No matter where Uncharted goes from here, this will go down in history as one of the finest achievements ever seen, not merely due to its obvious technical and creative merits, but because it can magically connect the player to this endlessly immersive world and its inhabitants. When you're done, Nathan Drake could feel more real to you than any fictional character you've encountered in games or movies. For me, that's what I'll miss most.
In the end, however, Dark Souls III is indeed a proper homage to an excellent franchise. It delivers precisely what the fans wanted, and it may be some time before we see another IP that so successfully puts a player on intimate terms with his or her own ability. The learning process is different than in any other series I've played and that's a very special achievement.
MLB 16: The Show is one of the best sports games you'll ever play. I haven't seen fit to hand out a 9+ score for one of these titles since 2011, and I really thought last year's entry wasn't anything special. They're all great games, don't get me wrong, but this is the first installment of The Show that absolutely feels like a full, complete, and rewarding package that hits just about every sweet spot.
Tom Clancy's The Division is an extremely entertaining and well-developed game, featuring surprisingly fantastic story-based missions, a rock solid technical presentation, a fantastic blend of accessibility and depth, and a sky-high fun factor. That fun factor doesn't fall as far as you think when you strike out on your own, and for all you loot-hounds - man, this kinda reminded me of my manic drive for loot in Diablo III! - who love a challenge, you gotta give it a try. Just don't spend too much time in the Dark Zone because I think it might have an adverse effect on your gaming psyche.
The new Hitman is a love note to all the hardcore fans out there, and I love that. It embraces the idea that we should try to maintain very distinct genres, that not everyone on the planet wants action and other genre elements to invade their beloved stealth category. Furthermore, it improves on just about every aspect of the standard hunt-and-kill concept, adding more depth and intricacy while streamlining the experience and upping the immersion.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is an enjoyable and intricate role-playing experience that might entice both anime and traditional RPG lovers alike. The turn-based mechanic is excellent (and once again proves that nothing about this system is "archaic" or "inferior") as it's both immediately accessible and wildly diverse, the Digivolution mechanic is well fleshed-out and embraces player choice via branching options, and the underlying humor and darker atmosphere gives the entire game a boost. In short, I'd say it's obviously an anime production that has appreciated elements not typically found within the anime sphere.
But in the end, Far Cry Primal is a healthy, well-designed, immensely immersive experiment within an established franchise. Bottom line is we need more developers to take such risks. The result is indeed a fantastic experience due to the blending of multiple genres - survival, adventure, action, first-person, strategy, etc.
Street Fighter V marries fresh concepts and upgraded gameplay with the tried-and-true mechanics the fans have always loved. This, along with the technical achievement in terms of graphics and sound, is what will sell the game. For the veteran fans, there's enough familiarity here for them to say, "yep, this is Street Fighter," but at the same time, they can't complain about a lack of significant upgrades and alterations.
But in the end, Firewatch is one of those games that will satisfy those looking for a more cerebral, perhaps even sentimental interactive adventure. It's only about 4-5 hours in length and in some ways, that does feel too short given the amount of unanswered questions that continue to bounce around our brains. Still, the game offers one such a unique and palpable sense of tension, and it excels in the realm of pure immersion.
Gravity Rush Remastered is about what you'd expect. The slicker visuals and boosted frame rate lead to an even cleaner and more satisfying experience, though its portable roots are glaringly obvious the more you play. If you've got a PS4 but not a Vita, you definitely owe it to yourself to give it a shot.
The Witness is an excellent and unique puzzle experience that will put you to the test. Not only will it challenge you with beautifully designed puzzles but it will also task you with marshalling yourself; patience, sticktoitieveness, and a continually churning mind will be rewarded. Eventually.
Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster will remind you of the good 'ol days when horror was horror. You will appreciate this supposedly "outdated" mode of gameplay, especially if you recall the early days of this franchise with extreme fondness. Yeah, like most remakes, this one has to thrive on some nostalgia.
In the end, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India is a perfect example of "woulda, coulda, shoulda." There are so many highlights glinting out from this pile of mediocrity; if only the developers could've tied them all together, then we'd be treated to a more vivid and consistent display. But serious drawbacks like poor storytelling and acting, questionable AI and gameplay responsiveness, and a definite lack of pacing drag the whole production down.
In the end, though, Amplitude is a bit of a disappointment. It plays well enough and it's awfully slick-looking, but the lack of a diverse array of songs really puts a damper on the experience. And this isn't merely subjective; as starkly different songs result in drastically different note patterns on the tracks, and even how the tracks are set up, this lack of music variety impacts the gameplay as well.
Life Is Strange is an ambitious story that doesn't shy away from difficult and controversial topics, and it allows the player to become attached to its vibrant characters. Due to excellent voice performances, a mysterious, sleepy little town that has plenty of intrigue and secrets, the added benefit of some exploration, and the undeniably appealing rewind feature, the game has a unique and extremely absorbing feel. The characters seem real and interesting, the individual stories tend to be remembered long after experiencing them, and the continual decision-making keeps us thinking.
Rocket League is an extremely well designed and presented game, a veritable feast for the senses at times, and an undeniably addictive experience. It blends sports and styles but it also solidifies this bizarre hybrid into a streamlined, hugely appealing presentation. The AI falls a little shy and the single-player fun can't hold a candle to the multiplayer entertainment but besides that, it's hard to find fault.
Rainbow Six Siege offers a very different FPS experience. It doesn't rely on bombastic set pieces and ceaseless, mindless action where players respawn immediately and everyone has Wolverine-like regenerating health. Instead, this is the cerebral shooter, the one that asks you to view the map layout, determine the best plan of attack, and execute with pinpoint precision.
All in all, Just Cause 3 is one giant bombastic set piece that manages to be immensely enjoyable and disappointing at the same time. The chaos you create is never exactly boring, nor does the action feel rehashed because you have a lot of freedom and mechanics variety. The greater density of the world is a gigantic step in the right direction and the refined control is a godsend.