Auteur designer Yoko Taro successfully blends his oddball knack for storytelling, defying typical video game conventions in doing so. This leads to an unforgettable story, but how it's told and demands repeat playthroughs is bound to be lost on some part of NieR: Automata's audience. Regardless, NieR: Automata blends intense action and RPG components into an atmosphere and game that's well worth experiencing, even on the Nintendo Switch.
Immortality ambitiously succeeds at evolving the formats introduced in Her Story and Telling Lies to offer some of Sam Barlow's best work yet and one of gaming's most well-justified open-world experiences. Bolstered by some fantastic performances and a compelling mystery to uncover, it's engrossing and engaging from beginning to end. While it might assume some prior knowledge in telling it's underlying story, Immortality is an experience that's not to be missed and one that I'll never stop thinking about. It is truly fantastic and well worth your time.
MultiVersus is a fantastic foundation for a great platform that will only grow with time. It combines a solid fighting system with an excellent starting roster of characters to offer a platforming fighter like no other. There are some kinks to be ironed out, but MultiVersus is in a prime position to hit the ground running.
Live A Live leverages a fantastic visual overhaul with an already compelling and inventive narrative structure to offer an RPG experience like no other. It's aging for sure – the slower nature of the turn-based battles and some strange logic to get the story moving – but it's such a unique experience that any RPG fan owes it to themselves to try.
All in all, The Quarry is an intriguing story that's paced well and is tense from beginning to end, aside from a middle chapter that drags. I wouldn't go as far as to say I didn't enjoy it because I did. It feels like such an oversimplification of everything that Supermassive has achieved so far. I can't see it as standing above their pedigree in many respects.
Sniper Elite 5 is undeniably a better game than its predecessors. Every level is packed modestly with things to do, and the kills are endlessly enjoyable. But some antiquated design choices, a done-to-death setting, and a ho-hum story keep it from reaching its full potential. It's a shame too, because at its core Sniper Elite 5 is one of the best Sniper experiences you can play right now, it's just everything else that's letting it down.
Evil Dead: The Game pays excellent tribute to most of the Evil Dead canon with great gusto. It looks fantastic, plays smoothly, and has a robust set of multiplayer options, that means the foundation is there for a game with great longevity. It remains to be seen whether Saber will support the game with more content, which will need a refresh in the future. But if they do, Evil Dead: The Game is poised to be one of the better horror adaptations and easily one of my favourites.
A compelling concept and a beautifully realised world, Ghostwire: Tokyo leverages Japanese folklore and a unique combat system to provide a unique open-world experience. While some aspects of the combat feel underdeveloped and the game structure has been done-to-death, Ghostwire: Tokyo's uniqueness helps it stand well above where you'd expect it to.
Underneath cringeworthy writing and a nonsensical story, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin leverages storied Final Fantasy fanservice with a fast and deep combat system to offer up fans a celebration of the franchise like no other. While the presentation is inconsistent and the equipment system sorely lacks focus, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is great fun from beginning to end.
Chocobo GP offers up some fantastic core racing mechanics that are otherwise held back by a lacklustre offering of content. Hampered by tedious progression systems and typical microtransaction practices, Chocobo GP barely makes it past the finish line to be the best kart racer it could be.
Dying Light 2 Stay Human is a solid step-up from Dying Light in almost every way. Still, its increased emphasis on storytelling feels entirely misguided to the point where it's narratively worse than Dying Light. Despite this, Dying Light 2 has fantastic traversal, satisfying combat, and some great quest design and variety that makes it Techland's best.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction thinks outside of the box to provide a well-realised PvE experience that builds upon Siege's already solid core tenets. While its longevity has yet to be proven or seen, Extraction's addictive blend of cooperative, rogue-like, and stealth mechanics offers an engaging Rainbow Six experience, even if it's a bit out there.
All in all, Vaas: Insanity paves the way for some stellar downloadable content for Far Cry 6 that is already more conceptually interesting than anything in Far Cry 5. Vaas' experience, while perhaps telling us a little bit too much about the ambiguous villain, co-opts the idea of a rogue-like competently to offer a new twist on the formula, but lead by a familiar face.
Shin Megami Tensei V is the best Shin Megami Tensei game thus far, without a doubt. It's incredibly stylish and delivers an intriguing plot filled with the philosophical and metaphysical concepts that fans have come to expect. Its battle system is every bit as engaging as it's contemporaries, and the fusion system remains as one of the best in the genre. And while it's got some strong art direction, technical issues and ho-hum dungeon design keep Shin Megami Tensei V from being as great as it could be.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes is far and away the best Dark Pictures game so far. It blends intriguing characters, compelling drama, and a killer twist to offer up what can only be described as the most honed experience Supermassive has put out in this series so far. It's got a few minor issues here and there – namely relating to the diversity of its cast and how much each of them plays into the overall story – but it's a horror experience that no fan should miss even if they weren't fans of Man of Medan or Little Hope.
Make no mistakes; Far Cry 6 is, without a doubt, the best Far Cry game in a long time. The game brings back the exotic locations we've been missing since Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4 and adds yet another charismatic antagonist to its storied pantheon of villains. But more importantly, it's a joy to play, with a unique arsenal full of character and breadth of content that is not only comprehensive but engaging.
Death Stranding: Director's Cut is easily the best way to play the game. The additions are numerous and bound to help players make their journey across America much more palatable. If you're someone who gave up on Death Stranding because you found it to be too frustrating or long-winded, the Director's Cut additions could be enough to lure you back. If you're someone who's played the game to death already, there's probably not a whole lot of reason to come back given how little extra content there is.
Life Is Strange: True Colors brings together likeable characters, a novel power, and a beautiful setting to tell a story that'll have you engaged from beginning to end. It's a little bit predictable but everything else – the writing, the locale, and just the general vibe – cement it as one of the strongest entries in the series.