So here we are. Now that the storm has settled (a bit), it's worth discussing the big news. Of course, Microsoft’s announced acquisition of Activision Blizzard has sent shockwaves through the industry, an acquisition that somehow dwarfs the company’s previous mega-acquisition of Bethesda.
It's important to see studios like Playground Games embracing accessibility and going the extra mile for players. Of course, things need to get better, and that involves the industry as a whole tackling the problems and coming up with large-scale solutions. Hopefully, Forza Horizon 5 is another key step forward, one that prevents the industry from taking a step back.
After a mixed start to the year for Microsoft, there’s plenty over the course of the next two years for gamers to be excited about for the company. E3 is here very soon with Microsoft confirmed to be taking part.
There’s a strong visual identity to Katana Kata on Xbox and a clear idea here of using weaponry to create varied combat situations. Unfortunately, inconsistent fighting mechanics and a lack of player control really hurt the overall grind, as its moment-to-moment gameplay is more aggravating than awesome.
Perhaps that reliance on simplicity is a bit too much with Loot Hero DX on Xbox. With more to offer or a few more stages, perhaps those shortcomings wouldn’t be too much of an issue. Sadly, the excellent presentation and well-balanced difficulty scaling can’t overcome a fundamental issue of repetitiveness that hurts further playthroughs.
The new year is here, and gaming is looking to be a great one. With plenty of titles delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the triple-A scene will be massive over the upcoming 12 months. Whether it be the eventual release of Halo Infinite, the next instalments for classic franchises such as Resident Evil Village or Psychonauts 2, or new IPs to get excited about like The Medium or 12 Minutes, there’s plenty for people to get excited for. However, in both the triple-A and indie scene, there are plenty of overlooked titles that could prove to be the year’s best and will be well worth your time. Here’s a few that could prove to be sleeper hits.
You can’t deny the commercial success of Xbox Game Pass over the last year. The aforementioned hard numbers are testament to that and Xbox has shown the model does have appeal with gamers. But when it comes to critically analysing how the service has performed in the last calendar year, let’s take a look at what games came to the service this year, the overall library’s strength and where it can be improved.
The titular Horizon festival has travelled the globe across four entries, with Colorado, the French-Italian riviera, Australia and Britain all hosting the music and racing extravaganza. Whilst there are plenty of ways the series could evolve with a new entry, one question to ask is which location could play host next in any potential Forza Horizon 5. So, let’s go on a quick world tour and see where we could head next.
Ultimately, The Explorer of Night on Xbox One is a fundamentally solid adventure with its fair share of issues that prevent it from standing out. But as mentioned, there is plenty to admire in minimalism.
As we head into the strangest console generation ever with both consoles STILL not announcing a price point, Microsoft proceed without the heavy hitter of Halo: Infinite to sell consoles. However, with this comes the prevailing change in Microsoft’s strategy to get customers - going all in with Xbox Game Pass.
Currently in Early Access on PC, Merge Games have announced the full release date for their teeny tiny open-world multiplayer survival game - Smalland: Survive the Wilds. And as they do so, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions are confirmed.