Games of the week
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
A furiously good time
Explosions erupt, enemies swarm and bullets sing. Just another wonderful moment in Rage 2. This outlandish open-world sequel is both better and more ambitious than the original, yet crucially still retains the satisfying, instinctive and enthralling combat. It can be baffling, as though you're trapped in some ludicrous music video – bombs seem to go off, for instance, often without warning or explanation – and the puerile elements can be too much to bear. But the core gameplay is utterly brilliant, bolstered by upgrades with real impact, superpowers that transform your tactics and simple, valuable details that make shootouts a frenetic pleasure. You'd be mad to miss out.
Skip to the end: One of the most incredible, exhilarating shooters around.
Platform: PC, iPad/iPhone, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
In sword fighting, Mordhau is where you grip the blade and batter your opponent with the hilt – a suitably blunt name for this brutal multiplayer battler. Hand-to-hand combat fans who were thrilled by the Half-Life 2 mod Age of Chivalry will feel right at home, though there are a number of new, sophisticated melee techniques to learn that elevate Mordhau to the same skill level as Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Parries, feints and counter-attacks give each skirmish serious strategic depth, whether you're fighting in team-based warzones, Battle Royale free-for-alls or survival matches against waves of AI brutes. The challenge is intimidating, but Mordhau is well worth the effort.
Skip to the end: Hack 'n' slash heaven with a rich Medieval atmosphere.
Snooker Nation Championship 2019
Platform: Xbox One, PS4
Join the cue
Budget games usually offer basic interfaces, simple controls and straightforward visuals. In most cases, that's reason enough to look elsewhere – but Snooker Nation Championship 2019 exists in that sweet spot where frills only distract from the action, and the action itself benefits from an uncomplicated approach. What else does a snooker game need? The ball physics are weighty and authentic, the animation and colours are lively, the gameplay is as challenging or effortless as you prefer (with plenty of settings for viewpoints or assistance) and multiplayer is reliable online and perfect post-pub-fodder offline. There's no career mode and a pool option would be nice, but Snooker Nation Championship 2019 still possesses all the elements necessary for affordable, intuitive fun.
Skip to the end: Pick up and play enjoyment, though entirely without frills.
Spellsword Cards: Origins
Spellsword Cards: Origins joins a heaving pack of card-based RPGs, but for a bite-sized adventure it has plenty of appeal. In many card games, it can take significant time and practice until you feel as though you're building an effective strategy – there's an overwhelming amount of card effects to read, special rules to understand and combinations to learn. In Spellsword Cards, you choose your play style through selection of class, race and pre-built deck, and initial tactics make themselves clear immediately, avoiding the early grind that plagues many other similar games. Sure, it makes for a less complex experience. But there's enough variety in enemies and cards (plus upgrades, combinations, etc) to make Spellsword Cards: Origins a moreish and rewarding bargain.
Skip to the end: Addictively accessible card adventure with surprising depth.