During the course of Tchia’s tropical adventure, players will experience many great, carefully-implemented ideas. The open world influenced by New Caledonia remains sensitive to its cultural inspirations, the unique soul-jumping mechanic is a joy to use and explore, the boat controls and fully-functional ukulele are overkill in the best kind of way, and the story has both unexpected darkness and humor. Unfortunately, a handful of good ideas can’t save Tchia from running out of steam before the finale and crumbling beneath a wave of performance issues.
Though it can be a blurry mess at times, Wild Hearts does plenty right to justify a play by both monster hunter veterans and newcomers to the genre. The Karakuri system is genius and enhances an already fantastic combat experience, and co-op is wonderfully implemented, making it easy to group up with other hunters.
Thanks to a recent patch that fixed the majority of performance issues that I was having, I can happily call Returnal on PC the “definitive version.” It has the looks, the performance, and the best controls, ready to reward those who waited for the PS5’s timed-exclusivity period to end with a compelling, mysterious story and top-tier bullet hell gameplay.
For those who already love the franchise and are simply hoping for a spruced-up version of the original game, then the Dead Space remake is an easy recommendation, so long as you’re okay with paying the price (or waiting for a sale). However, for those who have no pre-existing affection for Isaac and his dismemberment skills, more convincing is likely required. Happily, even with my modern expectations, the Dead Space remake still delivers a fantastic narrative, a wonderfully presented setting, and compelling gameplay that satisfies from the first terrifying moment until the horrific last.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) is a fine sequel that checks all of the boxes when it comes to a serviceable CoD campaign, good co-op options, and a super shiny competitive multiplayer that plays well enough for most. However, Infinity Ward has played it safe with this CoD installment, leaning into the strengths of Modern Warfare (2019) while making minor improvements, but ultimately failing to push the envelope in any meaningful way.
While God of War Ragnarok manages to "be better" with its presentation, combat, and exploration, its story falls a little flat with too many should-be standout moments failing to land. However, for those who can focus on the near-perfect journey rather than becoming all-consumed by the disappointing destination, Ragnarok delivers an epic sequel that is better in almost every way, further bolstering the catalog of must-play exclusives wielded by PlayStation.
With the Spider-Man Remastered PC version, gamers are getting the smoothest edition of the web-slinger complete with a comprehensive suite of graphical settings. This is exactly what we need from PlayStation games making their way to PC!
With Sifu, developer Sloclap is asking a lot from players. From the punishingly difficult combat that takes hours to learn and tens of hours to master, to the need to repeat and near-perfect levels to lower your starting age, this fighter can be an absolute slog. However, for those who can grit their teeth through the losses and frustration, you’ll come out smiling on the other side having played one of the best games of the year.
While Dying Light 2 does a lot right with its gameplay and new-gen presentation, it’s still a far cry from zombie gaming greatness. The weak story, uninspired mission design, limitations on initial player skills, and bugs let it down in a big way. Sure, a lot of this will be easy to ignore when fighting the undead as a four-man squad, but “it’s fun with friends” is an excuse that can only get you so far.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition can be tolerable on the right system. Both PS5 and Xbox Series X offer users the best chance of brute-forcing past the performance barriers but, even then, occasional bugs and glitches can occur. Fun can be had on those current-gen systems, especially by those with some sentimental attachment to the original trilogy, but there’s still likely to be moments of frustration. When it comes to the Nintendo Switch version, as enjoyable as a portable version could be, the experience is heavily compromised and I can’t recommend players drop serious cash on this product.
Sledgehammer Games is no stranger to righting wrongs, as seen with its previous Call of Duty entries, but even with additional balance tweaks and new content, I’m certain five years from now that Vanguard will be looked down upon as one of the weakest games in the series.