FIFA 18 brings back Alex Hunter and makes his story better. With a detailed focus on the protagonist's many complicated relationships, this new Alex Hunter tale is the best narrative in a sports game. There are some smaller tweaks needed on the pitch that seem to be getting ignored, but FIFA 18 has hints that those issues are slowly being addressed. FIFA continues to be one of the best sports titles on the market.
Agents of Mayhem is a very interesting game with some wild concepts, many of which didn't seem like they would work out. While the combat is enthralling, the mission design surrounding it is consistently disappointing. The city of Seoul is wonderful and begging to be explored, but that's not something Agents of Mayhem encourages through its design. Agents of Mayhem is hit or miss, but has more misses than hits.
The Golf Club 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, providing an unrivaled golf simulation that still lacks surrounding content to keep it relevant for months to come. The new career mode leaves a lot to be desired, but few sports games can compete with how solid the on-course gameplay is within The Golf Club 2. Societies is also a welcome addition that golf-loving friends will really appreciate. The Golf Club 2 is still a ton of fun to play, but it's clear that HB Studios needs to revamp some of the side activities heading into The Golf Club 3.
Prey's sound design and soundtrack are some of the best to come from a game this year. Unfortunately, a lot of the aspects surrounding that hamper the potential set up from the game's impressive opening hour. The combat is a source of frustration, and the load times neuter exploration. But if you're able to look past that, Prey can provide some thrills.
MLB The Show 17 is another solid entry into an increasingly solid franchise. It slips a bit with the new additions like a tweaked Road to the Show and Critical Situations, but it succeeds in a silly, wholly enjoyable retro mode. But even with the negatives, the MLB The Show series is enjoyable enough to mask those bumps and bruises. MLB The Show 17 is another bullet-point in a historically successful sports franchise.
Believe it or not, dating simulators are not the highest forms of entertainment. Despite this, they do have their place as those weird ass games that some people get way too invested in. They are similar to sports games, in that respect. Those sorts of people will find some enjoyment in Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker, as it is a perfectly acceptable one of those games. That being said, if you want a dating sim to get a lot of traction, you need to go full on with the silly features. More ridiculous farting mini-games, less “trendy” dialogue… these are the recipes for success. While you get glimpses of the intentional stupidity this kind of game needs in order to succeed, you do not see it often enough for it to work.
There's a lot to like in Mafia III, the presentation is very impressive and the discussion of race is brought up appropriately. The story unfolds well and doesn't disappoint, but the mission structure brings about a host of disappointments. Missions rarely give the opportunity to let side characters develop, and the main story consists of doing the exact same objectives over and over until the credits roll. Unfortunately, Mafia III is as disappointing as it is impressive.
If you’ve enjoyed the FIFA franchise up to this point, you won’t be disappointed in FIFA 17. The Journey is a smart addition, though it can be a little tedious at times, top-notch presentation and decent performances make the tedium tolerable. The actual gameplay is still enjoyable, but mostly unchanged from previous iterations. FIFA continues to be a solid sports franchise, and The Journey is an interesting experiment thrown into the mix.
Few games execute as well within their actual play as NHL, and that continues with in the newest installment. There’s a lack of girth around the main game, with Draft Champions and Franchise Mode feeling like copies from previous EA Sports games. But at the same time, the on-ice play has never been better, the on-ice trainer is improved further and adding in net battles was a smart move. While it disappoints slightly, NHL 17 is still a must-play for hockey fans.
Madden NFL 17 boasts some changes that players may not find entirely intriguing. The practice system with franchise has been bumped up, but it still remains a tireless slog that should be avoided. The new commentary duo is breath of fresh air and one that should stick around for years to come. While making the special teams useful again was nice, the on-field action has changed very little. Madden NFL 17 feels like more Madden NFL 16, which isn’t always a bad thing.