But make no mistake: Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterpiece. I see these flaws as small distractions, but they don't kill my enthusiasm for the game. Those bugs seem like nitpicking against scenes like the one in the video above, as Arthur rides to the sound of a beautiful song.
Call of Duty works best when it throws a diversity of experiences at you. The multiplayer game accomplishes this with the constant duels between the Specialists. The Zombies experience will keep you trying to survive for just one more round. And Blackout could provide an endless set of crazy and fun experiences.
I found there was plenty of emotion, story, and action to keep me interested in what happens next. I'm not a fan of the episodic nature of the game, as I would rather play it all at once. But I look forward to the rest of it.
The story was kind of wacky, it made me laugh, and it had a kind of moral to it in the end. It's not heavy moralizing, but it makes you think about whether you really should be tossing out so much trash for a donut hole to collect. I wished the story was longer and the game had more things to do besides capturing things in a hole. But the story was lighthearted and the gameplay was fun. If you don't have high expectations, I think you'll find Donut County is a nice diversion.
Star Wars: Battlefront II tries to straddle the hardcore and casual audiences. It succeeds some of the time, and it also fails some of the time. So far, the cut scenes in the single-player campaign are excellent, but I'm waiting to get into some really fun gameplay.
Overall, Total War: Warhammer II is an exciting edition to the Total War series, and the Warhammer characters certainly add a lot of personality. They're the sort of characters who generate more interest in the narrative and make you more interested in pursuing the rest of the story.
The ending of the game will leave you wondering just what was real and what was an illusion. I thoroughly enjoyed the dramatic arc of each major scene. It starts out calm, moves to disturbing, and then descends into chaos and madness. I think the storytellers and designers exercised tight creative control, with a game that is understated as well as explosive.
Overall, I thought it did a wonderful job delivering something fresh. And that’s very hard to do in the shooter genre. The single-player game should be longer, but that’s not such a bad complaint. The developers made something that I couldn’t get enough of, and that’s a good thing.
I felt like I was playing Grand Theft Auto III. If I were rating the story and acting, I would put it at a 95 out of 100. But with all of the bugs and flaws in the gameplay, I am rating the entire package at 75 out of 100. I hope my feedback will be useful as a reminder to developers that six months more work on a game can pay off with huge dividends in quality. But I also believe some of the problems here would be very hard to fix with simple updates.
Gears of War 4 is a very well-executed, bug-free game with awesome technical effects. The single-player campaign is on the short side at nine hours, but it gives you everything that you want and expect in a Gears of War game. The Coalition does a decent job walking the tightrope of providing something that fans want and giving them something different at the same time. The Horde mode has taken the co-op play in a very good direction, and I expect that fans are going to enjoy multiplayer quite a bit as well.
The ending makes it feel like this story just isn't finished, that it's simply a midway marker to a larger, more weighty tale with a full and satisfying ending. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes us only part way there, and we still want to get to those enemies in the shadows.