Multiplayer First's Reviews
Ghostrunner 2 takes what was already a great game and takes things to the next level in the even more ambitious follow-up. The gameplay itself is largely the same as before, but now you have even more abilities like the shuriken that make the adrenaline-pumping combat even more satisfying upon surviving each battle. Traveling outside of Dharma Tower with the motorcycle was a refreshing change of pace that we really hope to see expanded upon even further in a hopeful sequel (or as part of its post-launch plans). Ghostrunner 2 is not only a fantastic follow-up to the original, but one that could easily be enjoyed by those who have never played the first one as well.
Hellboy Web of Wyrd is a blunt and relentless action game featuring a delightful combination of visuals and sounds, giving each blow a palpable feeling of strength. The intense combat is a literal blast, distinctly the one factor that the game should be praised for, even if some actions appear to register late. Purely as a tactical brawler drenched in roguelike mechanics and featuring a mammoth of a main character, this is one that not only hits the mark but occasionally shatters it to pieces.
Playing with physical Hot Wheels was always a blast as a kid and now playing Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged really recaptures a lot of that same magic. Much of what is found in this sequel is built upon the ground that was laid by the first game, but now it is bigger and better. The Creature Rampage mode is the one really disappointing aspect of the game, as the almost non-existent story could have been handled much better and the boss battles are the very definition of lackluster. Thankfully, this is very much offset by the increase in the number of different and unique vehicles, the fun new track locations, and the overall enjoyability of the racing that makes Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged such a pleasure to play.
Just like the original that preceded it, Lords of the Fallen is a solid Soulslike game, which relies on a familiar game loop of dying repeatedly, learning from your mistakes along the way, while finding a nice track of enemies to slaughter endlessly as you slowly grind your character’s level up to meet the challenge, or for those more inclined to not cheese things, then memorizing enemy attack patterns as you fight and claw your way to victory. The Umbral mechanic has brought something new to the table, but it’s a shame visits to the other side are limited. Hexworks set a high bar for themselves, and while they didn’t quite reach the heights they were going for, they should be commended for what they have accomplished.
NHL 24 is once again another solid outing in the long-running series. It may be far from revolutionary, but it still provides players with a great hockey experience along with some enjoyable additions like the new Exhaust System and HUT moments, as well as the ability to finally play with friends on the opposing platform. Where it gets a bit concerning, though is the introduction of the Battle Pass and more microtransactions in the fan-favorite World of Chel mode, after mostly being relegated to HUT in the past. The overall experience is very good and gives players plenty of opportunities for pure hockey action across the game’s numerous game modes.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a great return to form for a series that had sort of lost its way. A concise, single-player campaign with a story that has its share of twists and turns, a sprawling desert and surrounding wilds to play in, and even a new ability helps to return Assassin’s Creed to its roots while adding to the core feature set in a meaningful way. Fans, new and old, will want to check out Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
Although I'm not too fond of the always-online requirement, looking beyond that, Turn 10 has, without question, delivered its best racing simulator to date with Forza Motorsport. From all-new driving physics to a host of new accessibility options and realistic visuals with some of the best ray tracing implementation I've seen in a racer. Forza Motorsport is sure to satisfy any fans of the series out there when it comes to its simulator gameplay. But beyond that, there are a few areas that could use some fine-tuning. Specifically in its RPG mechanics, which can feel like a grind for upgrading vehicles. It also lacks tracks and modes, but that's something that can be fixed over time. It's still an issue for launch, though I'm sure in the year to come, Turn 10 will have Forza Motorsport firing on all cylinders to make it the ultimate racing simulator.
NBA 2K24 is the same game more or less than its many predecessors, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The gameplay remains solid with an emphasis on shooting, so it may take a bit to get used to the more delicate mechanics. The City is full of activities that you should not overlook and can be quick and easy ways to improve your player. MyNBA allows you to take control of a franchise in five different eras and new RPG elements add a layer to the general manager component. While NBA 2K24 does have a “pay to win” aspect to it, the upgraded Season Pass isn’t that important to where a casual player should feel pressured to purchase. If anything, NBA 2K24 is for die-hard NBA fans and gamers who plan on grinding the game well into the NBA season.
If you’re not a die-hard fan of the series, waiting for the server issues to be fully resolved is the best step to take right now. When that is in the past, you may dive into these initially confusing but eventually rewarding heists, knowing that the Infamy system is a stone in your shoe, but cooperating with other like-minded players is an offer you may not want to refuse…in due time.
it’s clear after playing through the expansion that CDPR has been listening to its fans. With Phantom Liberty, they have finally delivered the much-demanded experience players have asked for since launch. I’ll gladly say that Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty, alongside the 2.0 update, might be one of the best gaming experiences I’ve played all year, and looking back, there’ve been tons of amazing games this year.
Ultimately, for a first attempt, Lies of P is a solid Soulslike that should keep fans of the genre happy and frustrated for the entire runtime. It’s clear Neowiz and Round8 have an affection for their inspiration even if they don’t quite have the skill to match.
Eternights can occasionally be rough around the edges, but there is a charming JRPG within that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy. Sure, the story may be all over the place, but at around a 15-hour play time, the hijinks also don’t overstay their welcome. Combat can also occasionally frustrate with some uninterruptible animations and a merciless window of time with which to perform dodges and parries, but most people should be able to adapt to it, and there is also the easier difficulty to try out if things get too dicey. Being an indie developer, Studio Sai should be applauded for producing a well-rounded JRPG that many genre fans will have a blast with.
For reasons surely tied to design and layout, Gunbrella doesn’t always feature a fully scrolling map, being instead divided into some small sections where you must reach the edge of the screen to move to the next area, and segments where the screen smoothly moves along according to your character, such as one very hectic train ride. The latter makes for the best experience of all and makes me wish that the whole adventure would focus wholeheartedly on this approach. If we’re nitpicking, it’s also annoying that when a conversation topic starts, we can’t exit it and are forced to click our way out of this repeat dialogue until it ends. The sporadic jazz tunes add to this noir flavor and may not be to everyone’s taste, but there are other frenzied tracks coming into play with boss fights and varied key moments, so it evens out in the end.
It has everything you’d want from a Bethesda game: a deep and prosperous universe filled with endless possibilities and limitless potential. Be who you want to be, go where you want to go; your freedom is in your hands, and what you do with it is entirely up to you in Starfield.
Sea of Stars will take any seasoned gamer back to a simpler times, when the games were colorful, flat, and lengthy. If you want a turn-based RPG that is easy to pick up and yet quite challenging, then you’ll want to check out Sea of Stars. Some of the enemies can occasionally cheese you to death, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. The added accessibility options are appreciated, and the imaginative story is entertaining. If you ever want to just chill with a simple game after a long day, Sea of Stars would be a good choice.
Fort Solis delivers a dark, high-tension, suspense-filled thriller driven by its incredibly realistic next-gen visuals, compelling character performances, and well-written writing. If this were an episode in a long-running sci-fi series, it’d be amongst my favorites and highly rated. However, seeing that this is a video game, it’s hard to recommend Fort Solis due to its little gameplay. Most of it’s walking, with few QTEs here and there, but it all serves as padding that eventually overstays its welcome. The opening hours will have you in awe as it takes you through the gorgeous and ominous landscape of the red planet of Mars, but slowly, you’ll come to the realization that there really is nothing waiting for you on Mars.
Ride 5 is an exhilarating ride, forgive the redundancy, once again a terrific motorcycle racing game for experts who are ready to throw away all the riding aids and dive deep into the raw and unforgiving experience. Casuals and arcade enthusiasts will have a difficult time finding the right spot to enjoy it and may not be pleased with the middle ground that it offers. Skilled players, on the other hand, should seriously reflect if it’s worth purchasing the new release given the few major improvements. Those who give in are bound to enjoy the multiplayer thrills and expansive career events, but be wary of the blatant AI limitations, still the weaker link in otherwise exciting bike races.
As a straight-up shooter, Exoprimal comes with competent mechanics and polish, even if a feeling of sameness ends up as the predominant factor after a few hours of play. There’s something here to spark interest among the most competitive players, but it doesn’t feel like Exoprimal is a multiplayer game made for the ages, same as the creatures that were brought from the past to serve as the enemies in here.
Dust & Neon’s fast-paced combat, satisfying reloads, and streamlined gameplay loop are good enough to get one hooked right away, but the lack of variety in its zones, guns, and secondary systems leaves little incentive for anyone to keep playing past the game’s bare-bones story.
Hammerwatch 2 is a delightful old-school RPG romp that suffers from some of the timeless predicaments of the genre, namely a feeling of repetitiveness and some odd design decisions. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun, especially in cooperative mode, and it also helps that the pixel graphics can be magnificent at times. Play it wisely as to not become tired of its expansive maps, and that’s how you’ll enjoy the most of it.