Just as Endless Legend and Civilization V are now far superior to how they started, so can Endless Space 2 be. It's odd to talk of foundations in something so markedly floaty and space-based, so perhaps it's better to think of this as an outpost, plonked down on a planet waiting to be colonised. It's a fertile planet, sure, but one that's yet to be fully exploited.
To me, Dark Souls 3 was a good curtain call. Ariandel, however, feels like perhaps the series has come out for one round of applause too many, and my hands are starting to hurt now from the perpetual clapping. The combat and visual design are fantastic – that was never in question – and I enjoyed Ariandel for its short runtime of four hours, but it’s engulfed in the shadow of its predecessors’ far meatier expansions.
Gears of War 4 epitomises the 'Complete Package' game. Its single-player campaign is simple but spectacular, and its multiplayer makes all the minor evolutions necessary to position it firmly among the big hitters of the online shooter scene. Even though I'm not enough of a shooty-shooter person to call myself a 'Gears fan', I'm certainly now a fan of The Coalition, who've shown a level of respect for gamers that's lacking among other triple-A shooter franchises.
For Dead Rising enthusiasts who haven’t played the original, this is a good opportunity to spend some more time with Frank West, as well as take on probably the best bosses in the series. But the design flaws that were small niggles ten years ago will be much more glaring – maybe even unbearably so – for newcomers coming to the series in 2016.