Klonoa is stuck in classic-game-port limbo -- not given enough shine to stack up against other remasters, and not quite zesty enough to hold up to modern titles. Still, a helping of nostalgia or appreciation for classic games makes these two otherwise great titles worthy of a playthrough.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is, heartbreakingly, not spooky. It's also not particularly interesting, and I certainly didn't find it very fun to play. I'm sure genre-fanatics will find something to latch on to, but nothing ever quite hooked me enough to make the journey feel compelling.
Shadow Warrior 3 invokes gaming's simpler past while lampshading the fact that it borrows so much from more modern games. It sits in a no-man's-land of middling design decisions and absolutely terrible writing, even though its action and presentation sometimes shine through.
Elden Ring is a marvel with scope and diversity of mind-boggling proportions. At the risk of hyperbole, it has dethroned Bloodborne as my favorite game of all time. It's all I've been able to think about since I got my hands on it, and the only thing I want to do now is play it with the rest of you.
As with any MMO, Lost Ark is tricky to review on release. The most I can say is I enjoyed the mindless questing, beautiful locales, and great game feel. I can't speak on the endgame, but the fact that I'm excited to jump back in on launch day to do it all again with friends is a pretty good sign for now.
Rainbow Six Extraction might be one of the most trite co-op shooters of recent memory. Testament to the fact that making an enjoyable PvE shooter is a little harder than simply rehashing a seasonal event, it's hard to see where the effort went. Shallow, scant, and lacking any soul whatsoever, it's as bland as the black goo that adorns its promotional material.
Solar Ash hinges itself upon two core mechanics -- and almost nothing else. Skating around and dispelling corrupted masses of black goo is fun for a while, but when you've seen a game's whole hand in the first half-hour, it's a little hard to stay on board for the remainder.
Death Stranding Director’s Cut is an oddly named excuse to get addicted to delivering all over again. The visuals are stunning, but the haptics and new gadgets take things to even greater heights. Its themes have never been more relevant, and its gameplay never more fun.
Deathloop, summarized, is "Arkane does Hitman." It glorifies its repetition, and never feels unrewarding, especially when taking down a player-controlled Juliana. I want to re-immerse myself in its world, pick apart its secrets, and master its systems. Not everything works seamlessly, but taken as a whole it's an immersive sim sandbox of unmatched proportions.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a technical showcase, but it's also one of the finest 3D action platformers since Jak and Daxter. Insomniac consistently prove that the Ratchet & Clank series is a wellspring of potential, and they've delivered a complete experience that's as full of heart as it is surprises.