Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4, XBO, PC)
This is it, Warsies – good, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order actually is. Here’s the basic gist: you play as Cal, a Padawan on the run from the Empire after revealing his fondness for the force by trying to be a stand-up guy and save the life of his friend.
But once things hit the proverbial fan and you’re off and running, the game becomes an interesting amalgamation of other popular titles. You’ll be clambering around uncovering environmental puzzles like Uncharted, progressing your skill tree like any classic RPG and fighting tough-as-nails foes akin to Sekiro.
While this means Fallen Order doesn’t necessarily possess its own unique identity, it still presents an utterly unique Star Wars experience with zero midi-cloirnains in sight). This is especially noticeable in combat, where unlike 2008’s The Force Unleashed, you cannot mindlessly hack and slash your way to victory.
Cal possesses a sense of frailty, meaning fights with your lightsaber are more considered, and present the best attempt at replicating tense encounters from the movies so far.
That’s not to say the game isn’t without its flaws. The respawning load times are painfully long, slowdown occasionally rears its head and trying to make some perilous jumps, especially grabbing a hold of ropes, may have you wanting to turn to the dark side.
Still, what we’re trying to say is that Fallen Order is a surprise hit that should be played by action game and Star Wars fans alike. Support it and hopefully we’ll get a few sequels.
Death Stranding (PS4)
Claiming Death Stranding is unlike anything else we’ve ever played before might sound incredibly wanky (case in point: a pee mechanic), but it’s honestly the best way to describe it, and it’s also likely to turn most people off a result.
There’s not a whole lot of action, deep combat or traditional multiplayer. Instead you’ll spend most of your time as a pseudo Australia Post employee, delivering packages from one point to another while trying your absolute bloody best not to fall over.
It’s all in an attempt to save mankind by helping people reconnect after strange supernatural events have rocked society to it score.
Yes, this is a game absolutely dripping in self-indulgence – right up to individual songs from the soundtrack being visibly listed as they play. But it’s also strangely alluring and a wonderfully peaceful experience. If you’re looking to break away from the standard video game formula, give this one a shot. If you’re not, steer well clear.
Need for Speed Heat (PS4, XBO, PC)
Pardon the pun, but the Need for Speed series has been something of a car crash over the last few years – incredibly average movie included. Needless to say, it lost much of the appeal that helped boost it to popularity in the first place.
Heat changes that, by bringing back some of the most enjoyable elements from the series’ past to produce a smoother ride as a whole.
All of the action takes place in the world of Palm City, where by day you can enter races and win money to spend on parts, but by day you’ll be going all fast and furious in illegal street races. The connection between these two elements is what makes Heat interesting, as you’ll need to succeed in both aspects to continue your progression.
We wish the game’s narrative wasn’t hammier than your next Christmas dinner, but hey, baby steps. At least the return of police pursuits adds a little bit of thrill to action, even though the coppers can become more of an impossible nuisance once you piss them off too much. Heat might not be perfect, but with a bit more of a tune-up it could return Need for Speed to the top.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King (PS4, XBO, Switch, PC)
Like many Disney hits, you can probably quote the film to your grave, but had no idea a video game tie-in even existed. Thus Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King was born – a modern-day remaster of the old school titles.
Impressively, this compilation pack features the multiple versions of each game sans one version of Aladdin (including both console and handheld), giving them all an extra shine, and providing plenty of bang for your buck.
But be warned, these games will slap you into next week. Games of yesteryear didn’t pull any punches and they will make you feel absolutely shithouse. Thankfully a much-welcomed rewind feature is included if you actually want to see the credits roll without having a breakdown. But at least it’ll make you forget all about that weird Lion King reboot.