Francesco De Meo
Amnesia: Rebirth is a more than worthy new entry in the popular series, and one of the best horror games released this year, thanks to its engaging story, very good writing and unnerving atmosphere that can make playing the game feel almost uncomfortable. And if a horror game manages to achieve this, small issues like a lack of gameplay innovation and limited replay value don't really matter.
With its interesting setting, engaging story, great combat mechanics, and tons of customization options, Aquanox Deep Descent is a more than worthy new entry in the classic series. Bland mission design and a repetitive structure does damage the experience a bit, but all those that enjoy dogfighting games, no matter where they take place, will find plenty to like in the game.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning finally gives a second chance to one of the best role-playing games released in the previous console generation, making the gameplay even better with select balance tweaks that increase the challenge level and make it easier to engage with side content. Despite some issues and a dated gameplay design, the game's battle system, great writing and extremely deep lore make Re-Reckoning a game that most role-playing game fans will enjoy. Especially if they like juggling enemies to death.
Streamlining many of the typical strategy game mechanics while adding more depth with the cards system and tactical battles, Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is a game worth playing for all strategy games and role-playing games fans. While the experience tends to become a little repetitive over time, the different factions and the many customization options provide all the tools for players to make the experience feel fresh even after tens of hours.
Wasteland 3 features everything only the best role-playing games do: an engaging story powered by excellent writing, compelling characters, tons of customization options, and a deep tactical combat system that feels fresh even after dozens of hours. But, most of all, it features a living world that reacts to what the player does, and changes depending on how the player decides to deal with the troubles ahead, providing a role-playing experience of the highest degree, one that very few games can boast of.
Maid of Sker comes with all the features of a good survival-horror game, such as a well-designed eerie location, a great atmosphere, an engaging story, fearsome enemies, well-implemented 3D audio and the right amount of scares, but it does not try to break from the mold of the Resident Evil formula in any significant way. The lack of any real innovation may put off some, but if expectations are kept in check, Maid of Sker can provide a few hours of enjoyable horror fun.
With production values that are through the roof and an extremely engaging story, Death Stranding is among Hideo Kojima's best games. The moment-to-moment gameplay, however, falls short due to its repetitiveness, and the long stretches without any real action make it difficult to recommend the game to all open-world fans. Death Stranding is something different, and only approaching it with an open mind will reveal the brilliance of its themes, its characters and its hauntingly beautiful dystopian world.
With its excellent world-building and intriguing story, P.A.M.E.L.A could have been a great survival game, but it sadly fails to reach the must-have status due to a variety of issues. The game can still be an enjoyable experience, but how much really depends on the player's tolerance for mediocre combat, bad enemy AI and the many technical issues.
Despite some interesting mechanics that make the game feel like a true adaptation of a tabletop RPG, The Dark Eye: Book of Heroes is a cRPG that needed a lot more time in the oven. With some technical issues to boot, it is really impossible to recommend the game in its current state to any type of RPG enthusiast, as there are classic and modern games that offer much better experiences.
Roguelikes aren't for everyone, but The Persistence manages to show that a few tweaks to the usual experience can make wonders for accessibility. With a great atmosphere, intriguing setting, and great mechanics that allow for a variety of play styles, The Persistence is a more than worthy game for both roguelike diehards and those looking to finally get into the genre.