Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a great palette cleanser, not just in terms of tone but the way it's carefully designed. Well-paced and beautiful to behold with plenty to see and do, Ember Lab has well and truly captured the spirit of the 3D platformers many of us grew up adoring.
Samurai Warriors holds onto its status as the best of the three Warriors series. Omega Force has refined their aged formula with a focus on narrative, more challenging combat, and more rewarding character progression. Let's just hope they can hold onto this momentum...
The melee combat may not be as technical or strategic as some hardcore fans might like, yet it's hard to deny the appeal of Chivalry 2's dismembering deathmatches. Those first few sieges are truly enthralling as watch waves of red and blue troops smash against each other. Over time it may lose its edge though Chivalry 2 is still one of the most fun and unique multiplayer games out there.
It feels immensely satisfying to be sat here in 2021, eons after playing Super Stardust HD on PS3, and see just how far Housemarque has come. Offering a visual bullet hell spectacle, a showcase for the DualSense controller and a rewarding sci-fi narrative woven around the roguelike loop, we can say with unflinching confidence that Returnal is the PS5's best game to date.
Outriders juggles some truly captivating ideas for the looter shooter genre, yet fails to deftly execute them. While it succeeds in combining traditional third person shooting with rewarding dungeon crawling, its messy matchmaking, repetitive mission design, and a dull sci-fi story hold People Can Fly back from delivering to their fullest potential.
The car combat genre has long been out of fashion and still has a way to go if it wants to take us back to its glory days of the 1990s. Destruction AllStars is a mostly satisfying modernisation that has some neat ideas and looks fantastic, though ultimately spins its tyres on repetitive rival-wrecking gameplay and a lack of truly worthwhile content at launch.
Charting the series' progress since that 2016 Paris debut has been a fascinating journey. IO have learned a lot over the past five years and that really shows in Hitman 3. It's a flashier, more fluid evolution of IO's original template - a rewarding conclusion to one of the most unique video game franchises around, and one we'll continue playing for many weeks and months to come.
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla effortlessly plants its banner as the best open world RPG available for the new consoles. This Viking epic flexes its gore-soaked, tattooed muscles when it comes to world-building, and medieval England wows with its enchanting untamed vistas. It's also portioned out at a steady pace and, if not for the repetitive, limited combat, Valhalla could have ranked even higher among our favourite games in the series.