Derivative and beset by astounding technical problems, Days Gone is a rare misfire among Sony's first-party efforts. While the core fantasy of surviving in a world overrun with infected occasionally shines through, Bend Studio doesn't deliver nearly enough compelling moments to justify the long slog it takes to see this mediocre story through to its end.
Fire may have rained from the skies and wiped out entire nations, but the action in Far Cry New Dawn is pretty much the same as it ever was, only less so. A few interesting new tweaks to the series' formula are overshadowed by a cut-rate campaign, a story that gets colossally dumb in the third act, and a resource system that feels both unbalanced and pointless.
Spider-Man's three-part DLC, The City That Never Sleeps, feels a bit like it's trying to have it both ways by telling a story set after the main game without changing up too much for the sake of anyone who might not play it. It might not be entirely fair to complain that an add-on doesn't feel like a true next chapter, and the gameplay certainly remains satisfying and tacks on some welcome challenge, but the full package is an unquestionable letdown after the soaring heights of the original campaign.
Forza Horizon 4 delivers another standout racing experience with plenty of cars, races, and charm, but the way the game implements its much touted seasons feels unnecessarily restrictive and takes away from what would otherwise be a neat addition.
Donut County isn't really bad at what it sets out to do, but its ambitions are so meager that you can't help but feel the concept hasn't been explored to the fullest extent. This is indie game design at its most disposable. I'd be shocked if anyone is still talking about—or even remembers—Donut County a year or two from now.
Marvel's Spider-Man mixes the prestige ambitions of a Sony exclusive with the hyperkinetic fun of a great superhero game. It's not a pairing you'd expect to work, but it mostly does here, though some aspects of the open-world design, like repetitive side content, let down the overall package.
The Crew 2‘s digital recreation of American remains as inviting as it was in the first game, and the diverse event types and new air and water vehicles mix things up in a good way. Eventually, however, the aggressively grindy loop of replaying races to upgrade your vehicles will leave you feeling like a theme park custodian: You're surrounded by attractions that should be such fun, yet you're stuck doing mindless chores instead.
While the new content in The Frozen Wilds is on par with the rest of Horizon Zero Dawn, it's hardly a must-play expansion. The story tells us little we didn't already know, and the new weapons and quests feel like more of the same.
That Danger Zone's core design works is unsurprising, given that it's been borrowed wholesale from a different series, but Three Fields has done little to build out the concept into anything worthy of a full game. You'll enjoy what's here well enough, but don't expect it to last very long—or to dazzle much beyond the explosions and sparks.
What Remains of Edith Finch masterfully shows that narrative-driven games can tell stories in creative ways without sacrificing gameplay. Ultimately, though, the experience is let down by the story itself, which doesn't do much of anything interesting with its characters or subject matter.
The Witness is the rare game that boils down to a question of faith. No video, screenshot, or review can really explain why it's such a worthwhile use of your time without spoiling the experience, so you'll have to trust me when I tell you it's worth every second—provided you have a bit of patience and are up for an intellectual challenge.
Harmonix bills Rock Band 4 as a platform that will grow and improve with the future, but for now, the new game offers little reason to upgrade from Rock Band 3, with a weaker soundtrack, fewer modes, and more promises of exciting features than actual, demonstrable ones.
Like The Chinese Room's previous work, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture will no doubt prove an acquired taste, but the game is bolstered by strong, character-driven writing and a desire to experiment with boundaries no other developer, indie or established, is willing to engage.
If Slightly Mad Studios wanted to prove they could build an engine to compete with the likes of Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, Project CARS is a definite success, with driving that feels as realistic as anything else out there. If they wanted to compete with the polish and robustness of those bigger titles, though, they've come up slightly short.