- Planescape: Torment
- Dragon Age: Origins
- Life Is Strange
In a world where you can pick up The Last of Us Remastered for a song, there's no reason to waste your time on Earthblood. Paradox Interactive is no stranger to game development. I wonder which team lead is asleep at the wheel such that Earthblood was allowed to go out the door in its current state.
Redout: Space Assault is a reminder that I should fire up Star Wars: Squadrons again. While it's visually appealing given its discount price, it fails to deliver fun and engaging mechanics. If you want an indie and don't dig on Star Wars, there's House of the Dying Sun, an excellent indie that's over four years old and retails for $20. Even in a genre as niche as the space shooter, there are better options available.
Squadrons is a Star Wars experience I've been looking for since the '90s. A two-decade quest has come to an end. I'd happily pay for a bit more single player content, and I hope the devs have some tricks up their sleeves to expand the multiplayer. I'd love a PvE horde mode of some kind.
At its $40 price point, this is a great value for anyone wanting to dip a toe into the skateboard game genre. If you're an old hand, it won't disappoint. If you're brand new, get ready to fall in love. With the addition of the skate park editor, this is truly an infinite skating machine.
Project Cars 3 would've been more successful if it was called something else. It leaves far too many important features on the table for hardcore racers, with an AI that's too buggy and weird for new players. It feels rushed and could use some serious patches.
Skater XL tickles the same part of my brain as my favorite racing sims. It provides a compelling sandbox with enough depth that it makes me want to do a difficult thing well. It's simultaneously relaxing. You can fall on your face 500 times, but there are zero consequences for any of it. No one's keeping score, not of points or broken bones. In troubled times, a low stakes challenge can be a welcome one.
I was hoping for an original take on the open-world genre, but I got Assassin's Creed in samurai drag. If that sounds like a blast to you, it will be, especially if you go into it with the knowledge of the game's design missteps. It's not that it's bad - it's just bad for me.
Someday You'll Return is an ambitious failure. It tries to cram together too many disparate game systems while failing to handle narrative and character in a way that could've made this game work. I wanted to like it; I went into it with great enthusiasm and quit it with an equally intense frustration.
I've spent the last few thousand words explaining why RE3 isn't as good as RE2, but it's still a very good game. It's like a big, six-hour expansion pack. If you liked last year's RE2, you would enjoy this. Experienced players will want to give it a go on hardcore, as normal is pretty easy.
I'm hoping that Coteries is the first modern step forward for an IP long overdue for mass recognition. Vampire: The Masquerade fans will enjoy this, and fans of vampire fiction in general might want to give it a whirl, as this is an easy introduction to an awesome universe.
Mercenaries 5 needed six more months of testing and refinement before seeing the light of day. The game's mech combat is great for enthusiasts of the genre, but the lack of polish may leave newcomers cold. I recommend it for hardcore fans, but casual players may want to wait for the bugs to be ironed out.
A:THO ignores the mechanical DNA that make open world games and survival RPGs so much fun. There's nothing revolutionary about depriving you of map functionality and an adequate tutorial. This isn't an evolution so much as a freak mutation that will die off in the wild. There are other games that achieve what A:THO attempts; play them instead.
Tropico 6 is not the hardest of hardcore simulation games, but for folks looking for something more casual, it's a blast. It's entertaining and addictive, and its minor interface flaws only stand out because the rest of the game is so polished and enjoyable.