The Loadout's Reviews
The Anacrusis’ Game Preview launch is plagued with performance issues. In its current form, it also lacks any kind of identity, punch, or vigour. It is one of the most lacklustre games of its genre right now and Stray Bombay has a lot to do to make this the refreshing co-op experience many expected it to be.
Battlefield 2042 has everything you want as a Battlefield fan: destruction, levolution, and carnage. But while it’s fun to play, it is clear that Battlefield 2042 is DICE’s most ambitious Battlefield yet - and it hasn’t quite come off in the way many were expecting.
Vanguard’s multiplayer offers only fleeting moments of fun right now, but its core issues can all be solved in time. Sledgehammer’s philosophy when it comes to maps and attachments means that, right now, you rarely get the optimum experience, but with dedicated spaces for competitive players it might well become the competitive Call of Duty game we’ve been waiting for.
While not the breath of fresh air many hoped for, FIFA 22 manages to at least improve the experience of FIFA 21. Ultimate Team still has its intrinsic issues, but manages to make itself more appealing thanks to less-infuriating gameplay and a less-punishing Division Rivals system.
Far Cry 6 makes some meaningful narrative improvements, helped by a fantastic performance by Esposito. However, repetitive and familiar gameplay, combined with a restrictive progression system, means changes are needed in the future if Ubisoft wants the series to continue.
Halo Infinite offers the full Master Chief experience in a big, beautiful sandbox. While 343 may not be breaking new ground with the light open-world elements it has added, it has done a great job of creating a solid experience for new and returning players alike.
Guardians of the Galaxy shines when it focuses on the characters and the world around them. It might not be the most innovative game this year, but it excellently executes the tried-and-true linear action-adventure formula to deliver a great single-player experience.
Rainbow Six Extraction is a refreshing addition to the co-op shooter genre that ditches endless horde slaying for refined, tactical, and stealthy gameplay. With enough support and new content, Extraction could set a new benchmark for co-op games.
The Horizon formula has been perfected in Forza Horizon 5. Playground Games has retained what fans loved in previous games, but offers fine-tuned gameplay and a more diverse open world to explore. This is one of the most polished games of the year, and with continued support and regular content, it has the potential to thrive.
Hitman 3 builds on the successes of previous entries in the series to create a blockbuster finale to the World of Assassination series. Io Interactive is the best level designer in the business, and next-gen graphics and a twisting story lift Agent 47 to new heights.
Psychonauts 2 is a superb sequel that appeals to both long-time fans and newcomers. With a engaging story full of twists and turns, excellent witty dialogue, and a gorgeous visual palette, exploring people's minds has never been so fun and thrilling.