Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory does something that Paradox has been known for: adds compelling new content to an already brilliant title. The new Commonwealth mechanics give you a reason to explore this time period from a different lens, while the combat improvements make planning and executing battle plans easier than ever. However, the performance issues marring the experience, as well as frustrating AI, make Together for Victory one of the most poorly performing game in Paradox’s library.
Styx: Shards of Darkness is an incredibly fun game - provided you are ok with slowing down the pace and willing to put up with uncompromising stealth. If you are looking for an action heavy stealth experience, this isn’t really your cup of tea. However, if you’re like me (though I’m terrible at stealth on the whole) and want a great, difficult challenge, Styx: Shards of Darkness might be right up your alley.
Whether you're soaking in the cosmos around you, banking large sums of credits from a well-planned trading haul, or surviving a harrowing encounter with space pirates in dazzling ship-to-ship combat, Elite Dangerous has plenty to keep me excited to come back. And when those long-haul sessions become too much, Arena mode is there to inject some much-needed action at a moment's notice.
Madden NFL 18 isn’t the giant leap of the series, but I’m not entirely sure anyone really expects it to be. It is noticeably different than its predecessor, namely because of the Longshot mode. And while I didn’t walk away from the Longshot story a huge fan – it’s definitely worth a shot if you’re looking for something different in your Madden experience. However, if you just wanted more of the same, this isn’t necessarily a bad year to skip the game and save your money. That’s not to say the game is bad – it’s not. However, I’m not sure it does enough differently than it’s predecessor – and the things it does differently I’m not sure they do them well enough – to warrant a purchase day one.
Destiny 2 on PC makes you feel as though the series really always belonged on the computer. The extra level of detail in each nook and cranny, the fluid, fast-paced and incredibly accurate movement thanks to the control set-up coupled with high framerates, and the support Destiny 2 has for multiple GPU and monitor setups really drive home that Bungie and Vicarious Vision made Destiny 2 its own on PC.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is a game I keep going back to. Even after finishing the main quest I want to keep playing and exploring the world of Yakuza. It also inspired me to get into the larger series, and as a result I just installed Yakuza 0 to start playing.
Conan Exiles is often slow and arduous, but even after 70 hours – 40 since launch – the idea of returning to the Exiled Lands still holds some allure. Crafting is largely a tedious grind, especially the higher up you get in the crafting tiers, and it's surprising that in a world about brutal combat, Conan Exiles falls flat there. However, the beautifully realized world is a joy to explore and it nails the atmosphere of the source material.