Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare and its sequel were both games that I spent a lot of time playing, their cutesy visuals and fun multiplayer shooting acting as a great alternative to the more serious Call of Dutys and Battlefields of the world. But a third game never appeared, and Plants vs Zombies sort of faded away, its days as a multiplayer shooter nearly forgotten. Until now, that is. Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville may not have the Garden Warfare name but it’s most certain a sequel, one that has snuck under the radar. Released this past week with very little hype or advertising it has sucked up hour after hour of my time.
Let me preface this review with an important message: I didn’t play The Surge. It has been sitting in my teetering tower of backlogged games for ages now and I just never found the time to get around to it. But when review code for The Surge 2 dropped into my inbox, I couldn’t say no to some challenging combat in a sci-fi environment. So this review won’t be talking about what The Surge 2 does better than The Surge 2. Instead, it’ll be about what The Surge 2 does right, and what it does wrong.
What the hell is it with companies and their confusing naming systems? We kicked off back in 2008 with Racer Driver: Grid, then the Race Driver part was cut out for GRID 2, then came GRID: Autosport and now finally after a six-year hiatus we have GRID. Just GRID, all capitals like someone is yelling it you. Confusingly this is also technically the 10th game in the long-running TOCA franchise. On top of that, GRID (2019) is a reboot for the GRID series, not that you can really tell. Yeesh. But weird naming conventions aside, it’s good to series the GRID series back again and I’m delighted to say that this latest entry is a solid racing game, albeit with a few key issues.
Spiders are an interesting little company who have been consistently putting out RPGs that feel inspired by classic BioWare yet have never managed to completely nail their visions. Their last game was The Technomancer (review HERE) in 2016 which had some great ideas but clumsy execution. Now Spiders are back with Greedfall which has gotten a good amount of attention leading up to its release. So does their latest RPG finally level Spiders up?
It was 2012 when the last proper Borderlands game was launched, and during that time Gearbox Software seemed to think that they didn’t need to make another game in the franchise. And yet here we are some seven years later with Borderlands 3 having finally become a reality. There’s a lot of hype about this one and for good reason: like it did with so many other people Borderlands 2 sucked me into its looting and shooting and over the course of the seven years I’ve completed the game numerous times over. I’ve hunted down the rarest gear, shot the biggest enemies and consistently laughed at Handsome Jack’s antics.
The Xbox has been hurting when it comes to exclusive games while the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch have been busy putting out strong titles that could only be played on their respective platforms. Gears of War 4 should have been the return of one of Xbox’s biggest franchises, but The Coalition were put in a difficult position having to take over something with such a strong legacy. What they created was good. It wasn’t great, though. It didn’t match the original trilogy. Now The Coalition are back and they’ve tossed away the “of War” part. Gears 5 is looking to bring the series back properly.
Although it’s a massive cliche to say so, playing Decay of Logos was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The thing about a rollercoaster, though, is that you have to go up as much as you go down. Things must balance out. Decay of Logos, however, was like a rollercoaster that somehow defied the very laws of physics by having a lot more down than it did up. It’s easily the most annoying and downright infuriating game I’ve played this year. At one point I spent nearly 30-minutes yelling at an Elk, calling it all sorts of horrific names. I finished the game eventually, but I’m not sure if it was worth it.
The history of Remedy starts waaaaay back in the days of slow motion diving. Yes, I’m talking about the Max Payne games which I first experienced at the tender age of way too young to be playing them. But thanks to my dad play them I did, and while I didn’t understand a word of what was going on I did understand the special magic that Remedy had created. Since then the company hasn’t lost its flair for creating unique things: just look at Alan Wake and Quantum Dream. They’ve struggled to release a big hit, though. Alan Wake did okay but never well enough to get a sequel, and Quantum Dream just sort of vanished into the ether. But Control could be different. This could be the big one.
I really love the idea behind games like Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Cheaper, smaller offshoots of the main series that let the developers play around with some ideas without having to create something quite so vast. Taken in that context, though, reviewing this smaller projects can be difficult because just how much should they be compared to their main series counterparts? Wolfenstein: Youngblood, after all, does do a lot different: new lead characters, co-op gameplay, RPG mechanics and a second developer in the form of Arkane, the folk responsible for Dishonored. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s jump into it.
Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Butt Stallion. Its continuing mission to explore strange new worlds filled with potentially lucrative minerals, to seek out new life that can be conned out of some cash and new civilizations filled with new ways to earn a living, to boldly go where no one has gone before and blow everything up. Welcome to Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, it’s a bloody space jungle out there.