Larian Studios has tapped into the Weave and conjured up a near-impossible miracle, bringing the creativity of Dungeons & Dragons to life in Baldur’s Gate 3. Players are given real agency to pursue the narrative in a way that suits them and to dive into combat and experiment with a dizzying number of options. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a truly phenomenal game that has managed to sweep up the imaginations and dreams of players and developers alike. Baldur’s Gate 3 may just go down as one of the greatest games of all time.
One More Level has nailed the important bits in Ghostrunner 2: the combat, the movement, the visuals, the soundtrack, and the challenge. It’s all a cacophony of intense action and pulse-pounding exhilaration – it’s just that the connective tissue keeps it from being a cohesive vision. By increasing the scope and breadth of the game, Ghostrunner 2 loses part of the essence of what made the first game so great. And yet, for the faults I do have with Ghostrunner 2, it’s still an awesome game that had my head bobbing to synthwave beats as I slow-moed around lasers and turned my foes into giblets with a flick of my cybernetic katana.
Remnant 2’s action, loot, and bosses are cranked up to 11. It’s a marked improvement over the first game, with the fat trimmed and all the good parts ready for devouring right from the start. There’s a lot to love here, with more surprises and reasons to play even after multiple playthroughs. Though I do have a few gripes, they fade into the background as there’s just so much to enjoy here in the minute-to-minute gameplay.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a marked improvement upon the first game, despite suffering from some of the woes I had with the 2019 title. Cal Kestis’ journey across the galaxy is fraught with danger and the supporting cast are a treat to chat with whether in the midst of a mission or as you explore Koboh. While the combat and movement is still quintessentially Star Wars, it feels like the game has yet to reach its full potential. The good news is that, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you’re going to have a great time in this galaxy.
Santa Monica Studio has captured lightning in a bottle for a second time. God of War Ragnarok left me speechless; it’s such a beautiful game both visually and narratively. The team has somehow managed to take what made the original such a wonder and expand upon it, delivering to players a masterpiece, an experience that sits atop the God of War pantheon.
Asobo Studio has done well to continue the story of Amicia and her brother Hugo in A Plague Tale: Requiem. The narrative excels at exploring Amicia’s internal strife balanced against the need to protect and help her brother. Unfortunately, while the puzzles, lighting, and rat swarming systems are neat, they are weighed down by the tedious stealth sections and clunky controls. Those who enjoyed the first game will likely want to see it through to the end, but those who are new may find the experience lacking.
MADiSON is consistent, and that’s one of the key factors in a great horror game. A lot of games tend to struggle with a sluggish second act after an incredible opener or fall off in the final act, but that does not happen here. The puzzles remain a delight to solve, the tension never eases up, and just when you think you’re safe, a light will flicker, and you’ll catch a glimpse of the monster and you’ll need to change your pants. Beyond this, the story and lore is disturbing on a true crime level and manages to maintain its pacing. Suffice it to say, MADiSON is an unnerving, unsettling, and truly terrifying experience.
Though there are moments of joy to be found, they’re punctuated by fetch quests and odd collision detection. Fans of the original will no doubt find fun in a return to the world, but for everyone else, you might want to wait a bit longer before you take a bite.
While Call of Duty: Vanguard does what it does well, it’s as I wrote at the start: the expected experience. There’s nothing overly surprising here, no major shakeups to the gameplay, nothing that rejuvenates the franchise like 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, Call of Duty: Vanguard offers a solid experience for those looking for their annual fix from the franchise.
The Death Stranding Director’s Cut adds enough new tools and toys for players to utilize to make the experience worth replaying for those diehard fans. And for those that were unsure about getting in, the shuffling and redistribution of tools ensures that the early game is more approachable, while still retaining the sense of scale and progression offered at launch. The other features, like the firing range, racing track, and new location elevate an already rich experience. So collect your order and tie up your laces, because you’ll want to walk another 500 miles or more to experience what’s on offer here.
For long-time Pokemon fans, Pokemon Unite will be an enjoyable, if simple, adventure into the world of MOBAs. Even those who are intimately familiar with MOBAs may find Unite’s quick and approachable matches to be a nice palate cleanse. Unfortunately, at launch, it’s limited roster, simplicity, and hidden pay-to-win nature leaves it not being the very best.
Ghostrunner will set your adrenaline racing and won’t let up until you’ve mastered its systems. And when you do reach that zen-like moment of precision and elegance, dancing on the edge of a blade between life and death, you’ll ask yourself, “Can I do better?” And that’s when Ghostrunner will have you, truly and deeply.
Simply put, Remothered: Broken Porcelain was released in an unfinished state. Over the past week, the developers have released a patch nearly every day. Though this is commendable, it begs the questions of why it was released in the first place with so many problems.
Though the experience is hampered by bugs, glitches, and a few design issues, the snappy and moreish combat, the treasure trove of stats and skills, and the delightfully chaotic co-op play make Torchlight 3 a must-have for anyone looking for more ARPG goodness.