In an ideal world, the Xbox One X would’ve made its debut this week alongside the system showcase Crackdown 3. With MS’s open-world shooter delayed until 2018 however, the Xbox One 2.0 launches with Super Lucky’s Tale…a mediocre, budget-priced, platformer.
Sonic Forces hasn’t gained favourable reviews either. While not a travesty of Sonic ’06 proportions, the abundance of 5/10 reviews suggest that it too is average at best.
EA’s Need for Speed series also makes a return this week, while Horizon Zero Dawn receives the eagerly awaited The Frozen Wilds DLC. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood makes the jump from Xbox to PlayStation meanwhile. This physics-based puzzle/platformer was an Xbox One ‘launch period’ title, and it isn’t too shabby. Not a classic, but pleasant enough.
Then on the Switch there’s a choice of two new titles – DOOM and Ben 10. A tough choice. You may want to sit down, have a cup of tea, and mull it over before picking one.
New release showcase:
Need for Speed Payback – PS4/XO/PC
From the moment it was revealed, Need for Speed Payback looked far more promising than the last NFS entry. The Fast & Furious series is the obvious inspiration here, but rather than having a story worthy of the silver screen it’s more of a ‘straight to DVD’ affair.
With reports of Project CARS creators Slight Mad Studio acquiring the Fast & Furious license, you may want to wait for a genuine slice of Vin Diesel pie.
8.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “While I finished the story in around 15 hours, it’s worth noting that there are a ton of side events and collectibles that I failed to collect in that time. I could see myself easily doubling my time within Payback, and do so with a smile on my face the entire time”
3.5/5 – GamesRadar: “Need for Speed Payback successfully returns to its Fast and Furious roots with aplomb, but a focus on the grind and a beautiful but empty world means it ultimately falls short of greatness”
5/10 – GameSpot: “The simple, almost retro, handling model provides occasional bouts of fun, but it’s never enough to escape Payback’s flaws, with an unwillingness to let you partake in its most hair-raising moments, and a general drabness that seeps into every layer of the game. Fast and Furious, this is not; and that’s a disappointing outcome”
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds – PS4
Just like the full game, review scores for Horizon Zero Dawn’s anticipated The Frozen Wilds DLC are a tad mixed. That’s to say, for every 10/10 or 9/10 there’s a 7/10 lurking.
There’s no debating that it isn’t a sizeable package – a huge dollop of extra content that’ll take a fair while to play through. Around 15 hours is the reported amount, but don’t expect the faults from the original to be fixed – it’s very much a case of more of the same, only in a new snow-covered setting.
10/10 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds is everything DLC is supposed to be. For only $19.99 ($14.99 if you’re on PlayStation Plus), the wonderful playground we last saw Aloy in is expanded by an impressively large, immaculately detailed, diverse landscape”
9/10 – God is a Geek: “It’s a fantastic piece of DLC, and it’s much more than a few hours of content. The new location is visually stunning, and the gameplay has been expanded through the way you vary combat against the new beasts, and tweaking your skills to incorporate the new skill tree”
7/10 – The Metro: “A generous expansion that through its stunning visuals and inspired creature design showcases the best features of the original, even if it doesn’t fix many of its flaws”
Super Lucky’s Tale – XO
With Rare busy with Sea of Thieves, Microsoft has turned to Playful to create a family-friendly title to bolster the Xbox One’s winter line-up. It isn’t an entirely new game – the original Lucky’s Tale launched on PC in 2016.
The original arrived to mixed reviews, and it seems to be a case of twice unlucky for the plucky fox. A camera system that doesn’t provide full control and clunky controls drag down the experience. Stick with Yooka-Laylee.
7/10 – God is a Geek: It’s not going to break records, and it might not set the world alight, but it’s fun, easy to play, and great to pop on with the family and spend a rainy Sunday afternoon with
6/10 – GameSpot: . It’s easy to imagine how Super Lucky’s Tale would be the highlight of a younger kid’s weekend, but it has little to offer anyone looking for an enjoyably challenging 3D platformer.
5.0 – IGN: Poor controls and a lousy camera doom the otherwise adorable-critter platformer Super Lucky’s Tale.
Sonic Forces – PS4/XO/Switch
Despite what many say, Sonic can work in 3D – Generations and Colors [sic] both proved this. Alas, this only makes it more disheartening to hear that Sonic Forces’ main issues are things SEGA should have noticed, such as dull level design and an awkward storytelling method. Oh, SEGA.
5.5 – Destructoid: “While I see potential in Sonic Forces, the execution just isn’t there, especially with the Switch edition. In the future I really hope Sega reinvents the wheel, taking a more Mario Odyssey adventure approach. The whole level-based 3D “thing” hasn’t worked out so frequently that it’s worth a shot”
2.5/5 – Trusted Reviews: “Like Sonic? Play Sonic Mania. Played Sonic Mania? Play it some more. While Sonic Forces looks fantastic, it’s one of the least engaging games in the entire series”
4/10 – The Metro: “Whoever this shoddily made platformer is meant to please it won’t be those that like Sonic Mania, or any of the better 3D Sonic games”