From start to finish, Alan Wake 2 just kept delivering. It is modern horror done right. This is the game for horror fans, for Remedy fans, or simply for fans of the original Alan Wake. It is the game for those looking for something fresh that will delight and thrill in unexpected ways.
Starfield emerges as a familiar addition to Bethesda's repertoire, offering an expansive but ultimately safe journey through the cosmos. While the game does attempt to delve into profound themes and presents an open-ended narrative structure, it still adheres to Bethesda's tried-and-true formula, failing to break new ground in the action-RPG genre.
The new release of Diablo 4 has exceeded expectations by providing an engaging and dark experience that fans of the franchise have been eagerly waiting for. With its improved gameplay mechanics, often stunning visuals, a wide range of multiplayer options, and extensive endgame content, Diablo 4 has cemented its position as one of the best action RPGs currently available.
Frictional should be commended for at least trying something a bit different when compared to their previous offerings. As the studio continued to evolve and iterate on their linear experiences, there is a hope that they will continue to learn and iterate on this idea of a semi-open world horror experience. Perhaps in a few years' time we will see Frictional create a title that again hits the highs of Soma but with the added freedom to explore and experiment in the game world. It would be nice to look back in a few years at The Bunker as being a steppingstone to something greater, but right now it's hard to see it as anything other than a short, "merely ok" game from a studio that has crafted much more compelling releases in the past.
After Us manages to deliver an experience that is largely enjoyable despite its flaws. Loose gameplay mechanics, framerate hiccups, and superfluous combat encounters are mostly offset by solid environmental storytelling, a poignant message, fantastic soundtrack work, and almost rock-solid performance and visuals.
The Outer Worlds: Spacer's Choice Edition offers plenty of new, next-gen visual eye candy with a substantial hit to performance. The small upgrade cost is an easy choice for console players coming from last-gen hardware, but PC owners may find it a tougher pill to swallow. Note: The extended issues with the PC version were not known to us during the review process of the PS5 version.
Though a little unpolished in places, High on Life surprises with its fast-paced combat, enhanced traversal upgrades, and yes, even its humor. This game from Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland won't be for everyone, but it's an easy recommend for anybody that enjoys a vulgar, humorous romp infused with DOOM-style combat.
I would rank it right up there next to Borderlands 2 in terms of quality. The writing is fantastic, and the gameplay improvements, many of which were brought over from Borderlands 3, often put it a step beyond Borderlands 2. If you are at all a fan of the previous Borderlands games and their satisfying gameplay loops, you really cannot go wrong with this game.
Bend Studio really went above and beyond on this one and I appreciate the hell out of them for the extra care and attention they gave this PC release. They included features that even most PC-first developers often overlook and have set the bar high on other potential PlayStation to PC releases in the future.
Overall, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is far closer to Until Dawn than Man of Medan was. It is a horror movie wrapped in a video game shell that makes for a thrilling, tense, and frightening experience whether you are playing solo or with a good friend.
There are certainly some areas of the game that could have used a bit more polish in this release, but I believe that fans of the franchise, especially fans the original Age of Empires III, will very much enjoy what is being offered here.
There just is not very much to praise here. If you enjoyed the colorful sandbox action of the original, you will probably find some enjoyment with Crysis Remastered. If you are like me and thought that the original was lacking, even back in 2007, you will not find any reason to pick this up in the here and now. It is also hard to recommend the game in 2020 when so many other games have come and gone that have better stories, better writing, and better gameplay in every conceivable way. It's a very dated game, but at least the water looks pretty.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is very nearly the perfect remake. Without a doubt this is the definitive version of both titles currently available. It is welcoming to those who have never played the game while being an immediate blast from the past with us old farts that spent their formative years playing these games for hours at a time.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is an absolutely wonderful gameplay experience. There is just something undeniably magical about flying around and seeing sights that you may have only read about in a book or seen online. With so many of us still in quarantine and self-isolation, there has never been a more perfect time for this level of escapism.