of the series. As an introduction to the characters and the premise of the two schools it’s also pretty neat. However, if curiosity gets the better of you as a newcomer then one of the other games Shinovi or Estival Versus offers more content and a cheaper price of entry.
Genesis Alpha One offers an interesting sci-fi themed game. The interface is easy to navigate, the premise simple enough for anyone to pick up and play. However, it’s certainly a game for specific tastes. Those looking for a straight-up action shooter need not apply, and those who just want to manage make things tougher for themselves. You have to embrace all the features to get the most from it. Still, if you “get” what Radiant Blue designed here, then fun, tense and frustrating times are in order. Now let us get back to our all female crew of aliens. So much for saving humanity!
The Dead Or Alive series aside from offering a competent fighting game in its own right does draw fans interested in the physics and revealing costumes. You can’t steer away from this fact too much. In this regard, the new systems kind of go against this, making determined players either spend extra cash or work harder to net the rewards. This does feel like fleecing the fan base somewhat which is a shame. Still, if additional outfits and extra modes (such as the gravure scenes) aren’t of interest, then the core package will no doubt fulfill the need. Dead Or Alive 6 is a welcome addition to the series but feels somewhat of a step backwards from the feature complete Dead Or Alive 5 Last Round.
I remain undecided whether I enjoyed my playtime with Outward. On one side it’s an interesting throwback experience to a time long-forgotten, ignoring the Souls games of recent times that is. No clear direction, fiddly combat and the fact you can just roll up somewhere after a KO are quirks not seen in many games these days. I would say fair play for attempting to offer this aspect. For people who don’t want hand-holding and require a more methodical gaming experience then this works…kind of. This is a good game, not a great game in my view and really it is what is it. No amount of changing it will make it any better. Perhaps the developers should actually just keep it this way to appeal to its specific audience. I’m done though.
Zanki Zero: Last Beginning offers an interesting story, an oddball set of characters and an even crazier scenario. That is without mentioning the rather annoying Extend TV characters Sho (a horny adolescent boy) and Mirai (a talking sheep no less). With its fusion of gameplay styles, it actually works very well when all elements slide into place. This isn't a game for everyone as the reliance of long conversations and minimal imagery might not suit those looking for more direct action. Still, it's easy to become invested in the 8 characters and their plight, and if you like laid-back puzzle fueled entertainment then this is a solid enjoyable experience to work through.
World War Z does have its moments of fun despite offering a fairly basic game overall. The zombie hordes look good in their numbers as they climb over each other to eat your team’s brains. Additional special zombie types could spice things up a little more though which is where Sabre could add a dose of originality. As it stands though, it’s a basic zombie shooter with competent gameplay which presents itself. Definitely fun in shorter doses especially with others online, but not an essential purchase.