Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is pure blockbuster entertainment in much the same way as the MCU films. It might not push any boundaries in the genre, but it's a damned good Guardians game with a ton of heart and a clear passion for the property that shows. Eidos Montreal has clearly understood the strengths of its team and how they fit in with what fans love about the franchise to make the right calls. The result is an enjoyable ride and the most Marvel Marvel game around.
An intoxicating power climb, top-notch level design and a fear-inducing hook make this an incredibly compelling and long overdue side-scrolling Metroid sequel. It struggles with sticking too closely to the roots of its decades-old predecessors and could definitely learn a thing or two from contemporary Metroidvanias, but it's a blast all the same.
A huge, exciting world packed with entertaining content against the backdrop of a mostly-accomplished story of charismatic revolutionaries makes this a return to fine form for the franchise. Ubisoft has married inspired design with trademark gameplay to great effect. This is the best Far Cry yet.
JETT: The Far Shore has moments of brilliance, but they're buried under an overload of mechanics that aren't enjoyable and a general lack of polish. Similarly any philosophical value in its narrative ideas is ruined by needlessly obfuscated dialogue. There's something to be discovered here, but it's just not worth the trip.
As an indie effort and a debut game, Kena: Bridge of Spirits makes a good impression. It balances simplicity and challenge while weaving a neatly-paced story into something that can be played over a chill couple of days. Despite fantastic production values it's still far from a AAA title – so it's important to keep expectations in check, but anyone looking to lose themselves in a charming, gorgeous world ripe for exploration should look no further. It's exactly what I needed right now – perfect cozy weekend entertainment.
Lost Judgment rectifies a lot of the shortcomings of its predecessor while repeating a few of them. A compelling murder mystery coupled with intoxicating side content and sumptuous visuals make this another solid Ryu ga Gotoku title even if franchise fatigue threatens to take off some of that shine. It succeeds by expanding on what made Judgment great while offering the best real-time combat experience yet. Plus, you can skateboard and solve crimes with a Shiba Inu – I don't think I need to say much more than that.
The Artful Escape is a brash, bold and beautiful musical journey with a simplistic gameplay hook and all the interdimensional jellyfish deities you can shake a quantum-powered space guitar at. It's the next-best way to spend an afternoon indoors to dropping acid.
The best Life is Strange game yet. Through the concept of empathy, True Colors manages to drive video game storytelling to new heights. An expanded scope, hugely impressive production values and new, bingeable format make this a must-play for fans of narrative adventures.
F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow is a very competent, very good-looking foray into the Metroidvania genre with solid platforming and exciting, demanding arcade combat. Torch City is a wonderfully-grim place to get lost in and it's rendered gorgeously, despite some awkward signposting at times. Most of all, it nails the sense of exploration and steady progress that's a hallmark of the genre and it does all of that with a kick-arse rabbit in a mech suit for a protagonist. If this is the level of quality that studios backed by the China Hero Project are going to deliver then the program has more than made a case for itself.