Space Junkies is a fun arena-style shooter, with an unfortunate control scheme. The addition of cross-platform play helps to get a game going, at the expense of any sort of balance. PC players have the advantage of a much better control scheme. Move controller compatibility would go a long way towards rectifying this, even if it's still not an ideal control mechanism. As a technical showcase, Space Junkies looks and attempts to play as a fast-paced arena shooter, and it mostly gets that part right. It's just a shame the controls get in the way on console, making the PSVR version feel lesser.
R.B.I. Baseball 19 is once again a disappointment. The extremely low production values, lack of game modes, inconsistent animations, and uninspired gameplay result in one lackluster delivery. R.B.I. Baseball 19 would be a hard sell at $19.99, which incidentally is the same price you can currently nab the superior MLB The Show 18 for. But for the launch price of $29.99? Don't even consider it.
Trials Rising is pure, unadulterated, arcade fun at its finest. The mechanics are simple, and indeed anyone can play. But mastering the techniques to get ever faster times can take countless hours. The extreme levels will really test players' resolve, but the payoff of finally finishing the Everest level, for instance, is worth the obstacle-filled journey. There's so much content packed into Trials Rising, it's hard to believe the game is launching at $24.99.
ChromaGun VR feels like the form the game should have launched in from the start. The campaign is only a handful of hours, which is about the same amount of time most people can handle VR in its current state. The Aim Controller works quite well in this (mostly) non-violent puzzle shooter, even if lefties have to adapt to the control scheme. Still, an undo function could've saved players from some frustration when they either misfire or accidentally use the wrong color. ChromaGun VR is a funny, occasionally challenging first-person puzzler, and one that is enhanced in VR.
DiRT Rally 2.0 features some positively exhilarating racing. While there aren't a ton of different modes to choose from this time around, there are plenty of courses to make up for it. The lack of real-time multiplayer may dissuade some from purchasing it, as they can't directly compete with friends, but the asynchronous challenge events provide plenty of real-world competition on a daily and weekly basis. As usual, Codemasters knows rally racing like no one else.
Metro Exodus is an entertaining post-apocalyptic shooter that isn't afraid to take chances with the series' formula. There are still occasional jump scares, resources are scarce, and often times humans are your worst enemy. The addition of large, open levels really freed up 4A Games to make a world all the more detailed and believable. A few technical issues hold the game back a bit, but they are by no means a deal breaker. Fans of the Metro series shouldn't hesitate to pick up Metro Exodus at launch, and fans of survival horror should also find plenty to like here.
Apex Legends is an expertly-crafted battle royale shooter, which is no surprise when you consider the development team behind it. It feels like the culmination of lessons learned from other games in the genre, almost as if battle royale has finally grown up. Combining the hero shooting concept of Overwatch and others before it with battle royale seems obvious, in hindsight. What isn't so obvious is that injecting Titanfall-inspired gunplay makes the package much more compelling. We are only a week into the life of Apex Legends, but the outlook is looking pretty great from where we're standing.
The Mage's Tale isn't a game that shows hints of what the future may hold for virtual reality, but rather an example that the future is now. It stands on its own as a genuinely fun experience that shows this space has started to mature. Most faults with this adventure lie in the assumption that gamers will have ample room to stand up and stretch in a large play space. Controls are also bound to suffer, since Sony's Move controllers were not designed with VR in mind. Yet the core game is solid, and those hoping to feel like a wizard-in-training need only boot up The Mage's Tale and strap on a headset.
Gungrave VR is a generic shooter wrapped in the new-tech allure of VR. For fans of the 16-year-old PS2 series, this will no doubt bring up some nostalgic feelings. But the incredibly small amount of content on offer will turn off most gamers looking for a fuller experience. The launch price of $29.99 isn't doing the game any favors, either. This is an especially poor launch price when you consider that the last game launched at a $15 price point, and lasted at least five times longer. Only the most hardcore Gungrave fans may want to check out Gungrave VR at this time. Everyone else can afford to wait for a sale.
Big Crown: Showdown is a safe bet for party games to play that most people will enjoy. A large variety of maps helps to avoid tedium, but the core gameplay mechanics may be a bit too simple to sink into for much more than an hour at a time. There's nothing wrong with this, and Big Crown: Showdown is perfect for playing with friends, family, and frenemies, especially those who don't play games very often.
Rival Megagun is a fun, frantic bullet hell game with a unique competitive mechanic. The retro-inspired art style is pixel-perfect, which is paired with an equally retro soundtrack. Each character's campaign may be short at just a handful of levels apiece, but there are six characters, each with different weapons and strategies to employ. Online multiplayer support, plus various collectibles and unlocks only seal the deal. Retro fans should pick up Rival Megagun without hesitation.
RIDE 3 is the bike racing game to beat this generation. A much-improved presentation, with a focus on the thrill of the ride, comes alongside improved load times. With over 200 bikes, plenty of customization options that make a difference in bike performance, challenging opponents, realistic physics, and tweakable difficulty options, fans of the series, and motorcycle racing game fans in general, will be quite happy.
Hitman 2 continues the fun assassination sandbox gameplay that was in the reboot, with scant few details changed in the single-player campaign. The levels on offer are some of the largest, and certainly the most detailed for the Hitman franchise. Cutscenes may disappoint, but Agent 47 hasn't been slacking at the job. He now has more options at his disposal than ever before. Meanwhile, multiple multiplayer options provide for some unique ways to cooperate, and compete, with players, which will no doubt extend the replayability of Hitman 2 for quite some time. IO Interactive has taken what worked well last time around, and produced an even more impressive and robust assassin's playground.
GRIP: Combat Racing is an impressive arcade racer, one that harkens back to the glory days of racers such as WipEout, while adding its own innovations. Jumping from floor to ceiling to wall and back sounds like it might be too hectic, but GRIP's excellent camera handling ensures that players won't lose track of what they are doing very easily. Four-player split screen, which is an absolute rarity these days, is a much-appreciated inclusion, and ensures that GRIP: Combat Racing will be played by groups for a while to come.
Heavy Fire: Red Shadow had the potential to give gamers an updated version of Beach Head 2002 from the heyday of arcades. Unfortunately, an incredibly short campaign, terrible graphics, and a lack of any real challenge all coalesce into an altogether underwhelming product. The $9.99 premium VR mode is so minimal in execution, that even that isn't recommended. If you absolutely love arcade, wave-based shooters, it's probably still best to wait until Heavy Fire: Red Shadow is on a fire sale before plopping down the cash.
Soulcalibur VI is a solid entry in the long-running fighting franchise. The new Reversal Edge mechanic gives everyone a chance at a comeback, with a balanced risk that their move may backfire on the player who invoked the move. A decent campaign is paired with a beefier custom story mode, to provide for dozens of hours of gameplay, even if most of the cutscenes are more visual novel than actual cutscene. Barebones online options may leave some players wanting more, but getting to the action is as quick as ever because of a sharp focus. Time will tell if these improvements can translate to better sales, but Soulcalibur VI is one game all fighting fans should pick up.
The Exorcist: Legion VR launches at a perfect time, near Halloween. While the adventure may be incredibly short, it is one that groups may enjoy, to see how others react to the horrors that await within. However, much like a scary movie or haunted house, once you know where the scares are located, they don't have the same oomph as the first time through. With variability all but removed, the replayability of Legion VR dwindles rapidly. Despite this, horror fans should check out The Exorcist: Legion VR for some of the most intense, if brief, scares available on any medium.