Games of the week: Hitman 3, The Pillar: Puzzle Escape, Nuts and Ride 4 – Inverness Courier

Hitman 3.Picture: PA Photo/Handout

Hitman 3

Platform: Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, PC, Stadia

Genre: Action / Stealth

Price: 54.99

Master of disguise

Hitman 3 doesnt stray too far from its predecessors but manages to maintain excitement all the same, as the World of Assassination trilogy reaches a fitting conclusion. The story of Agent 47 and his handler Diana Burnwoods pursuit to take down evil secret society Providence is sown together nicely, staying true to previous principals: patience and disguise. There are some new elements thrown in, such as a camera to hack items, but this doesnt add anything too dramatic and its best this way. The main marvel is the six deep new maps, ranging from the worlds tallest building in Dubai, to a UK country manor. Each contain so much to explore and complete, with the chance to go back and work for new weapons and disguises.

Skip to the end: Seems sad to say farewell to Agent 47 but all good things come to an end, and this is a closure that does the series justice.

Score: 9/10

The Pillar: Puzzle Escape

Platform: Xbox, PlayStation, Switch

Genre: Puzzle

Price: 11.99

Sweet escape

With no apparent story and a first-person view, The Pillar: Puzzle Escape offers a simple but varied range of puzzles designed to soothe, rather than infuriate. By that, we mean the puzzles arent really all that challenging but thats fine, it works alongside a gentle soundtrack. Equally acceptable are the basic yet impressionable graphics, as you explore each level. Prepare to see grids, blocks and lines aplenty, but dont expect it to last long, as it plays out for just a few short hours, leaving us longing for a little bit more.

Skip to the end: The pressure is off in The Pillar: Puzzle Escape, and rightly so. Puzzles dont always have to be long head scratchers and it works well in this case.

Score: 7/10

Ride 4

Platform: Xbox, PlayStation

Genre: Sport

Price: 49.99

Graphics in the fast lane

Bikes and tracks look even slicker with 4K resolution and 60fps, as Ride 4 receives its next-gen upgrade for Xbox Series X/S and the PS5. Content wise, there isnt much new to shout about though there are now 20 riders to experience online races with. This upgrade is all about the visuals and performance, and its hard to fault both. Bikes glisten like never before, and game play is noticeably smooth with the power of the new consoles behind them. The PS5 version benefits from DualSense advanced haptic feedback, but we cant speak to the impact of that as we reviewed on Xbox Series X. Best of all, if you already bought Ride 4 for Xbox One or PS4, you can get all of this for free with a downloadable upgrade.

Skip to the end: Graphics and performance race to the lead in Ride 4 upgrade.

Score: 8/10

Nuts

Platform: iOS

Genre: Adventure

Price: 4.99 per month with Apple Arcade

Squirrel surveillance

Who would have thought observing squirrels could be turned into gaming entertainment? Nuts has made a hearty attempt, though some of the controls are more likely to drive you nuts. The tap and drag controls are sometimes fiddly and small details such as needing to lock your camera to take a photo of your caravan are poorly explained, leaving you feeling confused. Once you get past that, the game itself is enjoyable. Thankfully you have your journal to point you in the right direction for most missions. And the art style is also pretty original and intriguing.

Skip to the end: Fiddly controls and unclear instructions can drive you nuts in what is otherwise a fun little adventure game.

Score: 6/10

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Games of the week: Hitman 3, The Pillar: Puzzle Escape, Nuts and Ride 4 - Inverness Courier

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