With Cyberpunk 2077 having been delayed for the *checks the calendar* 124th time, there’s a bit of a gap in the market for some grungy sci-fi. Enter Ghostrunner, a first-person game that describes itself as a “hardcore FPP slasher.” I’d describe it as the bastard baby of Mirror’s Edge and Dishonored. It’s fast, frenetic, and frequently exhilarating. It’s the kind of game that can make you clutch your mouse like it owes you money.
Hades spent two years in Early Access before it finally launched proper around a month back. Those two years stand as an example of how Early Access should be done. Developer Supergiant used that time to to create a culmination of all their previous work on Bastion, Pyre and Transistor. They took their excellent combat design, unique visual style and their storytelling chops and decided to try a rogue-like, and the results are spectacular. During those two years, Supergiant constantly updated the game and talked to their players. As a result, Hades is absolutely outstanding. It’s one of the best games of the year. So grab a beer, maybe a snack and park your butt on the chair, because I’m going to tell you why Hades is awesome.
Massive tyres, 1,6000HP engines, insane jumps and incredible drivers who are willing to crash, bash and trash their vehicles in the name of competition and entertainment. Yup, monster trucks are all sorts of awesome, and playing Monster Truck Championship has made me add a new item to my wishlist: drive a monster truck. But for now Monster Truck Championship will have to do, so let’s see if this newest attempt at capturing the size and power of these awesome machines stacks up, shall?
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.
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.
Sometimes I miss the clarity of being on a mountain bike hurtling down a hill, swerving around trees, carving up berms and nailing jumps. I miss that beautiful clarity where your entire mind shrinks down to a single, overwhelming thought: this is going to really fucking hurt. And it does. It really, really does. I loved downhill mountain biking, but I hated going back up the hills and I was never all that good at it, so I gave up the sport before it forced me to give up on having all my bones intact. Happily I can live vicariously through videogames, so here I am reviewing Shred 2! Ft. Sam Pilgrim.
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.
The world of motorsports, just like the rest of our little spinning globe, has basically crashed straight into a wall. The official MotoGP season has been postponed indefinitely at this point, leaving all us petrol heads sulking into our cups of motor oil. But this isn’t going to stop Milestone and their latest entry in the MotoGP video game franchise, astoundingly titled…er, MotoGP ’20. Clever.
Alder’s Blood certainly has an awesome setup: mankind has killed God, and now His corpse is corrupting the world, unleashing unrelenting horrors in the form of savage beasts. As the game opens you control Duke, a Hunter seeking the body of God in order to hopefully end the torment. But Duke’s reward is instead a haunting vision of horror that leaves him blind. You then swap over to Chief and his band of Hunter’s as they find Duke and set off on a mission to find the body of God, deal with the monsters and hopefully survive this bleak world through turn-based stealth and monster slaying.
Somehow we’ve made it into a whole new decade. It’s 2020 now, and that’s problematic because I’m still struggling to remember that it’s not the early 2000’s. But anyway, with the coming of a new year means reflection on the last one. I’ve seen some people who appear quite disappointed with 2019, and while I’d certainly agree it wasn’t a vintage year there were still a lot of awesome games released. And I’m going to subject you to the horror of having to read my list of which ones I thought were the best of the best, the creme of the crop, the champions of 2019.