Also, again, it’s just so damn fun to play. And I think for a developer whose games have always been so clever and innovative to behold but not necessarily entertaining without a fair dose of punishment along the way, that’s hugely important. Deathloop is still signature Arkane in terms of exemplary immersive-sim design, reminiscent of BioShock and Dishonored, but it also puts a giant smile on your face each and every time you play. Quite whether that’s enough to see it succeed at a mainstream level remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt it’s another stellar title on the resume of an esteemed studio. It might even be its best.
Still, despite those shortcomings, there’s no question that Ghost of Tsushima Iki Island is an entertaining overall experience and I’m confident most players will find it worth the asking price; in particular, because the story strengthens Jin’s character arc by shining a light on an aspect of his youth not particularly well explained in the base game. For that reason, it works as an adventure played alongside the base game, and equally as an engaging new chapter for those playing it after the fact.
It’s a throwback to old Assassin’s Creed I’m sure fans of the franchise, rather than just fans of Valhalla, will love. And for that reason, in combination with the fact that it tells an interesting story, offers a great reason to reboot or reinstall the game for those who haven’t returned since completing it last year.
The concept of Biomutant’s story and world has so much potential. I really think it could have benefited from having a smaller scope with more effort spent on bolstering its narrative, characters, and opting to really flesh out its tribal system. It ends up being a by-the-numbers RPG experience that leans on repetition and fetch questing when I was so hoping the experience of playing it would prove as unique as its unusual premise.
I’m sure hardcore Valhalla fans hungry for a new adventure won’t necessarily be upset to hear that Wrath of the Druids delivers more of the same. Certainly, if you loved the main game you’ll appreciate more content to sink your teeth into. For everyone else, play the free seasonal events until there’s a discount.
For the time being, then, Valhalla is a superb but familiar open-world experience. It’s sure to excite fans of the series with another impressively content-rich and beautiful sandbox to explore, and it might just interest newcomers and lapsed Assassin’s Creed players with the intrigue of its setting and more streamlined overall design. Ultimately, though, it falls just shy of true excellence — a high benchmark to meet, but one Assassin’s Creed should be held to after so many years of trying to get it right.
Put aside your reservations about free-to-play mobile RPGs, gacha mechanics, and weeby storytelling: Genshin Impact is totally unique. I came in a skeptic and now find myself genuinely relishing hours more time spent chaining elemental combos, grinding for new characters, and the intrigue of its ongoing story.
Ghost of Tsushima features a level of charm that gives it a soul and personality lacking from so many AAA games lack these days. Even if it ultimately suffers from repetition by the game’s end, and despite a lack of variety in its quest, the magic of that initial exploration and the beauty of its world will stick with me for a very long time.