Madden 16 feels like EA has finally caught up to the current generation of gaming and can now start to improve the venerable football franchise by even greater strides. There's still some work to be done, but I feel like I'm playing Madden this year because it's fun, and not because I felt obligated as a football fan to have it. Compared to the hurricane of dark perceptions surrounding the National Football League, I'd much rather be playing this.
Mad Max will probably not be for everyone, especially for those who are pining to find some kind of innovative leap forward for the open-world genre. Avalanche has provided an intricate, fleshed-out interpretation of a world I didn't think would get a chance to have its day in the video game sun. The good things done here, despite the lack of that one killer thing,should give fans something that Max himself might not have: hope for something better.
And yet, it sometimes doesn't seem like enough. As intricate as the multiplayer is, the lack of a true campaign or other content beyond terrorist hunt leaves the entire Rainbow Six Siege package of offerings feeling somewhat light, especially in comparison to something like Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which has a campaign and zombies to go along with its signature shooter experience. The same goes for the Halo series, which was built on the backbone of a space odyssey while also forging a multiplayer identity. It's not a question of quality with Siege but a question of value, and for players like me, sometimes the question is harder to answer than it should be.
I'm also probably going to head back into Tom Clancy's The Division in the weeks or months to come as more content emerges and bugs get fixed. Ubisoft has something with serious potential, and it'll be intriguing to see what shape this world takes. I also want to see what stuff awaits in unexplored corners of the Dark Zone. That's really it.
There are other odd issues to be found where ReCore keeps tripping over itself despite earnest efforts to aid the player, like a targeting reticle that appears below Joule whenever she takes big jumps — except the camera always prevents you from truly seeing it, so you end up witnessing Joule fall into chemicals or into a pit of death. I could go on, but I'll stop. Perhaps one day, I'll have Joule raid an easy dungeon with Mack just to see how they move and interact. That way, I won't die and have more than enough time to think about how disappointed I was.
WWE 2K17 is the first wrestling game I've truly waded into in a while, and I'm reminded as to why it's been so long. I play the basketball, football and MMA games because it's basically what I see and experience on TV. As a fan of WWE who has viewing parties for major PPVs, I can't say that what I played touches on what I get from WWE programming every week. It resembles it, but it's got a long way to go before I see it the same way I see the real thing: art, done well, providing the perfect escape.
Resident Evil 7 is a welcome return to form and an excellent change of pace from a lot of the gaming fare that's either out or coming out. I'd recommend it to anyone, whether they like horror or not. There's a lot of good work in here, and if it takes getting frightened once in a while to see it, I say it's worth opening that door.
As I'm veering into my third All-Star Game with my created slugger, I think about how I'm putting the games typically in my wheelhouse — like another Sony creation, Horizon Zero Dawn — on the back burner to digitally partake in a game that I didn't think I enjoyed. Real-life baseball still has a long way to go to get my eyes on it more, but MLB The Show 17 is a pretty good place to start.
What I found [in Hope County] was a redneck action odyssey I didn't ask for and never knew I wanted, until I found myself in the late hours of the night raiding enemy outposts with a trained bear and a shotgun-bearing pyromaniac. It's more fun than you'll expect to have, and after experiencing the ending ..., I'm left with vivid memories of a fictional land.
Road to the Show remains the soul of The Show 18 to me, with everything else feeling like a fun distraction, like getting to step into the shoes of baseball's past greats or the tasting the 8-bit flavor of retro mode. As I progress more into my player's career, there's this unshakable knowledge that he's never going to be better at some things than he is now. He will be in a box — an enjoyable one, but a box nonetheless.