Dark Souls 2 for the PC is a far cleaner port attempt than the first Dark Souls port. The death of Games for Windows Live continues to mean good things for PC gaming, the potential to tweak up the graphics for the technically capable is still on offer, and the whole experience is far more gamer-friendly right from the get-go.
A top notch bullet hell experience racked out with character options, unlockables, and some charming dialogue, Assault Android Cactus is a top shelf choice of any shooter addict. A lack of online co-op is unfortunate, if understandable, and the characters – while cute and expressive – may be a bit too adorable for some.
Offworld Trading Company combines economic strategy with innovation and polish, resulting in a game which feels exciting, deep and fun all at once. Not an easy combination to pull off – the developers should be proud, and gamers should be delighted.
He may be an ugly little punk, but Styx still offers the player pure and largely unadulterated hardcore stealth action. It's still rare to find action games with a proper stealth emphasis, and rarer still to find them done as well as Styx: Master of Shadows. If you're looking for a game with good graphics and an emphasis on sneaking around in the dark and trying to achieve your aims with as little blood spilled as possible, you have your title right here.
Awaited for well over a decade by now-ancient gamers, Wasteland 2 manages to live up to the spirit of the original while going beyond it in terms of depth and detail. While there are bugs to be fixed and the difficulty may be too challenging for some, any lover of turn-based RPGs should add this one to their Steam library as soon as they can.
While Archeage doesn't bring much to the table in terms of story, quest mechanics or even combat, the sheer depth of the PVP and tradeskill system promises to make it into the EVE-Online of the fantasy genre. The queue system is marring what would otherwise be an enticing game, at least for those players who have been looking for a fresh take on the fantasy PVP MMO genre – Ultima Online can only last so long.
Whatever downsides Risk of Rain has are absolutely outweighed by the many things the game does right. The gameplay is refreshing and fun, the graphics are charming, the setting is unique, the music is pleasant to listen to. On top of all of this, there's a slew of unlocks on offer that make the game an achievement-addict's dream, and each of the ten available classes (which, I stress, require unlocking in order to acquire) are wonderfully distinct, giving Risk of Rain some serious replay value.
The best parts of Payday 2 and Left 4 Dead in the gritty Warhammer fantasy universe, with a heavy emphasis on melee combat and loot. There's tons here for co-op fans, and the emphasis on melee makes it stand out from the rest of the pack.
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns offers everything a seasoned player could want in an expansion, and more. Coupled with ArenaNet's track record of continuous free updates, it should be an automatic purchase for anyone at or near the max level.
A gorgeous world that feels truly alive, Black Desert Online is a solid entry into the sandbox subgenre of MMOs. Benefiting from having been launched in a major market for a year before coming to the West, it offers an open world to explore, and an especially deep tradeskill and trading system mixed with an action-oriented combat scheme.
Bringing a whole lot of lore and content to a well-established favorite, Legion injects some new life and new fun into the World of Warcraft universe. A huge addition of content and a new take on advancement promises to give current players a lot of bang for their buck, while the included level-boost lets new players catch up with their friends quickly.
While the awkwardness of the campaign mode's storyline is unfortunate, the game more than justifies its cost in terms of inventive mechanics, a refreshing setting and a well-thought-out realtime tactical system – all without the looming threat of microtransactions and booster-pack expenditures that so often are matched up with any card-based game.
Blood Bowl II is a unique tactical turn-based game with an amusing setting and a lot of personality. The underlying game is solid and offers a lot of possibility for multiplayer, but the interface and the camera could use a little bit of polishing. Otherwise the biggest problem will be finding players willing to stick around for the league mode.
Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon offers a fun glimpse into the Pokemon world from the monsters' perspective, all while providing a unique, turn-based tactical gameplay with light roguelike features. Featuring over 700 pokemon to encounter, fight and team up with, it's a must-have for any dedicated fans of the series, and provides just enough tactical thinking to entertain a budding CRPG player.
Leap of Fate mixes dynamic, level-based action with a unique cyberpunk/Shadowrun-esque setting, resulting in a solid title that stands out in both gameplay and environment. It’s a fun, well-balanced game limited largely by a lack of variety in enemies and challenge types – which most players will be guaranteed to notice, because it’s still entertaining enough to play again and again.
Bursting with sophomoric charm and absurd sexiness, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus will provoke either cringing or laughter depending on who’s playing it. What it lacks in maturity it makes up for with a refreshing lack of seriousness, and it presents it all in a content-laden game filled with easy, straightforward 3D ass-kicking.
Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade shows a whole lot of promise as an exciting team-based multiplayer shooter. But 'promise' is less than what's demanded when we're talking about a game which is released, rather buggy, and not always as intuitive as an action-heavy game should be. At $49.99, it's hard to justify the investment until the price drops or the game is patched up respectably, but the potential and the fun it offers is real all the same.