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.
Ultimately, Tennis World Tour 2, with its steep learning curve and stocky animations, is a game that will largely appeal to the hardcore tennis fan. It's nowhere at the level it needs to be, but it's also operating in an environment without any competition.
It's nowhere as annoying as the problems with combat though. If you can look past the latter — and it's not easy — you'll find a story that's largely well done, especially when it comes to Kamala's role in it. Its best moments are the narrative interludes, be it the early fun, charming, and giddy moments she shares with the Avengers or the quiet moments