Everyone has holes in their gaming CV, important games that they’ve missed out on over the years. Mine is a particularly big one: The Last of Us, widely regarded as one of the greatest Playstation exclusives of all time and one of the best games to have been released. With The Last of Us Part 2 away to launch I wanted to finally get The Last of Us ticked off and reviewed in time for its sequel. So let’s see what all the fuss was about.
It has all gone horribly wrong. I had thought that Kate’s hurled vial of perfume would blind the guard long enough that Cooper could slide in, kill the other guard and carry the body off in plenty of time while Dr. McCoy sniped the third guard up on the tower. I thought wrong and now there’s bullets flying everywhere. Ah well, I guess that’s the fourth plan I can crossout. Time to load up the last save again. Welcome to Desperados 3, the first game in the franchise since 2007’s spin-off Helldorado, and developed by Mimimi Games, the talented folk behind 2016’s Shadow Tactis: Blades of the Shogun.
I think I’ve finally lost all sense of time. So far I’ve been wrong about what day it is for five days running, and was baffled to discover that it’s apparently June. And according to the newest information from the Scottish government they are advising that I carry on shielding to the end of July, meaning I’m meant to stay indoors as much as humanly possible. So…just life as normal, really.
It’s surprising and even arguably a touch disappointing that despite being a Minecraft spin-off, Minecraft Dungeons does not contain a single instance of building or digging. It does, however, look and sound exactly like Minecraft in every possible way, from whatever the hell that noise is when you eat something to the Creepers. And yet when you watch a couple of Creepers explode into a billion little Creeper pieces without altering the terrain it feels fundamentally wrong. In this sense the whole thing is like a very basic reskin of a standard ARPG. The actual Minecraft part of Minecraft Dungeons is missing. Despite this, there’s still a fun and accessible Diablo style isometric dungeon-crawler here.
I remember playing Mafia 2 ten long years ago and being sucked into a world of violence and intrigue. Back then its storytelling amazed me. So I’m pretty pleased that this 1950s period piece about gangsters which got overlooked when it launched is getting another chance to amaze people. Ten years is a long time in the world of video games though, so has time treated Vito Scaletta well? Has D3T Limited done Hangar 13’s mafia masterpiece justice?
We might be in a bit of a draught in terms of big games (at least until The Last of Us 2 arrives next month and is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever, according to the Internet) but we’ve been a nice stream of awesome smaller titles. It’s been even better if you’re a fan of classic genres with the likes of Streets of Rage 4, and now Huntdown, a pixelated shooter with an old-school attitude, a love of action and some seriously smooth gameplay.
Hello my dear readers, my dear friends, my dear comrades in video games! Let’s jump right into this, shall we? This week I’m talking about the Mafia remasters, Maneater, the Unreal Engine 5 demo and a Mass Effect: Andromeda remaster.
Like most kids I was pretty sure that my local pool probably had a massive killer shark lurking in its depths. That didn’t stop me from loving swimming, but I was always wary about the toothy death that could potentially be waiting for me. I blame Jaws for that, of course. Over the years a lot of films and media have painted sharks as terrifying creatures of the sea that will devour anything and everything. But there haven’t been a whole lot of shark based games, for some reason. So when Maneater began circling, a self-proclaimed shark RPG, how could I not be interested?
Saints Row 2 proved to be quite the success for Volition so it wasn’t surprising that they almost immediately began work on a third game. However, for the sequel they moved in a new direction, describing it as a reboot for the series with a focus on being over-the-top to help differentiate the game from Grand Theft Auto. Well, they certainly accomplished that goal, but the result is a wildly different game from its predecessor. There’s even big character changes like the boss of the Saints (who you play as) going from a vicious psycho to an almost Nathan Drake-esque action hero. Sure, it was Saints Row IV where the series went completely off the rails and didn’t so much jump the shark as it did blow the shark up with a UFO, but Saints Row: the Third did at least leap over the shark while wearing a luchadore mask and swinging a giant purple dildo. Now, nine years after it first launched, we have Saints Row: The Third Remastered. How has the game held up over nearly a decade?
Before We Leave is built on the basic principles of the classic 4x genre, except it’s actually more of a 3x game. It eschews combat an violence entirely, focusing solely on the other three Xs: explore, expand and exploit. It describes itself as a “non-violent city-building game set in your own cosy corner of the universe.” But can we really enjoy a strategy game without the ever-present threat of war and annihilation? Can we truly be content living peacefully? I mean, how will I be entertained without chainsawing someone in half?