Games of the year – Hitman 3, Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart, Metroid Dread and Resident Evil Village
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Platform: Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC
Price: £49.99-£54.99 (Standard Edition)
Age rating: 18+
An utterly flawless return of the deadpan assassin
Review by: Jess Glass
The final instalment of this Hitman trilogy is gaming at its very best. Slipping again into the suit of Agent 47, you travel the world in intricate open levels, featuring dozens of ways to kill your target – from the conventional to the creative, like with an exploding rubber duck.
Whether it’s solving a murder mystery in a Dartmoor stately home or killing waves of henchmen on a train in the Romanian mountains, the game is visually stunning. However, what elevates Hitman 3 to the pinnacle of the genre is not just the humour or brilliant mechanics, but the truly gripping plot.
Skip to the end: A game so good, you’ll not play anything else.
Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart
Platform: PlayStation 5
Genre: Platform Shooter
Age rating: E10+
Saving the galaxy never looked so good
Review by: Adam Smith
The heroic duo of Ratchet and Clank are joined by female counterparts Rivet and Kit, as the latest instalment of the popular franchise debuts on the PlayStation 5. Fans of the franchise will find all the familiar gameplay elements, as the heroes traverse many diverse and visually stunning landscapes assisted by a plethora of gadgets and weaponry.
The latest adventure really flexes the muscles of the PS5, as players will experience chaotic scenes and some truly awe-inspiring set pieces, while they travel seamlessly between dimensions. The only drawback is that the game’s short length will leave many hungry for more.
Skip to the end: A truly spectacular next generation adventure which provides a tantalising glance into the capabilities of the PS5.
Resident Evil Village
Platform: PC, Playstation, XBox
Age rating: 18+
A love letter to a seminal horror series
Review by: Elly Rewcastle
Exciting, memorable, terrifying and maybe a little bit beautiful, Resident Evil Village is a phenomenal tribute to a 25-year-old franchise. Each section pulls something from the RE back-catalogue and injects a new lease of life. From the abandoned town plagued with infected enemies to the huge castle and its terrifying mistress, this vast world is full of twists and turns, and its blend of horror, action and survival, combined with a genuinely compelling plot, leaves us wanting more.
Thankfully, there’s a new game mode and even more upgrades to earn, meaning this gift keeps on giving for playthrough after playthrough. And who could resist a trip to see the endearing Lady Dimitrescu…
Skip to the end: Perfect for horror gamers and a must-play for any Resident Evil fan.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age rating: 12+
In-Dread-able return for Samus
Review by: Jonjo Maudsley
Metroid Dread picks up where 2002’s Metroid Fusion left off, as Samus Aran chases the X parasites to planet ZDR. There, in classic Metroid style, she is ambushed, stripped of her powers, and made to recover her strength in order to defeat the big bad – all while avoiding the E.M.M.I. – renegade kill-bots who hunt Samus through gripping set-pieces.
The worlds can be quite samey and £50 is a lot for a 14-hour game. But with its intuitive controls, cinematic boss fights and stunning graphics, it’s easy to see why Metroid Dread is a nominee for the Game Award for Game of the Year.
Skip to the end: Visually arresting with silky-smooth gameplay – just a shame it’s so short.