Games of the week
Tom Clancy's The Division 2
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Destiny calls in an apocalyptic military thriller
The core appeal of Tom Clancy's The Division 2 rests on the tactical excitement of its excellent cover-based gun battles. In rescuing a post-pandemic Washington DC from warring tribes of trigger-happy thugs, you'll regularly be pushed into split-second decisions for survival under heavy fire, or glimpse skirmish-winning strategies among the gorgeously dilapidated ruins – especially during multiplayer shootouts when flanking manoeuvres and distraction techniques come into play. Crude flaws abound, from animation glitches and stupidly bullet-resistant enemies, to the migraine-inducing interface and sometimes illegibly tiny text. But while The Division 2's pitched-battle formula is recycled almost endlessly, with only your surroundings and equipment changing between conflicts, the repetition of such consistently enjoyable, moreish gameplay is something you simply have to celebrate.
Skip to the end: A brilliantly playable but straightforward sequel.
12 Is Better Than 6
12 Is Better Than 6 casts you as a drifter fleeing slavery, with crowds of outlaws between you and freedom. The top-down action is split into small locations, from the back of a bar or a guarded stable to the town square outside a besieged church, and mindless blasting isn't going to work – revolvers (or shotguns, if you're lucky) need to be cocked manually between shots using the ZL button, leaving you momentarily vulnerable against even a pair of opponents when a single shot can kill. This challenging style of combat is thrilling when you survive but otherwise frustrating, while the restrictive viewpoint hampers attempts at tactical or stealthy assaults, making 12 Is Better Than 6 a diverting but limited gunslinger.
Skip to the end: A demanding and maddening Wild West shootout.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
As a teen in Generation Zero's 1980s Scandinavia, your riverboat jaunt with friends is violently interrupted by a volley of explosives. Alone, you discover the aftermath of a robocalypse – mainland residents have fled and murderous droids patrol the roads. Every encounter is dangerous, even with powerful weaponry, as enemies surprise you with chilling artificial intelligence, and using fireworks or radios as distractions becomes a neat and authentic feeling strategy. But disappointingly, there's nothing to add weight to this fertile atmosphere. The world is cold, empty and repetitive. Missions are cross country slogs with hollow rewards. Generation Zero has the excitement of youth, but not the vitality.
Skip to the end: Barren and uninspiring adventure with a superior premise.
Platform: PC, Mac
Worbital is a satisfying blend of simple and skilful, entertaining nonsense that delivers deeply tactical challenges. Far, far away, a humanoid race is colonising other planets for resources, but a rebellion triggers an interplanetary civil war. Gargantuan weapons can be built on the 2D sphere of your homeworld (from railguns to lasers and guided missiles) and defensive tricks deployed to deflect incoming artillery, with projectiles affected by gravity and attacking opportunities or obstacles created as planets follow their orbital paths. Battles lurch so frantically between offence and defence that it can be overwhelming, but Worbital's charming execution and punchy enjoyment makes it well worth the effort.
Skip to the end: Explosive, excessive and entertaining deep-space conflict.