If you can hunt down a demo or rental, giving it a chance isn't a waste of time. There are enough positives so it's worth a look, even if I doubt most will want to see the game through to completion. I'd love to see developer Acquire refocus its efforts into something more substantial, and I hopefully the lackluster combat here remains the exception, and not the rule, for future Acquire-developed titles.
Passive AI and lackluster online support from the community isn't enough to make Civilization: Beyond Earth a total wash. If you've enjoyed the series over the years, you'll likely spend many hours with this entry as well. It deviates just enough from the excellent Civilization V to be a worthwhile experience, and it offers a different pace than its predecessor, so even though it's not a significant upgrade, it's still pretty remarkable.
Beyond those issues, I really enjoyed my time with Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments. It's a really solid adventure game that I'd urge console players to check out. It features a host of interesting mechanics that do a great job of capitalizing on the character and world of Sherlock Holmes, and the six cases are very intriguing. Crimes & Punishments is easily one of the best Holmes titles I've played, and I look forward to what Frogwares has in store for the next game in the franchise.
I really enjoyed my time with Tropico 5. As a total package, it's a great starting point for new players. Gameplay mechanics like diplomacy have been simplified, so it's pretty easy to understand for newcomers. It'll help to have some working knowledge of similar sim titles, but even without that background, the campaign does a great job of easing you into the basic functions of city-building. The simplification isn't always in the best interest of the game, as I found when attempting to stave off exports of much-needed resources. While trade routes are a great addition, not being able to have direct control over which goods I export and import was often problematic. Issues like this are few and far between with Tropico 5, making it an overall positive and very fun experience.
All in all, I find myself very happy with what Trials Fusion has to offer, and I think this is a fantastic first entry for the new generation of console hardware. It's a great-looking game with active background and foreground elements, fantastic track designs, an interesting future aesthetic, and some strangely appealing narrative pieces provided by the quirky AI announcer. While the general Trials mechanics are largely unchanged, outside of the misstep represented by the tricks system, I've never seen much need for improvement in the series' basic controls and physics. RedLynx certainly hasn't lost any of the ideas that make the Trials series so much fun to play and has escalated the track design in a way that makes this game feel fresh and new, despite being the 13th entry in a decade-old series.
All in all, Deadfall Adventures doesn't have a lot of positives. I can appreciate that The Farm 51 made some effort to evolve this beyond a standard FPS experience with the exploration and puzzle-solving elements, but it feels like they spread themselves too thin concept-wise, and the entire game suffers for it. The best thing I can say about Deadfall Adventures is the environments look absolutely fantastic, despite not offering a great deal of variety. At the same time, the level of quality in the stages triggers your imagination in way that the game never fully manages to engage, and that makes the disappointing aspects of the gameplay stand out even more. I certainly can't recommend Deadfall Adventures; there are far better experiences available to PC gamers than this.
Very little is enticing about Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! outside of the license being used, and even that isn't applied properly here. Cut the game length by half, cut the price even further, stick this in a digital shop, and you have an OK time-waster that doesn't overstay its welcome. Even then, I think most would see through the shoddy, repetitive structure that makes up the meat of this game. "Adventure Time" fans deserve far better than this.
Basically, if you own a Vita, you should own Tearaway. For me, it's the best piece of software the handheld has seen to date, and it's the best Sony release since The Last of Us. It's a remarkably interesting, charming and emotional platformer from Media Molecule, and it shows that this studio is capable of more than just Little Big Planet. While this is certainly one of the busiest video game seasons in recent years, you should take a little time out of your next-gen schedule to experience a modern-day classic.