Games

5 Game Reviews in 5 Minutes — 12 Minutes, Psychonauts 2, RiMS Racing, WRC 10 & Rustler

We review some of the biggest games out now, including Psychonauts 2 and WRC 10!

OK, we don’t want to lie from the outset. We’re not exactly sure if this article takes 5 minutes to read, but it’s somewhere in the ballpark. We’re writers, not mathematicians here!

Anyway, with all the massive games releasing this season, it’s quite difficult for gamers out there to keep track of what’s releasing when and what’s worth picking up (for one reason or another); so, in the spirit of being as thorough as possible, we’ve reviewed 5 of the biggest titles that have released within the last month in one convenient article, rounding up exactly what games have released, if they’re any good, and which one you should buy.

12 Minutes

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC

What is it? 12 Minutes is a narrative-driven game inspired by point-and-click games which features an interesting premise: you’re stuck in a 12-minute time-loop. The game sees you living out a 12-minute window with your wife before a police officer breaks into the apartment, accuses your wife of murder, and kills you or her. You’re then sent back 12 minutes into the past and are given free rein to try and influence the outcome of events before they reset again. The game’s voice cast is composed of James McAvoy (Split), Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man).

Is it any good? 12 Minutes may have one of the most compelling plots and set-ups of any game in 2021, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. We wanted to love this game so much, given that it’s incredibly unique and meticulously detailed, but the time-loop mechanic ends up being a trial-and-error routine due to incredibly obtuse puzzle and story elements. Instead of making progress each loop, you’ll have to follow the same path again and again until one new dialogue branch opens, which isn’t intuitive at all. While the story is intriguing at first, it also ends on a very bizarre note, making you feel like playing 12 Minutes is time that you’ll never get back.

Psychonauts 2

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC

What is it? 2005’s extremely inventive Psychonauts is a beloved cult-classic 3D platformer from the PS2 and original Xbox era, and 16 years later, the game has finally got its long-awaited sequel with Psychonauts 2. The game lets you take once-again take control of Raz, a young character with psychic abilities, as he has to work his way through levels inside people’s minds, full of obstacles, enemies, and challenges.

Is it any good? Much like the first game, Psychonauts 2 gives you an extremely colourful and well-designed world, full of weird and interesting characters with some great voice-acting to boot. Thankfully, the gameplay is as solid as ever too, with precise controls and extremely varied and dynamic levels that throw some serious platforming challenges at you. The combat is fun, and although it’s definitely the weakest part of the experience, it doesn’t detract from how enjoyable Psychonauts 2 really is. If you’re a fan of collect-a-thon platformers, love puns and hilarious mind-bending antics, then Psychonauts 2 is made for you.

RiMS Racing

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC

What is it? RiMS Racing is a motorbike racing title that aims to bring a bit of technicality to the genre, adding a focus on engineering and mechanics into the mix, allowing you to not only ride, but optimise the bikes’ performances by swapping out parts and analyse data in real-time.

Is it any good? While some other 2-wheel racing games take a more ‘entertaining’ approach, for lack of a better word, RiMS Racing doubles-down on the simulation aspect of the sport, giving you a more grounded motorbike racing experience that will likely appeal to real purists and petrol-heads who like to tinker with engines and components. The breadth of customisation options is impressive, and the game does a superb job of throwing you into the role of being a bike mechanic or technician, but keep in mind, the mad scientist motorbike-tinkering might be overwhelming for some. The moment-to-moment gameplay on the track isn’t as polished or immediately forgiving as other games in the genre, but for the ‘real-deal’, RiMS Racing does offer something unique, and we’ve got to give it points for that.

Rustler

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC

What is it? Rustler is described as medieval Grand Theft Auto, and well, it’s true. It’s an open-world, top-down action game that pays tribute to GTA 2‘s style and gameplay, although instead of drive-bys and shootouts with cops, you’ll be stabbing knights and robbing peasants on horseback.

Is it any good? Rustler‘s inspiration and love for GTA can’t be understated, and it’s fully self-aware, which is the best part. You’ll get to experience what it’s like being a thug in Medieval times, with Rustler‘s missions ensuring everything is tongue-in-cheek and ridiculous as can be. Whether you’re fighting in tournaments, stealing horses, sabotaging businesses, or extorting people for money, it’s always a lot of fun, but how you actually do it can feel a little underwhelming, as the combat and general gameplay doesn’t set the world alight. The great sense of humour Rustler has keeps the game light and enjoyable, but after the first hour or so, you’ve seen most of what’s to indulge in. It’s not a bad game at all, but Rustler does feel more like a spoof than a homage, which can be fun in its own right depending on your expectations.

WRC 10

Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC

What is it? The 2021 instalment in the beloved WRC series brings more officially licensed tracks, cars, and sponsors from the World Rally Championship. There are four new locations across Estonia, Croatia, Belgium and Spain, six historic races, and an enhanced career mode, allowing you to create your own team and identity; not to mention some gameplay improvements to the driving and physics.

Is it any good? WRC 9 was a sublime rally title that upped-the-ante for the long-running series, so WRC 10 had a lot of work cut out for it. Rather unsurprisingly, it nails it, by it adding a host of new features, such as a new mode that allows you to dive into some veteran vehicles and iconic stages. They’re well presented and genuinely feel like a blast from the past. The career mode is also expanded, with some additional focus being applied to the preparation of your car and tyres, which is another welcome layer of immersion. And although there are some minor visual hiccups, WRC 10 generally sharpens up the visuals and driving mechanics to provide arguably the best rally game available.

Will you be playing any of the above games? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA, posting on our Facebook page, or commenting below.

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