Control is Remedy at the height of its abilities. Finally, the studio's expert handling of tone and story is met with gameplay that's just as engaging and refined. As an experiment in nonlinear world design, Control doesn't just stick with tried-and-true waypoints and forests. Its Oldest House is a brutalist masterpiece, and the characters inhabiting it are just as unforgettable. All told, it's going to be one of the most memorable games of the year.
Carrion doesn't just flip the horror script—it's the ultimate power fantasy, packed into a tight, uncompromising space. It might utilize some video game tropes, but it doesn't seem too concerned with accepted video game values. It's a 2D side-scroller without platforming, an action game where you dictate the action. The Doom Slayer might talk a big game about ripping and tearing, but Carrion's meatball monster puts its money where its many mouths are.
Hitman 3 is a fantastic capstone to a standout series. Yes, a lot of what you experience will seem familiar if you've played the last two games, but IO Interactive continues to take interesting risks that largely play off while still perfecting the elements that make Hitman so special. The best compliment I can pay Hitman 3 is that I want to finish writing this review so I can go back to playing it.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze makes another strong case for the argument that Nintendo needs to port every single one of its Wii U games to the Switch. DK's latest adventure is one of the most clever, joyful platforming experiences I've had in a while, and it adds just enough newness to the series to keep the formula engaging without going overboard. There might not be enough (or anything) to convince Wii U owners to play it again, but long-lost Nintendo fans who came back for the Switch have another must-play game to add to their growing libraries.
The formula that has kept Rocket League fresh translates exceedingly well to Nintendo's hybrid system, whether docked or portable. Less polished visuals are a small price to pay to be able to play Rocket League anytime, anywhere, at a performance level that never quits, though the notable jaggies and (through no fault of its own) a hindered party system mean that the Switch version isn't the most competitive version of the game.
Monster Hunter: World has found a way to lower its barrier of entry for newcomers while still delivering an immersive experience that long-time fans of the series crave. The combat has a bit of a learning curve, and multiplayer could use a few tweaks, but no matter your experience level with the series, this will be time well spent for all hunters ready to pick up a sword, bowgun, or gunlance.
Laser League's simple concept belies a ton of hidden depth in its character classes and map-specific strategies—It's the definition of easy to learn and hard to master, without requiring mechanical godliness to succeed. While its core mode is somewhat lacking in variety and its basic gameplay might get too repetitive for some players, it already feels like a concept that's been around much longer than it has, and manages the tall order of balancing for casual and competitive gamers alike.
The Missing's clever innovations on the platforming genre are more than just gimmicks. They underline the game's deeply emotional core and create a uniquely affecting experience. Like any Swery game, you might run into some technical difficulties, but those are easy to overlook when the experience as a whole is so fully realized. The Missing is like a dream in every sense, but it's one that you won't forget after you wake up.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a must-have for Switch owners who skipped the Wii U. Packaged with two complete games and a plethora of challenges to complete, the Deluxe version will give you plenty of bang for your buck. Even if you already owned the game, it's worth trying on the Switch, if only to have a mobile, 2D Mario game at the ready. It might not be as difficult as past Mario games, but it's never not fun.
My Friend Pedro is an enthusiastic, stylish take on the shoot 'em up genre that's elevated by its complex level designs and clever puzzles. It combines so many mechanics from so many games that you might lose track, but these elements all come together to create a unified, singular experience. If you ever wondered what you'd get by crossing Hard Boiled and Super Mario Bros., it would look a lot like My Friend Pedro.