And hopefully, the Judgement series will get to act as a continuation of that formula for a long time to come, as Lost Judgment proves time and time again that it's worthy of carrying the traditional, action-heavy direction of the series. Its detective elements may be lacking and its third act is slow, but it more than makes up for it, offering spectacle-heavy set pieces, an engrossing mystery, and a bounty of fantastic side missions. Whether a diehard fan of the Yakuza franchise or a newcomer looking to see what all the fuss is about, Lost Judgment is a thrilling adventure that shouldn't be missed.
Resident Evil Village is an exceptional addition to the seminal horror franchise, offering a gratifying balance between atmospheric horror and frantic action alongside captivating villains, an intriguing setting and plenty of fresh ideas. While its story ultimately fails to capitalize on its exciting central mystery, there’s no doubting it’s one of the series’ most compelling iterations in years.
Hitman 3 is a masterful final chapter for IO Interactive’s reboot trilogy, offering a range of stunning sandboxes filled with satisfying assassination opportunities and a dynamic set of tools that reward experimentation. With the studio closing out its reboot in style, IO has cemented it as the definitive interpretation of Hitman and one of the most consistent trilogies of the last decade.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a fun but flawed new entry in Ubisoft’s iconic action franchise, with a bloated campaign that wears out its welcome and a ton of bugs for players remaining on current-generation platforms. Still, what’s here is actually some of the most confident Assassin’s Creed content to date, with thrilling story beats, refined exploration, and enjoyable side content.
While it’s a step up from last year’s Man of Medan, Little Hope is a flawed second entry in Supermassive’s horror anthology series. Its gameplay is better than ever and the story has moments of gold, but this tale of witchcraft and horrifying demons can’t help but be overwhelmed by its lofty scope and frustrating narrative issues.
AWE offers an interesting first look at the future Remedy envisions for both the Alan Wake and Control franchises alongside featuring a terrifying main antagonist and some creepy boss encounters. That being said, it’s still somewhat underwhelming, acting as a teaser for the future with few crazy story beats or new features to get excited about.
Although it doesn’t offer many game-changing new features, EA Sport’s UFC 4 is without question the most comprehensive release in EA Vancouver’s MMA franchise. Setting aside some issues with the career mode, it offers a solid update to UFC 3, with smoother combat, a more accessible entry point for new players and the most complete roster of fighters yet.
Windbound almost feels like a mixing pot of some of this decade’s most visually striking and compelling games, and for the most part, the end result is surprisingly effective. It could do with more depth, but its focus on exploration and fantastic ship-building mechanics make for a pretty liberating survival experience.