It’s hard to see how Destruction AllStars was ever being considered as a boxed, £70 launch title for the PS5. It’s such a weird tale: Destruction AllStars to be one of just three PS5 exclusive games available at launch and was perhaps the most potentially exciting as the three considering the other two were a freebie and a remake of a beloved, older game. Destruction AllStars was not only going to be one of just three launch exclusives, but it was also going to be the only brand new IP, the only unknown quantity. But suspicions were raised when nothing of the game was being shown. We knew it was a multiplayer game about wrecking cars in arenas, but that was it. Then it got delayed, and then finally Sony revealed it was going to be free for Playstation Plus subscribers. There’s fun to be had but it feels like someone accidentally deleted a bunch of content from the game and couldn’t get it back. Four arenas, incredibly boring customization and shallow gameplay make this worth £10-15 at most, not £70, although there is at least a solid chassis for developer Lucid Games to build on down the road.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game disappeared from sale 10-years ago following licensing issues, and in the process it became the post-child for the potential pitfalls of games only being available digitally. Unless you already owned the game, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game was simply gone. The side-scrolling brawler based in the hit books and the awesome movie vanished, and yet there were a die-hard few fans who kept hoping, kept wishing that somehow Scott Pilgrim would return. And then somehow it did. Ubisoft announced that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game would be coming back after 10 long years, this time billed as the Complete Edition, containing all the previously released DLC. 10-years is a long time, though, and things have changed. Can Scott still hold his own in the 2021, beat up his girlfriend’s seven evil exes and win the day?
IO Interactive are back with the final chapter in their World of Assassination trilogy that began back in 2016 as an experimental episodic game. While it’s a tad sad that IO Interactive are leaving Hitman behind, at least, for now, they’re moving on to create a 007 game which I can’t wait to see. So, with Hitman and Hitman 2 being some of my favourite games…well, ever, how does Hitman 3 stack up? Is this the big send-off myself and millions of people were hoping for? Or is a bit like those assassinations that go horribly wrong and end up with you cowering behind a wall?
In 2016 Perfectly Paranomal gave the world Manual Samuel, an adventure game where the goofy hero was given a chance by Death to live again provided he could go 24-hours doing everything manually. 4-years later, Perfectly Paranormal are back with another unique experience in the form of Helheim Hassle, mixing the weird humour of Manual Samuel with an equally weird gameplay idea: what if you could detach all your limbs and control them? And while Helheim Hassle does actually take place at the same time as Manual Samuel, you don’t need to have ever played Perfectly Paranormal’s Prior work to enjoy this wholly barmy adventure. But is Helheim Hassle worth an arm and a leg? Does it even have a leg to stand on? Can it possibly get ahead of all the competition? Or is it just another h(armless) adventure game? Okay, I’ll stop now.
Say what you like about the game itself, there’s no denying that the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 has been anything but dull and is probably the most controversial launch in recent memory. Three delays in 2020 suggested that CD Projekt RED were planning on sticking to their mantra that it would only be launched when it was ready, and given the company’s stellar reputation pre-orders were through the roof with over 8-million copies being sold before it was even playable. And then everything fell apart faster my mental wellbeing after trying to speak to an actual living, breathing, human female. Only PC review code was handed, performance on base consoles is unacceptably bad, Sony removed the game from sale on the Playstation store and CD Projekt RED have managed to dig themselves into a hole so large that future archaeologists are going to assume there was a massive asteroid impact. Either they knew about the game’s horrendous amount of bugs and poor performance and chose to very deliberately keep that information quiet, or they honestly didn’t know how bad things were, in which case they are wholly incompetent. Either way, it doesn’t paint CD Projekt RED in a good light. So, now that we’re a little removed from the initial chaos, let’s review Cyberpunk 2077 on the Playstation 5 and try to figure out whether the game under the mess is any good.
Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve been living in some sort of perpetual darkness your entire life with no access to the Internet, game consoles or even a toilet. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a skateboarding game that’s all about arcadey thrills and spills as you link together tricks into increasingly absurd combos. For millions of people, myself firmly included, the Tony Hawk series was a childhood staple that helped drive interest in skateboarding and introduced kids to some of the greatest music to ever grace a video game. To this day Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is one of the highest rated games ever, a classic among classics. Sadly the Tony Hawk game empire crumbled eventually, with Robomodo taking over from Neversoft and doing a bloody awful job it, culminating in the crappy Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 and a naff attempt to remaster the first game. But now Vicarious Visions are taking a stab at bringing both of the first two Hawk games back to life in this remake, and I’m happy to report Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is both a nostalgia filled trip down memory lane and a bloody awesome game for anybody looking to jump into Pro Skater for the first time.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising shares a lot of DNA with Ubisoft’s own Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, like its use of Greek mythology and its open-world packed with distractions. But it’s more like a streamlined Odyssey – a smaller, tighter world that tempts you with wonderful views and things to explore. It’s a tale of Gods and Monsters, of action and comedy. And it’s the best thing Ubisoft have put out in a while, possibly even enticing folk who have gotten soured by the repeated Ubisoft template. There’s a little dash of Zelda, too, which is great if you don’t own a Nintendo platform but want to feel what Breath of the Wild is all about, and if you squint there’s even a little bit of Darksiders. This might just be one of the year’s sleeper hits.
Bugsnax is the kind of game that could only have been summoned forth by someone suffering from an intense fever who then decided to get stark-raving drunk and topped off the entire day with a mushroom trip gone horrifyingly wrong. I can imagine them now, huddled in a corner, ranting and raving. The next day they stagger out of their room and try to explain their hallucinations. “Okay, so, like, there’s these Grumpuses, right, who are like Muppets, all made of felt and fuzz. And they’ve gone to an island called Snaktooth, yeah, and on that island there’s hotdogs with legs and flying pizzas and angry jacket potatoes that ram people, right. They’re called Bugsnax, ‘cos they’re part bug, part snack. But the Grumpus’ eat ’em, and then, like, their body parts change into the food that the Bugsnax was, you know?” Sit down, Jamie. Just sit down, bud, and I’ll get you some water, It’ll be okay. I hope. Maybe I’ll ring an ambulance, just in case, dude.
Having been absurdly lucky enough to stumble into a PS5 pre-order among the absolute chaos, I’ve now had the Playstation 5 for a few weeks and have been playing it every day. So, with lots of thoughts about Sony’s newest, shiniest, biggest console swirling about my head, I present to you my rambling review of the PS5. Is this new generation worth jumping into? Does it have any major problems? Are there actually games to play on it? WHY IS IT SO DAMN BIG!?
Before getting into the review proper, it’s probably worth establishing exactly what Spider-Man: Miles Morales is, aside from obviously being a video game about a Spider-Man. Even Sony and Insomniac didn’t seem to know exactly what this was when they revealed it, leaving loads of people trying to determine if it was going to be a sequel, a spin-off or an expansion pack. Officially they’ve called it a standalone game, I’d say it’s a standalone-expansion. It acts as a sequel in that it does follow on from the events of 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, but it’s a much smaller experience that focuses on Miles Morales’ journey as he figures out not just how to be Spider-Man, but also how to be his own Spider-Man and not a copy of the original. Arguably, it could have been launched as a chunky add-on for 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man. But in the end, I’m glad Miles Morales got his own game, and I’m glad we got a hell of a PS5 launch title out of it.