The sheer visual variety on display here is staggering, from snow-capped peaks and frozen lakes to icy caverns covered in stalactites with fish perma-frosted into the ground. Hoarfrost Reach is a visual feast in a game that’s chock-full of them and provides a unique aesthetic not found in the vanilla game.
Despite a few issues, Valorant has a compelling combination of twitch shooting and ability focused combat, fueled by kinetic gunplay and the ever-alluring temptation to get better. I’m excited to see where Riot take this title in the future, and as a free-to-play package, I implore you to download it.
Moving Out is one of the best games that the couch co-op party game genre has seen and I implore you to play it, especially during the current times that we're going through. There was a moment where my girlfriend and I were quickly hurrying to carry our last few pieces of furniture to the truck, but kept running into obstacles (a level full of rakes), and what started as small giggles quickly evolved into uncontrollable laughter. It's these kind of moments that makes games like this a success, and Moving Out delivers greatly in this regard.
There's something really special about MediEvil getting a well-deserved remake beyond the visual and audio glow-up. It provides the title with a chance to break out of the confines of relative obscurity to reach a wider audience. MediEvil deserves all of this and more with its fantastic tone, entertaining characters and story, excellent level design, and stellar pacing, even if a few issues hold it back. If you haven't played it before you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not giving it a go, and if you have played it before, rejoice in Fortesque's skeletal embrace.
It's clear that Untitled Goose Game is a labour of love from House House. It's an entertaining honk-filled romp that's guaranteed to satisfy anyone's wanting to become a goose. Your first playthrough will no doubt be your best due to the restrictive design, but the hidden objectives and unique environments offer plenty of reason to explore and experiment with its charming world and characters. There's never been a better way to simulate being a goose.
Much like the games it takes inspiration from, Speaking Simulator definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s a short physics-based romp filled with slapstick quality and well-written humour that’s bound to make anyone laugh regardless of whether you’re playing or watching. Despite its short runtime and minimal replay value, if Speaking Simulator piques your interest I implore you to give it a go, it’s as entertaining as it looks, but don’t expect anything much deeper than that.
The Souls games are some of my fondest gaming experiences ever, and while I never expected Code Vein to surpass them, it's hard not to be disappointed by its middling results. It's far from a bad game, it has systems and ideas that push the genre forward in exciting and innovative ways, but fumbles on the execution on some of the others that are core to the experience. If you have an interest in Code Vein's world or characters, or can't get enough Souls, you might find that the positives outweigh the negatives, but I can't recommend it to someone looking for the next transformative Souls-like experience.
Forza Horizon 4 has impressed me in a lot of ways and disappointed me in some others. I can certainly see why previous entries are held so high in praise, but as an outsider to the genre, I don’t feel engaged enough to constantly come back to it as one of my go-to games. What I can see myself doing, however, is jumping on, driving around, completing a few races, and enjoying what the open world has to offer. It’s a beautifully realised racing experience that lacks in some areas but excels in most. It’s an entry into the genre that any fan can and should enjoy, while still being beginner friendly enough to open its doors to those who aren’t intimately familiar with its appeals. The fact it’s also included with Game Pass makes it a no-brainer to those subscribed and only further adds to the value of that service.
As a long-time fan of Monster Hunter, words can't express just how pleased I am with Monster Hunter: World. The move to current generation consoles does nothing but wonders for all the areas and monsters you'll encounter during your playthrough, and it's amazing just how well it's been positioned in terms of accessibility. It's an immense game filled with quality content, and one that's driven by an addictive and satisfying gameplay loop that never lets up. The narrative may not be anything to gawk at, but it's by no means terrible and is undoubtedly the best in the franchise. If you've ever wanted to give Monster Hunter a try, there's no better time to than now. Capcom has hit this one out of the park, and Monster Hunter: World deserves the monstrous amount of success it's been garnering.