- No Man's Sky
- Horizon Zero Dawn
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts is a sniper's playground. But like any playground, there are some unexpected rough edges that can make playtime a bit less fun. Uninspiring AI combined with numerous technical issues makes for an occasionally frustrating experience. Though the change of scenery and weaponry will be appreciated by some, the ho-hum technical performance and glitchy objective tracking will turn some all the way off. What CI Games has produced isn't bad, but it's also not quite the Sniper Elite 4 contender the genre needs to keep things interesting.
Citadel: Forged With Fire has an interesting, even fun, premise lurking through some of the rough edges. A game like this is most fun when played with others, especially when you consider that on most servers, the things you build will be available for all players on that server to see. The lack of much in the way of content, though, means players are left to their own devices and imagination when it comes to interesting things to see and do. Still, if combining Minecraft, ARK, and Harry Potter-inspired elements in a cauldron sounds appealing, then by all means grab a friend (or 49) and hop in.
Need for Speed Heat is a solid arcade racer, in a landscape that continues to suffer from a drought of them. It is also, surprisingly, a solid arcade racer that is not plagued by the scourge that can be microtransactions, in a landscape (and from a publisher) that continues to practically drown in them. The story may be as generic as a Miami cop show from the '80s, but the cars are numerous and varied, the map is expansive and full of events, and most importantly, the racing is fast and furiously fun.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is an appetizer for the main course that is sure to be No More Heroes III. Indeed, it is best served in short, bite-sized chunks, which its short levels are perfect for consuming in such a way. As a whole, this isn't the strongest entry in the series, but then it doesn't feel like it was intended that way. Sitting down with a buddy in local co-op is a fun first for Travis, and a decent smattering of extra game modes helps to stretch play time a bit.
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.