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.
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?
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?
A few years ago we got TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge, a game intent on bringing the madness of the real event to the medium of videogames for all us bike fans. It had some problems, but I wound up loving it nonetheless. Now, we’ve got a sequel. But what improvements has it brought? Is TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2 a sequel worthy of standing on the podium?
Good old-fashioned revenge is the driving force behind hundreds or possibly even thousands of books, movies and videogames. It’s something we can all understand; the desire to get revenge on those who have wronged us. It’s a theme often found within Westerns in particular, so it’s not surprising that Bloodroots has a Western twang to its tale of Mr. Wolf, a killer who gets betrayed by his own gang known as the Blood Beasts. But Mr. Wolf doesn’t stay dead. He somehow manages to bring himself back from the brink and begins to hunt his former gang-mates down, intent on putting them 6ft under.
Describing a game as a mash-up of other titles is often regarded as lazy writing, and I should know because I do it all the time. However, sometimes it’s appropriate because Spellforce 3 is Baldur’s Gate meets Age of Mythology and in its mixture of RPG leveling and RTS base-building you can find mechanics taken from numerous games from across the years. It’s like a Frankenstein’s monster, all stitched together, a little rough around the edges, prone to getting in trouble with local villagers and yet has a heart of gold. Or at least, the heart of somebody.