Subnautica: Below Zero is not as large as 2014's Subnautica but it is as deep. Between its fantastically mysterious story to its compelling biome, Below Zero builds upon what made the first game strong while being unique all on its own. The on-land segments of the game were pretty lackluster overall, which was slightly disappointing; but for a game that is all about discovering what lies beneath, Subnautica: Below Zero is a breath of fresh air.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite encapsulates everything Aliens. From the iconic sound of pulse rifles tearing through hordes of Xenomorphs to plenty of "IT'S GAME OVER, MAN" quotes being thrown out in party chats, Fireteam Elite is a ton of fun. Mission variety, a lackluster campaign, and wonky AI teammates bring the game down from being truly exceptional, but it's undeniable that the moment-to-moment gameplay with friends is worth the price of admission.
Destroy All Humans is a fun 1:1 remake of the original but offers very little in terms of new content. The game's updated visual flair and modernized controls are weighed down by technical issues, which often gets in the way of the destructive fun.
Pumpkin Jack oozes with ghoulish delight that is a must-play for any fan of Halloween. While there are some nitpick issues I had with the game's combat, the music, humorous dialogue and beautiful art direction make it hard to find much to dislike about Pumpkin Jack.
Darq isn't the most difficult puzzle game out there, but it does excel in all uniqueness categories. Its greyscale art style adds to its overwhelmingly gothic vibe while providing puzzles that are difficult enough to force you to pause yet easy enough to solve. It's definitely something to check out, even if you won't be challenged to the fullest extent.
Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated doesn't reinvent the wheel when it comes to platforming, and much of its gameplay feels every bit as old as its 2003 counterpart. But what Rehydrated gets right is preserving what made the original so special, while also bringing the visuals up to date in dazzling fashion.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope isn't a long game by any measure, but what it delivers in its time is used effectively enough to purvey a sense of dread. While not necessarily a traditional horror game full of jump scares or horrific machinations, Little Hope attempts to deliver nuance in the style of an arthouse horror film. It mostly gets there depending on a player's choice, but overall it doesn't completely stick the landing. Little Hope's themes put in a 2020-context make it stand out as a horror title but otherwise, it offers very little in terms of true horror.
Predator: Hunting Grounds looks and sounds like Predator, but lacks the soul of the 1987 classic film. For being one of the most iconic hunters in the galaxy, the Predator feels weak compared to the vastly overpowered Fireteam. I never felt terrified of the Predator, and I think that's Hunting Grounds' most glaring issue. I'm invested enough in the Predator franchise to see what Illfonic has up their sleeves in terms of additional content for the game, but I find it hard to recommend to those who are looking for the ultimate Predator fantasy.
NBA 2K22 features the best gameplay in the series to date, but also succumbs to the weight of its other feature sets. While a step in the right direction in terms of gameplay, its over-reliance on a player's time or money (and sometimes both) continues to be the hurdle keeping the series from achieving new heights.
Star Wars: Squadrons balances fun with complexity to deliver a robust star-fighter sim. While it often is conflicted in how it wants to present itself to players, Squadrons offers enough of the Star Wars fantasy to be enjoyable. While playable on a standard monitor or TV, Squadrons should really be experienced with a nice VR headset and a flight stick.