Teardown is everything that drew me to video games in the first place. It gives me something I’ve never seen before with its voxel sandbox and marries it with cutting-edge graphics technology. If I was still a kid and you asked me if I wanted to play Monopoly or with the fully-fueled excavator that someone just left in the yard, you can be sure I’m gonna be outside digging up holes and breaking things. Teardown satiates my urge to be destructive while offering nearly endless opportunities through mod support. Calling it a game may be a bit of a stretch on account of its loose structure, but you can’t argue with the fun.
I could see where the idea of Postal 4 could appeal to PC gamers of a certain age. The mid-90s were a wild time. Back then, you could have a goatee and make scat jokes to random bank tellers without drawing suspicion. Postal 4 aims to bring you back to those times, but in the worst ways I could imagine. I’ve seemingly outgrown or moved past any of the content here that I may once have found appealing, but there’s no way I can justify recommending it to others when the execution is so poor. If this is the state the product is in for version 1.0, I have no idea how rough it must have been in 2019 because it feels very undercooked. A game with a dedicated ‘pull your dick out’ keybinding in 2022 should be way more clever than this. No amount of John St. John voice-over work or copyright-dodging music jingles can cover up the odor emanating from this pile.
Last season, I was disappointed with the PS5/Series X versions of The Show as I was hoping for a step into the next console generation of visuals, animations, and physics. Expansion into the Xbox ecosystem and logistical issues due to COVID-19 necessitated a shorter and likely less-involved upgrade to the game. To get nearly the same experience for the second-straight year is a legit bummer. This is still the best professional sports sim you can get on any hardware and if you are a baseball fan that hasn’t played The Show in recent years, this is an experience to look out for. For others who have been waiting years for something new, this one sadly isn’t it.
While I have issues with a few parts of the game, mainly the lower-quality skill tree stuff and gripes related to rogue-lites and old shooters in general, the total package on offer is really strong. At the time of release, the game is only available for PC, which I think could be the biggest negative here. It’s clearly capable of running on less-capable hardware, but I worry that it may go unnoticed unless the team at Blazing Bit Games can find a way to make console ports work financially. If you are already smitten with boomer shooters or rogue-lites, this one is an easy recommendation.
WWE 2K22 is the definition of a mixed bag. There are clearly areas where the team at Visual Concepts made positive progress with the franchise, particularly in wrestler AI and animations. Many of the marquee talents look fantastic and there is a lot to do within the game. Sadly, most of the modes are half-baked and the series is still suffering from bugs or problems it has carried for far too long.
The presentation is a bit odd in 2022 and I would have liked to get ray-traced visuals in gameplay, but it doesn’t detract from the high you can get when shaving a few tenths on a flying lap at the Nordschleife. Sure, modern gamers may tell you that Nathan Drake or Aloy are the true mascots of the PlayStation brand, but Sony already had its Mario back in 1997 in the form of the Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R.
The minute-to-minute action is downright delightful, even if the boss encounters maintain the series’ streak of being underwhelming. The shooting, movement, and killing are every bit as good as recent Doom games, even if the whole thing feels derivative.
Total War: Warhammer 3 is a big game by nearly every measure. It hosts big battles across enormous campaign maps, contains multiple armies with unique units, and effortlessly shifts between the Old World and Chaos Realms. It will get even bigger post-launch. It features absolutely gorgeous art in its many cutscenes that marry lush animation with the classic fantasy oil painting style and often hilarious voiceovers. It represents a giant bow on a gift Creative Assembly has been working on for years and is sure to be a can’t miss for Total War and Warhammer buffs alike. Will it change minds for those who bounced off the series in the past? Not really, but this one is for the fans, and I’d wager most folks would be delighted to receive this kind of attention for their favorite IP.
How much fun you’ll have in the bleak, frozen landscape depends on how much you are still smitten with mid-90s first-person shooter mechanics. Serious Sam would rather die than apologize for being what he is. Those looking for an evolution or some sort of next step in gameplay design may as well look elsewhere. All encounters in the game play out exactly the same way they have for the last thirty years. You can mix things up with weapon choices, co-op, and difficulty settings, but that’s about it. 2016’s Doom received loads of (justified) praise for finding a way to push this genre forward. Siberian Mayhem is clearly content to keep touring with the hits. While I won’t drag it for being true to itself, only devout followers of the church of Sam need apply.
The Gunk never really falters at any point during its decidedly short runtime, but also fails to do anything to push itself above a crowded group of peers in the action-platformer genre. The pro-environmental themes are laid on real thick here, but it all works reasonably well within the confines of the story and action. As with many new games released recently, The Gunk is eligible for Xbox Game Pass on Day 1. While it may not offer a memorable experience, it is difficult to argue against giving it a try for the price, especially if you are smitten with most action platformers.
We loved Battlefield because it wasn’t Call of Duty or Counter-Strike or Fortnite or Apex or any other popular shooter. This mismanaged project clearly needed more time in the oven and a cohesive design that works to Battlefield’s strengths rather than a game attempting to be multiple things to multiple audiences. In a year where so many releases have been marred by a lack of polish and bugs, Battlefield 2042 may be the biggest offender.
Forza Horizon 5 is big, loud, and bold. If you found little value in the series before now, this new version will do nothing to change your mind. For the rest of us, the best Xbox game of 2021 is here (at least for another month - there’s still an elephant wearing Spartan armor in the room). The concept of the pack-in game is pretty much dead in 2021, but if it weren’t, Microsoft should be tripping over itself to make the Series X Forza Bundle a reality. We live in the era of Game Pass now, so plenty of folks have the ability to visit Mexico at discount rates. I desperately implore you to take the trip.
Some movies work better in theaters. Some games work better on bleeding-edge hardware. The stars have aligned and a premium Crysis experience is available for the masses. There's never been a better time to put on the NanoSuit than right now. 8/10 8K roach shaders
Was everything perfect? Not at all. The biggest frustration came from the gamepad controls. I started playing with my preferred d-pad input but found that aiming the water hose was nearly impossible until I swapped to the control stick. The adventure also ends just as things were really getting heated up. Nuclear Blaze understands the value of not wearing out a welcome. Just when I had decided that I was smitten with the game, I reached its narrative conclusion. If the idea was to leave me wanting more, then the mission was successful. Because this is still a small indie project based on a game jam submission, potential buyers should understand that Nuclear Blaze does not burn for long, but it does, in fact, burn twice as bright.
Likewise, if you are burning to play a Left 4 Dead-style game but you only have a newer console, Back 4 Blood should fit the bill, though there are several more interesting options out there if you look. At the end of the day, this is an inferior version of Left 4 Dead 2 that lacks the style, charm, gore, and engaging characters it tries to reproduce. That said, there is a decent foundation here and there are worse ways you could spend a weekend with some buddies.
Resurrected could end up becoming a much better value down the road as the development team begins introducing updates and upgrades, but as of right now, you should avoid this package unless you are happy with straight-up Diablo 2. That being said, there are many reasons to be thrilled to revisit the game, particularly for the timeless soundtrack and to get a glance at the spiffy new paint job. Just make sure to set your expectations accordingly.
When I take a step back from Lost Judgment and look at all the individual parts, it feels more like a self-serve buffet rather than a specific meal that a chef made for me. There is a time and place for tossing everything you have at the wall and seeing what sticks, and there are also times when using restraint would be a better option. I am sure that my lack of experience in Japanese culture works against how I perceive many of the sequences in Lost Judgment and I’m sure series fanatics will eat it up. Sega is clearly capable of making a compelling mystery game that could stand in league with the work we see out of studios like Naughty Dog, but that will require a more focused, better-paced approach that Lost Judgement seems eager to avoid.