There is a decent survival gameplay loop at the core of Fade to Silence. It's just that everything that emanates from that core is either cheaply cropped from another game or poorly executed in this one. I just kept coming back to this feeling I was playing disjointed parts of these other games, not a unified experience of this one.
This is the best 4x game to grace the current generation of consoles, possible the best 4x game to grace any generation of consoles; but that's kind of like winning a race when you were the only genuine competitor. It still suffers greatly from a frustrating mid-game but if you've got the itch to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate on a console this will scratch it.
Taking more of a narrative approach while not really offering all that much narrative but definitely adding a little more marvel in the form of cataclysmic weather events as the major antagonist, Just Cause 4 is a shade more than just another Just Cause game. The major gameplay loop of orchestrating chaos remains true to the series but it is meted out just a bit more slowly while unlocking the goodies to perform your opus just a bit more freely. The real shine of the game comes from just whipping about the game world transitioning between grappling, wing suiting, parachuting, carjacking, plane-jacking, and inviting the player to turn the entire island into their own X-games playground on steroids.
It's dated, it's camp, it's occasionally annoying, but it still has a core mechanic that very few are still trying to do, and Earth Defense Force 5 does do it well. Take on the waves of monsters and tear into them with every last weapon in your arsenal for a great bit of mindless fun. The story and your progress will crawl through the 100+ levels but the types of enemies and the difficulty will ramp up alongside you.
Remaining true to its roots with engaging ship to ship combat but shifting the gameplay to a more narrative focused exploration game, Star Control: Origins excels at it's prime directive. As we push out from that core loop there are elements that can drag on, but the central experience is where it stands tallest, incorporating a playful tale with entertaining delivery around excellent two dimensional, top down ship to ship combat.
We're not there yet, but on the right path. Like Osiris, I wouldn't say Warmind is an expansion worth purchasing if you haven't already done so in a Season Pass. Much of the quality of life improvements aren't locked behind Warmind's DLC paywall but are general roadmap updates open to the entire playing community. Unlike Osiris, which was completely missable, I would recommend playing Warmind if you got it. Go ahead and jump in and give it a try. There is good fun to be had with the new exotics and masterworks, a grind to keep you busy a few hours per week. The game is better and this is the first real sign that the Year 2 expansion might finally turn the corner and make Destiny 2 something like the game Destiny 1 left off with. It's such a shame that this sequel could even get as low as it did, but I really do feel it's on its way back, and the game is in a state now that its worth being a part of that ride again.
I almost feel amiss even giving this game a score. But then again I feel the same about even calling it a game. It's an $11 demo. You'll be hard pressed to stretch your total playtime past half an hour. The worst part of it is that it's actually pretty good, but as soon as the story feels like the prologue is over and it's time to take off, you get kicked right to the title screen and it's all over.
If you are extremely patient, then Kerbal Space Program Enhanced Edition has a deep and rewarding game to offer you. But that patience isn't just tested in the tutorial or painstakingly crawling your way over the steep learning curve. It will be tested throughout your entire experience with the pacing, bugs, and even control scheme itself. Kerbal Space Program is a fantastic and unique gaming experience, and it's a valiant effort to bring this to consoles that rarely even attempt games this outside the box, but ultimately it always feels like a port, and one that would simply be better enjoyed with a mouse and keyboard. If that's not an option, there is an opportunity here to get a taste of one of the ways the PC gaming community stays weird, but be prepared to spend a long time chewing on it before you'll enjoy that taste.
Unless you've already bought this as part of a season pass, don't waste your money on Curse of Osiris until Bungie actually changes direction, and I'm not talking about executing their proposed changes which painfully miss the mark yet again. The base game of Destiny 2 is a great shooter for 50-60 hours of solid content on your first play through of a redemptive story. But there is no endgame to keep going beyond that and there isn't anything packaged into this DLC than enhances that initial experience. At this point, if you're desperate for a looter/shooter then either fire up Destiny 1 again, watch Anthem videos on YouTube and hope for a brighter Q4 2018, or else maybe go give the Division a chance. It had a dumpster fire launch but can be had on the cheap now and I hear it's become a very good game in its current state.
I think for most of the hardcore Destiny 1 players, this is simply not the game we were expecting. This one is built for the casuals. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I played more D1 over the past two years than probably all other games combined, but Destiny 2 is just going to be another game in my library. It won't consume me, but I will enjoy it every time I load it up.
With smooth gameplay, a well constructed narrative, and AI that is sufficiently intelligent; Dawn of Andromeda offers enough to overcome its learning curve and keep replays fresh. There will be a learning curve because much of the nitty-gritty of managing settlements never really grace the tutorial or hints, but after a few matches, likely leading to a few annihilations, much of the game management, must-do's, and politics fall into place. It errs a little heavy on the necessity for a strong early military, but I guess that's just the proof that it exists in the space of a hostile galaxy.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is a game that just wasn't ready to be released. I believe there is a near future when you're going to find this one in the bargain bin or on a deep discount in a digital sale, after the numerous bugs have been patched and that multiplayer is added in, and then there will be an opportunity to enjoy a solid experience. This is not a AAA FPS but it does deliver some good moments when it works, has very good gameplay mechanics working for it, finds that balance between open world and engaging set pieces, and is presented through an interesting environment. However, the single player plot remains atrocious, there is no multiplayer, and in it's current beta state it's just not yet worth it.
Ultimately it's not a bad game, I kept playing and I enjoyed myself. I just question whether it really should have been made. The open world is beautiful but it doesn't set the stage for a Tom Clancy adventure, and this Tom Clancy game is too repetitive to carry an open world on it's own. The gunplay itself when you do engage is solid, and there is plenty of weapons and customization options of that armament to tailor to your own style. Its weakest moments come in between missions, as traversing the landscape by anything other than a helicopter becomes a burden. However if you have a helo, taking in the Bolivian sunset and you swoop down skimming the surface of a river is reminiscent of a modern day Apocalypse Now. That is a tremendous little moment of satisfaction, but it doesn't carry a whole game.
A stealth game that sticks to its core values and offers some excellent level design, Styx: Shards of Darkness is a solid sequel. It is not without some presentation issues and could really benefit from some better controls on the more delicate maneuvers. If you can get past the crassness of the main character there is much to like.
Destiny has evolved in so many ways since it's release. It still boasts some of the best combat mechanics around in a game that moves both horizontal and vertically across engagement ranges. With two years worth of content behind it already there is a wealth of gaming for the uninitiated; and with a decent endgame, variety in play styles, and a dynamic and active community, there's still enough in the Rise of Iron expansion to keep year one diehards happy. Shame about the story though. I really hope Bungie can figure out that crucial element before Destiny 2. But until that day comes, Rise of Iron does set the scene to keep a massive community playing through this next stage until what will likely be the reboot into the inevitable sequel.
Over the years Worms has tried a few times to freshen up its franchise by changing the formula a bit, sprinkling in 3D, and other gimmicks. Worms WMD is a back to the basics effort that proves the original formula is the best one. There is nothing broken about the gameplay. While it could use an injection of pace, it delivers a great experience both offline and in online multiplayer.