Probably my favourite moment in UnMetal came when sneaking through a screen full of sleeping guard dogs. My stench was visibly wafting across the screen, alternating between going straight up and straight down. The goal was, of course, to carefully weave through the deadly mutts without my horrific, sewer-drenched clothes waking them up. But on my second attempt, I thought of something: I went to the inventory and equipped the thermal suit I had previously used to pass by thermal sensors. To my surprise and delight, the suit contained my reek and I was able to amble through the dogs. Was this just some bug, or had the lone developer really considered that I might stick the suit on? I think it’s the latter, because this is a seriously well-designed game.
As someone who was raised by a biker and who religiously watches MotoGP, SBK and WSBK, the influx of two-wheeled racing games has been fantastic. This time its developer Raceward Studio rolling onto the grid and looking to pick up a win with the poorly named RiMS Racing, which sounds awfully close to some unspeakable act. With its stated goal of being, “The first motorcycling simulation that combines a realistic riding challenge with engineering and mechanics” how does RiMS Racing fare on the track and in the garage?
These days it’s like you can’t walk down the street without tripping over a bunch of cyberpunk games, from the high-profile cock-ups to a host of indie games that range in quality and scope. Foreclosed is the latest cyberpunk game stepping up, hoping that it’s mix of third-person shooting and stealth, along with a striking art style, will be enough to grab your attention. It’s certainly releasing at the right time – we’re in a bit of a drought when it comes to big, shiny new games, giving the small stuff a chance to shine. But I’m saddened to report that Foreclosed suffers from good ideas but crappy execution.
Are you really a lover of games if you don’t have that one title that turns you into a ball of squealing nerdiness? That one game that speaks to you on some sort of spiritual level, the likes of which your own partner can’t even reach? For me, that game is Hades, one of the finest works of art our beloved medium has seen in years, and right up there in my top ten favorite games of all time. A hyperbolic statement for sure, but I’m going to need to you to shut up and just let me have this one, okay? Because now that Hades has hit Game Pass and launched on Playstation, there’s no excuse for failing to experience Supergiant’s masterpiece.
I do love a quirky concept. I’m a sucker for the kind of premise that someone dreams up after downing 9-pints and then finding a pen and a napkin. In the case of Trigger Witch, these witches have ditched fireballs and pulling cute rabbits out of hats for something far better: AK-47s. Nothing can make a problem vanish quicker than a hail of bullets, and so now witches accept firearms from the strange Ordinance Rift and become members of The Clip. Their old traditions and their magic fading into the past, they now worship at the alter of gunpowder.
Y’know, as soon as I learned about Sniper Elite VR I though, “Actually, that makes complete and total sense.” What’s not to love about hefting a sniper rifle in VR and delivering a perfect long-shot straight through the ball-sacks of Nazis? This spin-off is developed by a different team with Rebellion mainly acting as the publishers, probably so they can carry on working on the inevitable Sniper Elite 5. So how does Sniper Elite handle the jump into VR? Is bringing a rifle to your face, aiming down the sight and pulling the trigger as much fun as it sounds?
The Warhammer license is pretty weird. There was a period where Games Workshop where incredibly stringent with it, only handing it out to trusted developers. But these days they hand out licenses like free candy, and what we customers get in return is a crazy pick ‘n’ mix of quality. To paraphrase the immortal Forest Gump, Warhammer games are like a box of chocolates – you never known what you’re going to get. Although almost all of them will involve chainsaw swords at some point. Today we’re checking out Warhammer 40: Space Wolf, a turn-based strategy game with a dollop of card play and deck-building, too. You’ll battle through a campaign, gather cards, build your deck
Alex Kidd in Miracle Land DX is actually the perfect example of why reviewing a remaster or remake can be tricky. You see, in some ways, the remake portion is separate from the game itself. You can have a crappy remake of an excellent game, and an excellent remake of a crappy game. And unfortunately, Alex Kidd in Miracle Land DX is very much the second one. On my extensive list of classic games I’d love to see remade, Alex Kidd ranks…well, it doesn’t rank. First released in Japan 1986 with hopes of Alex becoming Sega’s mascot the series was overtaken by the blue blur of Sonic the Hedgehog who would become a gaming icon. And while Alex did appear in several more games, he ultimately faded into the background. Why? Well, because he wasn’t all that compelling, but also because Alex Kidd in Miracle Land isn’t that good. Sorry.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart opens with a celebration of our two titular heroes, a parade thrown in their honour. As the duo make their way through parade floats that reference their prior adventures Ratchet points out that it has been years since they’ve even done anything vaguely heroic, so why are they being celebrated? And do they really still have it? Are they still capable of daring-do and heroic heroism? Of course, as per the unwritten rules of video games things quickly go wrong; Dr Nefarious arrives just in time to steal the Dimensionator which Crank was going to gift to his friend in the hopes of letting him find his lost people, and the very fabric of space and time begins to rip apart.
Biomutant comes from a small team of just 20-people and has captured my interest every time it has been shown over the last four years or so. And how could it not? It’s an action-RPG about being a mutated mammal who knows martial arts, set in a luscious post-apocalyptic world where humans are long-gone and now it’s just weirdly mutated animals everywhere. I hope that if we ever die out as a species our planet gets taken over by some new, strange form of life that runs around in the ruins of our cities and spends ages making up strange-sounding words to describe our technology.