The Best Games of 2019

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For sheer quantity of great games, 2019 has been one of the strongest years in gaming since the start of the decade. The calendar has been crowded with great releases from January right through to the end of the year, so much so that this year’s edition of my annual best games games list leaves out a number of titles, like Devil May Cry 5 and Bloodstained, that any other year would likely have made the cut. In an era dominated by  mega-budget AAA releases, 2019 was also a banner year for indie games – a sign that studios don’t need millions of dollars and teams of hundreds to make games that strike a chord. Here, then, is my list of the top ten games of 2019, starting with: Continue reading “The Best Games of 2019”

The Best Games of the Decade

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Compared to the seismic shifts of the 80s and 90s, the development of gaming as a medium has, on the surface, been relatively slow and steady over the past decade – graphical improvements have been relatively marginal, and the much-anticipated breakthrough of VR and motion sensing technology never caught on to the extent anticipated. Continue reading “The Best Games of the Decade”

The Best Games of 2017

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2017 was a big year for games, with the reinvention of some beloved old series and the release of the new Nintendo Switch, not to mention a few games already being touted as among the best of all time. With games getting larger and more complex all the time there’s never quite enough time to play more than a fraction of the year’s big releases, but here’s my list of my favourite games of 2017, starting with: Continue reading “The Best Games of 2017”

Gaming Retrospective – Silent Hill 2

The immediacy of video games as a medium in many ways lends itself to horror. After all, the player’s on-screen avatar is, in a way, an extension of themselves in a way that a movie character is not – you control them, you make their choices. In a weird way, those horrors onscreen are happening to you, and this often gets the heart pumping and the pulse racing in a way that watching a film as a passive observer just doesn’t manage. The Resident Evil games and movies might both share a taste for campy dialogue, B-movie thrills, and action set-pieces, but only the games are ever truly frightening. Continue reading “Gaming Retrospective – Silent Hill 2”

Gaming Retrospective – Deus Ex

In 2000, video-game storytelling was still largely in its infancy. The plots in most titles, if there were any plots at all, tended to be thin threads connecting each action sequence, offering the barest context necessary to push your character from level to level. There were exceptions – the likes of Final Fantasy VII and Planescape: Torment, released in 1997 and 1998 respectively, were light-years ahead of anything else released at the time. But if Deus Ex wasn’t the first title to offer a complex, thought-provoking storyline with well-developed characters, the way it told that story was revolutionary. Continue reading “Gaming Retrospective – Deus Ex”

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – review

In a crowded field, 2012’s Resident Evil 6 nonetheless stands out as one of the worst big-budget games of the last few years. A bloated, awkward, embarrassingly self-serious title, it threw out everything that made the series great in favour of a series of utterly tedious action sequences. The backlash from critics and fans was swift. Stung by the criticism, developers Capcom went back to the drawing board. The result is a stunning return to form – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the best entry in the series in over a decade. Continue reading “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – review”

No Man’s Sky – review

So here it is.

After years of development, after all the hype, delays and fevered speculation, indie space-adventure No Man’s Sky has finally arrived. Lured by developer Hello Games’ promises of the largest ever game-world, hundreds of hours of playtime, and untold discoveries to be made, gamers have flocked to pick up a copy in numbers usually reserved for big-budget franchise sequels. Continue reading “No Man’s Sky – review”

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – review

2000’s Deus Ex, a dark and twisty dystopian tale of conspiracies and cyberpunk, remains one of the greatest games ever made, and 2011’s imperfect yet highly enjoyable prequel Human Revolution maintained the series’ strong reputation. Now comes Mankind Divided, which puts you back in the mechanically augmented skin of agent Adam Jensen. Continue reading “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – review”