With production values that are through the roof and an extremely engaging story, Death Stranding is among Hideo Kojima's best games. The moment-to-moment gameplay, however, falls short due to its repetitiveness, and the long stretches without any real action make it difficult to recommend the game to all open-world fans. Death Stranding is something different, and only approaching it with an open mind will reveal the brilliance of its themes, its characters and its hauntingly beautiful dystopian world.
SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is an engaging, albeit shallow experience. The combat is outstanding and still one of the best you can experience, only enhanced by the new abilities featured in this standalone. However, where the combat has improved, the taut and well-thought-out nature of the levels is lost due to the roguelike nature of the game, with the thought and surprise of the originals story lost in what is mostly meandering waffle here. Is it a good game? Yes, it's well worth playing if you just want the combat. If you want more, you'll likely be disappointed.
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise is as bonkers as you'd expect and fans will no doubt enjoy catching up with Agent York, but a lack of atmosphere, dull action, serious technical issues, and the creeping sense that Swery is becoming a touch too self-aware conspire to kill the fun. Deadly Premonition 2 is for the hardcores – most other folks can safely close their investigation after finishing the first game.
F1 2020 does as much as can be expected from Codemasters, offering an oustanding racing experience on the track. Where it goes further is off of the track, bringing in an incredibly extensive My Team mode, as well as fleshing out the career mode with a full Formula 2 season. With a massive amount of content, great racing and quality throughout, it's hard not to love the game. The only real issue I have is the inclusion of the new Podium Pass (battle pass) system, adding a microtransaction for cosmetics.
Trackmania is a nice addition to the series, one that looks and sounds great and, even when it's incredibly frustrating, it's fun. The downside is the new monetisation system, a subscription service that looks like it could segregate the community. The game is very extensive and if the audience picks it up, it could be great for the same reason the other Trackmania games were: user-created content using an outstanding track creator and editor.
Ninjala's action doesn't always deliver and the combat can feel unresponsive or slow when you're on the receiving end of attacks, but despite that, Ninjala is an excellent free to play multiplayer title that every Switch player should try out. If you like Splatoon but want something a bit different, this is a great game to play. Just don't expect the story DLC to blow you away. At least it's cheap…
Crayta is yet another game that serves as a platform for user-created content. Despite the competition, it still manages to stand out and not just because the game is on Google Stadia. With its focus on multiplayer experiences and experimental design, this could become a fantastic library of titles once the community starts generating its own products.
With its excellent world-building and intriguing story, P.A.M.E.L.A could have been a great survival game, but it sadly fails to reach the must-have status due to a variety of issues. The game can still be an enjoyable experience, but how much really depends on the player's tolerance for mediocre combat, bad enemy AI and the many technical issues.
The Anno History Collection is as the name implies, a collection of the historical Anno titles. Unlike other re-releases that have come out recently, this isn't a remaster or a remake, with the games coming in their original glory with a few tweaks to enable modern resolutions, allow the games to run smoothly and allow you to play online. Is that enough to justify the high price? That's up for debate, as is the value you'll get out of each of the four titles, with the age of the first two really showing. You can, however, buy the titles separately. So do I recommend it? The games are good and there's a massive amount of content, it's down to you if you're happy playing some (admittedly great) older games with few noticeable advancements.