Torchlight III feels watered down compared to its contemporaries, and worse, its predecessors. The loot is as plentiful as it is unsatisfying. The monsters are a deluge of health bars, removing all sense of threat or purpose. The characters feel so genericized that they can't transcend past whatever non-specific weapons they may carry. Betrayed by its F2P roots, Torchlight III needed a full rebuild to iterate on its origins, and clearly, that's not what happened here as it's simultaneously more of the same, and somehow less.
Occasionally obtuse and sporting a few UX/UI barnacles, Port Royale 4 could use a little more dry dock time before setting out on the high seas. AI trading bugs and occasionally unfair combat sequences discourage combat, which takes the wind out of the sails of this pirate adventure. Developer Gaming Minds can patch the hull, but they need to do so before people find another ship on which to set sail.
Hangar 13 has retouched every single aspect of the original Mafia, expanding the story, refining the gameplay, and wrapping it with an absolutely phenomenal new look and sound, elevating it to an entirely new and modern level. It's good to be part of the family once more.
With a great campaign, and engaging (albeit repetitive) multiplayer, Marvel's Avengers is a fun title with cosmetic-only games as a service components bolted onto it. The innumerable bugs hide what could be an amazing and ever-expanding universe -- I just hope the team at SquareEnix is up to the challenge. I want to "do this all day"...but right now we are in the "you hope for the best and make do with what you get" stage.
Four-player sandwich-making chaos reigns supreme in. Best played with friends, but mostly capable solo, Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale delivers hours of cooperative chaos. Now we just have to hope that this VR culinary fantasy adventure can find its way onto other platforms so I can burn bread with my pals.
There is nothing out there like Microsoft Flight Simulator. It delivers the entire world in unrivaled quality, combined with pinpoint precise controls and realism at a level that is unmatched. If you want a taste of the sky, this game is virtual perfection, and if you are learning to fly in the real world, nothing will reinforce what you've already learned more than Microsoft Flight Simulator.
With upgraded grappling and submission mechanics, better training and fewer flash knockouts, UFC 4 manages to deliver on the promise of its predecessor. Cosmetic microtransactions come across greedy, but there's nothing lacking in the main product. Framerate hitches and a few bugs remain at launch, as does persistent voice repetition, but overall if you enjoyed UFC 3, there's a lot to like about UFC 4.
Total War Saga: Troy is a step in an interesting direction. The "Saga" distinction allows the team to try some new concepts without disturbing the main franchise, and it does while remaining faithful to the historic roots of its predecessors, with a dash of the fantastical. Some technical wobbles remain, and the game can be occasionally obtuse, but there's a lot to enjoy here.
An already gorgeous game in its own right, Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition celebrates this amazing title on PC with a host of improvements. Catch up on an amazing adventure and get ready for Horizon Forbidden West next year.