Werewolf is firing on all cylinders when it lets you take on a wave of enemies, turning them all into puddles of jam. You don't have to think too much about the gameplay, and that gradually becomes a good thing. If this came out 10 years ago, I'd be thinking about it more during end-of-the-year talks.
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.
Divide doesn’t excite, doesn’t surprise, doesn’t reach out, and doesn’t look in. It tests my patience, wastes your time, and can’t keep its eyes on the prize. The cool architecture is basically copy-pasted to death. And the gameplay, which is thankfully short on bullets, is still rehashed ad infinitum. It's a twin-stick shooter that removed the gunplay but replaced it with little more than checkpoints and crate scrounging. It often feels like there’s no end in sight.
Catlateral Damage isn't a cat simulator, really. It simply takes the shove-things-off-the-ledge aspect of a cat's personality and runs that concept into the ground. Different cats don't do anything different, and different rooms don't feel all that different either. Cute for a little while, and fun for a couple swings, but boredom set in before I'd even unlocked every cat or wrecked every room.
Rack N Ruin is a twin-stick shooter (sort of) with a juvenile appreciation for wanton destruction. The role-reversal, with you as the bad guy, brings up some interesting questions, but the story doesn't take neart enough advantage of that fact. It can be good to be bad, but Rack N Ruin's character isn't all that deep.
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.
Sir Hans Capon's DLC could've been chopped up and interwoven into the vanilla game's numerous subplots, but it was much more fun, this way, taking it in as a whole. It's a romantic comedy with a bloody start, but that's medieval Europe for you. I was only disappointed the DLC starts off with a mission structure that's a little too tried-and-true for Kingdom Come.
The moral of this story is: No man is an island—not even Sean Murray and his buggy mathematical superformula. No Man's Sky is an ironically small game, but it has a big, beating heart at its center, even when the procedural generation and the sometimes narrow-scoped world building tries to hide it.
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Part 1 is thoughtfully constructed with low-pressure environments and the promise of a global thriller with a supernatural curse reaching back to Biblical times. It's strung me along this far, so I'm ready for part 2, but part 1 is doing very little to hint at any major payoff for this sleepy but good-natured point-and-click adventure.
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.