Not even a Hulk can save Lego Marvel's Avengers from its tiresome gameplay mechanics. Smashing apart bricks isn't fun anymore, and, unfortunately, Developer TT Games doesn't realize that yet. Even a wide variety of content can't save the game from being boring to play. Recommended for kids with posters of Iron Man in their rooms—and a pass for everyone else.
American Truck Simulator, like the rest of the Truck Simulator series, is polished and entertaining. It's smaller than Euro Truck Simulator 2; it feels more like a foundation than a full game. No matter, the low price tag and addictive simulator gameplay make it a joy to go trucking through famous American cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas. American Truck Simulator is easy to recommend to series fans and newcomers alike, especially knowing that more content is on the way.
XCOM 2 checks many of the right boxes for a worthwhile sequel. The improved turn-based strategy gameplay and base management are the true highlights of the sequel. The game's random nature and urge for trying new strategies will keep players coming back. The game stumbles, however, at making the series accessible to a larger audience. The overwhelming difficulty is frustrating. That may be appreciated by series fans, but doesn't welcome newcomers.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak tells one of the better science fiction narratives I've seen in a real-time strategy game. While the campaign is short, I enjoyed most of the Homeworld-inspired gameplay. Skirmish and multiplayer modes beef up the content, but the overall content-to-price ratio doesn't quite even out. Minor gripes aside, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is one of the more compelling real-time strategy games I've played in some time.
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is not only a great role-playing game, but also one of the best ports to PC I've seen in some time. From an unlocked frame rate to perfect performance, the game hits all the right marks. It also helps that the game itself is enthralling because of its many departures from genre norms by providing players with a true sense of danger around every corner. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen truly feels at home on PC with its in-depth gameplay and beautiful world.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut is an outstanding action role-playing game. It sets itself apart. The significant amount of content, and the entertainment value, makes for a game that will eat away hours. With a near-endless supply of quests to complete, monsters to slay, and loot to collect, the adventure to Borgovia shouldn't be missed.
Regicide's attempt to combine the Warhammer 40,000 setting and chess produces mixed results with a forgettable narrative and lackluster gameplay experience. While the Regicide mode that combines chess with tactical movement and combat is an interesting concept to play with, it often is brought down by odd design quirks and a gameplay experience that lacks any sort of visual flair. Warhammer 40,000: Regicide is best recommended to only the truly dedicated fans of the Games Workshop created universe.
The Sims 4 Get Together follows Get to Work's trend of providing both worthwhile and entertaining content. Get Together goes a step further, however, by improving the core gameplay experience of gathering Sims together with the new clubs feature. In addition, the new dance and DJ traits and world of Windenburg round off a great package of content.
Knights of Pen and Paper 2 checks all the right marks for proper port from smartphones to PC including remastered graphics, mouse and keyboard support, and including all the previously released content for a single, low price. Unfortunately, the game can't completely avoid its roots as a smartphone game with gameplay that is best enjoyed in short spans. While it might not be the most complex role-playing game available, it's a worthwhile and entertaining purchase for players eager to set out on a casual fantasy adventure.
While Coast Guard is marketed as providing a thrilling and exciting simulation and adventure experience, the actual narrative and gameplay couldn't be further from the truth. Issues ranging from uninteresting and boring gameplay to a story that doesn't make much sense make Coast Guard a truly difficult experience to play through. Coast Guard isn't worth your time or money.
Anno 2205 earns a high recommendation for city-building and economy-management enthusiasts. The game builds upon previous series installments by refining the gameplay to further improve its best elements. In particular, the addition of the Arctic and Moon environments provide the series' best-yet sandboxes for building cities. City-building fans can rejoice: Anno 2205 is the next game they need to pick up.
Rebel Galaxy is one of the best space games released in some time, both in terms of its vast content and that its low price that won't break your wallet. A slow beginning to the game and over reliance on grinding shouldn't deter gamers in experiencing everything that Rebel Galaxy has to offer to eager space going adventurers. It's difficult not to smile as your ship zooms across space, taking in the star-filled view, and listening to the Firefly inspired soundtrack.
Prison Architect is one of the more unique game releases in years. What would seem daunting at first, with building and managing a prison, quickly reveals to be both an addictive and entertaining gameplay experience. While minor bugs can still be found from time to time, these don't distract from the overall enjoyment of creating the perfect prison. Entrepreneurial prison designers, this is the game you need to buy.
SOMA is a suspenseful and frightening journey to a mysterious underwater research facility that keeps players engrossed till the credits roll. While it might not be as scary as its marketed, its science fiction setting and compelling narrative make for one of the more memorable gaming experiences this year.
Move over, Command and Conquer, there's a new king of the genre. Act of Aggression is a perfect recreation of the elements that made '90s and early '00s real-time strategy games such a joy to play. Diverse factions and units, continually evolving gameplay, and authentic-feeling maps make for a must-own game for RTS enthusiasts and newcomers.
Victor Vran is a great addition to the action role-playing genre with its entertaining gameplay elements. Bold design concepts, such as the inclusion of WASD keys for movement and combat, work perfectly with the genre type. The wealth of content and addictive nature of collecting loot and replaying levels with increased challenge make Victor Vran highly recommended for action RPG fans.
The White March - Part 1 is a great first expansion for Pillars of Eternity fans that have been in need of new content. A lengthy main quest, varied side tasks, and an enthralling narrative combine to make a worthwhile expansion for veteran players. The White March is best recommended for those players with a high-leveled party of adventurers ready to embark on a challenging quest to enter the Dwarven forge of Durgan's Battery.
Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces is an excellent multiplayer expansion pack for veteran players, while it's also a great entry point for newcomers with its standalone design. The addition of British units and commanders offer one of the more diverse and entertaining armies to play as in the Company of Heroes 2 series. As well, the new maps provide compelling environments for fierce combat encounters. While it's disappointing that there isn't any single-player content included, The British Forces is still strongly recommended for both series veterans and newcomers.