Though the new-generation moniker may be cliché, it rings true in the dense and beautiful presentation of Watch Dogs. Most of the many, many systems on display have been sharpened to a fine point despite a few that fail to reach their full potential. While minor bugs, inconsistencies, and a lackluster story restrain Watch Dogs, its impressive environments, fluid interconnected mechanics and welcome multiplayer components set the bar for future open-world experiences, and help it to stand as a sign of things to come.
Gabriel Knight returns with a modern twist, bringing with him the good and the bad.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a fantastic compendium of the high-points in recent shooter history. With four complete multiplayer suites and over 100 maps, it's more than a bargain, it's a steal. The groundwork 343 has laid in this colossal experience, the scope of what it might still be, is truly something to admire. If the driving minds behind the collection can dedicate the kind of care and customer attentiveness that's always been associated with the Halo brand, and pull off the original vision, Halo: The Master Chief Collection multiplayer will easily be deserving of high praise equal to its campaign.
At the end of my journey through Jotun, I was left wanting more of the excellent mythological world to explore and experience. Despite very minor frame rate dips and the occasional glitchy element, the beauty and wonder of Jotun unfolds like a storybook and deserves attention.
The Old Hunters is another shot in the arm of the same serum that coursed through Bloodborne's veins. Though diehards may pillage its secrets quickly, my approximate 15 hours spent delving its depths and gleefully employing each new destructive tool felt satisfyingly dense. The Old Hunters is an impressive return to From Software's oppressive and rewarding universe, and while it retreads much of the same path, it's very much a path worth taking.
Hyper Light Drifter is a gorgeous, trendy hunk of stylish old-school sensibilities mated with the iconic hues of pixelated indie charm. It's a return to simpler control schemes, building on sound mechanical fundamentals rather than trying to wow with new ways of interaction within each and every checkpoint. Though its wordless storytelling took some of the thrill out of completing the campaign, Hyper Light Drifter is a joy to play, (and replay in the new game plus mode) its mechanical excellence and stylish veneer.
Necropolis pulls many ideas together to ultimately deliver a satisfactory, short dungeon-diving experience that’s best enjoyed with friends. Some of its ideas conflict with each other (such as permadeath and teammate revival), its procedural generation doesn’t offer much in the way of replayability, and its intentional vagueness can be frustrating, but it’s good for at least a few monster-smashing runs before it gets old thanks to enjoyable combat mechanics, cheeky humor, and the promise of mystery.
The bottom line is if you haven’t played any three of these games, this is the best looking console version to date, and these enduring zombie-smashing games are still worth a playthrough. Outside of that, there’s nothing new in this Triple Pack to draw old Frank West fans back to experience the chaos again before he returns in Dead Rising 4 this December.