The notion of packing up human civilization as we know it and heading off to another planet to make a new home is nothing new; we’ve seen it in countless works of fiction over the course of decades, but we’ve seldom been given the keys to an excavator and a HAB and tasked with bootstrapping a colony nearly from scratch. This is precisely what JCB Pioneer: Mars tasks you with, and it drops you right into the thick of things.
Rain World is a two-dimensional side-scrolling platformer that puts you in control of a creature called a Slugcat, a kind of strange but cutesy mollusk-mammal hybrid. As said slugcat, you are separated from the rest of your family and are trapped in the depths of a strange, hostile world left to fend for yourself and do your best to survive. This much is revealed to you by the game’s opening cutscene, presented as a set of vibrant, hand-drawn stills. When the game fades up from black after the cutscene ends, the world that greets you is of a decidedly different tone.
Last Year: The Nightmare is the result of a successful Kickstarter that ended four years ago, and that success continues into the released product from Elastic Games. This is a 5 vs 1 asymmetrical multiplayer game where five teenagers must escape different maniacal forms of a serial killer similar to games that have come before it, but Last Year has enough twists and surprises to make it a cut above its competition. Last Year: The Nightmare a classic in the making, and the backbone to its horror doesn’t rely on any established material to be as good as it is.
Fortune Island is the first expansion for Forza Horizon 4, and it mixes the feeling of deja vu with something new. And in the end, it feels like a shallow offering. The new island is an unusual spot for the festival, as it’s a treacherous, and treasure-laden island that resides north of where the main game takes place, and is one not to be trifled with. Fortune Island is a DLC that offers a lot to do, but asks you to make a lot of your own fun as well.
The Overcooked 2 – Surf ‘n’ Turf DLC brings more of the same zany fun you’d expect to have in an Overcooked game, adding a sprinkle more challenge to the mix. If you’re a fan of the series or just enjoy screaming at your friends, the Surf ‘n’ Turf DLC is right for you.
Last year Eden Games attempted to bring a semi-simulation racing game to the Switch; with mixed results. With its mobile roots being very obvious, it wasn’t a title you wanted to spend $60 bucks on. In an awfully quick turn around time, Eden Games have returned to the world of Gear.Club Unlimited with a sequel. It’s unfortunate that the game is no better than last year.
Insurgency: Sandstorm is the sequel to 2014’s Insurgency, which ran on the Source engine that powers Counter Strike: Global Offensive. In fact, Insurgency‘s origins go back to when it started as a Half-Life 2 mod before going standalone. Insurgency rose to popularity due the game’s commitment to realism which appealed to the hardcore. Now, four years later we see not a remake, but a whole new game now running on Unreal Engine 4. Insurgency: Sandstorm is everything Insurgency was, and is better than its predecessor in every way. Insurgency: Sandstorm is intense, visceral, and the anti-first-person shooter — instead, a first-person combat simulator.
2016’s Hitman was my Game of the Year that year and with good reason, it was fun, you could get creative, and there was a lot to do. Hitman was labeled Season 1, teasing people of a Season 2 of content; none of that transpired. This was a blessing in disguise though, as the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, they’ve all followed the same basic formula. Pick your loadout, travel to a location, track your target, and dispose of them. In the newer iterations of Hitman, this means as loudly or as silently as you’d like. You’ll score more points with a silent takedown of course, but the big fancy loud ones can be just as self-rewarding. It’s great that you can make this game as challenging as you’d like and still feel like the bad-ass assassin that Agent 47 is.
From the mind of developer David Szymanski and publisher New Blood Interactive, comes the full release of DUSK after two years in Steam Early Access. DUSK‘s release date is shared with DOOM as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary, which is no coincidence. DUSK‘s unsettling atmosphere, familiar surroundings, and occult phenomena are the recipe of what makes a great game. We are in a retro first-person shooter renaissance, and it begins with DUSK.
Just Cause 4 sees a grizzled Rico Rodriguez, and the Mercenary group known as the Black Hand is back once more, hired to prevent Rico from liberating another oppressed country. This time, Gabriela Morales of the Black Hand and the dictator, Oscar Espinosa – neither of which get enough screen-time. Avalanche Studios provides a whirlwind of activities and missions in which to deliver chaos in Solis, the new island to explore. Just Cause 4 is somewhat similar to Just Cause 3 in a lot of ways, but introduces enough new ideas and systems that makes it distinct. Let’s see weather or not this is good for the series.
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