Help, we’re drowning – in a pile of games!
This week has perhaps been the busiest week of the year so far in terms of new releases, so we’ve had review after review. It means, however, that we’ve had our hands on some truly wonderful games: after giving no 10/10s since January (Resident Evil 2, of course), this week we’ve had two – the indie darling Knights and Bikes from Foam Sword Studios, and Catherine: Full Body, an even better version of the 2011 gem. But more on those in a bit from the people who played them.
Things aren’t slowing down any time soon – the whole of September looks to be just as busy. To those games, though, we say: bring it on. Our bodies (and our consoles) are ready.
Rich: This week, I feel like I’ve played everything. Many late nights have been had, but thankfully, all the games I’ve played have been rather good.
Last weekend was spent finishing up Remedy Entertainment’s Control, and it didn’t disappoint. With its David Lynch-esque weirdness and thrilling third-person combat, it had me hooked. It’s just a shame that it has some performance issues. Still, it’s one of the best games released this year. I also dabbled in a bit of MXGP 2019, which seems like step back from Milestone’s last attempt at the sport.
After those two were out of the way, it was time to get stuck into Catherine: Full Body. I remember loving the original Catherine when I played it back in 2011. Catherine: Full Body takes it and makes it a hell of a lot better, securing it the second 10/10 score I’ve given this year. And last night was spent playing through Blair Witch. About half way through it I thought it was going to be a dud, but at 2am this morning its final hours scared me shitless. Good times.
Kim: The highlight of my week has probably been Supermassive Games’ Man of Medan. I loved Until Dawn, so was looking forward to the developer’s next narrative driven horror adventure. Man of Medan didn’t disappoint, coupling spooky scares and a gripping narrative. Altogether less scary and technically impressive, but offering plenty of puzzling fun is Agent A. It only took a few hours to complete, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it; it took me back to the days of browser-based escape room games from the early 2000s.
I’ve also played Headspun, a cartoon-meets-FMV game about the people who live in your head. It’s a incredibly cool idea, unfortunately one that’s let down a bit by a myriad of bugs. Last but not least is Telling Lies, Sam Barlow’s follow-up to Her Story. I’ve not finished it yet, but I’m engrossed in its narrative. It offers you less direction than Her Story, but once you begin to uncover its story, it’s hard to put down. It’s already been added to our best FMV games list, and I’ll have a full review next week.
Diggy: You’ll have to wait until early next week to hear my thoughts on Children of Morta, a hack ‘n’ slash rogue-lite from Dead Mage Studios which has taken up most of my week.
However, I have also been playing a variety of really violent games such as DOOM (2016) and Dead Rising 2 for research purposes (and fun of course). The reason for this was I did an article trying to answer the question of why so many games are based around violence, with actual thoughtful considerations about the way games function. I promise it contains none of the judgemental snobbery the title might imply.
Becca: This week I played the fun adventure game Effie. It reminds me a lot of older adventure games like Crash Bandicoot or Spyro or even modern LEGO games. It’s a good title that gamers of all ages would get a kick out of. I also revisited Hotline Miami Collection on the Nintendo Switch. The collection includes both Hotline Miami games, and they’re both just as fun the second time around. Violence, kick ass music and loads of retries – what more could you want?
I spent most of my time this week, however, on the adorable adventure game Knights and Bikes. It’s a hand-drawn game that tells the story of two young girls who, by using their imaginations, make their drab-looking British isle a monster-filled hellscape. Equipped with their awesomely customised bikes and unique abilities you have to work together to save the island from a horrible curse. It’s probably my favourite game of the year so far and I can’t wait to play it again with my friends.
Chris: I’ve been monkeying around in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, which seems to have been an oddly divisive game. Repetitive as the game’s tasks may be, each one becomes an adventure thanks to the hostile nature of your jungle environment. Discovering how to use tools gives me a great buzz; my issue is more with the bugs that crop up, one of which scuppered my hominids’ hunting trip. But I’ve kept coming back for more, and I’m giving serious consideration to re-purchasing it when it hits the PS4 this December.
I’m also playing The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan and, having finished the game properly, am working out the best way to get every single member of my crew killed. Final girl? There’ll be no-one left standing when I’m done. Look for an uplifting “How to murder everyone in Man of Medan” guide soon. It’s an excellent game, though Until Dawn remains my favourite Supermassive release so far. I’m looking forward to Little Hope, the next entry in this series, hitting next year.
Stan: This week I played the game of ‘Find your Luggage on the Airport Conveyor Belt’. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it. But, since coming home (Stan is coming home, he’s coming home, he’s coming home, he’s coming) I’ve got back to my career mode in Fifa 19. I signed all the new players to ensure that my team is as up to date as possible.
I’m very torn on Fifa 20 and whether I’ll buy it or not. Fifa always appeals to me as a love football, but I’m constantly disappointed by the lack of changes and improvements. I am intrigued about how Fifa 20 will incorporate the new rules in the Premier League, and hopefully they find a way to make VAR more fun…