There's a decent multiplayer action game concept buried in here, absolutely. Some of these characters deserve to live on in future projects. At the same time, it feels like there are only so many team dynamics to experience. It's all too fleeting. Once you've hit that point of no return, there's no real motivation to continue. I'd like to pick this back up one day, but realistically, I don't see that happening.
If there's one point I want to get across above all others, it's this: Nioh 2 isn't as revelatory as the first game, but that shouldn't be held as a mark against it – at least not this time. Team Ninja was right to iterate and expand carefully. Nioh got so much right on the first go. While the new prequel storyline suffers from a slow and disconnected start, just about every other aspect of Nioh 2 feels upgraded.
As is, Taur has a wonderful central idea – it lets you tear up the place with a ridiculously powerful sci-fi cannon that's a joy to control – but the elements surrounding that core concept aren't as fleshed-out, refined, or engaging. It's the kind of game that leaves you wanting a sequel that can fire on all cylinders.
It should feel dull, but it doesn't. Dreams doesn't feel like homework. Part of that is on the intuitive tools, and part of that is on Media Molecule's community-centric approach. This isn't "just another project" for the team – it's the culmination of everything they've worked toward since LittleBigPlanet.
The Bad Seed is a natural extension of everything that made Dead Cells so tireless and long-lasting. The new levels don't feel arbitrarily tacked-on (even though they essentially are), and you don't need to be a masterful player to conquer them. I could go for a few more DLC packs with this exact structure, easily.
Journey to the Savage Planet was such a fun way to kick off the decade, and I'm going to bring it up at the end of the year when people inevitably begin asking about the overlooked gems of 2020. If you want something light and breezy with an intoxicating collectible-based feedback loop, here you go.
I'm not sure if Takahashi will ever be able to top Katamari Damacy – for my money, it's one of the greatest video games ever made – but Wattam captures that sense of whimsy and magic in its own way. The care-free music and gosh-darn-huggable character designs make this a must-play for fans.
Ancestors is a large, fussy, and at times uneven survival experience, but it's also deeply gratifying once you sink your teeth in. Make it through the wringer, and you'll come out wanting to share stories about your run-of-the-mill open-world exploits to anyone who will listen – no small feat in 2019. The console versions are smoother than their original PC counterpart, so if you've been curious, now's the time.