A year of updates has helped fill out its light content, but the real magic was there from the start. Rare's take on cartoon piracy encourages you to behave as a cartoon pirate should: a little bloodthirsty, a little silly, and almost always drunk.Dustin Bailey
Project Highrise takes obvious inspiration from a cult classic, but struggles to build compelling mechanics around a proven concept. Constructing a tower still offers its own simple pleasure, but there’s not enough depth here to keep you building a skyline’s worth of high-rises.
No Man’s Sky has very clear problems. Its mechanics are insubstantial, with the crafting and inventory management systems being a particular exercise in tedium. Yet its scale and beauty is unmatched by any other game I’ve ever seen. It does things no other game ever has. It’s tempting to call No Man’s Sky “decent, but not great,” but that undersells both the game’s successes and its failures. No Man’s Sky is incredible, awe-inspiring, and profoundly disappointing.
Attack on Titan is a good game, but not a great one. It does a tremendous job of adapting the anime's excellent action scenes to an exciting set of game mechanics, but struggles to extend that fun core into full-length game. Any given fifteen seconds of Attack on Titan is excellent, but those fifteen seconds are repeated again and again until they're no longer compelling.
Episode 4 is another terrific addition to Agent 47’s latest. After a less spectacular stay in Marrakesh and a fairly limited detour in the Summer Bonus Episode, Bangkok provides another terrific level for further murderous possibilities, and one I can’t wait to revisit as more targets make their unfortunate lodgings at the resort.
Hitman’s latest episode has some impressive moments, but Marrakesh feels limited compared to the sprawling, interconnected layouts of Paris and Sapienza. It’s part of an increasingly great game and still provides some solid stealth action, but don’t be surprised if you’re not coming back to this one for more than a few tries.
Overwatch is a fantastic game from top to bottom. The relatively small map selection does little to detract from a game where every character is fun, unique, and important, and every fight is a dynamic, constantly evolving game of battlefield control.
Despite performance quibbles and a repetitive endgame for the campaign, Total War: Warhammer is an exciting strategy game that stands on its own. The four factions offer unique playstyles with compelling strategic options, and the hero units, fantastic creatures, and monstrous enemies make for spectacular battles that are almost as much fun to watch as they are to command.
Episode Two is better than the first, both because its featured level is a more varied, interesting location, and because it eases the uncertainty of the episodic release and sets a precedent for excellence going forward. The quality of future episodes isn’t a guarantee, but Square and Io Interactive have now delivered excellent releases back to back, and their staggered release has let their best elements shine in a way that might not have otherwise. Hitman is an increasingly appealing package.
Is Dark Souls III great? Yes. Is it better than its predecessors? That's a debate that Souls fans are going to be having for years to come. Everything the previous games did well, this game does well, and the differentiator will be the game with the most varied character options and unique environments. If you're a Souls fan, you should play this game, and if you haven't yet dug into this nightmarish world, Dark Souls III is an excellent place to start.
Villagers is a promising game that doesn’t deliver on any of its potential. Its mechanics don’t provide much strategic depth and its lack of content means that there’s no reason to come back. I can say, in some faint praise, that it’s not broken, but it’s so completely dull and unremarkable that I can’t think of any reason to recommend it.
I can’t give Deponia Doomsday an unequivocal recommendation. Its protagonist is a major drag and a lot of its humor is straight-up lame. But by the same token, I can’t deny that it drew me in and made me care by the end. It’s a totally solid adventure game, and if you prefer a little extra bite in your old-school adventures, then it will be right up your alley.
Price and player expectations do matter, and that's forcing me to temper my praise just a bit. Superhot is a game with truly excellent, original mechanics and a core experience that is constantly doing exciting things without wasting a second of your time. If price weren't a factor it would easily get a 9.0 or even higher.
The core mechanics of We Are The Dwarves - the actions you can take and the strategies you can employ - are wonderful, well-considered, and fully featured. There's a depth to the lore and world-building that you rarely see at this scale. But the level design is so constrictive and the difficulty so fierce that it's a constant fight to have fun.