Classic Mode's inclusion might just be a nod to the mindset of Lucid Games when developing Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions -- improve as much as possible while still staying true to the core of the franchise. That old game is still there, it's just unspeakably better now. It may have been past installments in the series that were billed as evolution, but Dimensions is where Geometry Wars truly evolved.
Truthfully, I wish I didn't have to score The Witness. I don't want to set people up for that expectation; I don't want a voice in the back of their head that says "Okay, when does this become a ten?" In a way, that's unfair and detrimental to how the game should be experienced, which is as open-minded and unassuming as possible. Don't go to The Witness. Let The Witness come to you.
Not to diminish the accomplishments of this remake, but it's all possible because Team Ico's Shadow of the Colossus is so impossibly perfect. It's epic and majestic and emotional and imaginative and breathtaking. There are so many superlative adjective you could attach. Shadow of the Colossus' reputation is as great as some of its tallest colossi. This remake might just help some people see that a little more clearly.
Cuphead's incredible style belies its magical complexity. It's so much more than a hard-as-hell shoot-'em-up with artistic flair. It's cerebral in a way that these kind of games rarely are. Cuphead's commitment to forcing the player to understand is commendable. Those who don't have the patience to learn won't get far. That's the kind of stand-your-ground moxie that makes this a hallmark of game design. My praise runneth over.
The parallel to Limbo feels necessary when talking to people who haven't yet played Inside; after finishing it, it feels wholly unnecessary. Inside stands on its own merits as a superbly captivating and moving experience, one that's bound to be on your mind in the time you spend away from it. Someone once told me that the games you can't stop thinking about when you're not playing them are the truly great ones. I'm inclined to agree. Inside fits that mold even though we've seen others of its ilk before.
Even after finishing, it's difficult to pin NERO down to a concept or feeling that's easy to explain. It's a game that prioritizes emotion above all else, and it does so wonderfully. But as the boy at the heart of this tale learns, emotions are tough to understand, and thus NERO is tough to understand. You'll just know that you felt something, and that sensation alone is worth the journey.
So, after another cliffhanger ending, we're left awaiting the conclusion and with no real idea where the narrative might go. Dark Room has been the most masterful installment in Life is Strange thus far, and it sets us hurtling toward the finish line. If the first 80 percent is any indication, it probably won't be a "happily ever after" ending. Only one thing's certain, though: that ever-present throat lump will be along for the ride.
Microsoft has a lot riding on the continued prosperity of Gears; after all, it is one of the publisher's largest properties. Gears of War Ultimate Edition effectively reminds why that's the case, just as it reminds why this is the game that partially influenced an entire generation of gaming. It just took a makeover to help us appreciate it again.
Forza Horizon 4 is another fantastically fun Forza Horizon game even if it's tough to pinpoint Playground's grandest ambition. If it was to reinvent the series with seasons, that falls a bit flat and underwhelming. But, if it was to simply remove the constraints and make everything as open and free as possible, then Playground hit its target in the most impressive way. Regardless, Forza Horizon is still the king of open-world arcade racers, and it really doesn't look like that'll change anytime soon.