MLB The Show 23 will have you practice your best home run calls because the latest installment in the iconic franchise knocks it out of the park. The game's new storylines mode, improved animations, and latest gameplay changes are worth the price of entry to your favorite ballpark this year.
In space no one can hear you scream, but that is okay because Dead Space will have you so immersed that you'll forget to. Experience your favorite sci-fi game like never before with improved visuals, audio, and features that make every one of your sci-fi fantasies and nightmares come true.
The fun puzzle solving cannot save the bug-filled mess that is Hello Neighbor 2. Unless you are a huge fan of the Hello Neighbor franchise and have devoured it in all its forms, you can skip this entry. Unfortunately, this is a neighborhood that even Mr. Rogers wouldn't want to be part of.
Pilgor is back and better than ever. Goat Simulator 3 is the troll sequel no one asked for, but happy to get it, anyway. Help her defeat The Farmer and wreak as much havoc as possible on the residents of San Angora. The result is the punniest adventure you'll ever go on.
Pentiment goes all in as a dialogue-heavy historical murder mystery that you won't want to stop playing. You will question your actions throughout the game because your choices truly matter. No two endings will be the same, which makes you want to replay the game to delve deeper into the mystery. How will your story end?
Hood: Outlaws & Legends is the best PvPvE game I've played in quite some time. Sure, it has its issues; the AI can sometimes feel braindead, class balancing needs to be tweaked, and animations can be a bit janky, but the adrenaline rush of the heist makes up for all of that. Not to mention, this is only a $30 game, and the developers have released a fully fleshed-out roadmap for ongoing support. Players can expect new characters, game modes, seasonal events, cosmetics, and more. And did I forget to mention that the game already has cross-play matchmaking at launch? Hopefully, the developers can expand the party system for cross-platform friends.
The Pathless is an open-world exploration title with unique puzzle-solving mechanics and one of the year's best soundtracks. The tense and enjoyable boss encounters were a delightful surprise. The free-form approach to the exploration and plethora of puzzles to solve, most being optional, give you the sensation of freedom while traversing. It's simply fun, aimlessly soaring through the air with my eagle, bouncing across rivers and down snow-covered mountaintops shooting at talismans. It's not a long experience, as I clocked my completion at roughly eight hours, but there are plenty of trophies to earn by collecting all of the relics, along with completing various other tasks.
Bright Memory can be completed in just over 30 minutes the first time through, but suffers from technical and control issues. It was designed as the first episode of many but came across as an unfinished product or proof of concept, with pieces that seem ripped from other game series. There are even bonfires that don't seemingly serve any purpose, complete with a "bonfire lit" message when activated. The narrative lacks substance and any reasoning about why the events have transpired, unless you read through the game's description page, which features all the information you'd expect to find in-game.
Galacide is an intriguing and unique take on the side-scrolling shooter genre. The addition of match-3 tile puzzle mechanics keeps you engaged and forces you to be mindful of your position onscreen. The expert difficulty proved too much while playing alone, but I had a blast with four of us frantically trying to survive amongst the chaos.
A demanding skill-based experience, Ghostrunner makes you feel like a cyberpunk ninja. Thanks to the quick restarts, and generous checkpoints, the game never feels overwhelming or unfair. The 17 levels took me close to twelve hours to complete but depending upon your skill level. If you search around for collectibles during the platforming sections, it could be a shorter/longer experience. The enemy variety and ever-changing visual aesthetic for each area of The Tower keeps the game from feeling like a chore. The synthwave cyberpunk soundtrack by Daniel Deluxe fits well with the impressively sharp visuals.
Pumpkin Jack isn’t a long experience (roughly four-five hours) but is full of nostalgia for classic 3D platformers. It is a fun romp that hits all the notes that I’d want from a Halloween release. It has colorful and detailed visuals, a fantastic soundtrack, throwback style gameplay, and a few laughs. There are plenty of collectibles to find if you wish to hunt for achievements. Surprisingly, Pumpkin Jack is arguably a more robust release than the recently released remake for MediEvil.
G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout serves up nostalgia for G.I. Joe fans, with a narrative that feels right at home for the series. The colorful and stylized cel-shaded visuals are perfect for the franchise, making you feel like you are playing inside a comic book. It's a real shame that the overall gameplay falls flat thanks to poor aiming mechanics. The AI that joins you when playing solo is utterly useless, and enemies can backtrack faster than you can advance towards them. There are optional side objectives to complete, and collectibles to find, which unlock alternative looks for characters, weapon skins, and comic cover art.
Monster Truck Championship is the best monster truck game to be released. The lackluster presentation and technical hiccups hold it from being great. The driving and stunt controls are solid, even if they take some practice. Short draw distance causes frequent pop-ups during races. There's no music during races, and the crowd is completely silent most of the time. It doesn't take that long to make your way through all 30 of the career events, and in the process, earn millions of dollars. Some appearance parts can cost a pretty penny, so you'll need to replay events to unlock everything.
Cake Bash is the feel-good frantic party game I needed to play this year. The sharp, beautifully rendered environments and comically delicious characters are a treat...literally. Local and online multiplayer worked like a charm (besides a single time where everyone was forced to restart). However, I do wish that the game instructions aren't skipped when playing online, especially when playing with someone new or experiencing a new event for the first time. Although the overall amount of events and mini-games is small, it may take a few rounds to see them all at least once.