November continues with many games to review and combat the elusive Christmas market.
But Rockstar Games has swept away the competition with its latest release.
Red Dead Redemption 2 ★★★★ ½
To say Red Dead Redemption 2 is a movie game is an understatement.
It is clear that every detail has been pored over several times to set this Westerne on the right track, and if it is right or wrong, given what was reported about teams working over 100 hours a week, it is difficult to deny that this game has sought perfection all the time as it spins the story of Arthur Morgan, outlaw and member of the Van der Linde gang, which is 1899 after a botched heist.
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Early visual like a snowstorm, and the interaction between people is just impressive. There are also many controls for Arthur – he must be fed, kept endurance and kept healthy.
It's this kind of nannying, which, while realistic to the game, reminds you that it's also a bit of a character (just like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas made you keep your protagonist in life) and makes it difficult to just continue with the game.
Visually, the game impresses at all levels, from movies that feel authentic to changing cameras on scenes that make you feel like you're in a Sergio Leone movie, there's a lot to marvel at here. Rockstar Games has built on the success of previous titles like Grand Theft Auto and created an almost video game experience that will continue to impress in the coming years.
Tetris Effect ★ ★ ★ ★
The Return of Tetris in Tetris: Effect feels like a loving tribute to the game that sucks so many of our lives over three decades ago.
But in many ways, this is a Tetris bathed in an Ibiza Chill-out album, set to a pulsating string of psychedelic images and then locked into a flood tank with you through the route of Sound Shapes games that featured music and rhythm.
But each level is also blessed with a whole series of moving effects around the central game that sits in the middle of the screen. It's a more engaging effect in the VR environment, but does not lose any advantage when it's on a normal screen. Indeed, as the relaxed soundtrack plays out, it absorbs the images, reflecting the character of what you are doing.
It's a sensory attack in many ways – albeit a welcome one like swirling patterns, growing creatures are formed around the sides of the game, pulsating, swirling and live breathing digital dots that grow when levels continue and as your gameplay improves.
Overall, Tetris Effect is a trippy update of the past, a smart node for the future, and a game that never loses sight of what made the original Tetris so a fiendish knotty game to lay down.
Hitman 2 ★★★
Agent 47 is back.
The last game broke up the 47's in episodes, giving you time to feel the thrill of planning and the execution of death as well.
This last, in truth, feels a bit episodic, because you can choose where you continue after the first assignment. It's strange to report it as the whole game has been released at once.
This time, Agent 47 is looking for Shadow Client and his shadowy group and puts him on a collision course with his past. The beginning of the sandy beach of Hawkes Bay continues the earthquake again, with 47 missions taking him to the beach in Mumbai, Colombia and other parts of Europe.
Hitman 2 works in some ways and fails in others.
But to a large extent, it's as fun as you want to do it. Again, it's not a game for patience and if you do not have any desire to draw up plans, set traps and reap your rewards, it's best to lead you somewhere else. But when you're looking at target spread, you can move closer to your performance, which can give you an exciting thrill.
New Zealand Opener in Hawkes Bay is piecemeal; Its location can be somewhere, but it's a good moody opener to set up the conspiracy tones, and the beach frontland means you really have to plan things to fly.
That's the case with Hitman 2; It's as complicated as you want to do it.
Hitman 2 does just what it says on the tin; There are also multiplayer propositions and the return of the elusive goals to take in. But when it comes to standing out of the crowd during a busy season, Hitman 2 takes his shot but does not really hit a bullseye for anyone other than the fans of Agent 47's ongoing story.
Review codes were submitted to the reviewer of Rockstar Games, PlayStation NZ and Warner Bros Interactive.