February’s Best – Aliens & Super Hot Fires
February was a pretty solid month for video games. There was a healthy range of titles that offered different experiences, with some of those being totally fresh. Now the month has ended, it’s time to reflect on the best February had to offer.
Side note – Early Access games aren’t included, purely on the basis the game can change for better or worse
Walking simulators have never been something I could personally invest in, but Firewatch felt different. It’s true that the game’s length isn’t going to appease a number of people, but it’s quality still shines. Henry is oddly familiar and human, feeling more like someone you’d know rather than a video game character. That’s perhaps why Firewatch stood out, it felt much more human and personal than most games in its genre.
There was no typical video game fantastical climax, or even any over the top action scenes. Firewatch boiled down to a fantastically written and acted story that explored relationships. Stunning visuals and great sound design, along with a charming unique song, all accumulated in Firewatch striking a cord, remaining fresh in my mind nearly a month on.
Well, this was a surprise. When the news broke that Hitman would be making its way onto the mobile platform, I can’t say I battered a eyelid. Fast forward to Hit Man Go’s release onto PC, PS4 and Vita and suddenly I found myself hooked.
The simple, but devilishly tricky, nature of the puzzles in instantly engaging. Slick presentation mixed with typically Hitman themes allows the game to feel fresh, while staying relevant to the franchise. Playing Go on the Vita is honestly a wonderful experience, making toilet and bath times the perfect place to tackle another board.
Super Hot, Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot,Super Hot.
Let’s be clear, the main issue Super Hot suffers from is the amount of content on the surface. The campaign is only two and half hours, and that’s going to scare people away. In truth, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The core mechanic of player movement dictating time is genius. Each move counts, every second means something.
There’s plenty of content there if you’re willing to play through the various challenge modes, or even if you play around with the core concepts. To avoid spoilers, the story may be short but it’s hugely enjoyable…and creepy, in a Videodrome way.
Above all else released in February, Xcom 2 sits upon the throne. It’s rare that a sequel feels like it improves and progress from the original, Xcom 2 does exactly that. No longer are you playing as the defending force, you’re now the rebels, and it’s so much more engaging. Various gameplay elements feed into the idea of guerilla warfare, producing some truly satisfying moments.
There’s so much to enjoy that it’s hard to nail down specific features. Creating and naming your squad results in much more personal investment, scraping through battles is thrilling and oh my days missing 95% hit chances is hilarious. Xcom 2 is hard, sometimes unfair, but always amazing. With a strong Modding community already in place, there’s plenty of room for Xcom 2. Its only issues are some pretty ‘meh’ optimization.
Dungelot: Shattered Lands – Minesweeper crossed with RPG elements and parody. Simple, surprisingly deep, enganging.
Layers of Fear – Taking inspiration from P.T, Layers of Fear provides some clever scares before descending into jump scares. Solid effort, but a bit too short and repetitive towards the end.
Super Galaxy Squadron EX – Classic SHMUP action without the harsh 1-hit-deaths. Looks great, plays nicely, sounds fantastic.