By all accounts, MLB The Show 22 is still a great baseball game, but it definitely isn't going to blow you away if you already put a lot of time into The Show 21. The changes that have been included here in the latest entry feel more iterative than they have in quite some time, which leads to the final product feeling a bit disappointing. Still, in all of the ways that matter, MLB The Show 22 is another strong installment, even if it doesn't quite feel like it has taken a next-gen leap just yet.
Gran Turismo 7 is the game that longtime fans of the series have been requesting for years. Although what's here isn't drastically different in format when compared to some of the earlier installments, the overall experience that Gran Turismo 7 provides is incredibly comprehensive and feels like a love letter to both car culture and the 25-year history of the Gran Turismo franchise. If you're someone who has been playing these games since the days of the original PlayStation, Gran Turismo 7 is definitely one of the high points of the series and is worth picking up immediately.
Horizon Forbidden West, by most counts, is another strong release for Guerrilla Games and PlayStation. This is very much a sequel that just looks to go bigger and better than its predecessor, and in that regard, it very much achieves what it sets out to accomplish. Although I wanted more from the story and the game's general structure is very much the same when compared to Zero Dawn, fans who loved the last title should still love the adventure that this follow-up takes you on.
At the end of the day, God of War on PC is, well, God of War on PC. That might sound like a trite way to describe this port, but the fact that I found no major drawbacks or issues with this version of the game is basically all that you can hope for when publishers bring a console game to PC. The end product here shows that PlayStation is becoming much more experienced with this PC porting process, which isn't just a great thing for God of War, but it bodes well for the company's future plans in this space. If you somehow haven't played God of War already, now is the time to rectify that mistake and prepare for the arrival of Ragnarok later in 2022.
It has taken over six years for Halo Infinite to release, but after such a long wait, 343 has given fans the game that they've been holding out for. Although it might not win many points for originality, the latest entry in Xbox's flagship franchise has again verified why Halo is one of the most popular gaming properties on the planet. Even though this series is now two decades old, Halo Infinite proves that there is still plenty of creative juice left in the tank to make Halo feel fresh and relevant in the modern landscape. In simplest terms, Halo is back.
Battlefield 2042 absolutely should have been pushed back by EA and DICE to some point in 2022. Instead, the version of this game that is currently available has been virtually unplayable for me at times since first releasing. Even beyond this, though, some of the key design changes that DICE has made in Battlefield 2042 don't feel for the better. Rather than improving on the core Battlefield experience that fans loved with Battlefield 3, 4, or Bad Company 2, 2042 is a bloated husk of its former self that is trying to recapture some semblance of its previous glory. As a fan that has been playing this series for well over a decade, Battlefield 2042 is a massive disappointment that I struggle to think is even worth saving.
If you're looking for a trip down memory lane, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition can definitely give you a hit of nostalgia that you have been looking for. Once those rose-tinted glasses begin to fall away from your face, though, what you'll be left with is a bundle of three remastered Grand Theft Auto titles that are really starting to feel their age. Even if you still find great enjoyment in these titles from the dawn of the open-world gaming era, the other bugs and lingering problems will surely begin to rip you out of the experience. In simplest terms, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is a mess of a release and isn't anything close to the level of quality that we have come to expect from the Rockstar Games name in the past.
Back 4 Blood isn't perfect by any means, but it's absolutely the closest we've gotten to a new Left 4 Dead game in the years since Left 4 Dead 2. Because of this, it's hard not to have fun with B4B, even if it doesn't always feel inventive and has some notable drawbacks. Despite some qualms, if you're hungry for a new co-op shooter to jump into with some friends, Back 4 Blood has more than enough meat on the bone to keep you entertained for quite some time.
As a whole, Lost Judgment is yet another strong outing for developer RGG Studio. Although this sequel is largely only a half step up compared to its predecessor, there's still so much to do in this world that can easily keep you entertained for hours on end. Even though I would have loved to see some more drastic improvements to many aspects of Lost Judgment, I still can't deny that I've had a great time in this second outing with Yagami, and I hope to see the series continue well into the future.
All in all, Deathloop is my biggest surprise of the year. While it might be expected that Arkane would craft another high-quality experience, I'm personally astonished by how much the studio's latest release has clicked with me. Even though it might have a lot of common DNA with what Arkane has done before, the sheer amount of style and inventiveness that can be found in Deathloop makes it stand out greatly in a crowded video game market. If you're looking for something completely different compared to everything else that has released this year, Deathloop is absolutely worth getting lost in.
Whether you have played Ghost of Tsushima before and are simply looking to upgrade on PS5, or you have never experienced Sucker Punch's latest title, Director's Cut is definitely worth picking up. Not only has the PS5 improved the base version of the game that launched in 2020, but the Iki Island expansion on its own contains some of my favorite content in the entirety of Ghost of Tsushima. No matter how you might look to upgrade or purchase the new offerings that have been included, Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut is definitely worth the return trip to Tsushima.
If you're looking for something bite-sized to dive into before this fall's biggest releases come out, Death's Door is a game to definitely have on your radar. Whether you're a fan of old school adventure games, or you're just looking for a new standout indie, Death's Door is absolutely worth your time, money, and attention.
As someone who has loved Psychonauts since I first played it over a decade ago, I cannot stress how much joy this sequel has brought me. If you're someone that also loves the original, I have a hard time believing that you won't enjoy this experience from beginning to end. And even if you're a newcomer who has been interested in Psychonauts 2 from afar, there is still more than enough here to keep you smiling from ear to ear on a regular basis. Psychonauts 2 is absolutely one of the best games so far in 2021 and serves as a fantastic example of why Xbox looked to purchase Double Fine in the first place.
If you can't already tell from my glowing praise, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is absolutely worth adding to your library if you own a PS5. Not only is it likely the best installment in Insomniac's action-platformer series so far, but it also gives you one of our best looks so far at what next-gen games have the potential to do. Whether this is your first foray into Ratchet & Clank or you have been playing these games since the PS2 days, Rift Apart shouldn't be missed.
Remasters are a dime a dozen nowadays, and more often than not, I find that most of them aren't done very well. Simply bringing a game forward and upgrading the resolution to 4K for any title often isn't enough to impress me. Fortunately, Mass Effect Legendary Edition does not fall into this category. BioWare has done quite a bit here to make this beloved series more accessible than it has been in quite some time, especially when it comes to the visuals. Whether you're looking to play through the trilogy for your tenth time or you're finally looking to give the series a shot for the first time, Mass Effect Legendary Edition is absolutely the way in which you should experience all three games moving forward.
To that end, I would express that Hitman 3 isn't a game you necessarily need to look to pick up right this moment, but it's one you should have on your radar in the future. And even if you are looking to snag it now, what's here boasts countless hours of gameplay for you to get lost in. Hitman 3 is a title that will surely keep you quite entertained in this dry period of gaming releases -- especially if you've got nothing else to play.
If you're absolutely craving a new game that has tight gunplay and a loot loop that you can get into for a long period of time, Outriders definitely isn't your worst option. But if you have played a litany of games like this over the past few years, I'm hard-pressed to think that there is anything about this one that will resonate with you on a greater level.