Scott Ellison II
Little Nightmares II manages to ratchet up the tension in every conceivable way that is dreadful without ever truly being scary. Tarsier Studios has brought out the best of themselves here. With a longer campaign, a larger world to soak up, and more creatures to experience, this is a bigger and better game in every regard. Little Nightmares II doesn’t reuse a single trick, has compelling reasons to experience this terrifying ordeal, and will encourage you to do it all over again to find its secrets.
Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition is a very difficult game, but an easy recommendation on PC, as its being the definitive way to play the game. Sure, there’s new consoles out there, but the performance and options for PC are unmatched here. Nioh 2 itself is the toughest one yet, now with even better rewards and variety. Every new feature, mechanic, and system in place is a worthwhile addition, and fits the game, so long as you’re willing to learn it. Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition demands your best, and gives you the best action role-playing game out there.
There’s fun to be had, but you have to dig really deep to find it. When the game is working, blasting through these levels in just a couple of minutes is the perfect time to be in a level, without it feeling like a waste of time. It’s a shame then that it’s good moments are overshadowed by so many of its flaws. Redout: Space Assault had the potential to be as exciting as refreshing as 34BigThings did with the original Redout, but instead has shallow gameplay, lackluster visuals, and is riddled with bugs from small to big that showcase that it wasn’t ready for the transition to more powerful systems.
While Empire of Sin is not the first to tackle the era or the setting, but it is the best realized version out of any of them. There’s a few bugs to be rid out by Romero Games, but what exists is not detrimental to its enjoyment. Becoming something from nothing is no easy task on the streets of Chicago, and there’s plenty of views and systems to understand where money and resources are going, and how to improve your rackets if they’re not performing well. There’s exciting possibilities for DLC and expansions, but the existing roster will keep you busy well into next year. Empire of Sin blends several genres together for a mafia game that’s infinitely replayable.
Project Wingman features the best Ace Combat has to offer, and more. Sector D2 has crafted a game that’s both original and an homage in one, and I’m here for it. The singleplayer is incredibly well thought out, and provides longevity in its conquest mode where most players would stop when the campaign ends. Project Wingman knows what it is, does what it sets out to do, and exceeds that of its contemporaries.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War isn’t the evolution I thought it would be, but it is an excellent entry and return to form for a series that’s lost its way, but now has been found. There’s a familiar sense of movement and way the game plays that reminds you this is a Treyarch game, in all the best ways. The game feels less of a complete package due to how few multiplayer maps there are, and how Warzone feels like a less natural transition as it was in Modern Warfare. The campaign is short and sweet, but does some things to create a shared universe for future games to build off of. Black Ops Cold War is a really exciting 80s shooter that has yet to reach its full potential, but the state that it’s in currently is really fulfilling.
The Falconeer is a stellar experience. While its problems are few, they are drowned out by its strengths in exploration, combat, and being an audio and visual splendor. With well over a dozen hours of content, there’s a world begging to be discovered, and The Great Ursee. The next-generation of gaming is here, and with The Falconeer, there’s nothing else like it.
Without having played the original RUNE II at launch last year, I lack the understanding of the state that game was in. RUNE II: Decapitation Edition appears to be an improvement in just about every aspect. This game suffers from standard open-world problems like repetitive quest design, uneven visuals, and stiff dialogue; some of these things I suspect can’t be helped or fixed. For what issues remain, they don’t detract from the fact that I’m constantly booting up RUNE II: Decapitation Edition to begin the next quest. It can be a bit mindless, but it’s not aimless. I think it’s safe to say that RUNE II: Decapitation Edition has been saved from its own destruction by some passionate developers, and it delivers an enjoyable open-world RPG that has some rough edges, and should be given another chance at life.
Colorado is a tourist attraction for a reason, there’s so much to do here. And SCS Software has made Colorado, the DLC the same. If you rarely spend your time in free mode, this is the DLC that’ll change that. There’s lots of places that American Truck Simulator – Colorado doesn’t go, but what’s here is important for the trucking industry. This DLC captures the essence of Colorado beautifully, and is not disappointing. American Truck Simulator‘s Colorado is an essential purchase.
In all honesty, XIII from 2003 wasn’t that great of a game to begin with. PlayMagic clearly wanted to modernize and improve what that game did, while keeping the integrity of the game in-tact. But for some reason or another, just couldn’t come through on that. The game’s best feature is its cel-shaded graphical fidelity, being a remake that looks better than it plays. If you manage to pick this up, though I’d recommend you wait for patches and updates, you’ll either appreciate what’s been done or be convinced to pick up XIII – Classic instead.