Phoenix Point had an intriguing development before it got launched in late 2019. Julian Gollop was the co-creator of the original X-COM, so its no surprise that Phoenix Point is like a spiritual successor, and a look at what Gallop thinks a modern XCOM game should be. The game’s development came through crowdfunding, but then controversy hit when the developers signed a 1-year exclusive deal with the Epic Game Store, angering fans who had donated money to the project under the belief it would be available on Steam. It was certainly a shady decision, and the developers must have surely known it would rankle their supporters. But for now let’s put that aside and review Phoenix Point, shall we?
Four years after Doom returned from its long exile in a tidal wave of blood and guts we’ve finally got a sequel in Doom: Eternal. But how could id Software improve on their already amazing gunplay? Did Doom 2016 really need a sequel? The answer to the first question is by using some form of black magic far beyond any mortal comprehension, resulting in gunplay so sublime that it might actually be illegal. And the answer to the second question is a resounding yes. Doom: Eternal has quashed any doubts that Doom 2016 deserved a sequel. But as amazing as Doom: Eternal is, it’s also a game with some problems, and a hell of a lot worth talking about.
A few years ago we got TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge, a game intent on bringing the madness of the real event to the medium of videogames for all us bike fans. It had some problems, but I wound up loving it nonetheless. Now, we’ve got a sequel. But what improvements has it brought? Is TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2 a sequel worthy of standing on the podium?
Look, I’ve been sitting here for 30-minutes trying to figure out what to put in this intro. I got nothing. So let’s all just assume I wrote something awesome about my Dead or School review and move on with our lives, shall we? Good? Good. Let’s do this.
Good old-fashioned revenge is the driving force behind hundreds or possibly even thousands of books, movies and videogames. It’s something we can all understand; the desire to get revenge on those who have wronged us. It’s a theme often found within Westerns in particular, so it’s not surprising that Bloodroots has a Western twang to its tale of Mr. Wolf, a killer who gets betrayed by his own gang known as the Blood Beasts. But Mr. Wolf doesn’t stay dead. He somehow manages to bring himself back from the brink and begins to hunt his former gang-mates down, intent on putting them 6ft under.
Bearded Ladies are a Swedish who made an impact last year with the launch of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, a tactical turn-based action game where you controlled a small group of characters that included a mutant pig. I never got a chance to play it, but the reception was pretty good. For their newest game – Corruption 2029 – Bearded Ladies seem to have focused their attention almost purely on the core turn-based action, leaving out the various other elements that weren’t quite so well recieved. That means Corruption 2029 is a very lean game, something which some people might like and others may not. So did stripping away the fat give Corruption 2029 the body of a Greek God, or did it result in something that looks like it just needs about 20 good meals.
One thing you sure do get with the Darksiders series is variety: the first game took heavy inspiration from the Zelda franchise, whilst the second favoured lots of loot and a bigger world. The third game had a little bit of Dark Souls floating around in it, as well as a dash of the Metroidvania genre. And now we’ve got Darksiders: Genesis, a prequel that pulls the camera way out into a top-down view and throws in a few dollops of Diablo for good measure. That’s four games and four very different styles. Talk about bang for your buck, eh?
Warcraft 3: Reforged is not what was promised. Not even close. Indeed, it’s so far from what was originally demoed and outlined in 2018 that Blizzard is arguably guilty of blatant false advertising. Of course, we all know that games are subject to change during development as developers alter their goals or decide to tweak the graphics for better performance. But in the case of Warcraft 3: Reforged, little was ever said to indicate that the original vision wasn’t going to come to pass. Even mere weeks before the game’s launch the official website boasted features that simply aren’t present in the finished product, including reworked cutscenes. So, let’s dive into this Warcraft 3: Reforged review and see why the Internet has dubbed it Warcraft 3: Refunded.
Journey to the Savage Planet immediately conjures images of those classic, bonkers films where a spaceman finds himself facing down alien monsters on a strange planet. It sounds like a B-movie, which is fitting because Journey to the Savage Planet is a B game; it doesn’t have a big budget or a huge development team or even a full asking price. But that doesn’t stop it from being a good time
Frostpunk wasn’t just a great strategy game that demanded all of your concentration, it was also an interesting journey down the rabbit hole of good intentions. As you attempted to supply enough coal to keep a massive generator running to supply heat to your population the pressure made it all too easy to begin taking desperate measures: recycling corpses, child labour, propaganda and controlled religion are all tools that can be used to keep your society running. It was a game that fascinated me, so much so that I gave it a glowing review and a place in my top games of 2018.