Scott Ellison II
It was hard imagining how running a campus could achieve the wackiness of Two Point Hospital, but Two Point Campus proves that college-level humor will go a long way. It’s a familiar yet wildly different game that carves its own path, a sequel that delivers in every aspect. I laughed out loud at the goings on at these themed universities, I applauded the bespoke animations each prop has, and I love how clever this game is. This management sim cannot be overlooked, Two Point Campus is a ridiculously charming and endlessly playable.
You’ll reap what you sow as you cultivate a cult following towards you goals. While it has many gameplay elements that are introduced over time, it can get overwhelming. This is a bigger game than it lets on, that said, I enjoyed engaging with everything it had to offer me. Cults have never been cuter, and the art style is a perfect match for the personality with such dark undertones that many will flock to. Cult of the Lamb is every bit successful as a roguelike as it is a colony management sim for a truly rich experience.
The exploration is great, characters and interactions feel special, and left to your own detective skills in some cases to track down the next lead or find a wanted criminal. It’s a game that’s mission-based, but is a cohesive and streamlined to be really enjoyable and kinetic. While it puts the “hard” in hard west, it is a wholly satisfying combat experience. Bravado is going to be a mechanic we see with a different name but used the same across future turn-based RPGs. while not totally new, just remember that Hard West 2 is out here reminding everyone how great it is. Ice Code Games nailed this, and Hard West 2 is a paramount purchase for anyone who enjoys the wild west, supernatural, or turn-based strategy games.
Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course is another triumph of style and substance. At $7.99, you’re dining good at not only is a great price but a great reason to return to the Inkwell Isles. It’s a smorgasbord of content with so much new added, and can now be considered complete with this release. This last morsel of gaming greatness is something that should be savored. Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course is a required and essential piece of DLC that would make the rest of the game feel incomplete otherwise.
While any of Gearbox’s looter shooters are better with friends, the solo experience can be just as fun here. Those not into the futuristic sci-fi setting of Borderlands will likely find solace and endless refuge in the fantasy world found here. This change proves that the Borderlands formula has the room to stretch its legs and do more going forward. Wonderlands’ humor works because it makes jokes on the style it’s emulating rather than making pop culture references. This shows every dungeon master can make a messy, but fun campaign, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands shakes up the Borderlands formula enough to be a exceptionally honed fantasy adventure.
I adored this series on PlayStation 2 and even in the Xbox 360 era, but it seems it regresses more than progresses. I didn’t think this game would be as bad as its predecessor, but it is so bland and uninspired. There are a few redeeming aspects like the controls, the new Trails mode, and the better time of driving ATVs and UTVs. I just can’t recommend this at full price, or even half-price; it’s a game that still needs a lot of work. There’s certainly nothing legendary about MX vs ATV Legends.
While the main quest is rather short in comparison, High Isle still doesn’t disappoint: All the quests are satisfying, the island chain is exciting to explore, the new gear looks great, and a new card game on top of yearly expansion makes this a big offering. For the sixth expansion, there’s never been a better time to play The Elder Scrolls Online. The greatest strength this expansion has, is that it doesn’t have any baggage of being a place we’ve seen in a prior Elder Scrolls game, making it feel wholly fresh for everyone to play. High Isle ensures that The Elder Scrolls Online continues to be indispensable among the MMORPGs available today.
Codemasters put more focus on graphics and presentation into F1 22, adding style to the substance. Make no mistake though, the core gameplay and racing is perfectly preserved and updated as it should be. The F1 Life mode is underwhelming and largely superficial, but it does flesh out the overall experience of the game to not make it as stiff, backed up by the EA Trax soundtrack. It has a few bugs and foibles, but none of them hold it back from greatness. The new rules put in place make racing these incredible machines more exhilarating. F1 22 is a masterclass in simulation, and one of the finest racing games that’s a must play.
You won’t find a more colorful, energetic, or exciting racer than Redout 2, it’s simply radiant. 34BigThings resurrects the style of racer that Wipeout and F-Zero made popular, and it’s a great return to form that succeeds the original in every way. The expanded places you’ll go, the customization you have available, and the plethora of content to enjoy is staggering. Redout 2 more than delivers, it comes in to your house and sets the table for you to feast on its offering. The high-speed, futuristic psychedelia that is Redout 2 is a tour de force, and warrants your attention.
POSTAL: Brain Damaged is far from piss poor, and while I wouldn’t call it essential, it does come recommended. It straddles a weird line of wanting to be something a little more open-world like the mainline series, while being more condensed like an arena shooter. I think if the levels were a bit smaller, Hyperstrange would have nailed what they were going for. As it stands, the pacing and momentum is a bit off as you have so many non-combat sections. As time wore on and the more I played it, the more I liked it. The crass humor and cringey one-liners combined into this boomer shooter just works. POSTAL: Brain Damaged isn’t your dad’s POSTAL.
Rebellion really put a lot into Sniper Elite 5, and it shows due to the well-thought out modes and mechanics. With over twenty hours of singleplayer to do here, and that’s only scratching the surface until you replay them for better scores or tackle the objectives differently. The robust campaign features an unraveling list of objectives that are engaging and rewarding. Invasion mode is a highlight, and a perfect fit for the series for some true cat and mouse action. Sure, there’s a few bugs, and some parts of this that may not wow or excite everyone, but it really offers an enthralling experience that is unrivaled. Sniper Elite 5 is one of the best stealth action games to exist, and is a must-play.
Rush Rally Origins shows its roots in rally games of yesteryear while also bringing modernization to the table. I found that neither camera view made it easier to play for long periods, I still was compelled to come back regularly. I had an absolute blast while playing, and continue to do. There’s a ridiculous amount of content to be found here, that play sessions could be as little as a few minutes or whole hours at a time. I look forward to the developer bringing their traditional and mainline rally games to PC and consoles. Rush Rally Origins embraces its origins to be an accessible, dense, and just plain good rally racer.
Nightmare Reaper is a different kind of retro shooter, one you should absolutely play. This is metal incarnate with a blistering soundtrack from the hallowed Andrew Hulshult. It has some mild frustrations, but there’s an exhausting amount of content that’s either excellent or even optional like its mini-games. The retro FPS is enhanced by a looter shooter arsenal, and roguelite randomization is exceedingly well done and incredibly fun. When I say there’s nothing like Nightmare Reaper, there really is nothing like Nightmare Reaper.
Weird West is a fantastic immersive sim that works doubles as an isometric action RPG in concert. Sadly the stealth is clumsy, the throwables clunky, but this is one of the best games of its kind. Over the twenty or so hours, you’ll encounter quirky characters, feral supernatural beasts, and unravel and intertwining mystery across five different playable characters that’s rarely been seen to culminate in a climactic end. Weird West feels like you’re playing something new and fresh, and it absolutely delivers as being one of 2022’s greats.
Shredders is pure, focusing on snowboarding while still being entertaining, and for that it succeeds. It’s something that’s never too demanding or too easy on you, and you can just perform tricks to your heart’s content, or work your way through the campaign. The game is available on PC and Xbox, and I do recommend you check this out on Xbox Game Pass if you have it. FoamPunch has a lot of ambition and desire to make something great, and while it does miss the mark a bit, it’s something you should still play. Shredders is a gratifying game that feels a little undercooked, even though the roster of pro-snowboarders that talk in the game sound totally baked.
FAR: Changing Tides offers a richer and fuller experience over its predecessor. Okomotive went above and beyond to make the puzzles more involved and elaborate, yet intuitive to solve rather quickly. The environmental storytelling of Changing Tides is equally compelling and emotionally impactful. There’s not a demanding aspect of the game, and it likes to let you breathe for some truly relaxing moments. While you should play FAR: Lone Sails first, they’re complimentary to one another and I must implore that you play both regardless of order. FAR: Changing Tides is a wonderful sequel, it has so many wondrous moments of greatness that you won’t forget.
Shadow Warrior 3 is not a bad time, it just isn’t as forward thinking as its predecessors. It’s a mess of ideas with a flawed execution that leads to disappointment. There’s a healthy armory of fun weapons to shoot, upgrades to acquire, and finishers that are fantastically bloody to keep you entertained. Lo Wang’s movement and world traversal is the best it’s ever been. Flying Wild Hog gets so much right, but the parts they don’t overshadow the whole experience. Shadow Warrior 3 is so staggeringly linear and short, and without any real replayability to speak of, is a game that falls on its own sword.
GRID Legends is every bit the successor to 2019’s GRID that it should be. There’s a lot to love here, and this is Codemasters at their best. You have a compelling story with great characters full of representation and diversity, multiplayer that works untethered to a mode or platform with ease, and top-notch racing and competition that’s unrivaled. GRID Legends takes risks this time around, giving variety where it’s needed, and is an intense arcade-meets-simulation racer that simply does it better.
Roll7 has mastered the essence of skateboarding, captured the chillaxing mood of what it is to be a skater, and achieved an impeccable control scheme. This is a game brimming with personality that the series didn’t quite have before, and now it just exudes it with the utmost confidence. Whether you’re looking to achieve gnarvana, nirvana, or nerdvana, there’s something for everyone here. OlliOlli World is pure perfection with flawless execution.
Gone is the grit and limited color palette that set the grim tone for Dying Light, but the brighter aesthetic provides hope in an otherwise hopeless world. Dying Light 2 Stay Human gets so much right, and feels so much better to play that I can’t help but get excited at all the things I have yet to do. Techland has made a more compelling, complex, and well-paced game where pushing the player to make decisions without a known outcome is easily its best feature. While it has a familiar open-world design we’ve seen before, it’s one that I’m eager to return to. Dying Light 2 Stay Human has the best melee combat and parkour in the business, and is now the most satisfying of the series.