An experimental spin off of the XCOM series, Chimera Squad definitely lives up to its name. Small scale tactical battles in a counter terrorist themed version of the core XCOM 2 game. But with a few key changes to keep things interesting.
Gang Beasts is a comedy focused physics driven arena brawler game. It’s also one of the best local multiplayer games that you can play with friends.
It’s so easy to get lost in Mount and Blade: Warband. A game that offers you a world of politicking and trade and system driven combat. One of those games where systems drive everything that’s interesting about the game.
Co-operative games are great. I adore working as a team to solve problems and experience stories in games. Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator takes cooperative gameplay to a whole new level of role playing and fun.
I thought I didn’t really like isometric RPGs. It turns out what I really didn’t like was how most isometric RPGs played. An endless slog of grids and turn based combat getting in the way of enjoying the roleplaying. Disco Elysium is an Isometric RPG. I love Disco Elysium.
Control might not represent the most average day for Jesse Faden. Finding the secretive government organisation that took your brother all those years ago could be cause for celebration. Finding a dead man, picking up his weird gun and finding that you’re now the paranormally appointed Director of that same organisation could be a point of concern. And that’s before you find out about all of those horrifying mind warping horrors they’ve been studying for decades now. So a rough day then.
You’re never more than ten feet away from a rat. This is a well known aphorism about city life. God I wish the rats in A Plague Tale Innocence were ten feet away. Instead they’re clustering around, seemingly mere inches from my character. I can hear their chittering and squeaking as they wait for my meagre torch to go out. I could move out of the shadows to the safety of a brazier, but then I’d be seen by the guard. Instead I time my movement wrong, step too close to the and as the music swells, I am devoured by clambering rats in a verminous maelstrom of teeth and claws. A Plague Tale Innocence is wonderfully unpleasant and exhilaratingly tense.
The best games in the city building genre are time machines. A player should be able to run the game, begin building their metropolis and suddenly realise that they’ve lost an evening and gained an urban sprawl. Islanders manages to do this in a way most city builders don’t. It turns the whole process of building your city into a puzzle in and of itself.
Life is Strange 2 had a tough act to follow. The first season was an adventure game based around time travel and decision making with “intensely” loved female teen characters. This is a road trip story starring two Hispanic brothers where the main draw is that the younger of the two must be looked after and taught by the older of the two. For the most part in Episode 1, it’s impressive how well the transition goes.
Stellaris is a deeply engrossing experience. It’s a member of the 4X genre (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit,eXterminate) of strategy games from Paradox Interactive but with a real focus on story telling through the strategic gameplay and emerging narratives.