If the story of DICE's Battlefront is a one of a young upstart torn between the forces of dark and light then this, coming after the series found itself corrupted and besieged late last year, should be the third act that offers some kind of redemption. Star Wars Battlefront 2's new update, which dropped last week, sees the game undergo the biggest overhaul seen in a big budget title since Diablo 3 excised its auction house - and it's a change that's come about in a fraction of the time. Even then, is it all too late for DICE's shooter?
It's really been far too long since we last saw a neo-Mexican space punk racing game, hasn't it? I've certainly been waiting a fair while for one, which makes the arrival of Yucatan's demo earlier this month such a pleasant surprise; this ticks all the right boxes.
Take one look at any shmup in full flow and it's no wonder that this remains the most intimidating of genres; cascading curtains of bullets, flotillas of enemy ships and somewhere, almost imperceptible, in all that chaos is you, the lone fighter ship taking on impossible odds. You can trace the genre back to the inky black void of the arcade from which modern video games were born, from Space Invaders to Scramble to R-Type, and sometimes all that's seemed to have really changed is those odds you face have become greater and greater still. Stare into the face of a modern shmup, and it can seem like so much colourful noise.
Sony has found itself falling foul of the Advertising Standards Authority, with an ad for Gran Turismo Sport that aired on UK television deemed as misleading in regards to the game's reliance on an online connection and subscription to PlayStation Plus.
Lumines, Tetsuya Mizuguchi's brilliant music-infused puzzler, is coming to Nintendo's Switch this spring - and it will include the ability to turn your JoyCons into Trance Vibrators.
Kratos is still angry. If you're concerned about how much has changed in Sony Santa Monica's reboot of the God of War series, it's worth knowing this; in two hours playing the game, what's remarkable is how much has stayed the same. There's the same pent up rage, unleashed in pliable combat as enemies are juggled in the air and then pulled furiously apart, the same cinematic showdowns that dazzle with their panache. The same spectacle, and the same sense that the host hardware is being pushed to its very limit. It's a God of War game alright, in that it's hard to think of any better showcase for what's possible with Sony's console.
Perhaps the biggest marvel of Kirby Star Allies is that games like this still exist at all. This is an unashamedly old-school platformer, brought home with the kind of sparkle and polish that's synonymous with Nintendo and its close affiliates, yet wipe away that syrupy surface and you've got something deliciously weird - a fever dream of a game, with sugar sweet backdrops patrolled by waddling electrical plugs that are just begging to be swallowed and consumed so that you might absorb their powers and spit out sparks of your own.
The first major update for Capcom's Monster Hunter World is landing next week, introducing a new monster into the ecosystem while also adding some welcome new features.
V-Rally, the much-loved arcade racer from the original PlayStation era, is making a return later this year thanks to BigBen Interactive and developer Kylotonn Games.
In an instant, it became my most anticipated game of 2018. Kunos Simulazioni, developers of the brilliant Assetto Corsa, had bagged the rights to the Blancpain GT series - perhaps motorsport's healthiest championship, and certainly one that boasts the most diverse manufacturer participation with Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, BMW, Mercedes, Bentley, Audi and McLaren all taking part. Not a bad list, really, and the racing's more than half decent too.
It just shouldn't exist, really. The Isle of Man TT, a yearly event that turns the island's roads into the world's most daunting race track, is an anomaly - a relic of a bygone age when motorsport was raw, untamed and shockingly lethal. An epic course that thunders between the towns of Douglas, Ramsey and Peel and climaxes on the climbs of the Snaefell mountain road, it makes the Nordschleife look like a seaside karting track; modern day legends such as Michael Dunlop and John McGuinness, their elbows scraping the hedgerows of islander's front gardens as they speed past at 180mph, are heroes of a different order. Or reckless fools, if you want to look at it another way.
Splatoon 2 is getting its first paid DLC with the Octo Expansion, coming later this year.
Undertale, Toby Fox's cult classic RPG that takes its inspiration from Nintendo's Earthbound series, among other things, is coming to Nintendo hardware for the first time.
Octopath Traveller, the sublime looking JRPG from the Bravely Default team at Square Enix, finally has a release date, with the Switch exclusive coming out on July 13th.
Surprise! There's an all-new WarioWare game coming to 3DS later this year.
Rejoice! Bloodborne, a nailed-on cert for one of the games of the generation, is now available to everyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription, and it is soooooo goddamn good; From Software's finest, if you ask me, a razor-edged, blood-soaked distillation of the Souls formula into something that's headily unique. It's a work of exquisite art, basically, yet there are still some put off by it all. There are still those who haven't sampled its delights.
What's the best title to have come from PlatinumGames? My own answer changes with the wind - sometimes it's the just about perfect third-person shooter Vanquish, other times it might be the outrageously eccentric Wonderful 101 - but when it comes to the purest expression of what the industrious Osaka studio is about, then there's only really one answer. And that's the brilliant Bayonetta, of course.
How best to chart 12 months in which Nintendo returned to the frontlines, and stirred up a frenzy not seen since the phenomenon that was the Wii? For a console that's uniquely personal - one that will follow by your side wherever you go, allowing video games to slot in all those gaps in our everyday lives - it's 12 months that have been defined by some truly magical moments.
DICE, it's easy to forget in all the kerfuffle that's surrounded the developer in recent months following the Star Wars Battlefront 2 debacle, can still craft a damn fine shooter. When the parts align - when you're sprinting between falling masonry on Battlefield 1's depiction of the western front, as a Sopwith Camel buzzes overhead and a Saint Chamond tank churns over the hills on the far horizon - it's still capable of making some of the most dramatic and spectacular shooters around.
Version 1.13 of Gran Turismo Sport has just gone live, and it brings with it a bevvy of new cars as well as some online fixes and a selection of new track layouts. Perhaps more importantly, given the online focus of the PlayStation 4 exclusive, it introduces some amendments to how driver conduct is policed in multiplayer races.
Its name invites calamity, a certain misfortune, and I absolutely adore it for its blunt simplicity. Human: Fall Flat. That, there, is slapstick served up with a certain eastern European dryness. It's perhaps little wonder, then, that this comic puzzler has done so well in the 18 months or so since its release, having recently racked up some two million sales. Fall flat? It's done just about anything but.
From deep within the bowels of Konami, there comes a howl. It looks like developers of Metal Gear Survive, the first in the long-running series to come out from post-Kojima Konami, have left a message at the front of the game marking a moment of respect for those that went before.
Konami's Metal Gear Survive - the first in the Metal Gear series since creator Hideo Kojima's departure - is out in the UK today. It's an okay video game! But it also contains one of the more bizarre - and perhaps obnoxious - examples of microtransactions I've seen in a full price video game to date.
This was always going to be a tough sell. Metal Gear Survive is Konami's first big console game outside of PES since its infamous split with Hideo Kojima, and as if that wasn't enough to raise eyebrows, it has the temerity to carry on the lineage of Kojima's most famous creation, too. Survive? Given the spittle-flecked rage the mere mention of Konami is often accompanied by these days, you'd be surprised if any new Metal Gear game post-Kojima could.