It's not as unsalvageable as Battlefield 5, but it's still hard to imagine this evolving into the definitive Battlefield game that DICE wants it to be. There is fleeting fun to be had here, but it's often spoiled by the game's blatant shortcomings. The maps are a slog, gunplay is bogged down by puzzling design choices, and there's no shortage of bugs that actively require the player to restart the entire game. It's a far cry from the 10-year-old Battlefield 3 and as it continues to age, the series strays further away from those glory days with no road to redemption in sight.
Alan Wake Remastered's improvements are subtle and won't dramatically change the experience, but that also means it retains what made it so special in the first place. The atmosphere is chilling ,and the story holds up after over a decade, meaning it doesn't need a full-blown remake to still feel worthy of a modern retelling. Even with its flaws, Alan Wake Remastered is worth playing in 2021, especially for those who missed it the first time around.
Life is Strange: True Colors creates a world that players will want to be in, and a story that needs to be seen to the end. Despite the small scale of Haven and its unnerving issues, True Colors plausibly allows itself to have high stakes and is convincing in its premise. It's a game that is not only a shocking emotional rollercoaster, but also a compelling lesson about the importance of empathy, and an enjoyable time that could serve as a viable foundation for more storytelling in the future.
MLB The Show 21 is yet another solid entry in Sony's now multi-platform sports franchise. The consistent tweaks to how the game functions and its quality-of-life improvements each year have helped create a balanced, solid foundation for each iteration to improve on. Even though MLB The Show 21 lacks in delivering a truly engrossing current-gen experience on the new consoles in some ways and has a few typical sports franchise pitfalls, it's still an enjoyable game that has a high degree of craftsmanship.
Cyberpunk 2077 isn't just a disappointment because it misses the mark for CD Projekt Red. It's a disappointment because it misses the mark as a video game from any developer. It lacks the fundamental basics of a good RPG. The best moments in its narrative are tucked away in side quests. Night City is a boring, lifeless illusion of something greater. Perhaps that's a good analogy for Cyberpunk 2077 itself: A boring, lifeless illusion of something greater.