Game Pass subscribers (and those happy to cough up the best part of £70) can play Gears 5 later this week via the Deluxe Edition. Not only does it provide early access – it also includes the Halo: Reach and Terminator Dark Fate character packs, along with a 30-day XP boost. We imagine Sarah Connor and the T-800 fit into the Gears universe rather well.
We’ll round up Gears 5 reviews once they go live tomorrow. It’s already looking like The Coalition has gone beyond the call of duty – if you want to see everything the campaign has to offer, expect to put in 20 hours of play. The campaign also supports three player co-op, while the MP mode has a map builder tool. Jack is a playable character too, if that means anything to you.
As for games you can play right now, there’s FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered aka the one Square-Enix accidentally lost the source code for. Turns out this wasn’t an entirely bad thing, forcing the publisher to rebuild FF VIII from scratch. The result? It’s one of the best remasters in the FF line.
Catherine: Full Body is another remake of sorts, adding a whole bunch of improvements and new puzzles. It’s Tetris in reverse, essentially, in which blocks must be removed from a towering wall to create a makeshift staircase leading to the top. There’s a warped storyline to take in between puzzles, driven by some lengthy anime cut scenes. If you missed this slice of weirdness first time round, here’s your chance to get involved.
WayForward are back this week too with the beat’em up spin-off River City Girls. The first review out the door is an encouraging 8.0 from Gamer Heroes. “River City Girls gives the beat-em-up genre a new lease on life with its solid combat, stellar spritework, and sprawling world. Those that can stomach some backtracking will find an adventure worthy of biffing a few baddies over,” they said.
There’s also WRC 8, the annual sports update NBA 2K20, a belated release of Spyro Reignited Trilogy on Switch, colourful dungeon crawler Torchlight II, and the intriguing Creature in the Well. Monster Hunter World receives its anticipated Iceborne add-on, too. You’ll find the trailer below.
New release showcase
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
9.5 – PSU: Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is nothing more or less than a must buy. The graphical updates aren’t perfect, but the story, setting, and soundtrack remain as enchanting as ever. More importantly, Final Fantasy VIII Remastered’s watertight combat mechanics and progression system still feel as revolutionary now as they did back in 1999; pushing the limits of the traditional JRPG to produce something that manages to feel wholly unique within an ever crowded genre.
85% – Gaming Trend: Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is the perfect way to revisit this classic or experience it for the first time. Its themes are more relevant than ever, and its battle system, while flawed in some aspects, is weird, fun, and encourages creativity.
4/5 – Game Revolution: Simply put, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered is the definitive way to play the RPG classic. There are no inherent flaws of this port beyond the portions of the original game that have aged poorly. For the most part, the story and gameplay has held up over time and Squall’s adventure is better than most give it credit for being.
3.5/5 – DarkStation: Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is a prime example of how to do a remaster well. Improved graphics modernize the experience, and modifiers help alleviate the grind issues. That said, I’ve always felt FFVIII needed real gameplay changes. It won’t get that in a remaster, and as such, those who didn’t like the game before won’t like it now. If what you disliked in the original was the grind, put your eyes on this remaster. And if you loved FFVIII in the past or are a curious newcomer, this is the best version of the game by far.
Catherine: Full Body
9.0 – God is a Geek: A fantastic puzzle game hides underneath an interesting, engaging story. There’s plenty here to warrant another look, and if you skipped it before, don’t pass it over this time.
9/10 – TSA: Catherine: Full Body has aged like the finest of wines. For fans of the story, the new characters and plot threads fold in fantastically after an awkward start, and they’re coupled with a wealth of new dialogue and beautifully animated cutscenes. For fans of the gameplay, new remixed levels and difficulty options add brand new challenges for even the most hardcore Catherine enthusiasts, and with support for the game’s niche competitive scene to boot. And if you’ve never played the game before, all of these additions make an already classic video game even more of a must-play experience.
8/10 – GameSpot: The nightmarish block puzzles are still weirdly intense and satisfying to surmount, and the Stray Sheep is still a wonderful bar to spend your nights in. Full Body does a great job in refining and refreshing the Persona studio’s fascinating foray into the social lives of adults, and Catherine continues to stand out as a game that feels both incredibly bizarre and authentically intimate.
3.5/5 – US Gamer: The new additions to Catherine: Full Body are mostly a win, with sharper graphics, more complex puzzles (and better hand-holding for players intimidated by them), and more background on Katherine in particular. Where it lacks though is in the new romance route, which is awkwardly shoehorned in and feels too separated from the rest of the story. Still, for Catherine fans, Full Body has enough nightmare-inducing goodness to make it worth another round ’til last call.
8.5 – God is a Geek: Making small improvements over previous games not only adds up to WRC 8 being the best in the series, it’s also one of the best rally games around.
8.5 – PSU: A combination of a laudable driving experience and exquisitely modelled official rally environments across 14 countries means WRC 8 delivers the goods and deserves your attention.
7/10 – Push Square: It’s not perfect; cars can be unpredictable, and sometimes spin out when it feels like they shouldn’t. Overall, the driving is competent, and most importantly, delivers that thrill ride as you scream over treacherous terrain. It’s a shame the presentation is somewhat lacking, because this is otherwise a solid rally experience.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
River City Girls
New digital multi-format releases
- Monster Hunter World Iceborne
- FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered
- WRC 8
- NBA 2K20
- Torchlight II
- Post War Dreams
New on PSN
- Catherine: Full Body
- Flutter Bombs
- Akash: Path of the Five
- Fifty Words by POWGI
- Agent A: A puzzle in disguise
- Blindfold A Verite VR Experience
- Apocalipsis: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
- Spice and Wolf VR
- Arcade Archives WATER SKI
- Arcade Archives VIGILANTE
- Darkest Dungeon: Ancestral Edition
- Mini Metro
New on Xbox One store
- Gears 5 – Ultimate Edition
- Creature in the Well
- Restless Hero
- Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill
- Monochrome Order
- Throne Quest Deluxe
New Nintendo retail releases
- Gun Gun Pixies
- Spyro Trilogy Reignited
Next week: Gears 5, Borderlands 3, eFootball PES 2020, GreedFall, Daemon X Machina, NHL 20, Star Wars Pinball (Switch), Utawarerumono ZAN Unmasked Edition, Caravan Stories, Blasphemous, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series, Ellen – The Game, Light Fairytale Episode 1, and NASCAR Heat 4.