Tales develops an interesting world filled with rich characters that was imprisoned within the shoot & loot framework of Borderlands and Borderlands 2. Free from those constraints, Tales is already well on its way to telling a damn good story, and that's the best kind of loot there is.
Outside of the flying woes, Gat Out of Hell is content to let you be an all-powerful demigod or goddess. The game is just plain, hammy entertainment. It doesn't aspire to teach you a great moral lesson—outside of "don't fuck with Ouija boards," which is pretty sage advice—and it's not trying to wow you with 60 FPS photorealism. Gat out of Hell, like its predecessors, is that essential reminder we need from time to time that, yes, sometimes it's okay for videogames to be dumb fun and little else.
The primary characters are more fleshed out now that the story is occupied with making us sympathetic to them rather than showing off Westeros and Essos. As a result, this is a game that now feels more confident and standalone than it did a couple of months ago, more of a work that justifies its own existence than it does a dull, flimsy tie-in being hawked by HBO for marketing purposes.
What is [Apotheon's] song? One of delight and wonder, I would argue, an expression of unabashed love for myth. That it's possible to turn such love into an engrossing adventure that coalesces in a way so few games do reminds me of my own love for games and of their potential as a medium of beautiful expression. Apotheon, then, is the kind of videogame we need more of.
It is rare that I finish a game, especially one that's more than 6 hours, and immediately want to restart and play through it all again. Bloodborne is a deeply challenging game set in a fantastically realized gothic nightmare, an adventure of the highest quality for those willing to undergo the game's trial by fire and push past the technical hiccups.
Mortal Kombat X is fascinating in how parts of it seemingly want to get away from the nasty elements that made the series a household name and yet the gravitational pull of legacy and expectation is too strong. Mortal Kombat X is, in the end, no matter how much it wants to persuade you otherwise, just another Kombat game. It also happens to be one of the best ones in spite of itself but it's difficult for me to shake the feeling that Mortal Kombat has plateaued and that there's nowhere left to go without changing the fundamentals of the series in a radical way.
Sunset is a gift, an all too rare kind of game that focuses on people loving and hurting in mundane but almost unbearable ways. I will return to Ortega's penthouse in San Bavón soon, I imagine; if not in person, than in fond remembrance. It is, after all, the home I never knew I had.