Weâ€™re still waiting on reviews for two of this weekâ€™s biggest releases â€“ Rareâ€™s eagerly awaited Sea of Thieves, and Hazelightâ€™s exclusively two-player crime caper A Way Out. [Update: Review round-ups added below]
Sea of Thievesâ€™ servers only went live Monday afternoon, hence why no reviews were lined up for launch day. Weâ€™ve spent around 6-7 hours with it so far, and our first impressions are favourable. It comes off as quite simplistic at first â€“ team up with a crew, sail the seas, partake in a few simple missions, flog the booty at the nearest town, and repeat â€“ but soon emerges to have hidden depths.
Also of note is how â€˜pureâ€™ the experience feels â€“ thereâ€™s no filler, side-quests, and very little resource management. Itâ€™s just you and your crew versus the seafaring world. So far, no two games have been alike â€“ weâ€™ve looted forts, explored sunken vessels, battled sharks, and had stand-offs with rivals.
EA held a press event for A Way Out last week, and so a few critics have chalked up their initial thoughts. Specifically, Engadget â€“ who was impressed with the level of polish and the engaging storyline â€“ and Kotaku who found it to be full of surprises. If you werenâ€™t already aware, this prison breaking escapade is set to retail at around Â£25.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered is a budget release too, available for between Â£20-Â£25. After spending the last few months telling the world that Rogue is â€œthe best Assassinâ€™s Creed youâ€™ve never playedâ€ critics are seemingly in agreement that itâ€™s a missed opportunity. Oh. While the graphics are greatly improved, it lacks the refinements of AC: Origins, and as such, itâ€™s quite hard to go back to. Weâ€™ve rounded up scores below.
Then we have Attack on Titan 2 and Titan Quest (no relation). THQâ€™s Titan Quest is another remaster, this time of a 12-year-old PC RPG that eluded consoles. Scores so far are mostly mediocre, resulting in a Metacritic of 49%. The consensus is that it while it doesnâ€™t do anything drastically wrong, there are far better examples of the genre out there. Maybe itâ€™ll fare better on Switch.
As for Attack on Titan 2, well, it seems that Koei Tecmo is back to their old tricks of recycling content. Most reviewers are willing to overlook it this time around, as it remains a fun and engaging hack ‘n slasher, but hope the third iteration will provide a fresher experience.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has received some slightly mixed reviews, meanwhile. The Guardian had nothing but praise for it, resulting in top marks, but other critics found it to be worryingly generic. It might be wise to read up on reviews before opening your wallet.
Detective Pikachu – which introduces us to a gruff, coffee drinking, fully articulate Pikachu – stands good chance of breaking the UK top 20 next week too, Pokemon arguably being bigger than ever currently. Weâ€™re also going to give the belated Xbox One version of The Count Lucanor a mention â€“ itâ€™s a 2D adventure/RPG with a whiff of Undertale about it, quirky sense of humour and all.
New release showcase:
Sea of Thieves – XO
7.3 – Xbox Tavern: “Sea of Thieves offers a stunning world for players to explore and uncover its secrets. Itâ€™s fun, often hilarious, and unique. Though, the lack of meaningful structure and its simplistic gameplay really does hurt the experience. The game needs to offer more than cosmetic stature and acquisition if it wants a lengthy lifespan. Still, this is one of the few exclusives that Microsoft can, and should, be proud of”
6.5 – Polygon: “Sea of Thieves has the foundation of an incredible experience. It is a true pirate game that simulates the experience of piracy perfectly. And yet, after those first few jaw-dropping hours, youâ€™re going to start feeling less like Blackbeard and more like Blackbeardâ€™s accountant”
5.5 – CGM: “Sea of Thieves feels like a game that should be offered for $10â€“$20 tops as an early access or game preview product. There just isn’t enough content or depth here, its core gameplay is grinding repetitive fetch quests and not a whole lot else, the progression here just isn’t fulfilling, and fun factor depends on who you’re playing with”
A Way Out – PS4/XO
4.5/5 – GamesRadar: “A Way Out elevates co-op gaming in a way nothing has before, bringing players together to create one beautifully told story that everyone needs to experience”
8.5 – God is a Geek: “A Way Out is a story worth sharing with a friend. There’s plenty to do, with moments of intensity and emotion, and the ending is one of the best conclusions in video games”
7.0 – Game Informer: “The premise, and occasionally its execution, has its moments, but A Way Out feels like a vision not fully realized”
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – PS4
5/5 â€“ The Guardian: “Ni no Kuni II takes a brave storytelling approach in that it recounts events from a childâ€™s-eye perspective. But it nonetheless succeeds in exploring deeper themes of political machination and technological hubris”
7.5 â€“ Destructoid: “While it does fall into some genre trappings and doesn’t feel quite as epic in scale compared to the first, Level-5 has the uncanny ability to keep the memory and magic of the JRPG alive”
3.5/5 â€“ US Gamer: “I have a hard time seeing it as much more than a second-tier RPG in a world where first-rate Japanese roleplaying games are more common than ever”
Titan Quest – PS4/XO
7.5 â€“ God is a Geek: “If youâ€™re a genre fan, itâ€™s a no-brainer, but if youâ€™ve already had your fill of ARPGs like Grim Dawn and Path of Exile, you wonâ€™t find anything here to bring you back to the table”
60% – GameSpew: â€œControl issues and poor pacing will turn off some players before the game truly hits its stride, but those who persist will find an experience that has cavernous depth”
5.5 â€“ PSU: “A perfectly average dungeon crawler with hours of gameplay to offer, Titan Quest’s flaws are too numerous to properly recommend it above and beyond its genre counterparts”
Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered – PS4/XO
4/5 â€“ We Got This Covered: “This is an Assassinâ€™s Creed game through and through, and it feels amazing to once again sail through frigid waters, hunting Templars and Assassins alike, all while experiencing a critical part of the franchiseâ€™s ongoing narrative”
7.3 â€“ Wccftech: “After the release of the excellent Assassin’s Creed Origins and other modern open world games, Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered’s combat, stealth and overall design feel even worse than they did before, and Ubisoft missed the chance to address some of them with the remaster”
6.0 â€“ IGN: “After the significant advancements made to the series by last year’s Origins, Rogue second outing feels equally dated and mistimed. Ironically for the series, Rogue Remastered proves that going back in time isn’t always fun”
Attack on Titan 2 – PS4/XO/Switch
8.5 â€“ PlayStation Lifestyle: “Whether you loved the first game and wanted more out of it, or are just getting curious about the series, Attack on Titan 2 is worthy of your attention. I just hope we donâ€™t have to play through the entire story again in number three”
3.5 â€“ Windows Central: “While the campaign is rather short, the addictive nature of pulling off stylish moves to sever body parts keeps you coming back for more”
7.0 â€“ IGN: “Attack on Titan 2 has a lot of great things going for it: Exciting aerial battles that are true to the anime and manga, several quality-of-life improvements over the original game, and both competitive and cooperative online game modes. But the fact that it recycles so much of the 2016 gameâ€™s material means that in order to get to the new season 2 content you must first wade through a rehashed story mode with its dull sidequests and tedious dialogue choices”
New digital multi-format releases:
MX vs ATV: All Out
Where Are My Friends
New on PSN:
MLB The Show 18
ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION
THE KING OF FIGHTERS â€™98 ULTIMATE MATCH
World of Warriors
Flynn and Freckles
LUNAR STONE: ORIGIN OF BLOOD- PSVR
ARK Park – PSVR
Happy Drummer VR- PSVR
New on Xbox One Store:
R.B.I. Baseball 18
The Count Lucanor
New Nintendo retail releases:
Next week: Far Cry 5, Injustice 2: Legendary Edition, The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2, Atelier Lydie & Suelle The Alchemists And The Mysterious Paintings, Alteric, PixARK, X-Morph: Defense – European Assault, Trove: Heroes, and Bridge Constructor Stunts.