Games of the week, including Terminator: Resistance and Superliminal
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Through the looking glass
Superliminal's first-person puzzling is essential if you enjoyed bending your brain with Portal. Even if the similarities are a little too strong at first, from the female AI voice that guides you to the whiteboards with scrawled messages, Superliminal has a wealth of fresh ways to mess with your head. The puzzles play with perspective, so that a small item close to you can become huge if you move it further away, or a painting can become an object if viewed from the right angle. This creates wonderfully surprising solutions to otherwise impassable obstacles and a warm satisfaction as you discard the rules of our world.
Skip to the end: A brilliantly tricksy Portal-inspired puzzler.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Terminator: Resistance absolutely will not stop being dreadful
From the terrifically clunky opening sequence to the game's dim-brained portrayal of one of cinema's most lethal monsters, this is a tie-in actioner that appears to have come from the distant past, not an apocalyptic future. The environments are dreary, hemmed-in affairs that pretend to be a series of open-world locations to explore but are, in fact, merely an assortment of poorly designed corridors. Sound effects are weak, combat is simplistic, dialogue is stilted, and characters are dreary. Terminator: Resistance at least boasts the signature music, but even that isn't executed with vigour. Avoid like a time-travelling plague.
Skip to the end: If the year was 1997, this would still be an awful game.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
High and dry
Sadly, Stranded Sails is not a seafaring adventure. Instead it's a marooned farming simulator, which is a shame since the cel-shaded style really suits your ill-fated sailing vessel, but once you wash up on shore after a shipwreck the island locations never possess the same charm. Farming and crafting aspects are shipshape enough, but any potential for exploration is harshly controlled by the need to top up your energy or risk blacking out and being teleported back to camp. Since you're not allowed to set up distant outposts, this can make long-distance quests awfully frustrating. It's also annoying that your character can't swim. Stranded Sails has a cute and endearing survival flavour, but it's too restrictive to be an essential expedition.
Skip to the end: It's hard to recommend such a demanding voyage.
If you found a mobile phone on your doorstep, picked it up and discovered a disturbing video of a distressed young girl, what would you do first? If you'd root through her emails, read her chat messages or check out her online dating profile, you'll find Simulacra to be the perfect voyeuristic experience – just don't forget there's a strange and threatening mystery going on behind the screen. Simulacra is a neat 'found footage' style interactive story told through text chats with characters, video recordings and sound clips, which blend together in an enthralling way. Truth be told, the payoff is a little disappointing and touchscreen controls are poor, but it's more entertaining than fiddling with your own phone.
Skip to the end: A diverting and appealingly mysterious dose of voyeurism.
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