Welcome back to This Week In Games Australia, your look at everything you’ll be playing in the week ahead. This week’s two heavy hitters are Forspoken and Dead Space, a new IP and a ground-up remake of an old fan favourite. The indies pick up the rest of the slack, with games like Whalien and Warlander, and even Duelyst returns from the dead with a new, open-source version of the beloved card battler.
Here’s what you’ll be playing this week.
Forspoken is out this week and, based on early impressions, it seems like it might be a mixed bag. We had hoped to bring you a Forspoken review when the embargo lifts later today, but unfortunately, we have not received code in time for that. It seems that a vanishingly small number of outlets around the world did receive early code, selected (presumably) on the basis that they are more likely to provide positive coverage. Nevertheless, the early buzz is not great, but as always, we hope for the best. Forspoken is a major confluence of eastern and western studios for Square. Even in the free demo on the PlayStation Store, it’s possible to feel the Japanese design pouring off the thing, even as its deeply American characters and dialogue try to convince you it’s a Marvel movie.
Mahokenshi is a board-game style deck builder set in ancient Japan.
There are a few of you that just sat bolt upright at the magic words “Japan” and “deck builder”. I see you, and I understand. Your goal is to move across a map made out of hexes, building your deck, powering up your hero, and slaying demons along the way. It’s out on Steam this week.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint (PC)
Ubisoft’s slow return to Steam continues this week, with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the milsim everyone hated at launch, but which evangelists (including Gizmodo Australia’s Zac Kelly) now tell me has become quite good through successive updates. But has it? I leave that up to you, dear reader.
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow (NS)
During GOTY season last year, friend of the site James O’Connor wrote about his love of The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow. Here’s what he wrote at the time:
“The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow is a point-and-click adventure game about Thomasina Bateman, an antiquarian researcher who has traveled to the remote village of Bewley to investigate a barrow she wants to include in her upcoming book. Sounds sexy, right? What unfolds once she arrives is a cracking little horror tale: something is clearly amiss in Bewley, and no one seems particularly keen for Thomasina to dig too deep. The plot is propulsive and exciting, and the puzzles are excellent – nothing too obscure or ridiculous, but challenging enough to give your brain some exercise. Crucially, the ending is dynamite, which is important for a game like this – the set up all pays off.”
This week, it arrives on the Switch, and you should play it.
Warlander is a free-to-play, big-team multiplayer medieval fantasy battle game. You can be a wizard and storm castles with your friends, and if there’s a better or simpler pitch than that, I haven’t heard it. You’ll have to work together to take control of the battlefield and push your enemies back. But your war machines will need tending to as they roll toward victory. They’ll need to manned, and they’ll need to be repaired when they come under fire. You’ll need to work with your team and play your part to ensure success in every war. It looks a bit like Chivalry meets
Whalien looks like a cross between Splatoon and Fall Guys with some adventure game tropes thrown in for good measure. This looks like a fun, uncomplicated adventure puzzle game for younger players. If you’ve got kids in the house, I think they’d probably go mad for this.
DualSense Edge (PS5)
We don’t have our DualSense Edge review kits in hand just yet, but we did get to spend some time with Sony’s very pricey new pro controller just a couple of weeks ago. You can read that preview right over here.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a trailer for Sentinel on YouTube, so I’ve included a screenshot instead. Sentintel is a new Metroidvania from a small team published by a company called Vania Games, which seems appropriate. It’s all quite simple in its execution, as you might expect from a game where dev resources are limited, but it’s the game’s striking look that drew me in. I’ll be keen to give it a try. You can find it on Steam here.
Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection (PS5, NS, PS4)
Cue the Tenacious D. A franchise that was, for a time, one of the most recognisable Sega properties out there, Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection is a selection of titles from across its long history. I still have my Master System copy of the original somewhere. I should dig that out.
Dead Space (PS5, XSX, PC)
January’s biggest, spookiest game is finally here. The ground-up remake of the beloved 360/PS3 era survival horror game arrives after years of fan wheedling. I know there’s a tendency to be sceptical about remakes like this. Can they capture the spirit of what made the original so great? We’ve just seen in The Callisto Protocol that it’s not enough to make a game that that mechanically similar when the heart and soul of the thing have been carved out.
May it be great, a huge success, and lead to more great games in the franchise. Isaac, welcome back.
Duelyst GG (PC)
Duelyst GG is a ground-up open-source remake of the original Duelyst card game, which shut down in 2020. The game gives players everything — all cards unlocked, and some NEW cards for players to experiment with. There’s balance changes on old cards, replay sharing, gauntlet drafting and multi-queue. It’s basically a dream come true for Duelyst fans.
Power Chord (PC)
You thought we were done talking about roguelike deck builders this week? Well, we’re NOT. Power Chord is a literal battle of the bands, metal groups pitched against each other in a card-based duel to the death.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition (PS5, XSX)
Wind’s howling (at retail) (again).
But seriously, if you’d like to buy a copy of The Witcher 3 on a disc for your PS5 or Series X, you can do so this week. It’s the complete edition, so it has every last skerrick of DLC packed in, as well as the recent 4K update.
The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans
Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.