Hell Let Loose is one of the most unique and fulfilling first-person shooter experiences that a console player can have. Its deep strategy metagame and intricate mechanics can be intimidating to new players, but if you stick with it and give it the time it needs, Hell Let Loose will reward you with emergent and unforgettable moments.
Alan Wake Remastered does what a good remaster should. It honors the original game's artistic direction while enhancing it with modern technology, specifically in the form of volumetric lighting. Its lack of American Nightmare as part of the package is disappointing to say the least, but fans of Remedy's current work would do well to take a trip to Bright Falls, whether they're returning or visiting for the first time.
Life is Strange: True Colors has a lot of the ingredients that make the series so beloved, most notably in its compelling protagonist. Technical advancements for the series bring its story to life with fantastic performances and a keen eye for detail. Unfortunately, the story it brings to life is full of stutters and stops, and takes far too long to develop. Where Life is Strange games are full of movement, True Colors feels painfully stagnant for too long.
No More Heroes III brings back gaming's favorite passing assassin in a bombastic way, with the kind of inventive, fourth wall-breaking presentation one might expect. It's flashier, bolder, and even funnier than its predecessors, and the gameplay feels just slightly modernized without sacrificing any of the series' charm. The pacing might seem a bit halted in some places, and it could have worked best as a capstone to the series, but it's clear that creator Suda51 and the rest of the designers are just as passionate about the Garden of Madness as ever.
Twelve Minutes fully embraces its time loop conceit to amp up tension and provide players with a cleverly directed puzzle to solve. Discovering the whos and whys of the game's central event in bite-sized increments is just as satisfying as interacting with its simple adventure-style interface. Its A-list casting and unanswered plot elements might distract from the overall package, but at its core, Twelve Minutes is a satisfying thriller that asks some dark and disturbing moral questions.
Players coming in fresh to Neo: The World Ends with You might have a 14-year history to contend with, but that won't stop them from falling in love with Shibuya. Whether it's the complex and likable characters, the wickedly twisting storyline, or the frenetic yet strategic combat system, the long-awaited sequel has a lot to offer fans of action RPGs and the cult-classic series alike. Whether it was worth the wait depends on how long you've been waiting, but newcomers shouldn't shy away from this fantastic game.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD improves on the original in every conceivable way. The visual and performance upgrades make it feel like a new game, and the motion controls feel much more responsive, thanks to the Switch's Joy-Cons. But the new button controls are the biggest improvement; instead of fighting against the motion controls, players can now savor the satisfying combat and genius level design. What was once the outcast of the 3D Zelda games now stands tall as one of the best in the series.
For the first home console game in the series in nearly two decades, Mario Golf: Super Rush is a bit underwhelming, at least in terms of what it has to offer. Speed Golf and Battle Golf are both great ideas, but they aren't fleshed out enough to feel like main modes. Golf Adventure is a great way to add depth to what basically amounts to an extended tutorial, but it too suffers from pacing problems. Thankfully, the bulk of the game-the actual golfing-feels better than ever by being both technically challenging and more accessible.
Chivalry II is great fun when it works. Its combat is simple to learn and less simple to master, but incredibly rewarding no matter your skill level. The new 64-player matches and objective-based modes ensure intense, prolonged battles, and the variety in the classes will keep you motivated to grind for that next weapon. But the lack of variety in the maps and subclass abilities, and the overwhelming connection issues, make the game more frustrating than it should be.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the first game I've played since the ninth-generation consoles launched that feels like a true next-gen title. Insomniac Games has done everything that it needed to do in making both a sequel to its longest-running franchise and a true next-gen exclusive. While it might not technically be a PlayStation 5 launch title, it feels like one-a real preview of the console's capabilities. But beyond that, Rift Apart is just an absolute blast to play.