PC Game Reviews
PC Game Reviews
6 articles/week
Our detailed reviews help you make informed decisions about your next PC game purchase. We provide a thorough analysis of gameplay, graphics, story, and more.
Horizon Forbidden West PC Performance Review
Horizon Forbidden West PC Performance ReviewHorizon Forbidden West PC Performance Review – PC vs PS5 vs PS4 vs Steam Deck
IGN PC ArticlesApr 20
Review: Biomorph Concept Is Cool, Execution Is Poor
Review: Biomorph Concept Is Cool, Execution Is Poor There are a lot of indie Metroidvanias out there, to the point where it can be hard for any of them to stand out. To solve this problem, Biomorph comes with a unique gimmick: you can transform into most of the creatures you defeat, using their unique abilities to progress. It’s an interesting concept, and it gets put to work relatively quickly. After defeating a grim calcified elk creature, our protagonist absorbs its essence in an animated cutscene. Immediately after, he finds that he can use the creature’s solid hide to charge through some debris and open an exit. You’ll use a few of these, as well as a brutish amalgamation whose punch has similar effects, to escape the opening prologue. How can the protagonist do this? Honestly, he’s not sure. Hi name is Harlo, a cat-like alien who looks like a moody Ratchet with bionic Rayman hands. He wakes up in a strange facility and remembers nothing about how he got there or where he came from. He realizes that a friend is trapped in a cell, attempts a rescue, and ends up exploding out into a wider world. As the game progresses, Harlo seeks to save his friend, recover his memories and help rebuild a derelict village in the process. Screenshot by Siliconera The structure of Biomorph is exactly what you’d expect from any given Metroidvania. Following the prologue, you find yourself in the village of Blightmoor, a run-down port town. From here, Harlo can explore a large world, find new abilities, and then travel down new paths with those abilities. If you’ve played any game in the genre, you know how this works. Biomorph starts strong. Using creature abilities to smash open routes in the opening prologue is a great mechanic, which only opens more possibilities once you’re in the main world. One creature fires a projectile which can be used to activate faraway switches. Another can casually walk on spikes, allowing you access to areas that would otherwise harm you. Later on, you’ll encounter creatures that can slither through tight passages, manifest their own platforms or teleport using dirt patches. While a creature’s ability can initially only be used where you find the creature, absorbing enough unique creatures of that type will grant you access to their form permanently. You can equip up to three of these forms at any given time, allowing you to use their abilities anywhere in the world. It’s a great concept that opens so many possibilities, so it’s real shame that Biomorph does not use it to its full potential. Screenshot by Siliconera Metroidvanias have a well-established progression system at this point. You follow whatever paths you can currently access, find a terminal or an item that grants you a new ability, then find where that ability can be used. Biomorph could have easily shaken this formula up with its core mechanic. The idea that you have to go hunting for creatures to gain new abilities would have put a great spin on the entire genre. Problem is, I found myself rarely using creature abilities outside the areas they were found in. Instead, gaining new abilities that opened wider paths was just the standard Metroidvania progression. You find weird capsules, they give Harlo an ability, you move on. It was honestly a huge disappointment, especially after the game’s strong start. There was even an area teased in the prologue that couldn’t be accessed because it was covered in spikes. I returned later with the creature that could get past this, gained an item and thought this would be how things went for the whole game. However, moments like these were few and far between and I could probably count on one hand how many times I reached into my bag and pulled out a creature ability as the world got more expansive. Screenshot by Siliconera Speaking of the world being expansive, this is where another of Biomorph ’s other main problems arose. Harlo is slow, but the world is vast. There are little to no movement mechanics to speak of, making traversal a tedious slog of holding right and occasionally jumping. The problem is, this is a Metroidvania, so not only is there a lot of traversal, there is also a lot of backtracking, so you get to slog back through those huge areas repeatedly. This also creates a problem about halfway through the game, where a vast expanse becomes open to you, with every area offering at least four ways to go. Which in turn offer another three ways to go, and so on. It becomes a vast maze of expansive maps that take too long to navigate, leaving you lost. Navigation also goes out the window, as the game throws quest markers at you, but any attempt to follow them is quickly defeated by routes that turn back on themselves. Not just in the sense of routes changing direction, but actively teleporting you to a different part of the map, nowhere near where you thought you were heading. It made exploration annoying, as nothing in the world lined up in the way I’d expect it to. Heading towards somewhere I thought would be interesting ended up with me being thrown off course entirely at every turn. It led progression to feel aimless and random. Screenshot by Siliconera Biomorph starts so strong in its opening few hours. Some solid mechanics and a unique gimmick, along with some well-designed opening areas, made those initial hours a lot of fun. The visual style is also great, with the occasional animated cutscene adding a ton of vibrance to the presentation. I even like the NPCs you encounter throughout the world, with all their weird designs and unique motivations. But Biomorph rapidly loses momentum after a certain point and it’s a real shame. I wanted to like Biomorph more than I did. Despite good visuals and a strong start, it eventually neglects its most interesting mechanic and becomes tedious. In the end, despite its best efforts, it ends up being just an average attempt at an already crowded genre. Biomorph is out now for PC. A console version is in development. The post Review: Biomorph Concept Is Cool, Execution Is Poor appeared first on Siliconera .
PC Archives - SiliconeraApr 16
Review: Life Eater
Review: Life Eater If an unseen God threatened to end the world if you didn’t sacrifice someone every year, would you do it? That’s the core concept of Strange Scaffold's Life Eater . Me? I wouldn’t. That sounds like way too much work with very little reward. You’d have to buy tarps, figure out what to do with the bodies, and get creative with establishing alibis. So much preparation, so much work, and for what? No one’s going to thank you. What’s in it for you? Continued existence doesn’t seem like much of a reward. But that’s what video games are for. They allow us to live out situations that we are much to lazy to do in real life. Screenshot by Destructoid Life Eater ( PC [Reviewed]) Developer: Strange Scaffold Publisher: Strange Scaffold, Frosty Pop Released: April 16, 2024 MSRP: $14.9 9 Life Eater has you appeasing the god Zimforth, who will end the world if you don’t do his bidding and sacrifice someone (or someones) every year. You play as a character whose name is deliberately obfuscated, and his sanity is questionable. Is he a tragic hero, a warped sadist, or just some guy who has a strange yearly ritual? Your job is to abduct your targets, and as a bonus, you also need to perform a quiz-based ritual at the end of each level. You’re presented with the timeline of one week, and it’s up to you to uncover ever little detail you can about your target within a limited time. Your target’s schedule is presented as a video editing timeline consisting of blocks of activity. You uncover each activity by performing one of three actions. Each action you take will cost time off the clock, but this amount changes each turn. Some blocks require you to take more invasive actions, which will also raise your suspicion meter. The challenge here is to uncover enough information to fulfill a threshold that will allow you to abduct the target. https://youtu.be/nWFw5uhSfqI?feature=shared This starts off simple, but before long, Life Eater starts requiring you to find your target amongst a small group of them. You need to dig into the details of all the subjects until you find the nugget of information that confirms who your target is. It means you have to learn as much about your target as possible and retain some of that knowledge so you know how best to sacrifice them. That sounds like a pretty evocative experience that delves into the sanctity of privacy, but Life Eater’s gameplay is a bit too simple and distant for that. The timeline feature, and the fact that you don’t really see your targets aside from a shadowed depiction of them, doesn’t entirely connect you with what you’re uncovering. Because of this, these people don’t seem like people. That might be a statement in itself, but what I mean is that it’s hard to see them as beings instead of just a puzzle. It doesn’t feel like there’s someone behind the blocks, so any impact that your task might have on you is dulled. You just find yourself pushing to meet the criteria, and the information you uncover is essentially meaningless. Screenshot by Destructoid It’s further dulled by the fact that, while there are some random elements of each chapter, failing will grant you foresight. If you discover that one of your subjects isn’t the target you’re searching for, on a repeat playthrough, it’s easy to identify them again. If there is one moment on the timeline you’re seeking, it will always be on that same time and day. You’re probably going to fail at some point because the instructions aren’t always clear, and experimentation is necessary. The story that overlaps everything doesn’t really make up for this. It’s mainly about the player character interacting with someone they took captive for reasons aside from sacrifice. It’s a decent story that does a good job of delving into the complicated situation the main character finds themselves in, but since it doesn’t do much worldbuilding, it’s harder to care about the world or the people who inhabit it. The gameplay itself feels somewhat shallow. Or rather, it feels like it doesn’t quite achieve everything it set out to. It seems like there should be more random generation here, but aside from characters and their hair color, I never really saw it manifest. Gameplay often falls to clicking on tiles, finding the actions that take 0.5 hours, and emptying your suspicion gauge when it gets full. It’s short, and despite its incredibly novel concept, it feels extremely routine. Screenshot by Destructoid There’s an endless mode that is coming shortly after launch (I’m told about three weeks), but I don’t think that will address my complaints. The main core narrative needed to be more impactful, but it misses the mark. Life Eater feels like an experiment that neither fizzled nor exploded. All the parts are there, but they don’t fit together quite right. Something is missing, and before that something was located, it was released into the wild as-is. Because it can’t find its effectiveness, the central concept that should be so compelling and disturbing is just kind of fluffy. If an apathetic detachment from ritual sacrifice was what Life Eater was aiming for, then it nailed it. Unfortunately. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] The post Review: Life Eater appeared first on Destructoid .
PC Archives – DestructoidApr 16
Review: Harold Halibut Is a Modern Fable About Connection
Review: Harold Halibut Is a Modern Fable About Connection There are so many things I could say about Harold Halibut that I find it difficult to even start. I could say how the game uses a truly unique art style, which involves a blend of real handcrafted puppets scanned and rendered in 3D along with animation that imitates stop-motion. It's something that has never been done to this scale in the medium. I could also say how Harold Halibut is a story about love and making connections, finding where you belong in the world, and making your own “home.” It is the Cold War, and the Earth is on the brink of destruction. Humanity has sent the ark ship Fedora 1 out into the stars, with the hope of finding another habitable planet and for humankind to continue living. Over 250 years later, the Fedora reaches its destination only to find out that the planet is all made of water, with no inhabitable land and an atmosphere composed of noxious gasses. To make matters worse, the ship crashes on the planet, with no feasible way of relaunching into space. In the present day, all administrative and political matters in the Fedora are handled by the All Water corporation, a bunch of nasty capitalist opportunists with only their own interests in mind. After years of resignation, the inhabitants of the Fedora discover that there might be a chance to return to Earth. However, there is a limited window to relaunch and the trip back would take about 80 years, meaning that most of the current population of the Fedora would never make it home. Screenshot by Siliconera With these events as the backdrop to the plot, you play as the titular Harold Halibut, a lab assistant to scientist professor Jeanne Mareaux. It is his work as aid to the professor and Jack of all trades aboard the ship, as well as his kind demeanor, that puts him in the unique position of giving the Fedorans a chance to return home. Harold can come off as meek and docile, but he's a gentle and patient human being. He's a rather quiet and introspective individual that can show lots of passion and energy under the right circumstances. You can see a lot of his personality in his notebook sketches, and when he plays the part of “Agent Haroldson.” Harold also struggles with making himself be heard and connecting with his peers, at times being easily dismissed by others in a harsh manner. Throughout the course of the game Harold sees himself in situations where he finally has the chance to demonstrate to himself who he wants to be in life. Harold is a truly delightful person. This is not reserved to the titular character. Every character that inhabits the world of the game feels like a fully-fledged individual, with their own lived history and connections. The voice acting helps make them feel even more real. Due to the harsh circumstances, the Fedora 1 is a tight knit community, and the writing does a great job at showing the player how these people are connected to each other. Most characters in the main and supporting cast are also faced with various challenging circumstances in life. As Harold, you get to participate in those small moments and make new connections with the people in the ship. As well as learn new concepts and perspectives from other individuals outside of the Fedora. However, I will not linger on them for too long, as I think this part of the game is best experienced knowing as little as possible. Screenshot by Siliconera When it comes to gameplay, Harold Halibut is an adventure game focused on interacting with the many inhabitants of the Fedora. Most of the time, players will be trotting around the ship to complete the tasks Harold has received, and talking to various people to progress. As for Harold himself, he is not a vehicle for the player. Instead, the player is a vehicle for Harold. Sometimes you get the chance to select dialogue options. However, Harold has a set personality and is his own person at all times. Do not expect an experience like that of Telltale Games, nor a point and click either. There are some puzzle-like moments, but these only serve to add some interaction and break up the pace. The game progresses in a linear fashion, and there are some secondary tasks that are not required to progress the plot. These flesh out existing characters, and I highly recommend completing them. These secondary objectives are usually along the way of main objectives, so they always feel complimentary to the pacing and whatever is happening in the plot. I personally enjoyed that Harold Halibut offers an easy to pick-up and light experience. I could imagine some people wanting a larger number of more complex puzzles, or a more hands-on approach to character interactions, decision making, and impacting the story. However, I don’t think that every video game needs to offer a complex mechanical experience to convey its message and be worthwhile. The layout of the Fedora is interesting enough that jogging around the ship to talk to people and finish your tasks is entertaining enough as is, and with a game as stunningly detailed it makes sense that the gameplay loop is to simple *live* and soak in the environments. Screenshot by Siliconera Screenshot by Siliconera To create the visuals of the game, developer Slow Bros painstakingly hand made every single character as a puppet, plenty of environment as real, physical dioramas, and scanned them to render as a video game. It is evident in the way that the numerous cloth, wood, and metal textures have a certain crisp look to them. The animation style is also deliberately made to look like stop-motion. Just on the basis of its art style and visuals, this game is wonderful and worth playing. The unique visuals remind me a bit of games like Mundaun and Saturnalia (which mix handmade paper sketch textures scanned and rendered in 3D.) However, no studio before has decided to do what Slow Bros did to this scale. Just for reference, the game took over 10 years to finish. The use of music in Harold Halibut is very subtle. Instrumental songs appear for important cutscenes, and are used very deliberately. However, environmental sound effects are what's most prominent in the game, and they're used in interesting ways. The buzzing sound of lights, automatic doors opening and closing, water bubbles, along with the sound of steps are what you’ll be hearing most. You can also hear string instruments playing elongated notes in the background, creating the sensation of being surrounded on all sides. Like being underwater. Screenshot by Siliconera Harold Halibut looks beautiful on the outside, and it is even more beautiful once you dive into it. The visuals are an undeniable technical achievement. Its gameplay is undemanding, making the game accessible for many people, even those who are not familiar with the medium of video games. The story and narrative are easy to follow, and depict a modern fable about finding your own home, connecting with others, sharing your perspective, and finding what you want from life. Harold Halibut will come out on April 16, 2024 for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC via Steam , as well as Xbox Game Pass. The post Review: Harold Halibut Is a Modern Fable About Connection appeared first on Siliconera .
PC Archives - SiliconeraApr 15
Harold Halibut Review
Harold Halibut Review
IGN PC ArticlesApr 15
The Best Reviewed Games of 2024 (So Far)
The Best Reviewed Games of 2024 (So Far)Keep up with the best games of 2024 with our ongoing list of every game released this year that received a review score of 8 or higher from IGN.
IGN PC ArticlesApr 14
Broken Roads Review
Broken Roads ReviewBroken Roads Developer: Drop Bear BytesPublisher: Versus Evil, tinyBuildPlatforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S (Reviewed)Release Date: Available NowPrice: $39.99 USD – Available Here Overview When one thinks of the post-apocalypse, it almost always involves some form of nuclear destruction, plague, or even zombie threat as the survivors struggle to continue living […] The post Broken Roads Review appeared first on Capsule Computers .
PC Archives - Capsule ComputersApr 13
Broken Roads Review
Broken Roads ReviewBroken Roads has ideas that could have made it an RPG to rival Disco Elysium, instead it runs out of steam almost immediately.
IGN PC ArticlesApr 10
Broken Roads Review
Broken Roads ReviewStrike me flamin’ roan The post Broken Roads Review appeared first on WellPlayed .
Reviews PC – WellPlayedApr 10
Children of the Sun Review (PC)
Children of the Sun Review (PC) Children of the Sun is a pulpy fever dream developed by one man and published by Devolver Digital. If you took Suda 51’s Killer7, and combined it with Sniper Elite, SuperHot and Mandy, then you’d end up with something resembling René Rother’s Children of the Sun. It works beyond just being a dynamic piece of […] The post Children of the Sun Review (PC) appeared first on FandomWire .
PC – FandomWireApr 9