Outriders is simply and unapologetically Outriders. And that's what, despite its flaws, makes it stand tall. Because it owns its flaws and rough spots, all weathered with pride through a launch period that was as rough as the Outriders first landing on Enoch. Riding out that storm offers an experience that is simply fun to play, and its something that I consistently can't wait to get back to. High risk, high reward gameplay and crafting very tight and specific builds leads to an endlessly engaging gameplay loop. Balancing the power fantasy with challenge for players is a difficult task, but Outriders manages it well. It's far from a perfect game, but it's so undeniably honest in its pursuit of being exactly what it is that there's nothing else quite like it out there. And that itself is what makes Outriders so compelling. Because Outriders is just Outriders.
Reviewer's Note: We liked What The Dub?! so much, we wanted you to have a chance to try it out for yourself in this review! There's a missing chunk of text in the review below that we want you to fill in with your own review dub in the comments!What The Dub?! is the perfect blend of party games and bad movie nights. It's a relatively simple idea with endless hilarity unlocked by each group of people that plays it. Wide Right Interactive has mined the depths of places no human should ever go to bring you some of the best prompts and most awkward footage to ever be recorded to film. By sticking to the established party game formula, it's easy for anyone to pick up and play, whether they're a gamer or not. Whether your a party game fanatic, or just venturing forth into the world of what party games can offer, What The Dub?! is an essential addition to any party games collection.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is still a perfect game, and the small PS5 enhancements only serve to make it even better, but don't expect a drastically different game or experience when jumping to the new console. The PS5 version simply continues to polish something that already gleamed beautifully.
It Takes Two is endlessly creative. Gameplay speaks to narrative, while narrative informs gameplay, and the entire experience just feels incredibly polished and detailed. It nails relationships in ways that so many games-and even other forms of media-just can't. It asks the player to engage with the the story through mandatory co-op to tell the tale of a couple on the verge of divorce, rediscovering the good in their relationship. It's not just one of the best action platformers in recent memory, but also a fantastic and unique story representing a dynamic that you don't often see represented in games, at least not to this depth and nuance.
At its heart, this is the same Crash Bandicoot 4 that we loved last year when it came to PS4. The improved loading times alone are enough to make the PS5 version stand out, and the enhanced visuals are an added treat, seeing Crash in native 4K at 60 fps. Additional PS5 features round out the package, but as I played, it was mostly just the improved loading that really stuck out to me as the defining feature of this next-gen port.
Frogwares is a master in mystery. While their pedigree is mostly rooted in Sherlock Holmes, this foray into Lovecraftian horror is an admirable effort made even better by the technology of the PS5. Loading times are vastly improved on The Sinking City PS5, and the game looks better than it ever has before thanks to improved textures, lighting, and resolution. This version is also free of Frogwares' publisher drama with Nacon, and paints a pretty exciting picture for what the developer can do with mystery games on the PS5.
Destruction AllStars is loaded with style, flair, and a great core concept, but what you see is what you get. While that's not a bad thing at all, there are very few surprises and no sense of depth lurking beneath the surface. I want more to do. I want more to chase. I want more reasons to want to jump into another match than just leveling up to earn coins for character color swaps. As a PlayStation Plus free game, there's a lot of potential, hopefully something that Lucid Games can expand upon before asking people to pay a premium up front. In a sea of multiplayer games begging for people's attention, Destruction AllStars has a bit more work to do to earn it.
Cyberpunk 2077, when it works, is a shallow popcorn flick of a video game, not a industry shaping experience that redefines the open-world RPG genre. Perhaps the bigger problem, particularly for console owners, is that Cyberpunk 2077 doesn't work. It's a mess of half-baked ideas and rough gameplay that should have never been released in the first place. While the PC version faces criticism for various issues and praise for others, the PS4 version of Cyberpunk 2077 feels and looks like a whole different game that simply needed a lot more time.
Suffice to say that Bungie is recapturing the magic that Destiny has always had at its core. It's exploring concepts and story ideas that fans have been speculating about for years. And it's focusing on developing a game for the players who love Destiny, not trying desperately to change things to get new players on board. As a living world, iterative in design with an evolving narrative and constantly updated content, Destiny 2 changes persistently, but Beyond Light feels like a whole new foundation rooted in the kind of space magic and vision that has made Destiny special all along. I can't wait to see what comes next.
Overall, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a surprising break from the traditional Ubisoft open-world fare, perhaps hinting at some newfound creative freedoms that we'll hopefully see play out in the future. Cribbing Breath of the Wild is a strength even as Immortals iterates and takes its own twist. And the deep dive into Greek mythology ends up being a fascinating foundation upon whose shoulders the entire premise rests. From the first magnificent glide onto the Golden Isle, Immortals Fenyx Rising is an unforgettable treat that surprised me more than I thought it would.