- No Man's Sky
- Horizon Zero Dawn
Trine 4 feels like a return to what made the series great to begin with. A beautiful world filled with challenging (but not too difficult) puzzles to solve, combined with drop-in/drop-out co-op, makes for a great game to play with friends. Some puzzles were perhaps not fully tested, but a simple reset usually rights things again. If you were a fan of the gameplay in the 2.5D Trine games, you'll find a lot to love here.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint has the recipe for being a fun, tactical game to play with friends and strangers alike. While playing solo will remain a decent enough way to experience the game, playing with a group of dedicated friends is what it was made for.
NBA 2K20 is the best basketball game around. Granted, thus far, the competition hasn't shown up. But if and when it does, the bar has been set very high for the basketball sim genre. Facial animations are still odd, and monetization rears its head in practically every mode. But the core ball play, plethora of gameplay modes, and a great presentation all combine to make NBA 2K20 the basketball game to beat this year.
WRC 8 is a rally racing fan's dream. This is a game that will test the skills of even veteran rally fans. Those who are looking to live the dream of taking a team from relative obscurity to championship winners will enjoy the extensive career mode. There's even split screen! In 2019! Split. Screen. While the environments may not seem as detailed as in Dirt Rally 2.0, and the co-drivers are a bit robotic, these are smaller issues and by are no means deal breakers. It seems the rally racing genre just got competitive for the first time in a while with the release of WRC 8.
No Man's Sky Beyond really has brought everything promised to players, and then some. While the initial launch was full of bugs, Hello Games has hardly left their offices, as they have released nearly ten patches post-update. One update in particular, 2.05, smoothed a lot of stability issues out, and Hello Games has been fixing things at a freakishly fast pace. This cannot be stressed enough: No Man's Sky Beyond is a killer VR app on any platform, but it is a showcase-worthy example on the PSVR. Dust off those Move controllers and head back into the Euclid galaxy–you'll be instantly glad you did.
Solo: Islands of the Heart is perhaps the most introspective game to release this year. The gameplay may not have much to do with the story, but the puzzles are decent roadblocks on the journey. The whole adventure will only take most gamers 4-6 hours to complete, and while that may feel like enough for the price ($19.99) for some, just as the puzzles start to get more challenging, the game is over. Fans of puzzle games may want to check out Solo: Islands of the Heart, but those who are expecting a major challenge will probably want to look elsewhere.
Sea of Solitude is an interactive story that has bits of a game peppered into it. Like gamey meat, it's not for everyone. Some players may want more to do than run around looking for seagulls and messages in bottles in between story moments and the occasional "fight" sequence. The story (which we have not spoiled here) is likely to resonate with many people, but for some it won't be enough to overcome a lack of fun gameplay to take players in between exposition. It is a worthy attempt, but just falls a bit short.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a faithful remake of a classic karting game, with extra content from across the franchise to boot. Whether playing the respectfully challenging campaign mode to unlock all kinds of parts, stickers, and more, or skirmishing with strangers and friends both online and off, those who have fond memories of the original will get their money's worth out of the racer, without a doubt. The sliding mechanic still takes some getting used to after all these years, but it just wouldn't be CTR without it.