With Codemasters being bought by Take-Two for a substantial £750-million ( a deal due to the be finalised in Q1 of 2021) it looks like we can expect more annual DiRT, GRID and F1 games since that’s a major part of Take-Two’s business plan. It should provide Codemaster’s with more financial security, but will it possibly lock them into doing nothing more than annualised franchises? Which is what they do now, really, so I guess nothing will change. The point is, DIRT 5 will likely be the last game to come from Codemaster’s without also being under the considerable shadow of Take-Two, so is DIRT 5 a suitable goodbye to Codies in their current form?
Watch Dogs: Legion takes place in a future London where drones cruise through the sky, cars drive themselves and everybody dress like they’ve just walked off the set of a punk rock video. However, a private security company by the name of Albion essentially rules London following a series of devastating bombings that are blamed on DedSec, the same group we’ve been following for the prior two games. As a member of DedSec you know that your hacktivist group has been framed, but by who and why is the mystery that needs solving. Luckily for you, the people of London are ready to rise up, and you can literally play as any single one of them. Previous Watch Dogs have presented the idea of anyone being able to rise up and make a difference, but Legion makes it a reality by making every NPC you meet a potential DedSec operative. So, is Watch Dogs: Legion another by-the-numbers Ubisoft game, or something special?
Back during the days of the Playstation 2, the cheerful, charming mascot platformer was all the rage, from Spyro the Dragon to Crash Bandicoot, both of which have gotten remastered or remade. These days the cutesy platformer isn’t as popular as it once was, but every now and then a new one turns up and tickles the ol’ nostalgia balls. This time it’s Pumpkin Jack, a game that feels so much like a classic PS2 platformer that you could tell me it was actually just a remaster and I’d believe you. In fact, it’s so enamoured with evoking the spirit of those old platformers that it even has iffy combat and a naff story, just like them. So, let’s review Pumpkin Jack, the bastard offspring of MediEvil and A Nightmare Before Christmas.
With Cyberpunk 2077 having been delayed for the *checks the calendar* 124th time, there’s a bit of a gap in the market for some grungy sci-fi. Enter Ghostrunner, a first-person game that describes itself as a “hardcore FPP slasher.” I’d describe it as the bastard baby of Mirror’s Edge and Dishonored. It’s fast, frenetic, and frequently exhilarating. It’s the kind of game that can make you clutch your mouse like it owes you money.
Hades spent two years in Early Access before it finally launched proper around a month back. Those two years stand as an example of how Early Access should be done. Developer Supergiant used that time to to create a culmination of all their previous work on Bastion, Pyre and Transistor. They took their excellent combat design, unique visual style and their storytelling chops and decided to try a rogue-like, and the results are spectacular. During those two years, Supergiant constantly updated the game and talked to their players. As a result, Hades is absolutely outstanding. It’s one of the best games of the year. So grab a beer, maybe a snack and park your butt on the chair, because I’m going to tell you why Hades is awesome.
Massive tyres, 1,6000HP engines, insane jumps and incredible drivers who are willing to crash, bash and trash their vehicles in the name of competition and entertainment. Yup, monster trucks are all sorts of awesome, and playing Monster Truck Championship has made me add a new item to my wishlist: drive a monster truck. But for now Monster Truck Championship will have to do, so let’s see if this newest attempt at capturing the size and power of these awesome machines stacks up, shall?
The Star Wars license is not what it once was thanks to the new, divisive trilogy and the inconsistency of EA’s games. But Star Wars still has the power to tap into our collective nostalgia, and we’ve all just been waiting for EA to get their act together and start using the Star Wars license properly. Star Wars: Fallen Order was a pretty good step forward, and Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has grown into something far stronger than it began life as. But now Motive Studios and EA have come out with Star Wars; Squadrons, a space combat game where you pilot X-wings and TIE fighters, and live out all those childhood fantasies. Or at least, the childhood fantasies second to having an actual working lightsaber.
Do you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket? Are you looking to buy a piece of overpriced tech that solves a problem that isn’t really a problem? Great! Because today I’m reviewing the Corsair ST100, a stand where you can hang your headphones for the ultra-low price of just £70. Did I mention it’s also a USB hub, a 7.1 DAC for your 3.5mm audio connection and that it has customizable RGB lighting? So let’s review the most frivolous piece of tech I think I’ve ever covered.
Just like the Hulk himself, Marvel’s Avengers is two very different personalities in the same body. The first is a single player game with a reasonable story and a handful of decent missions. It wouldn’t rival the likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man or the Batman: Arkham series, but it’s mindless fun. The second personality is a live-service game for groups of up to four players in the vein of Destiny with heavy monetization that intends on adding new characters and content over the coming years. Like the Hulk and Bruce Banner, these two personalities are almost always at odds, struggling to co-exist. But unlike the Hulk, Marvel’s Avengers isn’t big, green and awesome.
Take a lovely art style that wouldn’t look out of place in a book of children’s fairy-tales, combine with point and click adventuring, toss in some like turn-based combat and the result is The Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird’s Tale. On paper, those elements sounds like a fantastic mix. In reality, The Girl of Glass doesn’t manage to combine its ideas as well as they needed to be for it all to work smoothly.