From Software might have started this genre, but Team Ninja is hot on their heels when it comes to quality. Nioh 2 is an achievement. It’s equal parts challenging and rewarding, with a loot system that rocks, a combat system that is deep and nuanced, an online component that adds to the experience, and great performance on PC. I haven’t enjoyed myself this much in a long time. If you enjoy games of this subgenre and haven’t yet experienced Nioh 2, the time is now. Jump in, test your mettle, and become the samurai that world of Nioh so desperately needs.
Some great extra content takes a backseat to an extraordinary new gameplay mode that players will get for free from the upcoming "Triceratops" patch. Though the new content is of high quality, especially the new faction, it's overshadowed by a free patch and perhaps isn't as exciting with the addition of yet another human faction.
Star Renegades had me enamored from the opening cutscene and sunk its claws deep with its tactically-sound combat, incredible aesthetic, pulse-pounding soundtrack, great story elements, and superb writing. I wish that its meta progression elements were more significant and that it didn't insist on being yet another rogue-lite, but I still felt compelled - even after some really sour defeats - to come back and fight the good fight against the Imperium.
Kingdoms of Amalur was one of the most underrated games of the previous decade and its return will make that pretty clear to some players. However, the remastering of this borderline classic is hamstrung by a 2012 inventory and menu system, a 2012 user interface, and 2012 icons and health bar.
With a haunting and beautiful world as a backdrop to a solid "Souls-like" RPG, Mortal Shell is a much better game than it has any right to be. The magnificent presentation, mixed with the unique take on character progression, steals the show here and despite dying dozens upon dozens of times, I was hooked from the moment that combat started making sense to me.
A combat system that's deeper than it first appears is the real star here, but you'll likely also stick around for the perverse and disturbing universe and the story that plays out within it. The voiceover work will quickly annoy you and the difficulty is unfair, but there is still a bit to enjoy here, assuming you can ignore some of Othercide's shortcomings. I wanted to like Othercide much more than I did.
Part racing game, part destruction derby, and even part tower defense, Rock of Ages 3 is all ridiculous fun. With a variety of gameplay modes and a map editor, there's a lot of life to this game, too. Rock of Ages 3 is a game that focuses on just being plain ol' fun and you know something? It really is.
A run-of-the-mill procedural twin-stick roguelike that has a unique aesthetic and premise, but little else. Without more content, more variety, and more exciting unlockables, West of Dead is dead in the water. Or will remain in gaming purgatory. Either way, I have very little faith in West of Dead's future.