Shadow of the Tomb Raider has some of the best visuals and sound of any game this year. This last entry in the trilogy has improved every aspect of the previous two games while adding some new ideas. Exploration is both thrilling and satisfying, and the excellent tombs are enormous puzzles waiting to be discovered and conquered. Other than a few minor audio and video flaws, the story and characters fall just a little short of greatness, but that won't keep you from enjoying an amazing game. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara finally realizes her full potential, and it is quite the ride.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is a solid entry in a series that manages to perfectly balance between its goofy, intense, and sometimes sad scenes. The battle system is revamped, and punching someone's face has never felt better. The visual and sound improvements are fantastic, and the game is stuffed with fun things to do at every turn. If you are a fan of the series, this is an incredible experience. This is also the last journey of one of the gaming's toughest characters, and he could not ask for a better farewell.
Blasters of the Universe brings something new to the PSVR with its VR bullet hell concept, and the game works well. The guns have plenty of customization options, enabling you to adapt your weapon to your personal style. Grand Master Alwyn and his forces are challenging in casual and hell difficulties, and the extra modes give a shorter game a little replayability. If you are looking for something a little different and have some extra room to move, give Blasters of the Universe a try.
Suicide Guy is not about suicide or depression. It's a lighthearted game about a guy who has to wake up from a dream to keep his beer from spilling on his floor. Although the levels are varied, the unreliable physics and frustrating platforming kept me from enjoying this game more. If you like the so bad it's good genre, this may give you some enjoyment. Otherwise, it is not the worst game that will be released this year, but it has too many negatives to overcome for me to recommend it.
Rad Rodgers is a retro platformer inspired by Jazz Jackrabbit, Commander Keen, and Conker. With his potty mouth console, Dusty, Rad must save First World and restore the Elder Tree. The levels are filled with collectibles and hidden areas, and the visuals and music combine into a game that was created with a lot of love for its inspiration. Unfortunately, this is completely undone by a game-stopping bug in level seven, which I hope will be patched quickly. If it is, the game is good, but for now, I cannot recommend a game that cannot be finished.
Wulverblade can be finished in a few hours, but this retro beat ‘em up packs a punch. The presentation uses solid visuals and engaging sound as you push the ancient Roman army out of Britain. With multiple modes and difficulties, there is plenty of value here for anyone looking to swing a sword and cut your way to freedom. You might even learn a historical tidbit or two along the way.
Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 4 tells a good story, but it is the interactions with John Doe that make this episode worth playing. If you have been waiting to see him take his next steps to becoming a legend, episode 4 has plenty to offer.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is the perfect sequel to The New Order. Everything has been improved from the enemies and weapons to the visuals and sound. The game has a great story too. If these are the last days of single player, we could not ask to go out with a better bang.
CHAOS;CHILD is an exciting visual novel about a group of high school kids who are investigating a series of murders. Although the beginning is a little slow and the translation could use a little polishing, it delivers on a great story with many twists that fans of the genre will really enjoy
South Park The Fractured But Whole builds on the previous game to provide better mechanics with a greatly improved UI to power its superhero-inspired story. Outside a few individuals, your favorite South Park residents are well represented in a crazy, fully explorable world that only South Park could create.
Light Tracer is a puzzle platformer for the PSVR that lets you guide a princess up a tower and change the view at will. The levels are mostly well-designed and creative, but technical and mechanical issues will cause you some trouble while you play. There is still plenty to enjoy here for a PSVR game, and it can be played without worrying about nausea. If puzzle platforming is your jam, and you own a PSVR, you should give Light Tracer a try.
Batman: The Enemy Within, Episode 2: The Pact, continues to build a new season with a handful of competing villains, inner conflicts, and fallout from the first season. Although it never hit the heights of episode 1 and lessened the impact of your only real decision, it is still an easy recommendation for fans of the series.
Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash takes the Senran Kagura characters and puts them in skimpy bikinis for a water fight tournament. Despite the jokes and enough Jello boob jiggle to make you question the laws of gravity, the game offers plenty of depth with a huge roster of characters, strategic choices in weapons, and plenty of upgradable options to keep you playing. If you like anime or Senran Kagura and do not take the game too seriously, Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash may be the perfect thing to heat up your summer gaming.
Overall, Planet of the Eyes is a decent platformer with a surprisingly enjoyable story. The world is sometimes too sparse, and the lack of challenge and short length will not satisfy hardcore platformer fans. However, if you are looking for a good sci-fi atmosphere and love some physics-based puzzles, you may want to give Planet of the Eyes a try.
With a beautiful art style, Last Day of June tells a heartbreaking story about Carl as he tries to reverse the events of the day that took his love, June, away from him. Although the puzzles are on the easier side, the story told without any dialogue and the powerful soundtrack make this a great game for anyone who loves a good story and wants games that can make them feel something.
Cities: Skylines – PS4 Edition is a great game for your inner city planner. With a simple interface and an excellent menu system, you can build anything from an ideal small town to a smog-filled metropolis. Although I had to wait sometimes to make my next move in the game, it is still an easy game to recommend to anyone looking for a dynamic, city-building sim without a lot of other unnecessary parts.
Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 1 has more action and character building with better writing than previous entries. The Riddler is a terrifying, yet oddly sympathetic villain, and he is a great contrast to Batman. These are the perfect ingredients in an episode that felt very contained and complete by the end while still leaving you hungry for more. Please do not make us wait too long, Telltale.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a game with an interesting world and plenty of different viewpoints to consider. The game’s narrative and dialogue are strengths and weaknesses, and it has a codex for the player to keep it all straight. Not everyone will enjoy having to invest the time to get there, but, if you can move beyond that and the frequent loading screens, the game will deliver a story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you engaged.
Elite Dangerous is a simulation with a steep learning curve, but the freedom to explore the Milky Way Galaxy and its 400 billion star systems is unlike anything else on the PS4. Whether playing solo or with friends, you have multiple ways to earn credits to buy and fine-tune your newest space chariot with better parts. You can also just be a tourist on a sightseeing trip. Even though it does not have PSVR support, if you have wanted to go to infinity and beyond in your own ship, this may be the closest we get to the real thing. Despite any other issues, that sense of realism makes Elite Dangerous easy to recommend for anyone who has ever dreamed of voyaging across the cosmos.
Although it is not for everyone, The Town of Light is unique. It is a serious game that is deliberate in its storytelling and design choices, and it is purposely looking to provoke an emotional response in the player, as it tells Renée’s story of being confined to an asylum. It has some technical issues and text size issues that can pull you out of the story, but the ending will leave a strong impression on anyone with an ounce of empathy.