Jordan Oloman's Reviews
Redfall is a compelling adventure with killer combat and an atmospheric setting in which you can easily lose a weekend. Even though it feels watered down by Arkane’s systemic standards, it’s an ambitious, primarily successful experiment full of narrative nuance and unique ideas. Hopefully, Redfall’s shakeup of the genre will pave the way for more inspired looter shooters in the future and, selfishly… another immersive simulator?
There’s an overwhelming fakeness and irony to Dead Island 2 that, without any oppositional hope or sincerity, can eventually make the experience of playing it feel like kind of a downer, similar to the feeling you get after eating a load of junk food. My partner turned to me during one of my sessions late into the game and said it looked like I was on autopilot. Instead of meaningfully engaging with its systems, I was mindlessly pushing through the hordes in search of more complexity, or a satisfying narrative crescendo that never came. Dead Island 2’s nostalgic charms can transport you back to a simpler time, but there’s often a reason why you don’t see old friends anymore.
FIFA 23’s slick and dramatic virtual football is fitting for the series’ last hurrah under its long-time name, but familiar frustrations abound, and it still greatly undervalues some of its most beloved modes.
Lone Echo 2 is an enjoyable space drama with striking details and fun movement mechanics, but it lacks innovation and struggles to justify its eight-hour runtime.
Microtransactions still loom large, but small iterative changes and the horsepower of new-gen consoles combine to make FIFA 22 feel like a worthwhile upgrade without needing anything revolutionary or terribly exciting from EA's side.
Sackboy doesn’t have the tight movement tech of Crash Bandicoot 4 or the butter-melting charms of a game like Astro’s Playroom, but it’s well worth a look if you’re in the market for an innovative platformer that makes the most of the PS5’s exclusive features.
Valorant has already won over many esports and live-streaming stars and their millions of teen fans. If it can do what Fortnite and Overwatch have done and bring in more casual players as well, we will be talking about it for years to come.
The platforming is quite fun and the feedback loop works, so at the approachable price point, if you want something absent-minded to play as background noise for a catch-up conversation, then sure, but beyond that… it’s probably not worth the seven to ten hours of effort to complete it.
Death Stranding is the most unique big-budget game I’ve ever played, a socially-minded injection of inventive ideas into a genre that has long survived by being lazy and brutish. This ambitious formula-flipper is brimming with empathy and carefully courts cinematic influences, an ensemble cast and a world of eye-watering scale, delivering a sticky gameplay loop to tie it all together and create a console generation-defining experience.
Little Town Hero is a solid RPG with several unique, ambitious new systems that light up different parts of the brain than you may be used to. However, it also feels like it’s still in the prototype phase. The battle system is fun to figure out, but ultimately combat is so drawn out and confusing that it becomes exhausting. Unfortunately, it’s not as snappy and enjoyable in quick bursts as Pokemon, which may be the thing that doom’s Little Town Hero’s clear potential as a brain-teasing game to play on your commute.
A well-functioning port of a brilliant game with an unexpected identity crisis. Given the availability of other platforms, the visual compromise makes this technical marvel a difficult sell to first-timers and veterans.
What The Golf is a hilarious, addicting golf game that unravels the sport into clever puzzles and intrigue.
Don’t sleep on this one, it’s a trip.
Come for the crunchy combat and stay for the seductive systems that will keep you playing long after the compelling campaign has been conquered.
The Sinking City's engrossing premise is ultimately betrayed by counterintuitive systems and bleak monotony.
Yoshi's Crafted World doesn't use its clever conceit as well as it should or weave a poignant story, but it's still a solid and accessible Nintendo platformer.
Sekiro is an electrifying power trip that demands a lot from the player, but if you let it grip you it will be hard to pull its rickety wooden hand from your wrist. Every time I put words to paper I’m emboldened once more to head back in there. I’m inspired and terrified thinking about the friends I’ve made, bereft with Rot Essence, praying for me to surpass the next fork in the road so I can bring them back to life.
Crackdown 3 is bonkers chaotic fun but also a case of wasted potential. The series deserved an iterative revival but instead, we have the tried-and-tested Crackdown backbone with remastered visuals and a touch more chaos, sadly squandering the promise of its few interesting additions in the process
This episode contains the best scenes of the season so far, but it wastes an egregious amount of time getting to the point.
This is a game that wants to delight you. It is unapologetically hopeful, like nothing I’ve ever played, offering a seemingly endless font of positivity that is difficult to ignore. Alas, it is still very much a Kingdom Hearts game, and the staunchly unwavering architecture of it is felt in every U.I element and cutscene.