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.
Valorant is likely to make a big impression on anybody that enjoys competitive shooters, even if it is a little light on content at the moment. Genre newcomers will need to stay patient to push past the initial difficulty curve, but its exhilarating combination of gunplay and agent abilities is accessible enough that reaping its rewards shouldn’t take too long.
Despite the fun that I’ve had playing Warcraft 3: Reforged and for how it has reminded me what an incredibly influential and brilliant game it is, there’s no way I could recommend anyone outside of the absolute hardcore Warcraft fanbase to purchase it.
I love that CD Projekt Red's solution to getting more players on board with its free-to-play card game was to produce a massive standalone RPG with all the spellbinding storytelling that's become a signature of The Witcher brand. It's the sort of thoroughness and commitment to quality they've built a reputation on, and Thronebreaker now paves the way for an exciting new genre of card games that incorporate a similar design ethos.