Obviously the world has been a bit of a crazy place lately, so it’s hardly Codemasters’ fault that F1 2020 isn’t as authentic as last year’s game. A day one update will remove the Rokit sponsorship from the Williams car, but Mercedez sexy black livery is going to take a bit longer. And owing to the Formula 1 season starting four months late brand new tracks Zandvoort and Hanoi are in the game but won’t get seen in real-life until the 2021 season. Meanwhile, last minute changes to the calender mean circuits such as Mugello and Imola could potentially get used, neither of which are in the game. Exactly how Codemasters intend on handling all of this remains to be seen, but I think we can forgive the lack of authenticity this year, eh?
Assetto Corsa Competizione boasts the official Blancpain license, and that means you get to drive the wicked GT machines from the likes of McLaren, Porsche, Nissan and Audi. Meanwhile the selection of 11 tracks might sound too limiting but each one has been laser scanned and is thus about as accurate to real-life as we can get without actually driving around them in real-life. It also means you get sprint races, night racing and endurance events, all featuring the drivers from the real Blancpain series. Sim racing on console is a niche genre, so when a new game arrives it’s an exciting time.
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.
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.
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?
2020 has already been a crazy year. And yet somehow in the midst of all this mayhem I never would have imagined that the weirdest thing of 2020 is that I’m playing Streets of Rage 4. I never saw this coming. I never once considered that after 26-years since Streets of Rage 3 we’d get a sequel. How did this even happen? Where did this come from? I don’t know. I don’t care, because Streets of Rage 4 is a hell of a sequel.