Alex Santa Maria
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
- Burnout 3: Takedown
From the moment that Boomerang X's demo hit Steam, it was possible that DANG! and Devlover had a hit brewing, and the full experience delivers on that promise. No occasional difficulty spikes can get in the way of this exciting mixture of retro FPS movement and stylish action, and Boomerang X will likely remain a contender for one of 2021's best indie titles throughout the rest of the calendar year.
This one small change from anonymity to recognizability makes Watch Dogs: Legion - Bloodline a vital addition. It's the best story content in the series since Watch Dogs 2's main campaign, and it effectively redeems the story of the original game by acknowledging the cognitive dissonance of Aiden Pearce's rampage through Chicago. Anyone who jumped on with the second game likely won't get a lot out of these revelations, and it's still probably not a great idea to spend 40 hours with 2014's vision of a hacker just to play this DLC, but anyone who's been with Watch Dogs since the beginning will find a lot to like here.
In a genre where many feel that they've seen it all, Curved Space succeeds in providing something new. The titular curves may not be a huge innovation, but the game borrows enough from its procedural cousins to make its shooting feel refreshing. Curved Space likely isn't going to win over anyone who prefers something more than a high score chase, but anyone cruising a list of ROMs more than a digital storefront will probably want to give this one a look.
That's really the biggest failing of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - it can't stand up to its own Mario-themed competition. It's difficult to see why anyone with a Nintendo Switch would lean towards this official game over its mascot-filled counterpart. Both games accomplish their goals as fun party games featuring arcade-y recreations of a handful of sports. Outside of loading it up with friends, the biggest fun in this particular game comes in exploring the character creator and seeing someone's uncle win the Gold in the hammer throw. It's a toss-up whether that's more enjoyable than watching Mario and his frenemy Wario's perfect equestrian jumps on a real horse, but there's definitely something here for people who fall into the former camp.
In spite of these flaws, the chaotic level of excess is also why it's still worth giving Necromunda: Hired Gun a chance at some point if the bugs and crashing end up fixed. Firing off giant green energy spheres and grenades before teleporting into a huge enemy and making them explode is fun even if it's not challenging. This is the type of design that's overflowing with ideas, mixing and matching concepts from other titles just to see what sticks. Even if the game doesn't come together as a cohesive whole, there's enough fun here to keep fans of FPS and 40K happy. Combine all that with the beautifully realized environments of Warhammer's darkest underground city and Necromunda: Hired Gun gives off a great vibe and ends up enjoyable despite itself.
The biggest problem for Hood: Outlaws & Legends is its meager content offering. There's a solid proof of concept here, but not much else. Whether it be the character roster, the lineup of maps, or gameplay options throughout each round, there's not enough here to capture the imagination. As it is, Hood feels like a forgotten multiplayer mode bolted onto a memorable single-player campaign. People remember Bioshock 2 and Dead Space 2 to this day, but few remember the included deathmatch suites. Without a big upgrade in the very near future, players will forget about Hood's similar offerings just as quickly.