We all have regrets in life and one of mine is that I was far too harsh on Maneater when it came out last year, scoring it just two out of five while trying to explain that despite its various shortcomings it was also bloody good fun at times. Perhaps I was trying too hard to be a critic, a connoisseur of video games instead of someone just looking for a good time. So let’s set the record straight: Maneater isn’t an amazing game, especially when you look at it more critically, but it also a game about getting to play as a giant shark that munches humans, destroys boats and developers incredible mutations. If you know what you’re getting into, Maneater is a damn good time, and it’s the perfect fodder for Game Pass.
Rogue-likes might be incredibly popular among a certain group of players who love to torture themselves as they crawl and scrape for every piece of progress, but they’ve rarely made the jump to triple-A, typically being the domain of smaller developers. Housemarque has changed that with Returnal, a game that combines their experience in bullet-hell arcade games with the classic rogue-like experience of dying again and again and again. Throw in gorgeous graphics, a whole bunch of systems and a story that could make a Christopher Nolan movie seem straightforward, and you have the ingredients for a rather interesting Playstation 5 exclusive. But is it worth spending £70 on?
There are games with amazing controls. There are games with stunning graphics. There are games with complex tales that ensnare, bewilder and enchant. And then there’s Human: Fall Flat, which is like a cross between a drunk simulator and what it’s like to be a toddler trying to reach the cookie jar. You’re basically a boneless blob of rubber that flops around the place, bounces off the walls, falls over and stumbles up steps.
On Kickstarter the folks behind the long-running web-comic Cyanide & Happiness managed to raise $575,000 for this three episode point and click adventure project over 3-years ago, proving in the process that people will gladly pay good money for dick jokes. “The game will be a new approach to point-and-click adventures, filled with dark comedy, drama, weirdness, and an apocalypse in the suburbs.” That’s some big, bold claims about a genre that’s been around since time began, so does does Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocolypse manage to live up these promises? Eh, not really.
Back in the ancient times known as the 90’s the city-builder genre was the shit, and we had loads to choose from. Pharoah, Caeser, Zeus, Stronghold – those are just a few examples of these games, and over the years these ideas have been built upon, modified and occasionally even thrown out the window, giving rise to a whole host of new and awesome titles. But there’s always that urge to go back to the roots of our nostalgia, and that’s exactly what Nebuchadnezzar aims to do.
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.
It’s weird to think that From Software have managed to create a whole new genre of action game, yet that’s exactly what they did with Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne and the Dark Souls trilogy. Hard as nails combat, exploration, baffling stories and a willingness to invest a lot of time are just so of the things that have come to define Souls-like titles. And there’s no shortage of games being released that have obviously been inspired by From Software. Today, I’m taking a look at one of them: Hellpoint, from Cradle Games.
The classic fetch quest is a staple of gaming, typically found in RPGs that want to pad out their length by sending players scurrying back and forth carrying useless tat. In the case of Death Stranding however, the entire game is a seemingly never-ending series of fetch quests. It’s like Kojima only just discovered them, and after completing a few in other games branded them the greatest thing in the history of videogames ever and built an entire new game around them. As Sam Porter Bridges you are a courier, tasked with lugging cargo of all types across a bleak post-apocolyptic world where the majority of people are hunkered down in bunkers. Chiral printing lets them create a lot of what they need, but there’s also a lot of stuff that still needs to be transported the good old fashioned way: on Sam’s back. In this 40+ hour game the majority of your time will be spent going back and forth, delivering parcels. Exactly how something so utterly boring wound up being so utterly absorbing is a mystery.
We live in a time where all sorts of games are getting a chance to be remastered, remade or even to get a sequel. Some make sense, and some are genuinely surprising choices. I’d say Destroy All Humans is the second one. Originally released in 2005 it did […]
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.