Above all else, Psychonauts 2 is unapologetically Double Fine. It’s sweet, funny and has a deep reverence for the games that came before it. The graphics and art direction are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen, a shining example of the value that a strong visual style can have over mere graphical prowess. Psychonauts 2 is the result of a studio operating at the absolute top of its game. It’s an absolute must-play for anyone looking for a great story, deep characters and jaw-dropping visuals.
To be honest, I was taken off guard by how much fun I've had with Chivalry 2 so far. It scratches a very specific itch, and while I probably won't be signing on every night for the rest of the year, I have found myself loading the game up to play a few matches and hone my skills with the war club. The combat is the highlight for sure, but Chivalry 2's unique brand of slapstick and gore elevates it from being a straightforward medieval simulation game. By focusing on nailing the moment-to-moment fighting, it allows for player experimentation and roleplaying, rewarding those who want to have fun above those who take themselves too seriously.
A certain level of scrappiness can be charming, but it’s harder to excuse in a big-budget project like this one, and three crashes in an hour is far too scrappy to be overlooked. Still, I do have a fondness for Rift Apart, perhaps because I do get the sense that this was a project built with love, yet not so much love that it wasn’t willing to experiment and try some new things. Once all the many, many bugs are fixed, this’ll be a pretty good game for families to enjoy, and a superb showcase for what the PS5 is capable of.
Biomutant’s positives ever so slightly outweigh its faults and with more time (and patches), it could grow into a much more entertaining game. Its unique world, extensive customisation and pool of interesting moves and tricks in battle make this game fun to play but for now, a colourful but empty world, a wealth of glitches, and dull objectives make it a tough sell.
Resident Evil Village is an essential horror experience that shows off what Capcom is capable of when it doesn’t compromise its vision in any way. The developer uses subgenres like puzzle pieces, clicking them into place on a grid to reveal the bigger picture: a survival horror collage, realised with remarkable production values and a deep love for its extensive roots. Resident Evil Village will be held high by Lady Dimitrescu and her peers for years to come, to rest head and shoulders above its genre rivals.
Returnal is undoubtedly one of Housemarque’s best games and is a triumph for the PlayStation 5. The premise is interesting right off the bat, and the way the game feeds narrative breadcrumbs throughout the game only made me want to continue on. With the tight gameplay that the studio is known for, along with an intriguing story and blockbuster presentation, Housemarque hits all the right spots. Returnal sits as one of PlayStation’s most unique exclusives.
MLB The Show 21 doesn’t quite knock this one out of the park. Instead, it’s one of the most well-hit doubles I’ve ever seen. The foundation San Diego Studios has cultivated over the years has allowed them to almost seamlessly transfer over to the next-gen and has me excited to see where the series goes from here.