The third Hitman game delivers a satisfying and worthwhile ending to the series and some fun and varied stages, all while adding a bunch of minor adjustments and content that fans will enjoy for hours. If you're a fan of the series, Hitman 3 is a very competent end to the trilogy that provides a massive and deep Hitman experience that is easy to recommend.
Ghostrunner was a pleasant surprise. It's a short and fun action platformer that keeps you busy with challenging but fair stages, while smartly mixing things up throughout the experience. It's not quite as great in telling its story as it is with its movement and combat, and it can be frustrating at times, but when everything works well together, it's a satisfying and fun skill-based action game. If you are looking for a linear and challenging game, pick up Ghostrunner.
Cyberpunk 2077 is far from ready on the consoles, but it's not close to being ready on the PC, either. Cyberpunk 2077 truly excels in the characters and stories it creates by forming a beautiful, dystopian city that dwarfs many digital cityscapes that came before it. Progression systems are solid if underwhelming; other areas, like civilians and the wanted system, are broken or neglected. The experience is undermined every step of the way, especially on the PS4. This was a disastrous release, and you're better off getting a refund or not purchasing the game until these issues are fixed - if not for your own sake, then perhaps out of principle after we were all misled by CDPR's attempt to hide last-gen issues until it was too late.
Doom Eternal on the Switch is another great port from Panic Button. Graphically, it is a massive step down from the other console versions, but it makes smart concessions to ensure the gameplay shines even when played on weak hardware. It's impressive to see how solidly the title runs, even though there were quite a few obvious visual compromises. If you can stomach the high price point given that the other versions have long dropped in price, the Switch port is a solid option to play the game. I'm a huge fan of the gameplay decisions that Eternal makes to evolve the formula, and I believe Eternal is a must-have title if you're an FPS aficionado - especially if you don't have access to another game console or value portability over visual quality.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is satirical, nonsensical, and just plain weird. It's also fast, bloody, impactful, and a few other things that I am not sure I can or should put into words. It sometimes makes the original title feel more subdued, which is strange to say since that the first game wasn't exactly tame. Given its much-improved gameplay loop, interesting side-quests, insane boss fights, and hilarious gameplay, NMH2 is indeed a wild rollercoaster ride that must be seen to be believed. If this does not get you hyped for the series' third entry, nothing will.
It may sound like I've been constantly ripping into Assassin's Creed Valhalla, but it's more complicated than that. I love the world and exploration, and I love that Ubisoft made a concerted effort to address many people's issues with Odyssey. I love that I don't get constantly blindsided by over-leveled mercenaries, I love that assassin missions have death cut scenes, and there are so many side stories to explore. It just doesn't come together as well as it could. It feels like the development team has branched out to try new things, but none of the good ideas and changes were followed through, making them feel like shallow attempts to change things. This would likely not have been a criticism if we were talking about a runtime of fewer than 30 hours. With a runtime of 50+ hours, though, these sorts of things eventually come crashing down as player fatigue sets in. I still enjoy Valhalla for what it does, but it hurts to know that this could've been a tighter, greater game that delivered on its ambitions rather than merely hinting at them.
Sam & Max: Save the World Remastered is a welcome sign of life for a classic adventure IP. It feels like it's the start of an effort to properly revive the series in small steps, and that would be great news on its own. The remaster is handled decently, and it achieves what it sets out to do. It updated everything that it needs to, and it looks decent enough on modern systems it. While certainly small in scale, it shines with some good writing and humorous stories that I still enjoy every time I play through it, and that's the lifeblood of any strong adventure experience.
No More Heroes on the Switch is an overdue and no-nonsense port. While it doesn't add much, it looks and runs great, finally allowing more people to play the title on a current-gen system. It's still plagued by a few design decisions and incoherent pacing, but it usually makes up for that with its over-the-top action and storytelling. Regardless of whether you've previously played the title, this port is the one to get if you're eager to (re)discover what No More Heroes is all about.
I thought Jackbox Party Pack 7 could not surprise me. Every year usually features a comparable selection of games with the usual ups and downs, but this year's selection is of a higher caliber. Even the weakest title is well thought out, making this a great offering that I am sure everyone can enjoy to some extent. Some of the games might be more restrictive if you prefer streaming or playing in larger groups, but that is a small downside when the included games are so much fun.
Control Ultimate Edition is a great title, especially since the DLC adds more enemies and gameplay mechanics into the mix. If you rush, the complete bundle will take you about 18 hours to complete, but if you take your time and explore and complete side-quests, you'll take at least 25 hours, which is quite meaty for a game of this caliber. If you have yet to experience Control, Ultimate Edition is the best way to do so on the PC. The combat is tight, over the top, and satisfying. The premise is so good that you want to dive deeper, but it doesn't always come together. While it's a great game to play, Control could have been an even stronger experience, and that takes away some of its thunder.