Games of the week
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Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 hit consoles last October, and PC owners have waited a whole year for their own exquisitely detailed Westworld-esque fantasy. But the delay means multiplayer mode Red Dead Online, which has improved massively during 2019, is ready to welcome PC visitors to a far better structured and more interesting gunslinger frontier. The staggering graphical improvements, meanwhile, turn one of the greatest looking games of this generation into possibly the most breathtaking world ever seen – now especially enjoyable in first-person with full mouse control. Red Dead Redemption 2 was already a thrillingly immersive experience, but on PC it becomes an all-encompassing destination.
Skip to the end: Slow-burning and full of fine detail, a real masterpiece.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Kine is a small-scale puzzle that wields a deceptively weighty challenge. Some levels are made up of just a few squares, carefully rendered in cute, hand-drawn-style visuals to represent an office or a concert stage, but each is a craftily constructed obstacle that takes patience and thought to overcome. Kine stars three different robotic musicians, each an animated instrument – accordion, drum, trombone – and each with their own unique method of movement. To begin, you're tasked with mastering a single instrument, negotiating your way across gaps or narrow blocks, but soon enough you'll be bending your brain around how to combine the quirks of each character to reach your goal. Kine is charming, surprisingly narrative and wholly brilliant.
Skip to the end: A deeply taxing and entirely satisfying puzzler.
The Fisherman: Fishing Planet
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
The Fisherman: Fishing Planet creates an atmospheric digital outdoors – twilight clouds, rustling foliage, rippling water – but is fundamentally a shallow experience. The Fisherman first spawned as a free-to-play PC game but this catch-all edition is bundled with all the in-app purchases, though there's still an in-game currency (Baitcoin, aha) you'll need to earn from successful trips in order to unlock new equipment, travel to new areas or purchase licences for night fishing, etc. There's buckets of technical detail, from bait options to rod settings, but the fishing controls feel half-baked and unengaging. To be honest, the fishing in Red Dead Redemption 2 is far more enthralling.
Skip to the end: Plenty of depth but nothing to keep you hooked.
Luigi's Mansion 3
Yet again, Luigi is scammed into a hostage situation disguised as a package holiday. Luigi's Mansion 3 takes us to The Last Resort, where King Boo wastes no time in imprisoning the Mushroom Kingdom's finest before coming after everyone's second-favourite plumber. As on previous vacations, it's up to Luigi to scour this haunted hostel for his friends, hoovering up ghosts with his trusty Poltergust and creating a wonderful mess along the way thanks to the game's super physics. On this trip, however, Luigi has company – Gooigi, a squidgy, wobbly green clone useful for solving puzzles. The slapstick humour and legwork on each floor can get repetitive, but fun co-op and inventive puzzling makes checking into Luigi's Mansion 3 well worthwhile.
Skip to the end: Charming and challenging but with no great innovations.
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