Sometimes I get a moment where I stop and think, yeah, this is what VR was made for. This is what I envisioned when virtual reality became reality. I’m glad to report that Eternal Starlight VR evoked that moment and just kept on evoking it. Somewhere inside me a tiny, geeky kid who has watched every season of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager numerous times over is screaming in joy. This real-time strategy game uses the unique power of VR brilliantly, letting you lord it over a small fleet of ships. Let me tell you why Eternal Starlight VR might be your next reason to strap on a headset.
There’s a very real danger that Black Lab’s new Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector could get lost in the flood of Warhammer games being spewed forth from every corner like a liquid plague of mediocrity. As Games Workshop hands out the license like a supermarket handing out free biscuit samples we’ve had to deal with a hugely inconsistent deluge of quality, and so absolute gems like Battlesector can get easily drowned in the tide. But Battlesector deserves to fight to the surface because it’s a great turn-based tactical game with some fun ideas.
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 horror-comedy genre is a sadly overlooked and undersupplied one. To me, most horror movies have a comedy element to them amidst all the blood and gore, and true comedy-horror movies are among my favourite type of film. So when one comes along featuring Werewolves, one of the coolest monsters around, and based on a video game I’m pretty excited. Werewolves Within is a 96-minute whodunnit romp that’s a surprisingly good time that’s fairly light on the horror but strong on the comedy and charm. And with a critic score of 86% and an audience score of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s one of the highest-rated video game adaptions ever.
There’s no risk of confusing Mario Golf: Super Rush for the real-world sport of golf. Luigi turning the green into a patch of ice makes that fairly clear, as does the giant bomb trying to putt. The vibrant colours, the sparkling special shots, Bowser hammering a ball toward the green – nope, this ain’t your granddaddy’s golf. This is arcadey golf. And yet…well, I can’t help but think Mario Golf: Super Rush doesn’t want to commit properly to its goofy looks and whacky characters. For a game that involves a giant bloody ape swinging a tiny golf club, Super Rush sure doesn’t like to step out of its comfort zone.
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.
Days Gone has ridden onto Steam as the latest Playstation exclusive to make it onto PC, opening up Bend Studio’s work to a whole new audience. I reviewed Days Gone when it first launched on the PS4 back in 2018 and found it to be entertaining to play with a strong lead character. A couple of years on my initial thoughts haven’t changed too much, so you can check out the original review for those. Now, though, we the recent news of a potential sequel being turned down by Sony it’s interesting to revisit Days Gone and see why I think it does deserve one to fulfil all the potential it has. And if you just want an idea of how good the PC port is, jump down toward the end of the review.