As I sat down to right this review I took a moment to gaze lovingly at my PC. It’s a beast I’ve slowly built up over time, adding better and better components so that it can run the latest games on the highest settings. The amount of money I’ve sunk into it is…probably stupid. With all of its processing grunt and graphical horsepower, though, what am I doing with it? Playing pinball. Yup. All this powerful tech, and I’m caught up playing pinball.
On paper, Raid: World War II sounds like a good idea: four players work together to attack German forces while snagging any Nazi gold they come across, their secret work sanctioned by the army who will quietly ignore any missing loot provided the squad does some serious damage along the way. Toss in comedic scenes FMV of Hitler in a rage and the legend that is John Cleese and you have something that shouldn’t fail. Right? Wrong.
Divinity: Original Sin was something of a surprise hit, the RPG managing to once again prove triple A developers wrong by crafting a game on a budget that went on to sell extremely well. It just goes to show that if you don’t try to please everyone, gear your product toward a certain market and be sensible with your budget you can create something amazing that turns a profit. Now Larian are back with a sequel, and man is it all kinds of awesome. Best RPG since The Witcher 3? Best RPG since The Witcher 3.
The problem with creating a new game every year that’s based on a real sport is that eventually each game starts to feel a bit similar. Without any huge shake-ups in the sport the developers are left to twiddle their thumbs. To their credit, Codemasters have at least attempted to do a few new things, but their efforts have been inconsistent over the years. Now, though, they’ve gone and done it. They’ve made their best F1 game to date.
Agents of Mayhem has been spawned directly from the Saints Row series, and despite not bearing its name in the title it takes place within the same universe, although this time developer Volition have chosen to take a real city (Seoul) and then chuck some sci-fi paint all over it. The game we’ve gotten out of this looks and feels a lot like the newer, crazier Saints Row games, but with a twist.
Good grief I suck at this game! I can’t count how many times I’ve died or simply been annihilated by a much better player. But I want to get better. I want to keep playing and keep learning, and that’s rare in a multiplayer game. Underneath the chaos of 5v5 objective-based combat there’s a first-person shooter that places skill first, testing your speed, accuracy and spatial awareness. For some reason, LawBreakers is getting overlooked and thus low player counts are common, and that’s a genuine shame because there’s something bloody good to be found here.
My love of sci-fi mingles with my enjoyment of ruining people’s lives through ineffectual planning and general stupidity in Aven Colony, which takes the joys of constructing a city and then throws a thin science fiction theme at it in the vague hopes it’ll stick. Coming from a small team of just five people I wanted to be very clear about my feelings before we even jump in; it’s a good game, and such a small team should be damn proud to have built it from the ground up. They’ve got a bloody good future ahead of them.