With the Easter break now over, the gaming calendar swings back into gear with plenty to keep your controller warm. First up on Friday May 5 is Prey (PS4, XBO, PC). The space shooter finally sees the light of day thanks to Dishonored’s Arkane Studios after years of delays.
If you prefer your action a little more superhuman, however, why not hold out until Wednesday May 17? That’s the day that Injustice 2 will fight its way onto XBO, PS4 and PC. Drawing on its predecessor’s success, the sequel continues the series’ dark tale with fresh new match-ups between Supergirl, Aquaman and Gorilla Grodd.
Meanwhile, 3DS owners haven’t been forgotten, thanks to the release of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia. Dropping on Saturday May 20, the game is a modern recreation of Fire Emblem Gaiden which was previously only available in Japan. Updated visuals and gameplay should help everything play just like new.
Skip ahead to Friday May 26 and the Nintendo Switch will also receive some much-needed love. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers aims to provide fans with updated single and multiplayer modes, as well as Evil Ryu and Violent Ken to pry you away from those mammoth Zelda sessions.
Wrapping things up on Tuesday May 30 is Star Trek: Bridge Crew – a game that hopes to bolster another relatively quiet platform, the PSVR. Strapping on the headset allows you to help command the USS Aegisand, whose crew is on the hunt for a suitable new home world for the decimated Vulcan populace.
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Remedy Entertainment, the team behind Max Payne, Alan Wake and the more recent Quantum Break, has claimed that its next game will be released on “a wider range of platforms”. It is assumed that the game, which is currently codenamed P7, will be run on the Remedy’s Northlight technology, which the developer claims it is bringing to PlayStation 4 consoles. This is interesting news as both Alan Wake and Quantum Break were exclusive to Microsoft consoles – the latter reportedly selling beyond expectations. That means that P7 would be the first Remedy game to launch on a PlayStation console since Max Payne 2 in 2003.
In legal news, it seems as though the ongoing feud between Valve and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) may soon come to a conclusion. The drama originally stemmed from Valve’s Steam Store – more specifically regarding its refund policies. Thankfully, an announcement has been made that both Valve’s attempt to appeal its $3 million fine and the ACCC’s cross-appeal to further fight claims of misleading information will be heard together and are listed for hearing before a full court in New South Wales between July 31 and August 22. Here’s hoping the battle is able to come to a satisfactory close.
Review: Yooka-Laylee (PS4, XBO, PC)
From its inception, Yooka-Laylee wanted to be decidedly old-school – its DNA heavily modelled after N64 classic, Banjo-Kazooie. It makes sense, as many of those behind Yooka helped create the inspiration in question. But while the adventure will cause your heart to flutter at the nostalgic joy of it all, it’s also the very reason the experience occasionally falters.
The justification for your adventure is unsurprisingly simple. An evil foe has stolen a magical book, so chameleon Yooka and small bat Laylee must team up in order to get it back. What follows is a barrage of past platform game sensibilities. You’ll visit wildly varying worlds collecting Quills (to upgrade abilities) and Pagies (to open up levels), fight bosses, engage in quizzes and even ride the odd mine cart or two.
There’s a seemingly limitless amount of gameplay on offer, but the reliance on the past can come at the expense of the larger game. The camera is a tad wonky, some elements need more polish and a lack of direction can also irk. Some will justify it with rose-tinted glasses, but even still, there’s no doubt that Yooka-Laylee is a heart-warming reminder of long ago, and quite enjoyable to boot.
Review: Mass Effect Andromeda (PS4, XBO, PC)
Let’s get the obvious out of the way early: yes, Mass Effect Andromeda’s facial animations are often janky, awkward, and in some cases, downright laughable. It’s nothing you likely haven’t already heard, but move past that one lambasted element and you have the makings of some rather enjoyable science fiction fare.
As a Pathfinder, you must find humanity a new hospitable area to live amongst galactic complications, which allows for a refreshing break away from Commander Sheppard’s controversial tale. Less ideal is the rather one-note villain and the fact that BioWare seems to have bitten off more than it can chew this time around. Andromeda presents one of the series’ largest intergalactic worlds yet, but mars it all with a slew of technical difficulties. Combat, on the other hand, remains a highpoint and is actually some of the franchise’s best thus far.
Mass Effect Andromeda might lack the thought or the scope of the original trilogy, but considering this is only the introduction of a presumably epic journey, you should cut it a little slack. The characters at the heart of the tale are still interesting, and there are a lot of foundations at play here that can be refined into something great.