You Should Play | Bound, Grow Up and Hitman
Welcome to You Should Play, a series where we highlight all of the video games that you should be playing this week, from big-budget releases through to little-known indie games.
This week we’re waking up in a bleary post-No Man’s Sky comedown, trying to regain our composure after the disappointment of Hello Games’ highly anticipated space exploration sim. Fortunately, there are a few games on our horizon that should prove to be fantastic remedies.
For fans of platforming games both Bound and Grow Up bring something new to the table, while Agent 47 returns in what could well be the greatest episode in the Hitman saga to date.
Check out what You Should Play this week:
Plastic Studios have struggled to successfully team their ambitious thematic ideas with compelling gameplay over the years, something that their underwhelming previous two releases Linger in Shadows and Datura attest to. This looks to change with Bound, the studio’s gorgeous new collaboration with Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, which places an emphasis upon the fluidity of its player-character’s movement in order to provide a platform adventure with some of the strongest animation I’ve seen in the genre.
Bound‘s balletic platforming is complemented by similarly free-form level design, which sees the structures surrounding the player-character react to her gentle touch, disappearing and reappearing into view in accordance with the motion of her body. It’s beautiful to watch, with it perfectly conveying this sense that its heroine is dancing through each level, rather than hurriedly racing towards her objective.
If you’re a fan of platforming games, then Bound is a short but unique adventure that more than deserves your attention.
Why You Should Play It
- Beautiful animation.
- Compelling and mysterious story.
- Unique level design.
With a title that sounds more like a condescending command than it does the name of a charming platformer, Grow Up sees players becoming reacquainted with BUD, the Botanical Utility Droid who just can’t seem to prevent himself from winding up stranded on alien planets.
Grow Up‘s predecessor Gone Home was a quirky little experiment on behalf of developers Ubisoft, with the company tasking its Ubisoft Reflections studio – the studio responsible for the Driver series – to develop a platformer built upon the foundations of a procedurally generated world. Though Grow Home was limited in design, with it solely requiring the player to keep moving upwards into its barren sky, there was something absurdly addictive about its singular objective to climb really, really high.
Its sequel builds upon this initial concept, but also introduces a larger open-world environment to explore that encourages a greater level of exploration, with it being filled with more things to collect, abilities to unlock and weird, phallic plants to clamber upon. If you enjoyed Grow Home then its sequel doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it will provide you with a much more robust game to sink your teeth into.
Why You Should Play It
- Grow Home was great and this is too.
- A new open-world that encourages exploration.
- As lovely as the first game.
Hitman: Episode 4 – Bangkok
Look beyond the incessant complaining regarding Square Enix’s decision to turn Hitman into an episodic series, and you’ll be rewarded with what is potentially the very best entry in the franchise thus far. With each episode providing a brand new open-world to explore, complete with increasingly ludicrous ways in which to dispatch assassination targets and new a plethora of new secret to uncover, the Hitman reboot has thus far proven to be a pretty big success despite the criticisms leveled at it.
The fourth episode in the series takes Agent 47 to Thailand, with him tasked with infiltrating a luxury hotel resort in Bangkok in order to take out Jordan Cross, the lead singer of a rock band who is suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend and eradicating the evidence. It’s an interesting conceit, with it potentially paving the way for Agent 47 to pose as a part-time rockstar, similar to his impromptu role as a catwalk model in the game’s first episode.
Each new episode of Hitman has been more enjoyable than the last, so we hope that this trend will continue to be the case in Episode Four.
Why You Should Play It
- The latest episode in a fantastic series.
- An interesting plot with plenty of opportunities for stealthy hilarity.
- Gorgeous setting.