Category Archives: Top 10

3 teeny-tiny developer mistakes that had catastrophic repercussions

Believe it or not, we all make mistakes. Mistake making is one of the defining characteristics of humanity. Believe it or not, Game developers are also human, and that means they can make mistakes. Unlike the rest of us however, the smallest mistakes on their end can have absolutely huge knock-on effects.

Although it is certainly through making mistakes we learn,  sometimes it can be quite fun just to look back at some painful memories and reminisce about our (or others’!) mistakes. This is exactly what we’ll be doing here by coming together to point and laugh at 3 examples of tiny developer mistakes that had catastrophic repercussionson their games.


 

3: Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing – Forgetting to make the truck move

Image result for Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing

Platform(s): PC

Price*: NA

Developer: Stellar Stone

When it comes to Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, it’s quite hard to find part of the game that isn’t a mistake. It’s a veritable buffet of errors. Everything from the missing textures on maps to the strange behaviour of the “physics engine” and the non-existent collision detection for your vehicle aims to hamper this would-be racer.

After many hours (40 seconds) of careful deliberation however, we have decided that the most egregious error is the fact that the developers seem to have forgotten to make your opponent’s lorry move. That’s right; Big Rigs is a racing game – without the racing.

What’s worse is the fact that the developers could has programmed in your oppositions movement. In an official patch version that surfaced online some time after launch, your rival actually moves! They don’t finish the race of course, just stopping short of the finish line (sorry if I got your hopes up). At least it’s something I suppose.


2: Team Fortress 2 – The crate that crashed a market

Platform(s): PC

Price*: Free!

Developer: Valve

By 11 years old I had already made plenty of mistakes. In Team Fortress 2‘s almost 12 year career however, it had very few under its belt. After over a decade of clean updates that would put other titles to shame, Valve was long overdue a major muck-up and, sure enough, in the last few weeks it finally arrived.

Ironically, it wasn’t a large-scale update that finally broke the game; but the simple addition of a new crate. It should have been an easy task. The TF2 team was just getting ready for a nice summer break and just needed to add a few new cosmetics in a groovy summer box before they could kick back and relax. They’ve added literally hundreds of different crates over the game’s long lifetime; everyone thought nothing could go wrong.

Everything went wrong.

Some strange coding mishap resulted in the game’s most valuable items; the highly coveted “unusual” hats to drop guaranteed from certain crates. This naturally tanked the game’s thriving Steam Community Market based economy and cost some hat traders losses hundreds of pounds in real world cash. The long term effects of the mistake are still unknown, but the market seems to have stablised in the last week. At least the community seems to have taken the glitch well, with countless hilarious memes appearing on the game’s subreddit.


1: Aliens: Colonial Marines – Giving the aliens lead poisoning

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Platform(s): PC, XBOX 360, PS3

Price*: £24.99

Developer: Gearbox Software

Gearbox Software is no newbie when it comes to controversy. Although this year’s trend seems to be to victimise the company for their allegiance to the Epic Games Store they have fallen victim to the internet’s disdain on many previous occassions. One such occasions was the release of the highly anticipated Aliens: Colonial Marines way back in 2013.

Freshly burned by the company’s previous disaster; the absolutely dreadful Duke Nukem: Forever, many fans and critics were quick to notice that Aliens: Colonial Marines was bad. Quite bad in fact. The title was critically panned with one of the main criticisms directed at the enemy aliens’ utterly incompetent AI.

What would have been an already mediocre horror-FPS became completely farcical with enemies that got stuck in walls, jammed in corners or otherwise just failed to acknowledge your existence. It took 5 years for a strangely dedicated modding community to pin down a problem with the AI. It wasn’t that the alien’s were inherently badly programmed, but rather that their programming was jeopardised by a typo.

Believe it or not, a mere typo managed to absolutely decimate a modern AAA game. Correcting “PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether” to “PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather” in one of the game’s files exponentially improves the enemy’s AI.

I’m not going to pretend that fixing this error makes the game that much more enjoyable, but it certainly makes it at least playable.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of August 2019.

5 times DLC was so good it would make you regret not buying the season pass

It’s safe to say that DLC is one of the most divisive topics in the gaming world today. Some people love it, some people hate it. It’s also safe to say that no matter on which side of the fence you sit we can all agree that some DLCs are definitely better than others. In light of this, why don’t we take some time to set aside our differences and discuss some of the times that DLC was so good it would definitely make you regret not buying the season pass.


5: The Crew: Calling All Units

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Base game: The Crew

Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE, PS4

Price*: £20.99

The biggest problem for me with the base game of The Crew was that it was quite frankly incredibly boring. A generic racing game with an admittedly enjoyable online open world that suffered from a severe lack of anything real to do. Luckily, The Crew: Calling All Units is a surprisingly expansive DLC that remedies that issue.

Calling All Units feels much more like what The Crew originally should have been, taking a leaf or two from games like Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Picking a side; either as a police officer or a criminal, transforms the vast open world of The Crew from a boring inconvenience you have to navigate between missions into a dynamic arena jam-packed with activities. As a policeman, you can patrol around urban the map participating in engaging police pursuits with any wrongdoers you happen to encounter and as a criminal you can cause as much vehicular chaos to your heart’s content while avoiding the watchful eye of the law.

Coming bundled with the previous expansion, The Crew: Wild Run, that £20.99 price tag feels like very good value for money – especially considering the base game is frequently free on Ubisoft’s store Uplay. As well as the online play to player content, the pack unlocks a set of very nice police and off-road vehicles, a host awesome customisation options and a even two whole new story campaigns to follow for people who aren’t too keen on the online aspects of the game.


4: Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep

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Base game: Borderlands 2

Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE (HD Ed.), XBOX 360, PS4 (HD Ed.), PS3

Price*: £7.99

Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep may be only one of the numerous DLC available for Borderlands 2 but it is certainly the strongest of the bunch. Offering an interesting twist on the Borderlands formula, Assault on Dragon Keep takes you to the world of an endearingly over-the-top parody of tabletop role-playing games.

With a distinctive artistic flair accompanied some of the funniest dialogue in the franchise, Assault on Dragon Keep stands out from the crowd. Although admittedly quite short, it’s length is certainly appropriate for the under £10 price tag and the co-op modes combined with the game’s inherent strong level of replayability means you’re certainly getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Whether for a fan of the franchise as a whole, a fan of the titular narrator Tiny Tina, around whom the whole DLC is centred, or just someone who wants to squeeze a couple more hours out of Borderlands 2, Assault on Dragon Keep is an absolute necessity.


3: XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

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Base game: XCOM 2

Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE, PS4

Price*: £34.99

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen is the most expensive DLC on this list and for very good reason. Originally conceived as a fully fledged sequel to the superb XCOM 2, War of the Chosen packs a jaw-dropping amount of content.

War of the Chosen adds a renewed level of threat to the Advent regime; with a huge number of new enemies paired with never before seen mission locations and deadly new hazards but most importantly the inclusion of several new mini-bosses; the titular “chosen” who can appear randomly throughout the campaign and transform an already brutally difficult game into a nightmarishly tense desperation fuelled bid to save not just your squad, but the whole of humanity.

On top of all this, a new faction system adds a host of potential allies in the form of other human resistance factions. These potential allies however can also be potential enemies, and an in-depth level of micromanagement allows you to carefully control and monitor your relationships with each group.

Although its immense difficulty restricts this DLC exclusively to XCOM  2 veterans (seriously if your first playthrough is with this DLC you have zero chance of success) it is the rejuvenating boost the game needs to keep its experience fresh, even many years after its release.


2: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Rise from the Ashes

Base game: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Platform(s): PC (HD Ed.), XBOX ONE (HD Ed.), PS4 (HD Ed.), NINTENDO SWITCH (HD Ed.), NINTENDO 3DS (HD Ed.), NINTENDO DS

Price*: £29.99 (Trilogy pack)

Whilst technically not a DLC in the modern sense, Rise from the Ashes – a special bonus episode added to the DS port of the original Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – was certainly too significant to overlook.

Rise from the Ashes fills all the check-boxes for a perfect DLC, with a length rivalling that of almost a third of the base game, a stand-alone story which introduces some of the series’ best characters, new and excellent additions to the base OST and most importantly a set of new forensic themed game-play additions which despite being all new to the series managed to fit in seamlessly with pre-existing game-play elements.

Despite being a bonus case, Rise from the Ashes is by far the strongest, most tightly written and deeply engaging of not just the first game – but arguably the whole original Ace Attorney trilogy.

If you missed this case first time or simply overlooked it, it is most certainly worth picking up a more modern variant of the game – I’d recommend the HD remasters with which it is included as standard – and see what all the fuss is about.


1: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

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Base game: Far Cry 3

Platform(s): PC, XBOX 360, PS3

Price*: £12.49

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is unique on this list as the only truly stand-alone DLC. With a seperate launcher, menus and even steam store page; Blood Dragon is very good at presenting itself as a very different take on the Far Cry formula.

Whilst Far Cry 3 was an exploration of vulnerability, putting you in the shoes of a fragile protagonist and watching their struggle to overcome insurmountable odds and cope with the emotional impact of the sacrifices you had to make along the way, Blood Dragon is a power fantasy, playing as an almost indestructible cyborg power-commando in a mission to slay legions of robot troopers and occasionally the titular Blood Dragons.

Where Blood Dragon truly stands out however is not its gameplay, which is effectively just late-game base Far Cry 3, but rather in its presentation as an over the top parody of 80s action. With plenty of references, a brilliant synthwave soundtrack and many little details from the CRT overlay, the VHS tracking loading screens and ridiculously cheesy over-the-top dialogue which demonstrate that Blood Dragon is far more than just a basic Far Cry 3 reskin but rather an extremely well crafted love letter to all things 80s action.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of April 2019.

5 timeless stealth games you should definitely check out

Ever since man first killed man, man has dreamed of killing man in quieter and more sophisticated ways. Although it would be very difficult, quiet messy and of course extremely illegal to pursue these dreams in real life, the gaming industry has you covered. To try to help you find the most suitable game to quench your bloodthirsty desires we’ve made a little list of five of the most genre defining stealth titles that have each managed to withstand the test of time.

Do bear in mind however entries are in no particular order, restricted to one per franchise and must be over 5 years old  (sorry HITMAN 2).


5: Thief II – Metal Age

 

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Platform(s): PC

Price*: £4.99

Developer: Looking Glass Studios

Few other franchises have been as influential in the world of stealth games as Thief. For its time, Thief II was impressive both technically and graphically. The vast sprawling urban mazes that comprise the majority of the levels demonstrate some of the best level design seen in gaming to date. Everything in Thief II feels just perfect. From the logical placement of loot, the unique aesthetic – a striking mix of gothic and steampunk, to the variety of stealth tools at your disposal everything works in conjunction to create a stealth experience as meticulously crafted as it is engaging. Whilst the game does go completely off the rails a few hours in; with traditional guards switched out for gruesome zombies, weird ape people and spooky skeletons amongst a whole host of other lovecraftian horrors.

Although this thematic shift from equal parts realistic and gritty to equal parts fantastical and frightening isn’t for everyone, for the right player this complete tonal variety only serves to keep you engaged. Thief II is a game with no limits, and it makes damn sure you know it, keeping the basic mission structure of “go here and steal thing” as fresh in the tenth level as it was on the first. If you want a game that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wonder what kind of  unspeakable horrors from a dimension of pain might by lurking around every tight corner of a unfathomably vast clockwork mansion, look no further for Thief II: The Metal Age is certainly the game for you. If that doesn’t quite sound like your cup of tea, well just keep reading.


4: Alien: Isolation

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Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE, XBOX 360, PS4, PS3

Price*: £29.99

Developer: Creative Assembly

Turning five years old this year, thankfully Alien: Isolation just manages to scrape its way past my arbitrary restrictions and firmly on to this list – because it would be a huge loss if it didn’t. Alien: Isolation is a very radical take on the stealth genre; combining the terrifying sci-fi horror elements that made the first Alien film so great and the deep level  of immersion that only a first-person video game could offer.

Alien: Isolation puts you head to head with an alarmingly intelligent AI Xenomorph. Apart from the odd human or  android enemy; it’s just you, a deteriorating space station and the monster. The most fun stealth aspects of the game arise when trying to circumvent an alien that, although partially blind, has an advanced sense of hearing and unprecedented predator instincts. The alien is also an ever-present threat and, ignoring a few scripted sequences, is always present nearby on the station just waiting to dart over at the sound of a gunshot or a generator powering up.

Of course, such an organic AI has its fair share of jank, sometimes hilariously getting itself stuck on a table, or somehow not feeling you accidentally standing on its tail. Alien: Isolation is certainly not perfect, but if Thief II was a moist stealth cake with a few horror sprinkles, Alien: Isolation is just a huge pile of sprinkles with chunks of cake thrown in. Although its approach may not be as nuanced and sophisticated as Thief II, but much like the allegorical pile of cake chunks and sprinkles, it is delicious all the same.


3: Gunpoint

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £6.00

Developer: Tom Francis

Few indie games have managed to steal my heart as much a Gunpoint. Despite being made by developer Tom Francis for initially less than £20 in his spare time, Gunpoint is almost perfect in every regard. Visually, it’s beautiful with pleasing pixel graphics taking great inspiration from cyberpunk and film noir. The music is very distinctive and matches the visual style perfectly. The writing is very unique; expertly managing to be self-aware enough to carry some of the funniest fourth-wall destroying dialogue I’ve ever seen in a video game and yet keeping the story grounded and the stakes high.

You must be wondering what the gameplay is actually like though. Well, if you completely set aside the fantastic music, lovely visuals and brilliant dialogue you find an equally amazing puzzle sleath-’em-up. Infiltrate highly secured buildings using high-tech hacking to rewire doors, disrupt patrols or even make guards comically shoot each other by accident. The hacking mechanics are not just the surface level mechanics found in the likes of Watch_Dogs. Obviously you can keep things basic, but the most fun comes from creating Rube Goldberg Machines of interlinked lifts, buzzers, trap-doors and alarms just as complex as they are deadly.

Gunpoint is also significant for truly living up to its name. Although you do unlock a pistol late in the game, it only has five rounds. That’s right, five rounds. And not just per mission either, no, these have to last you the whole game – and the overwhelming rapid police response to gunfire renders these bullets almost useless anyway. Instead of a weapon, your pistol is more of a tool. When pointed at an alerted guard, it stops them dead in their tracks preventing them from firing at you and giving you just enough time to make a daring escape.

There’s so much more to Gunpoint that could barely fit in here, like the best autosave system in gaming or the way the music adapts to what’s on-screen, but time is short and you probably stopped reading a few paragraphs ago. Instead, I’ll end this section with this; dear two people still reading, go buy Gunpoint. I’m serious. It’s a brilliant game that’s always cheap as chips, not to mention supporting a fantastic independent developer’s future projects.


2: Dishonored

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Platform(s): PC, XBOX 360, XBOX ONE, PS3, PS4

Price*: £7.99

Developer: Arkane Studios

Dishonored may borrow many elements from Thief: namely a few aspects of the steampunk setting; some gameplay mechanics and a profound focus on the occult. Despite this Dishonored overcomes the obvious parallels by providing its own unique experience that feels more like its own thing, rather than a Thief rip-off.

Dishonored‘s world feels almost storybook, with characters fitting common faery-tale archetypes and graphics, a kind of cell shading, which help frame the game as one ever-moving illustration in a picture book. Despite looking like a picture book, the city of Dunwall is hardly a setting suitable for children. Ravaged by plague, constant civil unrest and the murder of its leader before your very eyes; Dishonored thrusts you into the shoes Corvo Attano: a former royal protector granted dark magic by a malevolent god and tasked with recovering a young kidnapped princess.

Nine missions await you on your quest, which may not sound like a lot but believe me they are big, with a variety of lethal or nonlethal approaches. Dishonored presents a difficult moral choice with by far the easiest way to finish missions being quick and bloody. This reduces the game to a six hour long action-packed romp with plenty of swashbuckling sword fights, gripping gunfights and brutal beheadings. One of the main themes of the game however, and one that you are shown through your targets (having all committed some form wrongdoing in the past) is that actions have consequences – and Corvo’s violent actions certainly do have consequences. With every kill the state of the city worsens: plague rats become more common, conversation you overhear are more tense and afraid and guard patrols and equipment are stepped up. The true consequences of your actions however manifest themselves at the end of the game, with the merciless bad ending.

In light of that, I think it’s safe to say that it’s definitely worth committing the thirty or so hours for a full stealth playthrough. While you don’t have to be entirely nonlethal (with a leeway of about 70% of enemies being left alive per mission) to get the good ending, you certainly get extra stealth brownie points and it definitely makes the overall experience far more rewarding.


1: Hitman – Blood Money

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Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE (HD Ed.), XBOX 360, XBOX, PS4 (HD Ed.), PS3, PS2

Price*: £6.99

Developer: IO Interactive

Sleek and sophisticated accompanied by a refreshing level of piercing cynicism, Hitman Blood Money is a dark globetrotting spy thriller. As Agent 47, proud holder of the humble title “world’s best genetically engineered assassin”, you’re sent to a variety of locations across the world. From the Paris opera house to a hillbilly wedding in the Mississippi, every mission feels incredibly unique and presents its own set of challenges to overcome.

Unlike a more traditional stealth title where you would try your hardest to avoid guards and crowded areas, Hitman Blood Money‘s focus is on hiding in plain sight. With the ability to choke out a security professional and don their blue garbs to infiltrate an event or being able to casually stroll past a police patrol with just the thin wall of a foil-lined briefcase between them and your high-power compact sniper rifle, Hitman offers a gripping game of cat and mouse needing you to always stay one step ahead of site security to survive.

This dynamic is superbly supported by the intelligent and vcery well coordinated AI. Guards patrol, take rests in break rooms and talk over their radios all in their native languages, giving each setting a truly authentic edge. If your cover is compromised, by either being seen by a guard or over a CCTV, a description of your appearance and clothing is circulated via radio. Guards give you funny looks, observe your actions more closely,  attempt to follow you or hold you at gunpoint if they think you’re armed.

Each mission is loosely connected with the plot of an interesting spy thriller, but it’s honestly best to forgo the plot entirely and focus on mastering the countless approaches to each mission. As the game progresses, you unlock a verity of new toys; silenced pistols, stealth SMGs or remote mines, which can be brought back to previous levels adding an even greater level of replayability.

The award-winning score is another factor that contributes to the game’s overall brilliance and its subtle but witty social commentary gives a dark comedic edge to its world.

Hitman: Blood Money is certainly unique, and its huge variety of playstyles – with the prospect of flat out bloody violence, James-Bond style silenced pistol runs and even the option to make every kill look like an accident and become a complete ghost – means there is truly something for everyone.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of April 2019.

Top 10 games of 2017

As a whole 2017 has been a fairly insignificant year in the world of gaming with most developers opting to play it safe. The fairly predictable annual releases of series like Fifa or Call of Duty did very little in the way of innovation or originality.

These 10 are some of the few titles that did manage to stand out from the crowd.

10: Ironcast

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Price: £12.99

Developer: Dreadbit

Nintendo seems to be one of the few companies still at least trying to innovate. This was demonstrated this year by the release of their long anticipated console; the Nintendo Switch.  Ironcast was a game that took me by surprise. Taken in by my love of steampunk and the low price point, Ironcast was one of the first games I purchased for the switch. As is it not only a match three game but also an IOS port, I expected afew hours of mindless entertainment, some decent graphics and maybe even a basic story. What I got was instead one of the most gripping and tense combat systems i’ve ever seen in a game, a good plot complete with a fantastic setting and a great art style. Ironcast is the very best of the match three genre and a gripping roguelike.

9: Splatoon 2

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Price: £49.99

Developer: Nintendo

The original Splatoon was groundbreaking. It redefined the dull grey third person shooter genre with its bright graphics and joyous splatting action. The biggest issue with Splatoon wasn’t the game itself, but instead, the console: the WiiU. The WiiU was one of the biggest flops in recent console history. Splatoon 2 debuts on the infinitely more popular nintendo switch Switch and despite being nearly identical to its predecessor, with the addition of the Switch’s portability, Splatoon‘s formula still feel fresh. Splatoon 2 is essential for anyone who missed out on the first game. Luckily, this constitutes almost everyone.

8: Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2 (The Great Ace Attorney 2)

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Platform: 3DS

Price: ¥2,990

Developer: CAPCOM

2015’s Dai Gyakuten Saiban was a tragic case of region locking. Arguably the most interesting entry of the Ace Attorney series probably never seeing light of day in the west. Afew years on and the sequel is here, the aptly named, Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2. Unfortunately, whilst the first Dai Gyakuten Saiban was fairly flawed , the sequel is nothing short of a masterpiece, making the lack of an English translation even more tragic. The award-winning orchestral scores of the first game return, the story winds to a satisfactory close and the characters remain some of the funniest and most interesting the series has ever seen. Although the fan translated youtube playthroughs are still very enjoyable to watch, my collection just doesn’t feel complete without a nice physical copy.

7: Resident Evil: Revelations

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Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, 3DS

Price: £15.99

Developer: CAPCOM

One of the lesser known Resident Evil games debuted on the Switch earlier this year. A 3DS port with new HD graphics, Resident Evil Revelations looks better than ever. The nautical setting suits the Resident Evil formula very well, with the tight corridors leading to claustrophobic and tense battles. Resident Evil Revelations seems to focus more on the survival horror aspect of RE and it works very well in its favour. While the campaign is lackluster in length, the bonus “raid modes” are superb fun and will definitely keep you coming back for more.

6: Sword With Sauce

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Platform: PC

Price: £1.99 – £4.79

Developer: Diatomic

I have never known another early access game with as much potential as Sword With Sauce. Great loadout customisation options, intriguing levels, an interesting art style somewhat reminiscent of Superhot and great parkour mechanics all make Sword With Sauce an immensely enjoyable and varied experience. With the prospect of future updates and an upcoming multiplayer mode Sword With Sauce is certainly one to keep an eye on.

It’s a Sword With Sauce. No ketchup

Just sauce.

Raw sauce.

(I sincerely apologise)

5: ICEY

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Platform: PC, XBOX ONE, PS4

Price: £8.99

Developer: FantaBlade Network

Yes, this is that ICEY, the one that everybody bought just for a £0.80 Steam Link The game itself is even more amazing than the prospect of getting $40 worth of hardware for less than the price of a pack of Haribo. A very linear hack-and-slash with a maleficent narrator, quite reminiscent of The Stanley Parable, with an engaging story and plenty of secrets to discover; ICEY is a very memorable experience.

4: Doki Doki Literature Club!

Platform: PC

Price: Free!

Developer: Team Salvato

A deeply disturbing, morbid and dark parody of the anime visual novel genre; Doki Doki Literature Club! is more of a physcological horror game than a dating simulator. Not wishing to spoil the experience, which is best if experienced first hand, I will say no more. Do be warned though, this game is not for the faint of heart.

3: Okami HD

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Platform: PC

Price: £15.99

Developer: Capcom

The pinnacle of the PS2 era, Okami is back and looking better than ever. With memorable characters, enchanting visuals, a satisfying plot and great music Okami HD is an adventure unlike any other.

2: Slime-San

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Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Nintendo Switch

Price: £10

Developer: Fabraz

Slime-San is fun. Slime-San is a lot of fun. Leaping, from platform to platform, avoiding red spots of insta-death is as fun as it is rewarding. With plenty of collectable currency spread throughout each level and a lot of cosmetics to spend them on, you’ll find yourself  constantly revisiting each level striving for that delicious 100%. The sound effects are unique and although the art style takes alittle getting used to, it’s pretty in its way. Its own red, blue and green way…

1: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Platform: Switch

Price: £49.99

Developer: Nintendo

With a beautiful map, charming graphics and varied quests: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the pinnacle of open world gaming. Exploring the wonderfully detailed world of Hyrule, full of colour and variety, with the orchestral soundtrack caressing your eardrums is a serene joy. The combat side of things is intense, satisfying and deeply rewarding.

Mechanically, the game is also incredible. With stealth options, a hugely in-depth cooking mechanic, and even a thermometer to keep track of temperature. From how Link’s breath steams in the cold, or how he slips while climbing wet surfaces, every single small detail is lovingly and intricately crafted. Small things matter, and here they work in harmony to create an experience that is, no pun intended, breathtaking from start to finish.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has something for everyone, and so much more.