The Independent's Reviews
Trek to Yomi is a compelling enough story that makes strong use of cinematic techniques to tell a samurai tale in a novel way. Its approach could easily be imagined on the silver screen but its interactive medium makes for a compelling combat-heavy side scroller with enough mechanical depth to warrant multiple playthroughs.
Nintendo Switch Sports is a strong continuation of a tried and tested formula that will find near-universal appeal with anybody who remembers the glory days of the Nintendo Wii, or even younger audiences who will wonder what all the fuss was about 15 years ago. Playing the tennis and bowling game modes don’t exactly bring anything particularly new to the table, but it’s hard not to let muscle memory kick in after an extended period away. Volleyball and badminton also make for a grand entrance that are suitable additions to a bag filled with varied game modes. With the promise of even more gameplay being added at a later date, such as leg-strap support for standard football matches and golf coming later in the year, it’s certainly worth investing the time to work on your backhand and dust off the old skills.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a grand continuation of this process encompassing all three of the mainline trilogies with as much enthusiasm and heartfelt appreciation as could be expected from a studio working on their sixth tie-in of the sci-fi epic.
If the idea of yet another 50+ hour open-world game sounds exhausting, then Ghostwire: Tokyo might be for you. Even if you aren’t a fan of horror games, then don’t be dissuaded. While it leans heavily into the iconography and some of its enemy designs can be unsettling, it’s firmly rooted in the action genre and rarely deviates beyond the very occasional jump scare.
Tunic is something really special. Before anything else, it’s a clear love letter to the old-school action-adventure games of the Eighties and Nineties. Beyond that, it’s an ingenious, brief and occasionally challenging masterclass of modern game design that feels much bigger than the sum of its parts.
If only occasionally mired by fantasy tropes and the limitations of the genre, fans of turn-based strategy games like Final Fantasy Tactics will find plenty to enjoy in Triangle Strategy. Battles can be slow and methodical but with multiple endings and different choices to make, there are plenty of reasons to explore everything that the game has to offer.
Gran Turismo 7 is a vast racing game. It might lack the instant sparkle of an arcade racing game, but it’s an experience that lasts much longer and feels more rewarding. Mastering a track with a newly tuned car feels good and well earned. Lack of true ray-tracing will disappoint some PS5 owners looking to show off their console, and the menu systems are pretty drab at times, but when racing, there’s little else quite like it.
Let’s be clear: Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t reinventing the wheel. The augmentation aspect of the game isn’t executed any better than Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and it feels less intuitive, while the hacking is of a similar level to Watchdogs 2 and Watchdogs: Legion. For some, this next-gen release providing light entertainment more consistently won’t be enough to change their opinion. But for me, exploring this dense megatropolis, driving irresponsibly from place to place (the floaty controls make any alternative just about impossible), and doing cool cyber stuff as part of a pretty-decent-but-not-groundbreaking story, is enough to keep me entertained and engaged long after I should have gone to bed.
Elden Ring offers plenty of challenges for players, while its improved combat mechanics and traversal provide ample opportunity for newcomers to get acquainted with the genre. If this is your first FromSoftware game and you relish a challenge, then there has never been a better time to jump in.
The story will take new players to unexpected and breathtaking places, and fans of Horizon Zero Dawn will have plenty of their questions answered. While Horizon Forbidden West takes great leaps in its visual and story presentation, it stays the path with its gameplay, making small but notable additions that improve the experience.
When Extraction plays well, it plays excellently. That’s no doubt that, in part due to the strong foundations that helped to define Siege as an incredibly detailed first-person shooter, and by scaling back to focus on a co-operative experience, Extraction has done well to retain the look and, more importantly, the feel of its competitive counterpart while carving out its own niche. When its sights are aligned it hits more often than it misses, and fans of the Rainbow Six series will find plenty to like about this spin-off.
Fortunately, Rift Apart has charm to burn, in its character design, lively combat mechanics, and explorable levels that feel large without seeming maze-like, busy without being cluttered. It’ll still be some time before PS5 supply catches up with demand, but for those early adopters, this is one of the best looks yet at what the new console generation has to offer. It’s big, it’s bright, and it’s almost impossible not to love.