“Return to Monkey Island”, “Overwatch 2”, “Bayotta 3”… Ten video games that marked the start of the school year

THE MORNING LIST

Grouped like cyclists in a Tour de France peloton, a series of highly anticipated sequels have swept across consoles and PC since the start of the school year. Waiting God of War: Ragnarok on November 9, the Pixels service of the World included four outings wearing number 2 bibs (Mario + Rabbids. Sparks of Hope, Overwatch 2 Where A Plague Tale: Requiem), accompanied by two number threes (Splatoon 3, Bayonetta 3) and Return to Monkey Island, sixth of the name. But video games aren’t just about franchises. Original creations, such as forest Where The Case of the Golden Idolstand out for their inventiveness and impose themselves in this ranking.

Five titles not to be missed

  • “Overwatch 2”: the redesign

It is difficult to qualify Overwatch 2 a real sequel toOverwatch, the Blizzard title that came to dust off the often greyish world of competitive online shooters in 2016. The promised big single-player adventure hasn’t arrived yet, and this long-awaited sequel looks a lot like a simple overhaul. The basic recipe does not change: two teams compete, in which the players embody heroes with complementary powers. Never mind: this formula, and the undeniable quality of Blizzard’s finish, always make it a nervous and addictive game.

By reducing the teams from six to five players, the rhythm of the games is boosted and certain proven strategies are upset. So yes, its economic model (the basic game is free but the additional paid options) leaves a bitter taste. Yes, there are currently few new characters. But Overwatch 2 is above all an opportunity to revive the craze for what remains one of the best online games, where the bad games generate unparalleled frustration, and the good games intense joy.

Available for free on PC, Xbox and Playstation.

  • “The Case of the Golden Idol”: a gripping investigation

Get ready for the survey of the year. It is a question here of observing a succession of twelve paintings, twelve snapshots, each time captured a few seconds after a tragedy – generally, an assassination. Who killed who? How and why ? To answer these questions, you have to start by observing the scenes, sorting the witnesses from the suspects, and identifying the clues that unlock as many keywords – which you will then try to put together to unravel these twelve entanglements.

Twelve imbroglios that actually form a single plot spanning four decades, and in which individual destinies, revolutionary ideals and esoteric exoticism mingle. Rare are the investigation games that push, not to click randomly everywhere on the screen, but to really reflect to make its own deductions. The title of the Klavins brothers is one of these and reminds us of our favorite of the year 2018: Return of the Obra Dinn.

Available for €18 on PC.

Read also: We tested… “The Case of the Golden Idol”, a golden detective game
  • “A Plague Tale: Requiem”: brotherly love

Surprise success of the year 2019, A Plague Tale: Innocence, recounted the journey of Amicia and Hugo de Rune, two children who are trying to survive in the face of the Black Death and the Inquisition simultaneously. In its sequel, unfailing brotherly love is once again undermined by the abyssal darkness in which this nightmarish Aquitaine is plunged during the Hundred Years’ War. The clever mix of infiltration and puzzles typical of the first episode is skilfully re-enacted, while spicing it up with a good dose of action. A relentless adventure, with numerous chases (spectacular) and fights (sometimes a little clumsy), as breathless as it is poignant, nourished by an inspired artistic direction.

Available for €50 on PC; for €60 on PlayStation 4 and 5; free with Game Pass subscription.

Read also: We tested… “A Plague Tale: Requiem”, a fraternal love story at the time of the Black Death
  • “Return to Monkey Island”: a trillion thousand ports

There are reunions that we no longer expected. Thirty-one years after the unforgettable Monkey Island 2Ron Guilbert and Dave Grossman, two of the three co-creators of the iconic series, propose a new episode under the leadership of the Lucasfilm studio, now owned by Disney, and the publisher Devolver. We first discover Mêlée Island, a haunt of colorful pirates, in a new light. Cartoon-style visuals by Rex Crowle replace the pixel art of the first installments. These abundant and evocative illustrations are then the scene of sophisticated dialogues, alternating the trivial and unbridled humour. A gem of writing and a return to the sources of the genre – point-and-click – as successful as it is touching.

Available for €23 on PC and €25 on Switch.

Read our interview with Gilbert and Grossman: Article reserved for our subscribers With “Return to Monkey Island”, “we didn’t want to create a nostalgic video game”
  • “Bayonetta 3”: the improbable chimera

Bayonetta 3 had been wanted for eight years. The witch is back with an episode at the height of her visual madness and crazy action scenes. By exploiting the fashion of the multiverses, the game makes its pop diva, already endowed with magical powers and almost immortal, the equivalent of a Marvel superheroine. For fifteen to twenty hours, the player is drawn into a flamboyant spectacle, but weighed down by an escalation that can galvanize him as much as blaser him.

The multitude of new demonic summons give rise to game sequences each more bewildering than the other: duel of titans worthy of a Japanese monster movie, furious chase, shooting on rails above the clouds, game parody rhythm, etc. From this abundance of genres, PlatinumGames produces an exquisite corpse with excessive generosity. A game that is entirely a chimera.

Available for €60 on Switch.

Read also: We tested… “Bayotta 3”, an action game as bewitching as it is monstrous

Five more exciting titles to try

  • “Foretales”: fantastic animals

The French from Alkemi succeed in propelling us into a hectic adventure with simple playing cards. Combining them wisely on the board is the only way to advance the plot. This is followed by savory discussions between the characters (who seem taken from the Robin Hood Disney), exploration and battles that require strategy. An endearing universe that stimulates both imagination and reflection.

Available for €20 on PC and Switch.

  • “Dome Keeper”: dig, dig and dig more

Is there any greater pleasure in a video game than drilling galleries? To invent your own maze, to play by subtraction? From the worm worms to Steve from Minecraft through the bilious demon of Dungeon Keeperthe mining games, although few in number, are often enjoyable. Dome Keeper does not escape this gentle fatality, offering us to seek, ever deeper, the resources that will allow us to manufacture the weapons and defenses to face ever greater threats. Claustro but exhilarating.

Available for €18 on PC, Mac and Linux.

  • “Splatoon 3”: never two without three

The third child of the family Splatoon has the qualities of its predecessors: a unique visual identity, always great music and a permanent good mood. The colorful shooter, in which the guns are not loaded with bullets but with paint, does not experience a revolutionary change. It has never been so fluid online and its single-player campaign is one of the most successful. A formula that is still just as entertaining but which rests on its achievements – and its laurels.

Available for €60 on Switch.

Read also: We tested… “Splatoon 3”, a new dive into the squid pond
  • “Mario + The Rabbids. Sparks of Hope”: Whiplash

The honeymoon between Rabbids, from Ubisoft, and Mario, from Nintendo, continues after a successful marriage in 2017. For this second episode, head for the stars to free different planets from a mysterious evil that is eating away at the galaxy. The strategy game innovates and revamps its combat system. Navigation is also freer. A family entertainment that offers some peaks of difficulty.

Available for €60 on Switch.

Read also: We tested… “Mario + The Rabbids. Sparks of Hope”, the tactic without pressure
  • “Hyper Demon”: psychedelic shot

Hypnotic, psychedelic, hermetic. Like its predecessor Devil Daggers, the new opus from Sorath studio is a ruthless shooter and survival game. You have to eliminate hordes of monsters as quickly as possible to save a few seconds on a countdown that marks the end of the game. An experimental title, certainly exhausting but devilishly fascinating.

Available for €20 on PC and Switch.

“Return to Monkey Island”, “Overwatch 2”, “Bayotta 3”… Ten video games that marked the start of the school year