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.
Ultimately, players' enjoyment of Pumpkin Jack will crux on how nostalgic they are for the 3D action platformers of yesteryear. The makings of a great game are definitely here, with witty dialogue, a wonderful selection of fun mini-games, and some serviceable platforming. But, outside of its clear homages and lofty inspirations, Pumpkin Jack feels like it has nothing new to say and no modern insights to add. It ultimately winds up a jack of all trades but a master of none, offering plenty of ideas rife with potential but never honing in on one long enough to make it stand out.
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.
Maneater really does do what it says on the tin. It’s a hyper-violent, super fun and wonderfully tongue in cheek shark simulator that lets players live out their fantasy of becoming the ocean’s most notorious predator. Yet, it’s beyond that where Maneater struggles, as its repetitive missions and frequent padding prevent it from sustaining its 10-hour runtime.
There’s a lot about Resident Evil 3 to love. Its combat is meatier, its linearity makes for an interesting change of pace, and Nemesis is pure nightmare fuel in all the right ways. Yet, the game’s pace is simply too hasty for its brief runtime. In the end, it’s an enjoyable – but noticeably rushed – remake, that never quite matches the heights of its outstanding predecessor.
With more sensational world-building, slick combat and compelling narrative, The Foundation feels like a superb next chapter to Control’s story. It might not do much with the ideas introduced within the original campaign, but with Control being one of last year’s best games, that’s far from a disappointment.
Despite its unapproachable first few hours and some severely rough edges, Planet Zoo is one of the best tycoon games of the year. It offers near-limitless potential through its construction and exhibit tools, while Frontier’s visually stunning animals feel authentic and supremely detailed. With some patches, there’s no denying Planet Zoo could wind up being something extraordinarily special.
In terms of moment to moment gameplay, Song of Horror can feel a little bland. The puzzles are inconsistent, it lacks scares, and the narrative is forgettable. However, the game’s willingness to go all-in on its interesting permadeath mechanic makes it a unique horror experience that manages to disguise its flaws with ambition. It may be largely centred around a gimmick, but with each episode feeling relatively brief, its one that doesn’t wear out its welcome.
A Hat In Time’s Switch port is sadly the worst way to play the game, however, beneath all its bugs and poor visuals, it’s the same aggressively fun and ruthlessly charming platformer. Its nine-hour runtime is filled with fluid gameplay, hilarious characters and diverse set of levels that toy around with the genre in the best way possible. A Hat In Time is simply one of the best platformers in years, and it’s worth dealing with the Switch’s technical limitations to experience.
The Surge 2 is a satisfyingly challenging game with fluid, fast and intense combat that rewards players investment. It’s not going to change the minds of Soulsborne detractors, but it’s got enough smart, unique features and interesting evolutions of the genre’s systems to put it on the radar of its fans. It’s far from a FromSoftware level game, but it’s a worthy alternative with a lot to offer.
Greedfall is an ambitious and, at times, enjoyable RPG that makes use of its unique setting to deliver a story full of intrigue and compelling themes. However, its clumsy presentation, slow gameplay and bug-prone nature leave it a game that always feels a few steps away from greatness. Greedfall definitely has its moments, but unfortunately, you’ll have to break through its severely rough exterior to find them.
This is easily the best way to experience The Walking Dead on a technical front. The graphical revamp of the first two seasons is impressive, the special features are a nice touch, and having all the games in one package is a convenient deal. However, it's the content you're here for and (for the most part) the games hold up exceptionally well. They may be slightly dated, but there's no doubting this package serves as a glowing reminder of Telltale's best work.