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The Observer - The New Review - - Games -

State of De­cay 2

(Xbox One, PC)

Post-apoc­a­lyp­tic zom­bie fic­tion is a sta­ple of video games, but State of De­cay 2 is less fix­ated on splat­ter­ing head­shots than the mun­dane toil that comes with main­tain­ing a small com­mu­nity of sur­vivors at the end of the world. You hole up in an aban­doned home and, after clear­ing the gore and debris, cul­ti­vate a gar­den, fil­ter rain­wa­ter and tend to the sick. Slowly you be­gin to ex­plore far­ther afield, scav­eng­ing for food and fuel and de­cid­ing whether or not to make friends or en­e­mies of other lo­cals. Tech­ni­cal is­sues only par­tially spoil this ex­hil­a­rat­ing if stress­ful sand­box for ad­ven­ture.

Dark Souls Re­mas­tered

(PS4, Xbox One, PC)

This dark fan­tasy nether­world of lum­ber­ing knights and crack­ling dragons made a star of its di­rec­tor, Hide­taka Miyazaki, in 2011. Two suc­cess­ful se­quels later and this re­mas­ter spir­its us back to a game that re­mains, for many, the high point of his ca­reer. You skit­ter through nar­row sew­ers and dense forests while cow­er­ing be­hind a shield in search of one of the bon­fires that punc­tu­ate this un­for­giv­ing world. It’s never clear which of the char­ac­ters you meet on the way are friend or foe, but find­ing out is strong magic. The lick of paint can­not hide

Dark Souls’ vis­ual cracks, but its core re­mains undimmed.

‘Ex­hil­a­rat­ing if stress­ful’: State of De­cay 2.

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