Vampyr is a collection of wonderful ideas held back by a limited budget and a dated engine. The lack of expression and emotion on the faces of London's many characters, and often disjointed lines of dialogue, plague any hope of being fully immersed in this dark re-imagining of London. A fluid and well designed combat system, alongside the infinitely appealing aspect of battling with morality as a creature of the night, offer plenty for those looking for a new angle on the vampire story, but for those wanting a more complete experience, it may not make the mark.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong tells an incredible story, one the player can truly influence, but it falls short in many of the efforts to translate the World of Darkness into video game form. A must-play for fans of the universe, but fans of the narrative-driven RPG may find more frustration than enjoyment.
Scarlet Nexus boasts a story that is impossible not to recommend. Bandai Namco has created a truly intriguing world that, even after completing the game, has me yearning for more. The option of playing the second main character, which boasts a different story direction, would be the perfect remedy if not for the other areas of the game falling short. Repetitive mechanics and frustrating combat design hamper what could otherwise be an incredible adventure.
Lost Judgment is another great entry in the Yakuza franchise, but one shadowed by better entries. The combat is incredible, the world still exciting and full of character, and the story is a worthwhile telling - but please, please don't make me tail anyone anymore.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood is an old-school action game launching in a very modern arena. Its simplicity in design may not appeal to everyone, but for those looking for a basic stealth and combat action-adventure, there's a lot to love about the latest dive into the World of Darkness.
Windbound's visual appeal is sure to lure in players expecting an entirely different experience. That said, I grew to love a game that I initially couldn't stand. It's beautiful, charming, captivating, and completely brutal without apology. One of my favorite games of the year so far.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris is a game that many will love, but many more will not. With some interest in the source material and a passion for the JRPG space, there's probably 100 hours worth of content here for dedicated players. Unfortunately, glaringly obvious technical problems hinder what would otherwise be an amazing Sword Art Online game.
XCOM: Chimera Squad is a brave adventure into new territory. Featuring a more interesting narrative design, some much-needed changes to combat, and a cast of interesting characters, all of these things would lead to a brilliant game if it weren't for the myriad of bugs, crashes, and usual XCOM tiring randomness. It's an absolute must-buy for fans of the genre, especially at its current price, but a bit more time in development wouldn't have hurt.
Indivisible is a great game, but it could have been amazing. The lack of weapons, armor, or other collectible items to make exploration worthwhile really makes a lot of the adventure a bit dull, and the repetitive nature of its level design definitely leaves a sour taste. Many of these issues will be off-putting enough for potential players, but if you can look past its seemingly basic design mistakes, Indivisible's level of charm, passion, and character are rarely seen in the genre.
Judgment is a must-play for fans of the Yakuza franchise and a fantastic entry level title for those a little put off by the time required to catch up with the Yakuza series. It offers a fun and challenging dive into a wonderfully crafted game world, whose only disappointment is the result of the quality of past works.
Borderlands 3 does very little to reinvent itself. It plays it safe, sticking to the tried and tested formula that made the original games such a success. A must-play for fans of the genre and past Borderlands games, but much of the same for anyone else.
The Crew 2 is a vast improvement on the original in every aspect. The environments offer a vast, exciting, and expansive world to explore. The huge variety of racing events, alongside a near endless progression system, promises hours of play time, and the car customization is the best we have seen this generation.
With a disappointing lack of conviction with the story and glaring identity issues between comedic relief and serious storytelling, Far Cry 5 is not Ubisoft's best constructed Far Cry in terms of an immersive story. Stepping away from that, however, it's just great damn fun. Far Cry Arcade is sure to keep the content fresh for many months to come, offering real value for your money at the $60 price tag.
Summoners War: Chronicles is a fantastic new addition to the Summoners War franchise. While it may not appeal to all fans of the MMO space, it's definitely going to entice more fans of mobile gaming into bigger and broader open-worlds. There's already a lot to love about the game, but I cannot wait to see where the developers take it after launch.
Biomutant is a charming entry into the open world space. The anthropomorphic creatures that inhabit its world are easy to love, the excellent narration of the story fills its world with character, and the combat is fluid, fast, and deadly. If you're a fan of open world games and want to experience a new setting, it's an easy buy. Just be warned that you'll instantly recognize many of its gameplay loops, and not in a good way.
Despite being a great game and a worthwhile remake, NieR Replicant ver.1.22 is not for everyone. Some of the dated design elements are frustrating and needlessly time consuming. The story, while incredible, is locked away behind multiple playthroughs and endings, with its true value being entirely subjective depending on how much time you’re willing to invest. However, none of this is news to fans of NieR: Automata. Put simply, if you’ve been waiting for a deeper, darker dive into the world of NieR, ver.1.22 will not disappoint.
Immortals Fenyx Rising is a charming and fun adventure into Greek mythology with Ubisoft's trademark core design elements thrown in to support the experience. It is a worthwhile adventure for those looking to scratch that Breath of the Wild itch, but one that experienced Ubisoft fans may feel is a little too familiar.