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Video Game Of The Month February 2023

video game of the month god of war

It still feels really strange typing 2023 for these features. Where did 2022 go? Insert crying emoji here. It is hard to believe how long I have been keeping this feature afloat for now. My only hope is that you peeps enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy putting it together for you. I remember making some sort of joke in one of the first entries to this series (I know, me make a joke? Pfft) about seeing how long Zatu will allow me to keep this going. And I am still here! Who would have thunk.

In a couple of months we will be hitting the 2 year anniversary for this feature. I have some ideas in mind for some sort of ‘special’ feature. I still need to iron out some details and get a green light for one of them. But stay tuned for a mega epic feature that will melt your brain. Maybe. Please don’t hold me to that though.

This feature wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of my fellow bloggers though. So with that in mind, lets find out what they have been playing this month.

God Of WarNick Welford

Since getting a Steam Deck I have been picking up some games that I haven’t been able to get hold of due to not owning a PlayStation. Top of that list has been God of War. Having never played any of this series before I was sure what to expect apart from plenty of combat. What I didn’t expect was a surprisingly engaging story.

Well perhaps not story but relationship. The relationship between Kratos and his son is done really well for the most part. It drove me to push on and extend my game session to ‘just one more fight’. There was only one part, Atreus’ almost predictable teen like rebellion, that got a little annoying. More because his sullen responses were more limited than his usual airy style and so became a tad repetitive.

Gameplay is really entertaining too. The combat feels meaty and being able to command Atreus to fire on enemies, making them easier to stun or applying other effects. As the game progresses and Atreus grows he becomes more combat able too. Of course, this is all on an fairly accelerated time frame, but it works well within the context.

You will use your weapons and skills to solve mostly straight forward puzzles, which are not so simple that they are insulting. The game felt the right length too, I did a fair amount of side quests but didn’t feel a strong pull to 100% it but mainly because I need to storage space for my next PlayStation catch up!

Splatoon 3 Thom Newton

It’s been a great month to be a Splatoon player, or for me at least. My favourite weapon got a boost, there was a great Splatfest event where my team won in every category, the expansion pass was announced and we’re just coming up on the end of the chill season.

This game is the anomaly in my play time. I am nearly exclusively a single player gamer. Splatoon 3 is probably the only multiplayer game I still play with any regularity since I stopped playing Destiny 2. I still miss you Cayde 6.

Splatoon 3 is a wonderfully fast and frantic team-based shooter on the Nintendo Switch. Players will take on the role of a squid kid; a kid who can transform between squid, it’s not just a clever name. You can kit these kids out with various weapons and abilities and the goal of the game is to cover as much of the map in your team’s colour paint by the time the 3-minute timer ends. You can swim through your paint on the ground and even up walls. It gives the game a fantastic sense of pace and verticality.

There are also some alternative game modes covering the staples of capture the flag and king of the hill as well as a PvE mode where a team of 4 squid kids need to defeat waves of enemies all while collecting eggs to return to a central basket.

There is just something about this game that has me hooked. Maybe it’s the quick playtime, maybe it’s the lack of abusive voice chat. It’s mechanically solid but it may just come down to the fact that I’m somehow pretty good at it. Whatever it is, the end of the chill season gave me a final push to unlock everything before the new season starts in March. I feel Splatoon gets a bit looked over because of its aesthetic. But if you can look past the bright façade, there is a fantastic shooter to be had here which is accessible to newcomers and challenging for more experienced players alike.

Dead Space - Paul Blyth

Before the announcement and before the rumours of one I’ve wanted a remake of my beloved Dead Space. Which is strange as, on the whole, I find remakes and remasters to be lazy cash-grabs. But when done right they can take an already excellent title and raise it to new and exciting heights. The Resident Evil 2 REmake being the perfect example.

The trailers for the Dead Space Remake instantly caught my attention, it had the same claustrophobic atmosphere, Necromorphs looked more gruesome than ever before and the games’ protagonist - Isaac Clarke - looked better than ever. Then, to send hype for the game into the stratosphere Motive, the studio behind the remaster, did something that more studios need to do - they gave regular and in-depth updates on the game. They treated us to gameplay showcases and even answered questions from fans on Reddit. It was a refreshing stance from a game studio, which worked wonderfully and I skipped happily onto the hypetrain, ticket in hand.

January and the release of Dead Space took its sweet time to come around but man alive it’s worth it! The Dead Space Remake has done for the franchise what the Resident Evil 2 REmake did for Capcom. Everything about it is perfect, the lighting, the atmosphere, the sound design, everything has been recreated and, in many cases, enhanced with such attention to detail that it’s impossible not to fall in love... which is a weird thing to say about a sci-fi horror game that features an abundance of dismemberment. But that’s simply how it is. Motive have gone above and beyond in every aspect and should be applauded for the care they’ve put into the title. EA recently sent out a questionnaire asking if people want to see remakes of Dead Space 2 and 3. Unsurprisingly the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Mario Kart Live: Home CircuitSophie Jones

I’ve had my real-life Mario Karts for a while. And on one lazy Sunday, I decided it was time to build my first track and take them for a spin around my house. Once you’ve bought these gadgets, set up is easy. You can download the game for free from the Nintendo store and pair your cars by simply scanning the QR code in game.

However, the lengthy part of this game is setting up your own track. In Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, you have to build your track using gates and then map out your circuit. This was challenging with limited floor space but by looping round chairs and books I managed to make it interesting. The Karts mimic Mario drifting well so they could handle my many sharp turns. My rug however proved challenging for their tiny wheels, so I had to drive round it.

The game itself is lots of fun as you watch the Kart zoom around the living room, throwing shells on screen. Each game track provides a virtual overlay to your real-life circuit. On one, a desert sandstorm pushes your Kart around and in real life, you can see the Kart being blown about. These details made each track unique and dynamic.

But it wasn’t all good. My Kart occasionally suffered latency issues when it strayed too far from the Switch, which made the game stutter. Also, Karts in game aren’t hindered by any obstacles in the real world which can make it a little unfair. As I crashed into my dining room chair, for the fifth time, the AI’s all drove through it. Obstacles can be problematic with power ups too. Especially the bullet power up. As it cannot see the obstacle, this power up won’t help you get to first but will instead crash you into the nearest debris.

If you want to experience Mario in real life, you can’t go wrong with this addition. Just make sure you’ve got time to build your track because you might need to test it a lot.

Horizon Forbidden WestDan Hilton

For my own entry on this list, I will be talking about a game I put off for a long time. You see, I am not one that generally gets pulled in by hype. The first Horizon game was swimming in hype when it released and I remember thinking it was ok. It didn’t blow me away in any department. The story was alright, the graphics were standard, the combat was serviceable. Forbidden west seems to have stepped up in all regards.

I am a pretty big chunk of the way into the game now and find myself genuinely invested in where the story is going. The best part of the Horizon story was the A.I known as GAIA that was comprised of several other A.I functions. All of these systems have evolved and are now in hiding and we are tasked with hunting them down to rebuild GAIA. Who will in turn rebuild the natural order of things and get humanity back on track. I love this.

Whilst the combat has remained pretty much the same as the original game, I find myself enjoying it much more in this game. I think a big part of that is the fact that I am more engaged with the game than the predecessor. One of the main things that help me get invested in the game is the characters. Not only are they well designed and interesting characters, but they are all voiced incredibly well too.

You know me, I am a big sucker for good voice acting. I am even in the middle of a full feature celebrating the amazing work of voice actors. Stay tuned for that one!

I think Horizon Forbidden West is a great game. One that is very much so worthy of all the praise that it has had since its release.

Credit Roll

And there you have it. As usual, another 5 games that we think are worth a bit of attention. I think this is another month where we have a wide range of game genres. I always love these lists when they diversify a little. How many Hogwarts Legacy entries do you bet we will have next feature? I am betting it might be the first time we see a dual entry in a single feature. Not from me though, I actually don’t like the game. I know, controversy!

Well, I am off to fangirl over voice actors for a little while to try and get that special feature out to you peeps. For now, happy gaming!