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The Beta Network's Reviews
Valkyrie Elysium is a decent action RPG that’s rather short in length, but it’s combo-based combat grows stale hours before the credits roll. The game nails the melancholic, Norse-inspired atmosphere of the series, although the story, characters and side-quests that appear in these lands are anything but legendary. So if you don’t enjoy the combat, then there’s little else to latch onto.
FIFA 23’s gameplay feels so good to control, as EA has implemented a whole host of touch-ups within the presentation and mechanics for it’s final take on the series. The new inclusions to Career Mode like player personalities, transfer tips and being able to select a real-life manager really go a long way as well. While Volta Football still feels tacked on, the addition of full cross-play support for current and old-gen consoles makes it easier than ever for friends to jump into a match.
The DioField Chronicle effortlessly combines real-time strategy and tactical turn-based gameplay. Featuring a very approachable battle system that streamlines several elements of it’s presentation, so the focus always remains on combat. Albeit, the story is often too preoccupied with politics and plot-specific events that the audience probably won’t care too much about, along with a steep difficulty curve that forces players to complete optional content and AI that makes some rather silly decisions at times. If you can get past these issues however, the addictive hybrid gameplay should keep you hooked throughout.
Foretales is a great entry into the deckbuilding genre. Featuring a very simple gameplay style, this title is really easy to get into, but can still be challenging at times. The narrative is intriguing and the visual design is gorgeous. Foretales is definitely worth giving a go, whether you have played deck builders before or not.
Destroy All Humans! 2 does a great job of faithfully recreating the world that captivated so many fans back in 2006! The gameplay mechanics have been refined to make some aspects, particularly the psychokinesis, feel a lot more natural and slick to execute. The massive overhaul to the visuals makes the game look fantastic on modern hardware, whilst still keeping the semi-cartoony art style that was present in the original.
Deep Silver Volition took a bold step in setting Saints Row around a whole new crew, and it absolutely paid off. Featuring a cast of interesting and entertaining characters, this narrative reverts back to the more serious nature of Saints Row 1 & 2. Add to this some really slick combat and driving mechanics, as well as a world filled to the brim with fun side quests and areas to explore, and you have an absolutely stellar entry into the Saints Row series!
Cult of the Lamb is a rare gem that combines a roguelike experience with base building mechanics. This wacky narrative will have you in stitches time and time again, whilst you enjoy adventuring through these beautiful 2.5D landscapes. Managing your own cult is as crazy as it sounds and is very entertaining! This is definitely one to add to your game collection.
Ex-Zodiac is the Star Fox game that fans have been dreaming of. It successfully replicates that beloved retro aesthetic without losing what made the original titles so engaging. Those precise flying controls, varied set-pieces and in-depth boss battles are all here, and the game will supposedly be doubled in length by the time Ex-Zodiac hits it’s full 1.0 launch. While the characters and story aren’t particularly interesting, here’s hoping they can pull it around for the next half of the adventure.
Yurukill: The Calumniation Games contains an addictive blend of escape room escapades and fast-paced bullet-hell segments that will keep players eagerly awaiting the next corner. The story and character presentation are great too, with only a few technical flaws that get in the way of an otherwise spectacular theme park ride.
Gordian Quest is not just a common deck builder, as it features some awesome DND-inspired elements that’ll make fans of the classic tabletop RPG feel right at home. The art design is spectacular and the gameplay is incredibly fun, even if it’s a little easy. The one downfall is the story, which can be quite basic—only serving the purpose of moving the game forward. But all in all, Gordian Quest is immensely rewarding… unless you’re looking for a well-woven tale.
OlliOlli World: VOID Riders features the most bizarre narrative in the OlliOlli series! Not only is it as strange as it is hilarious, but it is also the greatest one yet! Add to this some entertaining new mechanics and chaotic new levels, and you have the best of what OlliOlli World has to offer!
Card Shark features a surprisingly deep story with much mystery surrounding its fascinating, and somewhat dubious characters. The simple game mechanics and stunning art style really makes for a title that is really unique. The minimalist approach to the gameplay is welcomed and the 8 hour play time ensures that no part of Card Shark feels overused or repetitive! This is definitely one for your Nintendo Switch library!
Sniper Elite 5 is a perfect example of a game that is just good. There are no real glitches or screen tearing and the game plays really well on the PS5. The graphics look fine, even if the character designs are a little questionable. The problem arises with the game becoming predictable and boring. However, the devs saw this coming – hence half the game being online. So even though playing through the campaign with a friend is fun, it’s not worth the price, in my opinion.
Dolmen is a serviceable, sci-fi ARPG that sets players up against a gauntlet of strong enemies and varied bosses. Utilising the Metroidvania style approach to progression, the game aims to keep players on their toes with it’s striking visual design and level layout. It’s just a shame the story isn’t up to scratch and a few certain gameplay features are left wanting.
Trek To Yomi may have a great narrative and an excellent visual design, however the stiff combat mechanics and tedious exploration sections may quickly diminish any desire to see the game through to the end. Despite having great potential, Trek To Yomi fails to deliver and instead becomes a very lackluster experience!
The full release of King Arthur: Knight’s Tale impresses in almost every area, despite being in Early Access for quite some time. The game expands dramatically, offering an incredible story, fun tactical gameplay and great visuals. Not to mention there is a lot to do once completing the game, whether that’s taking on bosses or playing PVP. Even though it can feel slightly unfinished, the game is still incredible and should continue to improve with more time and dedication from the developers.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is the game-iest video game I’ve reviewed in quite some time, but it actually ended up being more entertaining than I thought. While the flow of gameplay is as one-note as it gets and the story is a complete waste of time, Zombie Army 4 still features an amusing 10-12 hour campaign and horde mode that’s best experienced in short bursts.
While there aren’t too many memorable moments like the games Tormented Souls is based on, the general horror elements work incredibly well in heightening the tension and keeping you on the edge of your seat. The puzzle segments aren’t mere throwaway either and do serve as a great change of pace from the adrenaline-pumping fear. The story is quite intriguing too, although the voice-acting does leave a lot to be desired.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is another spectacular tactical RPG that combines turn-based and real-time strategy to great effect. The battles are definitely on the easier side of things and it can be a bit tricky to read the visual prompts, although 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim makes up for this with a riveting story and addictive gameplay that’ll hold your attention for the game’s 30-40 hour runtime.
The Skywalker Saga successfully manages to recreate the fun and humour of its 2005 counterpart! It gives us a new take on the Star Wars series, with many great moments filled with hilarious jokes and gags! The revamped combat feels fantastic, and really helps to keep things fresh and exciting. There are a few jokes that may make you roll your eyes, but despite this, it's hard not to get hooked in The Skywalker Saga's world for hours on end!