While the strangely gun-focused combat isn't anything to write home about, the filmic story elements in Suicide Squad are enough to carry the day, at least for the duration of the campaign. While I wish there was more to do in Metropolis, it is a beautiful setting for a game, and watching the cast of weirdos and losers skewer some of DC's finest is a guilty pleasure. While the end game doesn't currently feel compelling, there is more to come, so we'll reserve judgement until we see how that plays out. As it stands, this is a mild recommendation for a mostly painless, often funny game.
The scope and depth of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth are stunning, as is the amount of addictive fun the game provides. With a ton of new mechanics, minigames that are more like full-sized games, and great characters, this enormous (and enormously entertaining) action/RPG title is one of the best values in AAA gaming. Like a Dragon is willing to do anything to entertain you. You should probably get on board if you aren't already.
While I eventually began having fun with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, the game was a very difficult nut to crack. Rather than being open to the way I wanted to play it, Avatar pushed me to find the way it wanted to be played, and then kinda punished me for doing so. Frontiers of Pandora should feel free and flowing, but I've found a lot of the experience to be restrictive and near-punitive. Once I pushed through the game's many barriers to entry, I started having a good time, but don't expect to just jump in and have fun. Like Jake Sully, it's going to take a while to find your Avatar-legs.
Arizona Sunshine 2 might not be the groundbreaking landmark the first game was, but improved gunplay, a fun companion, and rapid-fire jokes make this a ride well worth taking. Often tense, always fun, and sometimes emotionally impactful, Arizona Sunshine feels like big-budget entertainment. Just play by yourself the first time so your friend doesn't chatter through all the good stuff.
Without a ton of bells and whistles, Pickleball One delivers a streamlined Pickleball experience that feels great. Pickleball One will teach you how to play Pickleball, train you to get better at it, and allow you to take those skills to the community that has gathered around the game. It ain't fancy, but it certainly gets the job done.
Lego Bricktales VR pulls of an amazing trick, allowing you to play with gorgeous Lego sets floating around in your own home through the magic of mixed reality. Detailed and beautiful, while still being a fun and challenging game, I can't think of a better way to show off VR to stubborn non-believers. The potential of what is on display here is limitless.
Can torturing prisoners in a secret underground laboratory be kinda boring? The Kindeman Remedy shows that it can. Essentially a time management game, The Kindeman Remedy has players putting an evil doctor and his nun assistant through the paces of dark experiments in a way that ends up feeling a lot like a repetitive day of work. Some cheap kicks to be had from the not-so-violent violence, but the shock value is short-lived. Not a prison I would want to spend any significant amount of time in.
Though not as groundbreaking as the original, the VR remake of The 7th Guest is still a pretty good time. Delivering a corny/spooky story and a big pile of cleverly designed puzzles, this is a fun VR reinterpretation of the classic, with just enough crossover with the original to elicit pleased gasps from fans. While the VR implementation struggles at times, those issues don't completely hamper the overall sense of fun and mystery.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged has improved and expanded every aspect of the original game, and smoothed out some of the difficulty spikes that entranced/enraged me the first time around. Though the new story is mostly kid stuff, the actual racing is still challenging and wildly exciting. Crushingly good graphics, fun mechanics, and the obsessive collection of amazing toys once again combine to create a fantastic must-play racer.
A stunning achievement both technically and narratively, Spider-Man 2 makes every moment of gameplay feel epic while still delivering a great story with a ton of heart. The creators at Insomniac know and love these characters, and that care manifests both in the quieter moments and in the jaw-dropping cinematic action scenes. Thrilling, gut-wrenching, and visually spectacular, this is among the best representations of Spider-Man in any media. An absolute no-brainer for every PlayStation 5 owner, Spider-Man 2 shows what your system is truly capable of.
Bang-On Balls gets our highest recommendation, with no caveats. The worlds are huge, the game is beautiful, the action is fun, the secrets are deep. With a ton of interesting activities, intriguing puzzles, and cool stuff to collect, Bang-On Balls feels like developer Exit Plan threw in everything, including the kitchen sink. This is new benchmark for action-exploration-bouncing-combat-platformer games.
An open world racing game that doesn't leave players wandering around lost, The Crew Motorfest has landed on a slightly derivative but much more propulsive structure with it's new playlists. With a ton of interesting events, a fun setting, and a wide swath of vehicles to earn, there is a wealth of content here, and most of it feels curated and fun.
A bit of trailer trickery might have you thinking that Crossfire: Sierra Squad is more open than it really is. While it's not quite a rail shooter, the environments and scenarios are much smaller than you might expect. Still, a wealth of content and a ton of weapons make up for the surprise once you settle in to the fact that this is an cover-based arcade shooter above all. The guns feel good, the graphics are fine, and if you turn off your brain you'll probably have a pretty good time.
When they are firing on all cylinders, Bethesda games deliver pure video game magic, and Starfield is no exception. Offering an enormous galaxy to explore, a ludicrous wealth of interesting content, well-written characters, and innovative mechanics that push the genre in new directions, Starfield is a (mostly) clean experience at launch that should be experienced by all action/RPG fans. This is a new classic.
Top tier storytelling, environmental puzzles, and exploration make Sea of Stars a must play for RPG fans. Though the combat system wears slightly thin after a while, the rest of the game is absolutely stellar. Colorful, funny, and packed full of memorable characters and moments, this is a game that is not to be missed by RPG fans.
A brief but well-made science fiction story, Lifeless Moon doesn't ask much from the player beyond a few hours of time and some light puzzle solving. Though it is light on content, what is there is interesting and rewarding. Recommended for fans of weird, think-y science fiction tales.
Exoprimal is both familiar and unique, with intense gameplay, tight controls, and an interesting mix of PVE and PVP gameplay. The sheer number of characters offers a lot of interesting ways to approach the game, and the ability to shift builds adds even more depth to possible team construction. Some players might find the game repetitive, but I've enjoyed getting to know the maps and systems and exploring the bonkers storyline. Recommended for players looking for something deeply accessible and a little different. I'm having a blast with Exoprimal, and can't wait to see where it goes next.
Crash Team Rumble is a fun and unique 4v4 competitive game that is able to create something new and ludicrously fun out of the existing franchise mechanics. While I've played a ton and have not tired of the game, there is only one real mode, which might impact the game's longevity. Still, the game is deceptively deep and strategic, with teams needing to think and react quickly to be successful. Regardless of how long it's around, right now Crash Team Rumble is great for a blast of gaming fun for the whole family.
Pixel Ripped 1978 is another fun entry into one of the most unique series in video games, and is recommended to fans with a few minor caveats. Get ready for some spectacular visuals and effects, but also prepare yourself for some old school difficulty and a side helping of minor technical issues. Fans of the franchise shouldn't hesitate to grab this new installment, but new players should be ready for a bit of a "getting to know you" learning curve. Still, the inspired combination of Atari and ARVORE succeeds at providing gamers with a unique and delightful time-machine view into gaming history.
Red Matter 2 is an amazing follow-up to one of the best games on the original PS VR. With the best graphics on the PS VR2, incredible environmental puzzles and storytelling, and one of the most polished control schemes on the market, Vertical Robot again shows why it is among the very best VR developers. If you are at all interested in VR gaming, Red Matter 2 is a game not to be missed.