Forza Motorsport 6 is what I always wanted a next-gen driving game to be. It offers beautiful visuals, a wide variety of options, and uses real-world physics to dictate how vehicles perform. I could easily see myself playing Forza 6 for several months, or even years. I've never experienced a driving game with this level of polish, and it's unlikely anything will unseat it in the near future.
Forza Horizon 3 feels like the series grand crescendo as all of that work has lead up to the best Forza game I've ever played. I already was a big fan of the Forza series, but Forza Horizon 3 is beyond anything I could have ever imagined for the series and I can’t wait to discover more of its beautiful world.
Helldivers is the kind of game all co-op titles should strive to be. Not only does it offer a very rewarding top-down twin-stick shooter experience, but it's co-op goes beyond your own game. The experience is one all Helldivers will share together as well all work within a unified community in order to bring democracy to the galaxy. I for one will continue to play Helldivers well after its initial release to make sure the galaxy is rid of Bugs, Cyborgs, and Illuminates, or I'll die trying.
3D twin-stick shooters are nothing new as there have been quite a few released since Geometry Wars 2 hit the scene, but the series' eventual progression to offering this kind of gameplay mechanic is very much welcome. Geometry Wars 3 brings the tight twin-stick feel of the series to the modern gaming era while also paying homage to the series' roots. Just steer clear of its online multiplayer game modes.
If you're a fan of DC Comics and don't mind the simple gameplay mechanics the Lego series is known for, then Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will give you and your family hours upon hours of enjoyment. It also won't lead you to taking out a second mortgage on your home as you won't need to buy hundreds of physical toys to play the game; but after your kids start playing Lego Batman 3, I'm sure you'll end up buying them Lego toys anyways.
Forza Horizon 2 successfully captures the feel of the original Horizon title, and in fact, surpasses it in every way. Forza Horizon set out to give racing fans the opportunity to enjoy the Forza series in an open-world environment, and with the addition of a vast and beautiful locale, multiplayer options, both online and in single-player mode, and all of its activities, Forza Horizon 2 is yet another sequel that vastly improves on its original.
Hyrule Warriors offers an intriguing blend of both the Zelda and Dynasty Warriors series, making for an experience that fans of either series can thoroughly enjoy. It stays true to the Zelda series' lore, sights and sounds, and combines it with the fast-paced, button-mashing action the Dynasty Warriors series is so well-known for.
While the inclusion of all Xbox 360 versions of the Gears of War series could be seen as a sweet deal, I'm certainly torn by Microsoft's decision to do this. It's a nice touch to allow Xbox One owners to be able to play any Xbox 360 Gears of War game through backwards compatibility, but I feel this to be more of a cop out as The Coalition really should have offered the complete collection in what they consider to be the "Ultimate Edition" of the game.
Frustrations with its servers aside, The Division is what I wished Bungie's Destiny would have been. It has an engrossing and fascinating story, a wide variety of loot to collect, and collectibles and side missions that help give a much clearer picture of the terrifying reality of what would happen if New York City was hit with a deadly, flu-like virus.
LEGO Marvel's Avengers is what I expected it to be. It combined TT Games' ability to translate a popular film franchise into a fun and family-friendly experience while also adding some new tricks, such as the stud multiplier and combo attacks. And even though I was quite familiar with the source material, I still couldn't help but to pay close attention to its story as it was delivered in such a unique and fun package.
Koei Tecmo has done an incredible job of bringing the world of Dragon Quest to current gen. The game's visuals are very impressive, the action is fast-paced, and the sights and sounds of the Dragon Quest series are all there. I was instantly able to recognize the fanfare that would play when a battle would end or when a hero would level up.
Until Dawn kept me intrigued from start to finish. I came for the campy teen horror movie feel and left extremely impressed with how well rounded and influential an experience Supermassive Games delivered. This is a game that you'll be talking to your friends and colleagues about for years to come as you'll find no two experiences are alike no matter how hard you try.
Even though Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is available exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS, that doesn't mean it doesn't offer as expansive an experience as its previous console versions. Future New Nintendo 3DS XL owners will get the most out of this game thanks to its improved hardware and C-Stick, while current 3DS owners may want to consider an upgrade if they want to take their monster hunting serious.
The premise behind Code Name: STEAM is so ridiculous that I couldn't help but enjoy myself the more I played it. It doesn't go very far beyond a "there are aliens at this location, get rid of them" type of story, but its gameplay, as brutal as it can be at times, can be rewarding when you figure out just the right combination of squad members to use during missions. Its initial playthrough will take around 10 hours to complete, but collecting all of the sub-weapons and boilers will take players way longer to achieve. Throw in a multiplayer experience that offers three different game types to enjoy, and I could see players spending a lot of time with Code Name: Steam for a while.
Unfortunately, Techland is still unable to deliver a story worth telling. I didn't feel any emotional attachment to any of the characters, nor did I care if they ended up surviving or not. The addition of an overall weapon durability was also something I could have done without as I prefer to cut down my enemies without having to worry whether or not my weapons will disintegrate in my hands.