For those looking for a dedicated simulation racer where you can spend hours tuning and practising to get the best out of the car and yourself, Gran Turismo 7 will no doubt appeal. But I don't think it's for racing game enthusiasts, it's for racing enthusiasts.
Rather than a new Uncharted game then, what's more likely (unfortunately) is a PS5 version of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, the PS4 remaster of the first three Uncharted PS3 titles. A studio like Naughty Dog shouldn't be ground down into churning remasters of its old games — it should be looking ahead to new entries or new IP. But this is just the world we live in.
Rainbow Six Extraction is clearly not for most casual gamers. In fact, I would go so far to say that it feels like it's built for hardcore players only. Unless Ubisoft plans to massively tweak difficulty settings and play styles in the near future, Rainbow Six Extraction could end up being one of those titles that get lost between the couch cushions.
But even if EA does get its head out of the pile of gold, it's got troubles on the pitch too. FIFA doesn't feel like football anymore to me. To be fair, it never really was — thanks to pitch size, pace dominance, and all that — but now it just seems to be going away from the sport it claims to represent each year. Maybe a new challenger can shake things up. We badly need it.
Ultimately, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a by-the-numbers 3D action-adventure game. It might look like a modern Zelda game but doesn't play like one. It's largely just a series of arena-based combat routines, stitched together by long stretches of traversal, and cutscenes that are well-designed but feel like a forgotten Hollywood B-movie. Too often, Kena: Bridge of Spirits reminds you of better games you've played and that it's borrowing from — which is not a good sign. There's no harm in learning from others, it's certainly well made, but it's lacking in originality. There's little personality to Kena: Bridge of Spirits, for it's adopting the sheen of others. For a debut title, this is undoubtedly a good effort — but I fear Ember Labs have played it too safe.
When it all comes together, Outriders can be good fun. The gunplay felt a little stilted and laboured to me early on, but I've found it to be really satisfying at times, especially when you empty a volcanic-charged cartridge into an enemy's head — and they plop to the ground. And Outriders keeps you on your toes as you're constantly balancing various elements: where to find cover, dodging grenades, when to jump back out, who to target first, how to maximise your powers, and working with your squad. Outriders was built with co-op in mind and that's when it comes alive. It's nice to have a friend to lean on, and that goes for Outriders too, as they can help revive you. In fact, some of our most intense conversations have come out of debating when it's a good time to attempt to revive someone.
The era of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X has arrived, but Cyberpunk 2077 is currently running on those next-gen platforms via backwards compatibility. A true next-gen update isn't due until sometime in 2021. That means CD Projekt Red developed a game for three platforms, and it's running on an acceptable level on just one (PC), provided you have the hardware. That is just plain ridiculous.
If the sticker price isn't a concern, in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, you'll find a game that is lacking in originality but thankfully built on a solid core that needs a few tweaks. It's a successful expansion of Insomniac's Spider-Man universe, but it's a new paragraph, rather than a new chapter. Hopefully it will give us the latter next time around. And though it's also good for representation, it still has a ways to go. (Though the game wasn't anything special, Marvel's Avengers gave us a Muslim-American lead in Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel.) Hopefully we can get Spider-Gwen from Insomniac next, or a Spider-Verse game, though given the lack of setup, either seems unlikely. For now, Miles continues his upward trajectory. He walked in 2018, so he could fly in 2020.
FIFA 21 is full of goals. With FIFA, EA Sports is constantly engaged in a balancing act between attack vs defence. And it's a process that continues after release, with some FIFA titles transforming into a whole new beast by the time we're ready for the next annual iteration. At launch, FIFA 21 is a goal fest. I've had a lot of high-scoring games on FIFA 21 where the result looks more like cricket scores, and I've also broken my personal best scoring record, with a final score of 20-0.
Mafia: Definitive Edition is crying out for a stronger hand at the wheel and a deeper rethink, for in its current state, it's oblivious of the fact that it's been 18 years since the original. That's a long time for any piece of entertainment, more so in video gaming, and Mafia: Definitive Edition is a long way from what it needed to be.