I can’t say enough good things about Rebel Galaxy Outlaw. It’s a sucker punch aimed at all the bloated, morbidly obese space sims out on the market today. Yes, there’s room for them, too. But Outlaw distills the ‘90s space-combat and trading sim into a great-looking, great-playing game for a new generation.
What goes down must come up. The Sinking City is more than the sum of its glitchy b-game parts. Balanced detective work makes up for shoddy gunplay. A gruff and well-realized cast makes up for brain-dead AI. This is unironically a highwater mark for both detective fiction and Lovecraftian Horror in video gaming.
Urban Warfare brings dynamic changes to the battlefield unlike anything before it. Those changes are surprising, challenging, and push the exploding, collapsing city in new directions. The graphics engine groans under the weight of urbanization. But the city is bright and beautiful.
This isn't Call of Duty in the land of Swedish meatballs, it's Boston Dynamics in an IKEA-effect hunting sim. Come for the difficult robot fights, stay for the Arctic Circle sunsets. The technical issues will make you rage quit one day and then bring you back the next.
Beautiful 2D platformers are practically a meme when it comes to indie game development, but Gris still rises above its contemporaries. Artful in both its watercolor design and broad-strokes storytelling, Gris is a gentle reminder that good puzzle platformers can make you feel smart without smarting, and that being succinct is not a bad thing, especially in the current culture of exhausted replayability.