Where BioShock Infinite aggressively tugged on heartstrings, The Evil Within tears them from your chest and crucifies you. It strangles you with your own tendrils and feeds you your own beating heart, mouth locked shut and tied with entrails, forcing you to chew and swallow. But when the last sliver slides down the back of your throat, you'll look up and smile a sadistic smile before asking "more, please".
There are options all over the place -- asymmetrical multiplayer, open-world single-player, full narrative co-op, user-generated content, more use of vehicles off rails, grappling hooks in goddamned multiplayer... and so on. None of that is meant to lead you to believe this is a bad game -- it's the best Call of Duty since Modern Warfare and may in fact be better, but saying that isn't because it's changed the series' formula the way that game did, rather it's refined it. And maybe that's not the fault of any of the developers working on the game, and rests more squarely on the shoulders of the publisher who sets that beat I've talked so much about.
Its game-world is wholly realised and gorgeous to look at, but above all else, it tells such an incredible story in so many new and unique ways, it's impossible to ignore. Batman: Arkham Knight is a Batman experience no self-respecting fan should miss, and if Batman's not your thing, then make it your thing. You won't regret it. Trust me.
Mad Max is obviously a licence close to my heart, and The Road Warrior is my favourite tale in the franchise, so it could be considered unfair to have judged the game how I have, but there are definitely some glaring issues here that make the product schizophrenic in its licence representation. When applying played-out tropes, however, it actually works through the game's size and goals, and is easy to enjoy -- just as long as you forget the past and embrace the present.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate gets more right than it gets wrong, but in trying to amend some of the sins of the series, it exacerbates the issues instead of offering a cure. Despite that rather lengthy list of cons at the bottom of my review, one thing's for sure: Assassin's Creed Syndicate is still a hell of a lot of fun.