We find out if the Razer Nommo V2 is your next must-buy gaming investment, then check out Lies of P, Detective Pikachu Returns and more.
While many gamers are forced into the headphone world to avoid subjecting their housemates or loved ones to the various bangs and explosions of modern titles, there’s nothing quite like a solid speaker setup. Razer is well aware of this fact, it seems, because the company has gone ahead and released the Nommo V2 – a full-range gaming speaker system and subwoofer that does well to blow your proverbial socks off.
An update of the previous 2018 setup that I was already fond of, this refresh naturally shares many of its predecessor’s sleek design elements while making everything a little more compact. As a result, the stands on the V2 a lot shorter (with the speakers now firing upwards to compensate for the change), but that in turn gives you a lot less desk clutter.
It also gives Razer the opportunity to showcase its signature RGB stylings with rear projection lighting zones that are surprisingly powerful. By utilising a lot more surface area (as opposed to the previous model’s thin ring) the Nommo V2 wonderfully illuminates your gaming space, and if positioned correctly) might even save you having to invest in some extra pizzazz like Hue lights.
You’re not buying a set of speakers for their lights though, so the main thing is that the Razer Nommo V2 sounds bloody good too. While the whole audio soundstage is well captured, bass lovers are particularly catered for, with the speakers and subwoofer doing well to loudly boom during explosions and large action setpeices.
From watching movies at our desk, to playing music while we worked as well as all manner of gaming, the Nommo V2 didn’t miss a beat. Gaming only amplifed that success, with rich performance across a range of genres, from shooters to narrative adventures. I especially enjoyed playing around with the wider sound the THX Spatial Audio allowed, although it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea.
For all it’s positives though, the Nommo V2’s superior audio does come with one minor catch: cable management, with cables running from each speaker down to the sub-woofer. You can pick up the Razer Nommo V2 Pro to solve that issue if you please (which comes packed with a wireless subwoofer and a wireless Control Pod) but it’s also a fair bit pricier, retailing for around $699.
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Cables aside, the Razer Nommo V2 is a powerful speaker system that is well worth looking into that is bound to make your games sound better than ever.
You can buy the Razer Nommo V2 for $431 from Amazon here.
Also out now…
Lies of P (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, XBO, PC)
A Pinocchio-themed Soulslike starring a Timothée Chalamet lookalike doesn’t sound like a strong combination, but there’s something about Lies of P that just clicks. It’s Victorian-style aesthetic oozes with style, it’s Bloodborne-inspired combat is challenging-yet-engaging and the whole game is just smooth as butter to play.
That’s all backed up by a fun wealth of customisation – be that from an interchangeable arm that can that can be imbued with all sorts of abilities (like hepful electric shocks), as well as weapons that can be altered depending on how you choose to combine your blades and handles.
This dark interpretation of the classic children’s tale is truly fascinating right from the opening moments, and does well to keep you chugging along to see what twisted puppet foes you’ll encounter next, even though things aren’t as open as From Software’s classics.
If anything, it’s truly amazing that that Lies of P’s developer, the South Korean Round8 Studio, managed to knock it out of the park first go. Everything just works to create a consistently satisfying gameplay experience that will likely surprise many gamers. Highly recommended, and a real sleeper hit for 2023.
Detective Pikachu Returns (Switch)
The original Detective Pikachu on the Nintendo 3DS was something of a game-changer for Pokémon – reinventing arguably the series’ biggest character as a wise-talking, coffee-slurping detective ready and rearing to solve cases.
Five years and a movie adaption later and we have this long-awaited follow-up that does pretty well to continue to momentum set up by its predecessor. As a result, Pikachu and Tim Goodman are paired up once more to investigate the antics of Ryme City where a new mystery seems to be kicking into high gear.
But while there’s obviously still a lot of inherent charm surrounding Detective Pikachu Returns, there’s just no getting around the game’s biggest hindrance – it’s visuals. Even with a cartoony aesthetic, unfortunately the game just looks flat, with a real lack of shadows that would otherwise make each scene pop. The game is also a bit on the easy side, which is great if you’re buying for a younger family member or looking for something challenging, but it’s rare that any of the puzzles will leave you scratching your head.
Neither of these issues are inherent deal breakers by any stretch, but is worth knowing before you throw on your detective’s cap. Otherwise Detective Pikachu Returns continues to be a fun and fresh take on the ever-popular mega-franchise.
Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, XBO, PC)
An exceptional follow-up to an exceptional game, Separate Ways is the perfect trip back into the world of Resident Evil 4 and continues Capcom’s excellence at skilfully remaking its classic content.
For those who missed the side story last time around, this additional action adventure brushes aside Leon’s heroic Antics to instead focus on Ada Wong as she continues on her own mission to locate the “Amber” while working for everybody’s favourite RE foe, Albert Wesker. Separate Ways does well to fill in some of the gaps of RE4’s main narrative while adding a bit of depth to Ada’s character as she juggles her numerous allegiances.
The big change of pace here though is with Ada’s grappling gun, and it’s fun twist to core game’s formula. With the grapple in tow, Ada is not only to zip around environments more easily, but use it to her advantage in combat as well – casually dropping in on unsuspecting foes. If you’re especially going on the offence you can even pull foes towards you.
Separate Ways is a relatively beefy side-dish, taking 6+ hours to complete, making this a worthy purchase to help draw you back into one of the year’s best experiences.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)
Speaking of exceptional follow-ups, Phantom Liberty continues to cement Cyberpunk 2077’s huge transformation and has quickly become one of 2023’s must-play experiences.
Sure it’s easy to get lost in the showy inclusion of Idris Elba and his portrayal of Solomon Reed (which is unsurprisingly a delight to watch), but there’s plenty more to sink your teeth into during this return to Night City. There’s a boatload more weapons, more characters to interact with and a fun spy-thriller narrative that is consistently engaging and even adds a whole new ending to V’s story.
Even the new Dogtown district itself feels fresh and exciting, with a much deadlier and lawless vibe that differs from past adventures. It’s a fun new setting that does well to expand the already extensive lore. Coupled with the base game’s free 2.0 update (which heavily tweaks cyberware, your skill tree/perks and more), it almost makes you forget all the trials and tribulations CD Projekt Red had to endure back when the game first launched.
Phantom Liberty is an incredibly meaty expansion that is an absolute must for any Cyberpunk fan, or is the perfect excuse to jump in for the first time.
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