Platform reviewed: PC
Available on: PC
Release date: February 13, 2024
Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior is an impressive debut from Sand Door Studio and offers an interesting time-altering twist to the traditional hack’n’slash roguelike cross that has been popularized since the release of Supergiant’s Hades. Though the roguelike’s core loop does offer plenty of interesting tactical moments throughout the games eight to 10-hour run, the overall package lands short of the lofty heights reached by games of a similar ilk.
In Lysfanga, you take on the role of Imë, a mysterious warrior known as the “Lysfanga” who is sworn to protect the New Kingdom. However, when you are drawn to investigate rumors in the ancient Cities of Mayura, an old and evil enemy known as the Raxes re-emerges.
Hold your horses
The game starts with an opening exposition dump to set the scene. While credit should be given to the Sand Door team for attempting to develop the lore and history of the mystical land of Mayura, it can be a little much.
The time-loop feature is by far the most exciting aspect of combat. It allows the player to pull off impressive combos alongside getting visibly annoyed with their own past actions (at least in this reviewer's experience).
The names of people, cities, and enemies are thrown at you in a five-minute opening section to admittedly very pretty still images; unfortunately, in exposing so much early on in a bid to establish the world, the agency to then discover these stories is lost.
This apathy is condensed further by a story that has its twists and turns but never does enough to hook its claws in entirely. This problem, in part, is down to vocal performances that feel flat, with each line of dialogue carelessly shuffling to the next. But even if the performances were top-notch, the story serves only to get the player through to the next combat set piece - an excuse to move you forward rather than a compelling reason to. This lack of character is a shame, considering the craft and care that has gone into designing what is often a gorgeously detailed environment.
Thankfully, the core experience in Lysfanga is still incredibly solid, bordering great. When Imë arrives at a combat encounter, the game pauses and the top-down isometric view allows the player time to survey the scene.
This mechanic gives you time to spot where the enemies are, how to get to them, and what hazards might scupper them. This feature felt very similar to XCOM in that you have as much time as desired before the combat begins to work out your moves, which in turn helps add a healthy dose of control to hack’n’slash action that can feel chaotic and random in other games.
With each attempt, you have a specific time limit before you reset, and the attempt you just made is replayed via your Remnant; think time-trial ghost from a Mario Kart game but with more violence. Your previous Remnant’s actions carry across all corresponding runs. So if you took your first run up the left side, you can run up the right on your second, and all the Raxes previously slain will remain dead.
Subtitles accompany the game’s fully voice-acted dialogue. The controls can be re-mapped to suit different controller configurations.
As the game progresses, levels play around with this more. Certain gates open and close when passed through. While some Raxes are psychologically linked, meaning they need to be destroyed simultaneously, and so on.
These compact battles, with increasingly exciting twists on the formula, are often brilliant. On top of this, there are recommended time challenges on each encounter. After the second act of the story, there's a whole new game mode that allows you to add modifiers to increase the challenge further and retry previous battles. For those players who are gripped by trying to find the optimal paths and quickest times, this will be the perfect hook and offers impressive replayability beyond the story.
There are some issues here also, however. Though the game as a whole runs wonderfully, some enemies feel twitchy, such as a Raxes that, when defeated, fires in a straight line and explodes. The level design clearly wants you to deploy this on the enemy, but getting this beast going in the correct trajectory often feels random. On top of this, the core fighting styles of standard, light, and heavy weapons don’t feel dramatically different from one another, and unlocked spells and runes do somewhat change the feel of the game but never really alter the encounters in any meaningful way.
Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior scratches the hack’n’slash itch successfully. The game is tight, the combat is slick, and it feels good to play. However, there isn’t enough content here, particularly in character build or within its story, that makes Lysfanga genuinely unmissable. Overall, Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior is fun and snappy; you just won’t be using your Remnants to replay it over and over.
Platform reviewed: PC Available on: Xbox Series X|S and PC Release date: January 25, 2024
Phantom Abyss is a new action roguelike 3D platformer from Team WIBY. The premise of this platformer is relatively simple; you’re trapped in an ancient temple and are forced to gather sacred relics in order to release yourself, along with the God of the Abyss, who sends you on your journey to freedom armed with nothing but the right attitude and a grappling hook/whip. With asynchronous multiplayer available, you can enjoy the trials of these dungeons alone, with friends, or with complete strangers.
There are four main levels, each based around an element like fire or water. At each main stage, there are six temple runs to choose from, and only three of them need to be completed to progress to the next zone. There are also extra levels that you can access by collecting keys from chests, which are scattered throughout each map.
However, various restrictions in each dungeon go beyond simple obstacles like traps and spikes. These could be limited health, one-hit kills, or a temple Guardian: an ancient deity that chases you across the map trying to kill you. These restrictions are what keep you on your toes.
Rage against the temple
The action-adventure parkour game has been in Early Access for over two years, with the developers slowly polishing up rough edges and adding new features in correspondence with community feedback. Unfortunately, right now, ahead of its official release on January 25, more refining is needed until Phantom Abyss can join the ranks of the best roguelike games. This game has more than a few issues that need resolving, all of which make an already complicated game more frustrating.
My biggest gripes with this action platformer concern the temperamental physics, repetitive maps, and lengthy load times. While perfection is often impossible in game development, roguelikes demand a higher baseline thanks to their inherently irritating premise of starting all over again after each death. Unfortunately, Phantom Abyss misses the mark, and its problems make an annoying game even worse.
For example, while flying through the mossy ancient tombs, I often found myself scrambling at walls and ledges after my flow was interrupted by my grappling hook/whip falling short of its target. Despite all my efforts to line it up in the right way, it would only occasionally work. This meant almost instant death every time, which was especially frustrating when I was trying to outrun a Guardian.
Watching fellow players die in front of me. Not only did this clue me into how to approach problems, but sometimes, their corpses even gave me half a heart of health.
Such strange physics also made Phantom Abyss feel like a retro platformer. While these can be great fun, it did mean that your whip swings in a very disjointed way. In addition to this, each level feels very basic and somewhat familiar. However, this was mostly down to the fact that they are. Despite levels being procedurally generated, each map has similar layouts and obstacles, with most of the changes being small, like adding poison gas or dangerous enemies. This repetition means that exploring the ancient tombs gets old pretty quickly.
It’s common for roguelikes to corner a player into punching a hole in their monitor. However, they need to get the balance between rage and reward just right in order to be enjoyable. Every death should always be your fault, something that you learn from and fix before the next run. And, while there is some training involved in how you navigate dangerous obstacles in Phantom Abyss, sometimes you are left wondering what, if anything, you could have done differently to avoid death and having to completely restart.
At one point, I was being chased down a narrow corridor by a flaming head Guardian who was trying to eat me. After falling through the cracks right by the doorway, I restarted at the other end of the corridor. Unfortunately, this meant that the Guardian lay between me and the next checkpoint. I couldn’t go back, or around the gigantic flaming monster, so I was quickly gobbled up and sent back to the very beginning to try it all over again. These untimely restarts, combined with the lengthy load times, made completing Phantom Abyss feel like slogging through wet clay despite its fast-paced premise.
It’s dangerous to go alone
The best part of Phantom Abyss is the asynchronous multiplayer, which means that you don’t have to wait for players to join; it’s instant. This feature also means that you can play alongside others without strangers impacting too much of your run. While you can rely on others to open doors for you, a feature which I did take full advantage of, these gateways are timed and mean that you can’t just sit back and wait for someone else to do the grunt work for you.
There's a great range of accessibility options in Phantom Abyss. With ways to enable or disable various HUD features like timers or scores you can clear up your screen as much or as little as you want. There are also various video options such as changing motion blur, camera bob, and landing camera rotation.
This form of multiplayer also means that you can travel into the dangerous dungeons with friends and try to complete the runs with support rather than entirely alone. Even though this will probably make the experience slightly more bearable, that’s not something to be praised in the grand scheme of things, as any game can be made better if you add your friends into the mix.
So, as a whole, Phantom Abyss is a pretty nondescript roguelike and 3D platformer compared to some of the giants like Spelunky 2 or Ghostrunner 2, which checks all the boxes concerning creative level design, fluid traversal, and rewarding challenges. Still, the concept does show promise, such as its fun capacity for multiplayer and somewhat challenging maps, and it could potentially be refined with a few tweaks to the dungeon layout, Guardian behavior, and loading times. If you’re a fan of retro platformers, then this action-adventure game may still be worth checking out, but, unless you have a burning desire to play, it’s hard to fully recommend
Platform reviewed: PC Available on: PC Release date: October 31, 2023
You Will Die Here Tonight is a short but not entirely sweet horror game made by Spiral Bound Interactive, which puts players in the shoes of six high-level special ops characters with whom you’ll navigate a haunted mansion.
This top-down survival horror sees a special-ops task force invade a suspicious mansion in hopes of capturing its deranged owner. But with little information to go on, the group’s mission is further thrown into chaos when they are sabotaged and blindsided by a mysterious attacker. After you get split off from everyone else, you must use your wits and foresight to plan an escape, but unfortunately, you probably won’t be taking the whole group with you; some of them will die there tonight.
You must gather materials and puzzle pieces to fend off the undead that roam the mansion and solve riddles along the way. Once one character dies, you take control of the next, and then the next one, and so forth, until you’ve expended your resources and have no one else left to help escape.
At face value, there’s a lot of promise in You Will Die Here Tonight. The basis of the story, fight mechanics, and unification of characters are all interesting ideas that could help form an excellent twist on the usual zombie horror genre. However, sadly, this horror title just falls short of polishing up these factors and also fails to deliver some basic requirements. It’s for this reason that you won’t be seeing it on our best horror games list.
Blast from the past
When it comes to looks, You Will Die Here Tonight certainly does deliver, however. The top-down perspective combined with its retro aesthetic makes it stand out from other horror games that may have a similar premise.
Being trapped in an underground cavern and surrounded by attacking zombies. The transfer from a top-down perspective to a first-person point of view to shoot down all the oncoming attackers is a nice change of pace and adds to the horror.
The retro art style means that every location looks fantastic. There are gloomy libraries, mysterious subterranean lairs, and even some beautiful gardens decorated with ivy and sparkling fountains. It also makes exploring each setting far more enjoyable if there are tons of great places to admire.
Each one of the characters also looks excellent. While in top-down mode, you can only make out some minor details with the simple character outlines, but each one comes alive the closer you look. When a character begins to talk, we get a close-up static headshot; here, we get to see them better. It doesn’t stop with the cast of protagonists, though; the evil undead also benefit from this cool style.
While they can look pretty flat from afar once you enter combat mode in first-person, these creatures truly do look horrifying. Creeping up from the shadows, these undead experiments crawl and shift toward you at varying speeds, making every face-to-face encounter horrifying.
Some missing parts
You Will Die Here Tonight may certainly look the part, but unfortunately, it has several glaringly obvious rough edges. While there aren’t any real technical issues, there are some features that haven’t been well-rounded or are missing some features or tweaks.
Entering into the narrative, you get almost no time to get to know the other characters in the story. Besides walking into a room and listening to a couple of them talk about an event you have no memory of, there’s not much to tie you to these people. This means when many of them eventually die, in an assortment of weird and brutal ways, it doesn’t matter. Instead of fighting to get everyone out alive, every character is no more than a heart in the top corner of your screen.
There are also a couple of twists and turns in You Will Die Here Tonight that don’t hit as hard as they probably should. There’s a betrayal that fell flat because not only do I not know or care about the characters, but the reveal felt so wooden that I brushed straight past it. The character designs are pretty cool, and some of the one-liners they dish out can be strangely hilarious, so it’s a real shame that I didn’t feel more connected to them. There’s also the unimpressive reveal of what is truly going on in this mansion; you encounter a zombie almost straight away, which kills off any suspense.
There were also a couple of issues with story progression. At times, running around the mansion gave me tunnel vision; despite being in a huge area, every door would be locked to prevent straying off course. More often than not, it felt as if you were jumping through hoops and simply completing tasks for the sake of it and not because you truly wanted to find out more.
It’s a shame. This survival horror has high aspirations but manages to fall short of them in most aspects. The story isn’t that engaging; the riddles and puzzles can be long and quite boring, and the crafting and exploration aren’t fully fleshed out.
That being said, if you are a fan of top-down retro survival games and have a few hours to kill, You Will Die Here Tonight will scratch an itch. The entire game can be completed in less than five hours, so it’s pretty short, and while it’s not necessarily that straightforward to finish, I can see it being a satisfying puzzler for some.
There are no accessibility features in You Will Die Here Tonight, and the overall options are pretty sparse. There are a few audio settings that let you tweak the volume or general audio, as well as a couple of display options that allow you to alter the brightness, but that’s it.
How we reviewed
I completed You Will Die Here Tonight in less than five hours on PC. I tried to explore as much as possible, so it’s highly likely that you can finish this survival horror game in less time than that. I didn’t encounter any technical issues with it, and it was also pretty simple to interact with and not that taxing on my PC.
Total War: Pharaoh waxes and wanes like the Nile itself, offering a competent, yet inconsistent strategy experience. This latest offering from genre veterans Creative Assembly offers up a realistic and satisfying treatment of the end of the Bronze Age, let down by awkward intrigue, trade, and diplomacy systems.
As with previous Total War titles, the game exists on two layers. There’s a turn-based empire management sim where you’ll manage cities, raise armies, and attempt to weather the machinations of neighboring factions. Nestled underneath comes a sophisticated real-time battle system. Though you can opt to play the battle-only skirmish mode, the campaign is where the meat of the game experience lies. Total War: Pharaoh has you act as both general and administrator.
For the most part, the historical strategy game competently executes this task, allowing you to auto-resolve battles that would be a dull walkover while playing out engagements that might benefit from a more hands-on approach. The battles themselves are engrossing, offering plenty of chances for micromanagement and clever tactics.
The faction management layer, however, is more hit-and-miss. Constructing cities and directing your dynasty is often rewarding, but diplomatic interactions with neighboring factions drag. Total War: Pharaoh attempts to capture the diciness of the Bronze Age Collapse with the “Pillars of Civilization” mechanic, which offers rewards when factions build and maintain large, stable cities. Whether you’re playing as an Egyptian, Canaanite, or Hittite, maintaining these pillars is in your best interest, since the game brutally penalizes you should these lynchpin settlements fall to ruin.
However, as the name suggests, Total War: Pharaoh is a game about war, rewarding you for crushing your enemies and conquering their settlements. The game pulls you in two separate directions, simultaneously incentivizing diplomatic play and all-out war in a way that never quite lands.
Blood on the sand
The battles themselves are sophisticated affairs, boasting intuitive mechanics that gracefully unfold into complex tactical challenges. At their most basic, these engagements boil down to classic rock-paper-scissors mechanics - the sort you’d find in many of the best PC strategy games. Spears beat chariots, chariots outmaneuver shield infantry, and shield infantry outperforms spears. On top of that, you have faster, more hard-hitting squads designed to outflank enemies as well as the occasional hybrid unit that can excel in multiple roles.
To help you navigate this maze of strengths and weaknesses, when you click on an allied unit, a handy color-coded triangle will appear above potential enemy targets, alerting you as to how effective your soldiers might be against them in battle. However, flanking and maneuvering are just as important as unit type. If you’re outnumbered, you can attempt to hold the enemy at choke points, mitigating their advantage - a strategy that saved my poorly defended frontier settlements on more than one occasion.
Gaining a court position for the first time proved to be very entertaining. As Treasurer, I could embezzle money from other members of the court, which I then used to negotiate favorable deals with other factions. It made me feel like a sneaky political puppet master, worthy of the cutthroat courts of ancient Egypt.
Total War: Pharaoh adds a few new features to the Total War melting pot, too. Shifting weather conditions affect battlefields, changing the terrain and affecting how quickly your soldiers tire, as well as the performance of certain units. You may have the shiniest chariots, but, if rain has turned the desert into sludge, then you’ll be doomed to scowl at your foes from afar as your mount inches forward at a snail’s pace. Armor degradation also helps give engagements a sense of permanency, while ensuring that elite units aren’t quite as unassailable as they were in previous Total War titles.
Unfortunately, the battle layer is held back by a lack of diversity among the units on offer. While Total War: Pharaoh offers regional unit variants, you’ll almost always be stuck with some combination of melee infantry, archers, and chariots. The monotony made me pine for the fantastical and varied units on offer in Total War: Warhammer 3. Getting to the top of the tech tree was a bit of a letdown when all it got me was infantry with slightly prettier swords.
The faction management layer is less coherent and consistently joyful than Total War: Pharaoh’s frantic real-time battles. In an effort to accurately reflect the complex systems of politics that underpinned the government of ancient Egypt, Total War: Pharaoh introduces a court system, where factions can scheme against one another, trading favors and vying for advantage.
On paper, it looks satisfying. Every turn you get the chance to do something at court. You could gossip with one of the holders of a court position to gain favor, or you could start a secret plot to oust one of your rivals. You can conspire with allies, trading favor with them to boost the success rate of one of your schemes. You can even flat-out assassinate your enemies if you put in the legwork.
However, the court system struggles due to its lack of personality. Contrary to more immersive titles like Stellaris or Crusader Kings 3, your rivals at court have little to distinguish themselves from one another, feeling more like cardboard cutouts than actual people. The gregarious Ramesses won’t visibly act differently in court to gruff and ornery Seti. What’s more, court rivals will plot with or against you with little regard for your diplomatic standing. It was weird to form a tight-knit military alliance with Ramesses, only for him to blackmail me in court several turns later.
Total War: Pharaoh also leans heavily on trade systems, having units and buildings cost a variety of resources. Food, iron, gold, stone, and wood production all need to be managed in tandem, often requiring you to barter with neighbors in the world’s bloodiest game of Settlers of Catan. You’ll quickly find yourself entering into rapid-fire deals just to keep your economy afloat, a process made more tedious by clumsy menus and the sheer frequency of trades required to keep your faction’s head above water. I easily struck twice as many trade deals as I fought battles during my time with Pharaoh. Once again the game led me away from its stronger elements at its own expense.
Open are the double doors of the horizon
As a testament to Egyptian history, Total War: Pharaoh excels, skillfully immersing you in the period. History buffs will find themselves well served here. Much like historical Egypt, the game world is affected by seasonal events and raids from external powers. Droughts and floods have considerable effects on your faction’s production beyond simply modifying the terrain in battle. Your empire will rise and fall alongside the Nile itself. The endgame event, the invasion of the Sea Peoples, makes the game less about winning outright and more about weathering the catastrophic events of the Bronze Age Collapse - the perfect storm of drought, famine, and invasion that brought civilization to its knees 3,400 years ago.
Total War: Pharaoh asks you to contest with the very same factors that tore the ancient world apart - a challenge it conveys effectively through the use of its crisis system and increasingly brutal world events. As you play through the campaign, the world around you changes and you must either adapt or perish. Traditional Total War strategies might not serve you too well here, as aggressive expansion leaves you open for invasion by marauders or sudden economic collapse due to environmental factors.
That said, by asking you to lean away from warfare and towards diplomacy, Total War: Pharaoh pushes you towards its weaker mechanics and systems, undermining the game experience in pursuit of realism. This is not a move that will sit well with everyone. However, for those looking to really immerse themselves in the trials and tribulations of the ancient world, Total War: Pharaoh will deliver an experience that, though hit-and-miss in many respects, provides a refreshingly earnest take on the historical strategy genre.
Total War: Pharaoh offers a range of accessibility features, including colorblind modes for people with Deuteranopia, Protanopia, and Tritanopia, as well as the ability to customize colors for neutral, enemy, allied, and player factions. The game also offers UI scaling, for those looking for larger print. Beyond this, players are free to heavily customize their key bindings and camera settings.
How we reviewed Total War: Pharaoh
I spent 20 hours with Total War: Pharaoh, playing out one long-form campaign through the Sea Peoples' endgame crisis and a shorter campaign that went through to the mid-game. Both playthroughs were markedly different, with one focused on diplomacy and the other directed towards a more traditional, military-centric approach.
I have played over a thousand hours of Total War titles over the last ten years, including the Total War: Warhammer series, the Medieval: Total War series, Napoleon: Total War, and Total War: Three Kingdoms. I also have a great deal of experience with the wider strategy genre, including Stellaris and Crusader Kings 3 - all of which proved crucial when approaching the game.
The Logitech Litra Beam LX is the next iteration of the brand’s gaming light bar aimed at streamers. It builds on the foundations of the original model by adding ambient RGB lighting for a competitive price point. If you’re looking to step your streaming gear up, it’s a good choice to pair with some of the best webcams and one of the best green screens.
It effectively doubles as both a ring light and RGB light strip in one, and the included stands mean you have a lot of different mounting options to suit your setup. However, if you’re solely interested in a light bar without this feature, then the original, far cheaper Litra Beam, may be a better choice.
Price and availability
The Logitech Litra Beam LX launched on September 19 in countries such as the US and the UK and retails for $149 (approximately £120 / AU$230). For comparison, the original Litra Beam currently sells for $99 / £99 (around AU$150), so you’re paying about 50% for the added RGB ambient lighting.
Design and features
As far as key lights go, the Logitech Litra Beam LX is among the best-designed models that I’ve used. Instead of the older Litra Glow, a small square-shaped light that attaches to the monitor, the Beam LX comes with its own stand and can be both horizontally and vertically mounted.
Much like the original Litra Beam, the LX version is mains-powered and this has been done in order to make it considerably brighter than the previous USB-powered Glow model. The big difference here from the prior version is the RGB lighting as this is a dual-sided light. Essentially, it aims to be both mood-lighting and a ring light in one. You’re able to use it with Lightsync through Logitech’s G Hub, and there’s Bluetooth functionality to control the lighting wirelessly as well.
The top of the Litra Beam LX houses all the controls if you just want to configure things without having to utilize a PC. You’ve got a power button, brightness control, and color temperature gauge, the latter of which doubles as an RGB color toggle when the switch is engaged. It’s all very intuitive and straightforward, meaning you can make quick adjustments if it's in reach, and then fine-tune in the software if needed.
The stand that comes with the Litra Beam LX is excellent as you can either mount horizontally or vertically and adjust the height to several mounting points. This means you can have it under your monitor, above your displays, or stood up in between depending on how much space is available on your gaming setup.
The first thing that surprised me about the Logitech Litra Beam LX is just how bright it is when plugged in. As someone who has previously used the Litra Glow as a key light in the past, this one is a definitive upgrade in terms of its brightness. The company claims the 400-lumen LEDs are “TrueSoft for natural, radiant skin tones” and in my testing, I can confirm this. My setup is on the darker side of things usually due to an aging light bulb and lampshade, but this light bar made an immediate difference in illuminating my surroundings.
The RGB lighting itself is vivid and the controls mean you can cycle through gradients, primary colors, and rainbow spectrums. It’s not quite as powerful as the front-facing beam in terms of raw brightness, with a softer ambiance, but it does a good job of reaching the wall behind my monitors. I found that the RGB was the most prominent with the room light turned off and relying on the light bar itself to keep me illuminated. For those darker times, a warmer color is a better option, though, as staring into harsh white light at all hours of the night wasn’t quite ideal.
Fortunately, the temperature controls on the Litra Beam LX are easy to cycle through as swapping from a colder blue hue to a warmer orange tint only takes around a second or two. The overall temperature range of 2700-6500K is balanced, as even the most intense setting was easy on the eyes. If you’re someone who’s in need of a more powerful light than what USB ports on your PC can handle then you’re in good hands here.
Ultimately, the Logitech Litra Beam LX is a great key light that features decent RGB lighting. However, you’re paying a premium on this added feature over the original, so if RGB is something you can live without then you’re better off going for the standard variant instead.
Buy it if…
You want a powerful desktop key light
The Litra Beam LX is one of the brightest and most powerful key lights I have ever used.
You want RGB lighting in your setup
The RGB on the reverse of the Litra Beam is bright and adds a soft ambiance to the setup without being overkill.
Don’t buy it if…
You don't need or want RGB lighting
You’re better off buying the standard Litra Beam if you want to get the best value for money as it is considerably cheaper.
You want a USB-powered ring light
The Litra Beam LX requires mains power to function, so if you just want something to plug into the USB port of your PC then the Litra Glow is the better choice here.
The Logitech Yeti GX is the latest microphone aimed at gamers and streamers from the company as the next iteration of the tried-and-true Blue Yeti before it. With its compact design, stellar stand, decent RGB lighting, and intuitive controls, it can easily be considered one of the best microphones for streaming and one of the best USB microphones, however, there’s little new here to blow anyone away.
Few USB microphones are as well established as the Blue Yeti and this new take carries the torch toward with the signature sound profile, ease of use, and metal construction. If you’re after something plug-and-play that sounds decent then the Logitech Yeti GX could be the microphone for you.
Price and availability
The Logitech Yeti GX launched on September 19 in territories such as the US and the UK for $149 (around £119 / AU$230) placing it in the mid-range of USB microphone offerings. For context, that’s around the same price as the standard Blue Yeti before it, and comparable to the Logitech Yeti Nano. It also comes in a little cheaper than the similarly-sized USB-powered Rode X XCM-50.
Design and features
The Logitech Yeti GX is a compact USB microphone with a small footprint built to take up minimal space on your gaming desk. The condenser itself measures at less than 5 inches / 12cm tall and is suspended on the metal desktop stand with a large rounded dial on the right-hand side. The USB-C cable feeds in at the bottom, and the microphone itself can be angled upwards or away from you. As with other Yeti microphones, this one is a side-address model, which means you speak into it from the side instead of angling it at the top for the best results.
New to the Logitech Yeti GX is RGB lighting which can be customized in the Logitech G Hub. The bottom of the microphone features an RGB light strap with the Logitech G emblem also lighting up. It’s not the brightest display, but it adds a good touch of color to what would otherwise be a plain black mic setup.
The Logitech Yeti GX is about convenience and this can evidenced with the simple controls on offer. There’s a gain dial and a mute button but that’s your lot. What’s handy, though, is that a red light will come on when muted, and even appear when the audio starts spiking when recording or streaming, which is appreciated shorthand. A neat touch is that the scroll wheel is actually one that you would find on some of the company’s best gaming mice with a satisfying click and scroll.
The Logitech Yeti GX is one of the better-sounding USB microphones that I’ve used in my years of testing, with a pleasing flat sound profile that’s ideal for game streaming. Within seconds of plugging it into my PC’s front I/O, it was instantly detected, and Windows had balanced the input at 100%. I didn’t have to install any new drivers or mess around in settings, it was good to go straight out of the box.
While testing the pickup pattern, I noticed that the custom dynamic capsule did a solid job of picking up everything from a whisper to a normal speaking voice, and even singing as well as harsh metal vocals. You aren’t going to get the depth and clarity of something like the far larger and more expensive Rode X XDM-100 here, but for something this straightforward, the overall audio quality impresses, even though it doesn’t wow.
During my time with the Yeti GX, I was using it as my main microphone when chatting with friends playing Mortal Kombat 11 online, and going through Starfield. These are quite noisy games at the best of times, especially when the action gets intense, and I noticed that the sounds of my gaming keyboard, Victrix Pro BFG, and mouse were rarely picked up despite only being a few inches away. The pickup itself isn’t super sensitive, and that’s for the best as you won’t necessarily have to be recording in a studio where you can hear a pin drop.
What I did notice is that the audio can peak quite aggressively even from a moderate shout or scream with the gain dial reduced and the recording volume lowered. It’s not a massive problem, and something I encountered rarely, but if you happen to speak louder or more animated than most then you will need to bear this in mind. Popping words and tongue clicks can also appear if you’re close up, but it wasn’t something that plagued me much in my testing.
Overall the Logitech Yeti GX is a great microphone for gamers and streamers that marries up good design, ease of use, attractive lighting, and solid overall performance, but it isn’t going to win over any audiophiles. If you’re after bleeding-edge audio then you’re going to have to look elsewhere, but there’s very little you can fault this model on for what it offers for its price.
Buy it if…
You want a decent-performing, easy-to-use microphone for streaming
The Logitech Yeti GX is about as plug-and-play as they come working straight out of the box with minimal messing around, and it happens to sound good, too.
You’re after a compact microphone for streaming
The compact size of the Logitech Yeti GX makes it ideal for those with limited desk space for their setup, and the custom pickup pattern means you don’t have to be too close either.
Don’t buy it if…
You don’t care about RGB
You can find the Yeti Nano cheaper than the Yeti GX, which doesn’t add much aside from the lighting and a newer visual design.
You want the absolute best audio quality for streaming
While the Logitech Yeti GX sounds solid, you aren’t going to be getting the same level of quality as you were from a dedicated XLR microphone setup.