Hi-Fi Rush is oozing with style and confidence, but like a messy first album, there are some deep cut tracks that don’t hit as hard as the opening few hits. What can’t be denied, however, is how excited we are for the sophomore effort, and the seemingly limitless versatility that Tango Gameworks have shown off in this bold, out-of-nowhere joy.
Dead Space is a visually stunning remake that is both faithful to the original, and modernises what it needs to. The remake naturally looks significantly better than the original, but it's the addition of voice acting for Isaac and the more natural dialogue this produces which is the most effective update here. The game isn't without its lulls but the overall experience is just as thrilling as it was 15 years ago.
Fire Emblem Engage is a great strategy game, but we don’t think it’s a great modern Fire Emblem game. Whether the reverence for the social elements of Three Houses came as a surprise to the team or not, the dearth of those moments in Engage makes it feel like it’s missing half of its core at times. While the anniversary cameos will please the hardcore fans at first, we worry that, much like the weak social aspects, their largely minor impact on the game itself will disappoint.
While some cracks are beginning to form around the edges, the people who’ve played the game 10 times already won’t care, and will be thrilled to hear that the next-gen version of the game provides a definitive console experience and a great reason to head back out into the wilds.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns combines addictive, deep strategy gameplay with a cast of characters that make the moments outside of the action just as rich and enjoyable as those in it. A lengthy campaign packed with missions to go on and relationships to form with Earth's Mightiest Heroes make Marvel's Midnights Suns a modern strategy classic and one of 2022's biggest surprises.
Every decision Scarlet and Violet make are good ones. The huge expansion and changes to the single player campaign are great, the size of the world and the joy of exploration are the best in the series, and the new Pokemon and battle mechanics introduced all sing. However, it’s just impossible to shake the thought of how much better the game would feel if it was on more powerful hardware, or simply ran acceptably on Switch.
It may have had a mixed reception earlier this year, but Sonic Frontiers' final form is a brilliantly refreshing adventure that gives the series a much-needed shake-up. The occasional control and camera 'quirks' still pop their head up, but they appear far less frequently than Sonic fans will be used to, making for a much less frustrating experience overall. We would absolutely welcome more of this.
God of War Ragnarok is an incredibly special game. It's vital in a way few releases are. With captivating performances that carry an amazing story to a jaw-dropping final act, it’s a game that achieves everything it sets out to do to the absolute highest standard.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a fun-filled exploration that shows what can happen when Nintendo decides to share its toys. While it's not the biggest leap a sequel has ever made, an incredible soundtrack, great visuals and witty writing make it one of Switch's best games of the year.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is a sometimes compelling adventure weighed down by poor technical performance, and simple, frustrating and repetitive gameplay. While the stealth action can be enjoyable, and the puzzle elements of using the impressive hordes of rats to your advantage can be engaging, it’s a game that introduces compelling ideas but never really capitalizes on any of them. Pair that with some dodgy AI and it’s a game that’s at its best when the characters are simply walking through the world, talking to each other.
Dreamlight Valley is 'Disney meets Animal Crossing', but there's more to it than that. With a healthy supply of quests on top of the usual foraging, crafting and house-building, there's a proper story here too for any players who want a goal to aim towards.