Quick-fire September 2021, Part Three

King’s Bounty II
1C Entertainment’s King’s Bounty II got released on the 24th of August 2021 for PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Legend returns! King’s Bounty II is the long-awaited sequel to the legendary King’s Bounty video games franchise, one of the most iconic representatives of the turn-based RPG genre.

This is a long-awaited sequel in the King’s Bounty franchise, which is a big representative in the world of turn-based role-playing games. It offers a completely new story, factions, enemies and new features. In King’s Bounty II you will play as one of the three main heroes and will fight back the conspiracies in the world of Nostria and restore peace and order. You will be rescuing and building a personal army on your journey of leadership and sacrifice – each decision you will make will have lasting consequences. The world is enormous and wide open for your exploration, as you will unearth secret places and enemies – it is a home to thousand wonders and secrets to discover. Every of your squads will have their own skills and visual appearance, as you will build armies with various creatures that will fight for you through your adventure. You will encounter different terrain types that have a direct impact to your tactics on the battlefield, making every battle unique and different. King’s Bounty II offers around thirty hours of gameplay, which is less than with the original game. It is fittingly difficult, so you will actually need to think during battles and come up with different strategies to win them. Its graphics are mediocre at best, but I guess this title is not all about the graphics, it is more of what the gameplay offers. That point of the game stands out the most, as you will be exploring a lot, more than you will actually battle. It is also quite an expensive title, and we think it does not satisfy the needs of content for that price. Since it is not a masterpiece, we recommend you waiting on a sale before you grab this one.

Recompile was developed by Phigames and published by Dear Villagers on the 19th of August 2021. This immersive hacking adventure is available for PC via Steam, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. This atmospheric, metroidvania hacking adventure lets you take control of a semi-sapient program struggling against deletion. In the sprawling 3D world of a Mainframe, Recompile features intense combat, tight 3D platforming, super-powered abilities and an environmental logic-based hacking mechanic.

In this atmospheric hacking adventure you will witness the birth of an AI. Recompile will challenge you to explore, hack, fight and survive in non-linear exploration. There are plenty of secrets beneath the digital landscapes and the entire narrative takes place within one second of real time. You will explore ancient ruins of the Mainframe to discover different traversal abilities that will help you on your journey. During your exploration, you will fight diverse inhabitants of the Mainframe and many of them are hostile by nature. You will use powerful weapons and abilities that will help you survive the encounters and destroy your opponents. Besides fighting you will also hack locked doors, elevators, forcefields and enemy spawning points. The Mainframe inhabitants can also be hacked and changed to follow your commands. Recompile is focused on exploration and platforming, which will combine in the most of your gameplay endeavours. The combat sections that you will partake are also well done and enjoyable. Visually the game will exceed your expectations as it looks really, really good. Its art style and landscapes are done extremely well and fresh. As far as the audio content goes, it is majestic as well. The soundtrack is a joy to listen to and completely fits the gameplay. Recompile also has multiple endings that are based on your actions – you can restore lost data, repair systems, destroy or hack enemies. We recommend the game to everyone who enjoys stunning adventure platformers. At its price of twenty bucks, this title is a steal.

Star Hunter DX
Coming from a two-person British studio 1CC Games, Star Hunter DX first got released on Steam and Nintendo Switch on the 5th of August 2021. The release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox followed three weeks later, on August the 26th. Betrayed by her cut-throat crew, Luna Starr – former Space Pirate Captain turned bounty hunter – has a score to settle. As Luna, travel to 5 exotic planets to track down your mutinous mates, and face them in Bullet Hell dogfights to the death!

Star Hunter DX is a shmup with a Bullet Time feature, which comes extremely useful when you are outnumbered, since their projectiles will move in slow motion, while you will still be moving and shooting at normal speed. You power up your Bullet Time gauge by destroying enemies, and when in Bullet Time (gosh, I love writing Bullet Time… Bullet Time) the bullets from enemies that you destroy will turn into gold cubes that you can collect. The game is hard, the Bullet Time (again!) feature makes it a bit easier, but it is still not a piece of cake. You can practice your skills in practice mode, which will help you to survive, or perfect your runs when you already consider yourself a professional at shoot ‘em ups. You will be choosing between three different characters, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. After completing the stages, boss fights will await you. The bosses are all unique and will demand using good strategies on them, if you want to beat them, which is… exactly what you want to do. Star Hunter DX is a very good bullet hell shoot ‘em up game, which needs to be in your collection, especially if you are a fan of said genre. Its artwork and retro graphics are a joy to look at, and the soundtrack does the job it is meant to do. A more than a solid title from only a two-person team, but I have to finish this review by repeating that the game is HARD.

Tormented Souls
Tormented Souls was published by PQube Limited on the 27th of August this year. It was made available on Steam and PlayStation 5, while other consoles will have to wait a bit longer for its release. Classic survival horror is back! Inspired by the original Resident Evil and Alone in the Dark series, Tormented Souls modernises with a fresh twist on the fixed perspective adventure – as Caroline Walker investigates the mysterious disappearance of twin girls in a terrifying mansion-turned-hospital.

When investigating a disappearance of twin girls, our protagonist Caroline Walker wakes up naked in a bathtub, and that is when her fight for survival starts. Dark horrors will try to stop Caroline at reaching the truth, as she is exploring an abandoned mansion. You will need to use everything you will find to fight back those horrors that will prey on you from the darkness. Searching the environment will also play an important role, as you will be combining found items to solve different puzzles. Deciphering clues from journals will also be needed, if you will want to be successful at said puzzles. Tormented Souls takes its inspiration from classic survival horror titles like Silent Hill, Resident Evil, and Alone in the Dark. All is done equally good, if not better, as this title modernises a classic genre. The graphics are stunning and the sound effects are very well done and contribute a lot to the atmosphere of the game. Its suspense will keep you on your toes through your whole playthrough, while encountering mutated monsters will be traumatic and scary. We recommend Tormented Souls to everybody who has been a fan of the games mentioned, and everyone that wants to endure an absolutely gorgeous modern take on survival horror games.