From big-name sequels to smaller indie titles, there have been some massively exciting and highly-anticipated games hitting shelves recently. We’ve got our hands on the biggest new games and put them through the wringer to give you everything you need to know about the current releases in one handy feature:
Little Nightmares II
Available on: Xbox One | PS4 | Xbox Series X/S | PS5 | Switch | PC
What is it? A dark and macabre puzzle-platformer, where you control a small girl named Six, who has to make her way through tricky obstacles and avoid horrifying monstrosities.
Is it any good? The 2017 original was a unique and darker twist on the colourful platformer genre, and its sequel lives up to that, delivering more eerie environments, spine-tingling creatures, and some interesting scenarios to overcome. The follow-up also mixes things up by adding an AI companion called Mono, who you’ll have to help through the decaying city that the game is set in. Having a second character helps evolve the complexity of Little Nightmares II‘s physics-based puzzles, tricky platforming, and quick-timing, which great, making outsmarting some unsettling creatures all that more satisfying. For those who fell in love with the decrepit and disturbing world of the first game, Little Nightmares II also offers a closer look at the lore and background that caused this obscure setting.
Should I buy it? If you’re a fan of slower, more deliberate adventures where mood and tone dominate over action and explosions, this is for you. The puzzles are interesting, and the art direction of the game deserves some nods too, and while it may be on the shorter side (5 or so hours), it is unlike anything else out there.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
Available on: Xbox One | PS4 | Xbox Series X/S | PS5 | PC
What is it? Aside from having arguably the most brutal name ever, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is an admirable and interesting take in the action/stealth genre, whereby the powers and abilities of a werewolf are handed to the player.
Is it any good? Unfortunately, while slinking around as a wolf and then turning into a giant werewolf to rip soldiers apart is fun, it doesn’t really evolve much beyond that. Most of the combat involves clearing out rooms, before heading to the next room to do the same. That said, the combat is enjoyable and you do feel powerful pulling squishy humans apart, but, besides the odd boss fight, there isn’t too much to mix up the gameplay loop that Werewolf: The Apocalypse has on offer. The option to tackle missions in a stealth format (playing as the second form: a wolf) is interesting and reminiscent of playing as Shadow in 2010’s Dead to Rights (yeah, a decade-old reference).
Should I buy it? Werewolf: The Apocalypse is not going to set the world on fire, but like other werewolf content in popular culture, it’s B-grade shlocky action-horror that is self-aware and, admittedly, a whole of fun if you can pick it up for a decent price. It feels like a throwback to action games of old, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Ride 4 – Next-Gen edition
Available on:Xbox Series X/S | PS5 | PC
What is it? The fourth instalment in Milestone’s two-wheel racing franchise, bringing licensed bikes, tracks, and realistic racing to petrol-headed fans.
Is it any good? Ride 4 is already a solid racing game, and it has received some upgrades for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions. There is now a far smoother frame-rate of 60 FPS, which is undeniably noticeable after playing the last-gen version. The racing feels crisp and fluid, and the implementation of some haptic feedback into the PS5 version allows some cleverly-implemented tension into the triggers particularly when braking. While it doesn’t carry the MotoGP license, the visuals, physics, and sheer amount of detail attached to the bikes and racing itself is impressive. The AI opponents could use a bit of a tweak, but with Ride 4, you get the most true-to-life recreation and closest experience you’ll find to actually being on the track.
Should I buy it? If you already own Ride 4 on your PS4 or Xbox One, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll get a free upgrade whenever you switch over to the next-gen consoles. The faster frame-rate and smoother gameplay only improves upon an already-great racing title, so it should be a no-brainer for two-wheel racing fans.