The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me has a promising start but ends up being a lackluster final game in the first season of this horror Anthology. Although the formula can still work, as demonstrated by The Quarry, with bland gameplay and uninteresting characters this sub-series clearly needs a facelift.
God of War Ragnarök is an innocuous sequel that continues on the path laid out by its predecessor. The writing and narrative leave something to be desired, but with solid gameplay and great presentation, there's plenty to see and do in these Nine Realms.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord continues to offer a unique mix of grand strategy and large scale 3D battles. The strategy aspect could have used more depth and variety, as well as a better designed campaign and a lot more tutorials. But it's the battles that steal the spotlight, with thrilling large scale encounters. While the developers couldn't deliver on all their ambitions, the distinctiveness of the gameplay still helps the sequel stand out.
NHL 23 is packed with modes and content that should impress almost any hockey fan, even if some of the technical elements could use a sprucing up. But in a world where NHL 22 exists, there are just far too few additions and improvements to recommend this year's game for returning players.
FIFA 23 is the final entry of this footballing franchise under its current iconic name, and it's not really one to remember. While the gameplay continues to strive forward, most of the other new features are rather undercooked and the overall package lacks a bit of polish.
Prodeus is a noble tribute to the original Doom with plenty of action, excellent stylized visuals, and great level design. However, the brief campaign grows repetitive as the mechanics don't evolve beyond the basics, and multiplayer is unfortunately empty.
Splatoon 3 continues to ride on its ink wave of success thanks to a solid gameplay foundation, with some minor tweaks, extra content, and an improved user experience. Whether or not that's enough, after years of development and another full price tag, will depend on what you're looking to get out of the experience.
Gerda: A Flame in Winter offers a somewhat optimistic glimpse at the lives of ordinary folks caught in the war. It will push players to decide where their loyalties lie, though the drama of conversation is often lost for the sake of an RPG point system.
For creator Sam Barlow and his studio Half Mermaid Productions, the push to eccentric cinematography continues with Immortality, as the video game elements fade further into the background. Some may find this odd collection of indie flicks enticing, but many will be disappointed by the lackluster interactivity.
Two Point Campus plays it safe and offers a different take on the familiar formula of its predecessor. It's a well-designed management game that has enough charm and content to draw you in, but staying engaged in the long run can be a challenge.