Test: 5 video games to start 2023 well
Posted January 20, 2023, 18:47
The Les Echos editorial staff selected five games earlier in the year, to look forward to before the release of the highly anticipated Hogwarts Legacy: Hogwarts Legacy.
One Piece Odyssey
Luffy, Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Chopper, Robin and Franky are on the boat… Zoro falls into the water, what’s left after the storm? A crew scattered on a strange island, lost in the middle of nowhere and a boat, the Thousand Sunny is in a very sad state. This is the new adventure of the anime lover’s favorite pirate. Bandai Namco is once again giving fans of the Straw Hat Pirates the chance to take charge of the destiny of this merry band in turn-based role-playing battles. A real game for fans (my legal chief son) with a brand new scenario and a bunch of filibusters in great shape. You can even push the fun to play in the original with subtitles.
One Piece Odyssey offers exploration of the island and its mysteries, with lots of battles against strange-looking enemies. Each character has special talents, useful in the face of overwhelming dangers. The cutscenes are beautiful and the animations (for the fights) are even more flashy. The game is still quite slow to set up. But you don’t risk wasting time during exploration with highly interventionist gameplay (my son wasn’t rushing to save Nami from a drooling King-Kong, somehow). It almost seems designed for the youngest. Despite everything, One Piece Odyssey offers a scenic journey into one of manga’s most magnificent worlds.
Very : The One Piece universe. The least : fight a little over and over again.
Available on PlayStation4, PlayStation5, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
Marvel’s Midnight Sun
This is definitely the season for turn-based tactical video games. Like Bandai Namco’s games, this 2K game offers a refreshing and muscular experience set in the Marvel universe with several stellar superheroes and others that the license lacked. Because of that, we’ll be able to have Doctor Strange, Iron Man, but also Blade, Hulk, Captain Marvel or even Scarlet Witch, Ghost Rider, and a new kid, Hunter, built specifically for the event. A real pleasure there too for the many fans of the genre.
At the helm of the Midnight Suns? Turn-based pro. Firaxis belongs to the XCom series, one of the best alien resistance games and the best strategy game series in history (this is subjective), Civilization. Hell is not coming, it is already here. You have been warned. the game, published by 2K and Marvel Entertainment, takes place on the dark side of Marvel. In superheroes, we win together or die together.
The game is based on a card system, including hero cards. Each hero and enemy intervenes in turn using one of these cards. The tactical and strategic aspects are very important, but the developers also played the role-playing card, because your deck can be upgraded. In turn, you must select an enemy, target it and destroy it. Some are harder to exterminate than others. It’s also important to think a little before you act and also know how to use the decorations around you to maximize damage. This led to fierce and sometimes indecisive fights.
Midnight Suns is also based on high-quality, beautiful graphics, with great animations during the attacks of superheroes. Lastly, the discussion between heroes also gave rise to some dastardly humor sessions a la Marvel films. It’s relaxing and feels good. Supers will also be able to build relationships, with friendships then pushing them to work better as a team. Marvel Midnights has all the cards in hand to be one of the games early this year.
Very : Addicted. The least : A bit slow.
Available on Windows PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store, PlayStation5, and Xbox Series X|S
It’s a bit like the hidden side of the magical world of Disney… It takes place on Inkwell Isle, and brothers Cuphead and Mugman (recognizable among the thousands of coffee cup-shaped heads and colored straws) are about to go on an adventure. Their job: to convince debtors to pay the devil… It will teach them to try their luck in the casinos run by the lords of the underworld. If they failed, he would take their souls. Brrrr. We are very, very far from the Beauty and the Beast tea service.
This game, which was released in 2017, has just been released on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, with bonus DLC. This game from Canadian studio MDHR is subversive with outdated but effective graphics: one of the strengths of this indie game. Cuphead runs the risk of leading more than one player, given the high base difficulty (despite the addition of easy mode during certain phases). But it does offer a fun and enjoyable experience between platforming phases, boss fights and dogfight sessions.
The developers have gone on an onslaught of imagining this game, with incredible bosses. We widen our eyes before the spectacle playing out on the screen and we enjoy the fighting and shooting phases. A game like no other at a friendly price (between 20 and 40 euros depending on the seller…)
Very : Epic battles against game bosses. The least : bugs… still lost.
Available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.
Jurassic World Evolution 2, Dominions of Malta
As is customary, publisher Frontier is releasing new DLC just before the holidays for its dinosaur park management game. They did develop a new campaign inspired by the movie Jurassic World: the world after. Goal: create parks in three new locations in the Mediterranean, on islands, to limit the risk of critter breeding. The DLC also comes with new buildings and notably new dinosaurs including the Atrociraptor which lives up to its name well.
A way to extend the fun that this excellent management game has to offer, even if the price is still a bit high. But hey, it takes what it takes to find Moros Intrepidus, a miniature version of the Tyrannosaurus. He’s still the size of a deer and weighs 80 pounds… Great, rex, great.
Very : New scenario. The least : bill increased
Jurassic World Evolution 2 and its DLC are available on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series.
After being out of the ordinary, I chose at the start of the year to highlight a game that is still in development, a game full of passion and a lot of promise. No, I’m not talking about Hogwarts Legacy, which lands in early February, but about Tchia. Developed by Montreal studio Awaceb, Tchia is a declaration of love for New Caledonia. The two founders of the studio are from there and they make beautiful tropical adventure games.
The game is still being tested on Steam and EpicStore and I can already appreciate – in preview – the beauty of this enchanting archipelago, which you must explore and discover, with complete freedom. There is a crazy charm about this game and not only from the values it brings. At first, we feel like Robinson Crusoe finding some kind of paradise. But the island has been attacked by evil creatures. Tchia, a brave young girl who must save the local fauna, find her kidnapped father and triumph over the invaders, is lulled by the immersive musical atmosphere. We must start by learning to play the ukulele and summon animals that will help us in this dreamlike mission. Drift, jump, surf and exotic games.
Success is the first step that calls others. Even if there is still a bit of work to stabilize this universe with a release scheduled for spring 2023 on PC, PS4 and PS5.