With a magnificent storyline replete with devious puzzles and gorgeous vistas, A Plague Tale: Innocence is as beautiful as it is disturbing. A survival stealth title at its heart, Asobo Studio's approach to the story of the bubonic plague is completely unique, and one I can't recommend highly enough.
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is easily one of the best tactical games I've played in recent memory. The fact that it was made by just two people is mind blowing. If you are a fan of Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, or games like Banner Saga, Fell Seal will scratch that itch. Just know going in that it might be a little bit before we get our next content fix.
I have a lot of VR games because I think they transcend barriers for non-gamers, and they are also a whole lot of fun. Job Simulator was a great way to break in new players, but I have to say that Vacation Simulator will be supplanting (or at least supplementing) their previous effort. While some of the minigames won't keep you coming back, there's enough here to keep you busy for quite a while. Owlchemy Labs has spent four years hard at work, but I'm gonna enjoy bit of my Vacation Simulation.
Tropico 6 overhauls the entire infrastructure, bringing forward most, but not all of the features we had with previous outings. A greater emphasis on transportation and simulation deepens the experience and makes Tropicans feel less like mere numbers. At its heart, Tropico 6 is still a game about building your empire and making it grow, but it's the small mechanics that create a connection with your benevolent dictator, and help make your anarchy-prone archipelago feel a little like home.
With an incredibly robust feature set and massive swaths of content ready for the launch window, as well as an extensive roadmap on the horizon, The Division 2 raises the bar for how a sequel should launch. Only a handful of minor bugs and hiccups remain, but none of them hold this back from being the best team-based shooter we've played in a very long time. Massive Entertainment has a massive hit on their hands, and we can't wait to see where it goes next.
Anthem's rich storytelling and engaging combat lays the foundation for Bioware's newest adventure. While there are plenty of quality of life improvements to be made, Anthem's ambitious approach to the looter-shooter genre is encouraging given the development team's steadfast community engagement. With a roadmap stretching far into the horizon, we'll be flying around the world of Anthem for a long time to come.
With a more heavy focus on action, Darksiders III is a return to the roots of the franchise, and away from the RPG elements of its predecessor. Whether that appeals to you or not, there's more than enough fantastic story elements to bring any fan back to see how Fury's story ties to her Four Horseman brethren. Let's just hope Gunfire Games can apply one last coat of polish over the controls and checkpoint system to elevate this game to where it belongs.
After spending quite a while with the game, I'm blown away that there's still so much to discover. With dozens of collectibles to find in the single player campaign, a seemingly-unlimited number of weekly challenges, and the Tides of War looming large on the horizon, Battlefield V is the best this series has ever been, and easily the best FPS of the season.
Red Dead Redemption 2 raises the bar for sandbox adventure games. It's organic in a way almost unseen in any genre, creating an authentic open world that is as cohesive as it is compelling. This title will set the bar for action adventure games for years to come.
Transference is an interesting experiment in the blending of horror and virtual reality. Noah and Waller deliver a stressful experience that pushes the player into an uncomfortable space. While the puzzles aren't going to bend your brain, the tension is more than worth the trip...and it is very much a trip.
Megaquarium is an fantastic tycoon title with a surprising amount of depth. With far more fish, crabs, sponges, and spiny blowfish than I could have expected, it goes further than the usual “set it and forget it” model that most tycoon titles use. The team continues to hammer away at improvements, so here's hoping that they can iron out the last few UI and tasking issues to make this one truly great.
It's nearly impossible to summarize a game this big, or this complete. Assassin's Creed Odyssey lives up to its Homeric namesake in scope and scale, adding fantastic new elements to the solid foundation Origins laid before it. For me, it's easily the best Assassin's Creed game to date, and I can't wait to keep playing it long after the credits roll.
Firewall Zero Hour is precisely the game Sony needs for their Virtual Reality platform -- addictive, fast paced, and immersive. Unfortunately, it's also in dire need of some tweaks to realize its potential. The grind is too deep, and the need for a “ready-up” system causes a lot of dead time between an otherwise richly rewarding tactical shooter. Patch this, and a few other minor hiccups, and Firewall Zero Hour will be the VR Rainbow Six it needs to be.
More than Theme Hospital for the modern age, Two Point Hospital brings fresh features and new maladies to a genre full of try-hard games that tried to be what this game is. With charm and wit to spare, Two Point Hospital is the game patients have been patiently being patient for.
Extensive RPG mechanics, dynamically generated maps, cooperative multiplayer, and continuous updates puts QuiVr in a class normally reserved for AAA developers with expansive teams. There's a reason QuiVr consistently comes up in everyone's top 10 list -- this is a title you need in your library.
Expanding on the foundation of the single player experience, Archangel Hellfire completes the package by adding an excellent PvP mode, and an interesting if somewhat short Co-op experience. With the promise of additional maps on the way, Hellfire breathes new life into this title.
Although built as an educational tool, HoloLAB Champions also succeeds as a completely new way to experience practical science. It engages the mind as well as dexterity courtesy of challenging measurements, mixing puzzles, and mathematical elements, which should be fun for the science nerd in kids and adults.
Jurassic World Evolution strikes a chord with me, and that's evident in the amount of time I've sunk into it. The presentation is gorgeous, the mechanics are engrossing, and balancing your veggiesauraces and meatysauraces has never been fun. There's a handful of bugs to shake loose, but based on Frontier's track record I'm fairly certain that these can be shaken out post launch.