I think the world of Scarlet Nexus has a lot to offer, and I enjoyed getting a significant taste of it. Its concepts on brain power and psionic combat feel fresh, at least artistically, and I want to see where it possibly goes. I'm still abuzz over the final boss confrontation. I don't think it's quite for everyone, but fans of the anime style of storytelling will find something to connect with here.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart could be one of the first true all-encompassing showcases for the PS5. Every time I sat down to play it, I felt like I was about to start a really long episode of a good show. If there's one small nitpick, it's that I felt that some of the larger confrontations got slightly repetitive - I mean, how many versions of "juggernauts" am I supposed to fight? Also, one might get the sense that not enough risks were taken and that the game's design, as cool as it is, feels comfortable and safe. That feels like a discussion for the artists among us, and this doesn't feel like the time for a literary salon. I am on my third playthrough of Rift Apart, and I'm enjoying it as much as the first time I went through it. Sometimes, all a game has to be is fun.
The Show has been one of the more consistently excellent and complete sports series for years, and MLB The Show 21 maintains that excellence as it steps into the next-gen batter's box. The cover athlete choice of the aforementioned Fernando Tatis, Jr., is no coincidence, as the young star is being seen as one of baseball's next big things, ushering in a possible new era of personality and Q-rating power that the game could sorely use. He can also do everything, and everything is what this series has offered to fans for years at a high level. Time will tell if there is yet another level to reach.
If there's a sticking point to Returnal, it's that it's a big PS5 exclusive that is most definitely not for everyone. It's next-gen beautiful all the way, but if you've never played a game like this before, even all that beauty and amazing design might not be worth the sense of dejection you might feel as the body count starts mounting. Returnal and other games like it will force newer players to ask questions about what kind of games they want to experience. It takes a little bit of weird thinking to relish the prospect of repeated punishment. I recommend it, just for the experience of it. If you're part of that wider audience who wants to give a next-gen roguelike a shot, then be prepared for an awakening. And another one. And … another one.
I could delve into more, but I'd just be filling space at this point. I did have some nuggets of fun with Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, but there's too much I can't ignore to recommend it to anyone, especially with the dawn of next-gen systems and titles that execute their concepts much better and simply look like what current games should be.
The 2016 Hitman was one of my favorite games of the year, and the same could be said for the follow-up. As I said before, it truly made assassination a game, and an extremely replayable one at that. Hitman III is an excellent third act, and it will probably stay as one of the more fun titles you can have in your early PS5 library.
Fans of the franchise and many gamers of a certain age, especially those who have a next-gen console in the hopper, will still find enough to like in Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War. I personally still replay the mission with the arcade shootout just to get a little '80s cheeseball energy going, but I think the strategy of overwhelming people with as much content and as many shooter modes as possible might be starting to wear thin. We're not there quite yet, but I'm hoping the next Black Ops might have just a bit more than poking at my childhood memories of a culturally iconic president.
My only real gripe about Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is that I wish there were more of it. Miles and the rest of his circle are absolutely capable of being compelling enough to carry a game for twice the length. I just like this kid, and I think a lot of other people will, too.
While NBA 2K21 is clearly different from its predecessor in several ways, I can't say it's significantly better than what we saw last season. The game still looks fantastic, the commentary is still top-notch, and many of the same battles you might have had with the previous edition are still there, like whether you want to spend so much virtual and real money. If you don't have any basketball games in your library and want to change that, then by all means, this is as good as it can possibly get.
Neversong is one of those games that feels like an impactful and interactive art piece rather than the kind of title you envelop yourself in for hours and hours at a time. As with many indie projects, you can tell it was crafted with great care and a message that doesn't need a lot of time to register. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a little dark adventure.