Putting a few very minor (and no doubt subjective) niggles aside – I’d argue that Horizon is an unreserved triumph, and a watershed moment for this generation of consoles in terms of maturing the medium. As Nathan Drake settles into a potentially permanent retirement, Sony has done well to pass on the baton. Whether or not we see Aloy again (and I have a strong suspicion that we will…) – Horizon is, thankfully, here to stay.
Far Cry 5 takes the longstanding first-person shooter franchise in a brave and inventive new direction. Gone are the endless waves of cookie cutter, cannon fodder enemies. Gone are the annoyingly larger than life supporting characters; cartoon imbeciles, peddling questionable objectives whilst showing little to no concern for the deathly chaos encircling them. And gone is the irreverent sense of humour that has underpinned recent entries to the series; making way for a more somber tone that appropriately underlines the dark imagery and themes found throughout the subtle and nuanced narrative.
So is Sonic Mania good? Yeah, it’s awesome. Is it the best Sonic game ever? No, Sonic 3 & Knuckles is. Is the Sonic Cycle broken? Probably not, Sonic Forces is due out later this year and looks like more of the third-person rubbish that we’re now so sadly used to.