- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich
- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
I could write a thousand more words about its strengths and its faults, and maybe this time next year, we’ll have a more definitive version of the ultimate Dungeons & Dragons experience that longs to serve us. But for now, Baldur’s Gate 3 is not a critical hit nor is it a critical failure, it’s the kind of roll of the dice you don’t get from D&D: It’s a partial success. Yeah, that one’s for the tabletop nerds.
It all comes down to the fact that Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that’s broken, inconsistently written and immature. That would be forgivable if the game was great, but in truth it isn’t much more than the sum of its borrowed parts. It remains to be seen in the court of long-term consumer opinion whether CD Projekt RED is truly criminal, but there’s no denying that they’ve been caught.
"With its myriad design issues and lack of content at launch, it’s difficult to recommend Marvel’s Avengers. But this is a game that can only get better, which isn’t publisher apologia, it’s just an undeniable truth for any game that leans so heavily into a future of post-launch updates."
As an earnest, respectful tribute to jidaigeki dramas and the films of Akira Kurosawa, Ghost of Tsushima fares well enough. It creates a fictionalized account of the Mongol Invasion and weaves the tale into the most videogamey of videogame things – an open-world sandbox filled with straw-hat wearing ronin, mischievous foxes, hot springs, and meditative haiku. It’s easily the most ambitious output from Sucker Punch Productions to date.
In the end, when the world of Remake is so painstakingly realized, the combat so immersive, the characters this fully brought to life, I found it difficult to remain steadfast in my apathy towards its source material. Even as the game reaches its heart-stopping conclusion, hinting at not just a greater villain to confront, but a saga on the verge of sweeping you away, Remake feels complete.
2020’s Resident Evil 3 is an action-packed spectacle that looks and feels great, but it can’t cover up the contrived nature of the encounters with Nemesis. The absence of some of the locations and plot beats of the original only shortens a narrative that’s already criminal in its brevity.
Death Stranding is creative director Hideo Kojima’s flawed but fascinating subversion of big budget expectations. It represents not simply an escape from the increasingly suffocating influence of his former masters at Konami, but an escape from the cardboard box of Metal Gear’s narrative and gameplay conventions.
New Dawn delivers a shallow exploration of its premise and is more interested in the sheer anarchic fun of a fully refined playground of carnage. That’s fine for a game that continues to indulge in the franchise’s weirdest excesses while fine tuning its formula for maximum fun.
"Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a clever little game filled with atmosphere that made me greedy for more of it. Its linear story and lack of random encounters means that its pleasures are rather finite. Sure, you can take a crack at a harder difficulty or turn on permadeath, but that’s about it as far as replay value goes."
There are times when Assassin's Creed Odyssey can feel like too much videogame. While the campaign remains compelling, its level requirements demand you engage in every corner of its world to progress. But despite that, Ubisoft Quebec has taken great care to ensure that the game's constant loop of exploration, murder and looting is never a drag. It will take a long time for me to drink all of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and when I do I'll remember it as an experience like no other.
When you have dozens of ways of taking them out, enemies become little more than fodder for your sadistic amusement. And that’s unnerving, for while this iteration of Lara Croft has always straddled the line between adventurer and mass murderer, Shadow of the Tomb Raider decidedly tips the balance into making her a true terror.
'Done Running' is a solid enough opener. While The Final Season is off to a slow start, with only the barest attempt in technical advances, it sets up an intriguing dynamic between Clementine, A.J. and the world around them. The story's scope has yet to be laid out, so it remains to be seen how Clementine will close her journey. Will this series go out swinging, or is it taking one step deeper into the grave?
Ultimately, Bungie’s greatest triumph in Destiny 2 is that it has transformed the polarizing, alienating experience of the first Destiny into an infinitely more rewarding one. While some of the improvements to storytelling are undermined by the lack of conviction in its writing, there’s a player friendliness to the end game content supported by rewards that finally acknowledge your efforts. There’s still a lot of room to grow from here, but Destiny 2’s future looks filled with light.