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.
Nintendo dominate the hand-held market. While they technically do fight Microsoft and Sony, and battle against mobile gaming, they’re currently the only option for a proper hand-held console. That reign of power, though, is finally being challenged, not by Microsoft or a returning Sony but rather by Valve, the dominant force in PC gaming. A company with plenty of resources to throw at any project it fancies, stepping into the market and trying to expand PC gaming in a whole new way. Valve are aiming to do something dramatic, something big and something very exciting. Can it succeed?
It wasn’t until I sat down to create this list of the best games of 2021 so far that I realised this year has been kind of weak. I’ve reviewed 21-games over the past six months and only gave a few of those a high score with the rest being mostly okay but far from great. Given how Covid has impacted the world, though, it’s hardly surprising that videogames have suffered, too, with multiple titles being delayed, and doubtless countless more behind the scenes were pushed back as well.
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
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.
There are a few reasons why this isn’t a full review of the new Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. Number one is that the sci-fi trilogy contains dozens and dozens of hours of content and doing a full review will take a while. The second reason is that there are already hundreds of reviews for all three games, and while those reviews might not be for the Legendary Edition they remain largely relevant today, so it makes more sense to focus on the technical side of things. But the biggest and most important reason, at least to me, is because I want to take my time with this one. The Mass Effect games are special to me, a massive part of my teenage years and a huge factor in my love of the Xbox 360 era. To review this new Legendary Edition in a timely fashion I’d have to rush through them all, and…well, I’m just not willing to do that to myself. Sorry. I’m going to savour every moment, do every quest and maybe even chase down every Platinum trophy. This partial review, then, is based off of 20-hours with the first Mass Effect and a quick look at the other two games. Plus, the first game features the vast majority of the remastering effort due to its age, and so focusing on that seems sensible.
Well, better late than never, right? Weeks after becoming a hit, in no small way due to launching on Game Pass on day one, my review for Outriders is finally here. People Can Fly have been quiet over the years, working on co-developing and remastering Bulletstorm, so it’s great to see the former Gears of War: Judgement developers releasing their own project after so long, a sci-fi third-person shooter with plenty of loot. Is it worth playing? Should you pick it up or download it from Game pass? Yes, and yes.
In 2004 my teenage brain was blown apart by a Bolter shot to the skull. Not only was I discovering the crazy world of girls and hormones, but Relic Entertainment had just released one of the greatest RTS games ever. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War brought the daunting table-top game to PC in spectacular fashion, introducing a whole new generation to the Space Marines, the WAAAAAAAAAAGH! loving Orks, the silky voice of the forces of Chaos and the mysterious Eldar. And best of all? It’s so much cheaper than the bloody tabletop game. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we, and see how Dawn of War holds up in 2021.
This latest digital adaption of the Warhammer 40k universe is being handled by Black Lab Games, the same folk behind the rather good Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock. With this established pedigree, I went into Battlesector with excitement and came out the other side feeling reasonably hopeful. The future is…well, I mean, the future is mostly brown with a lot of blood and violence, but by Warhammer standards, that’s pretty good. Due to launch next month, I got a chance to get hands-on with this new turn-based tactics title set in a universe of dirt, grit, sweat, blood and massive armour. How’s it shaping up?