Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord combines RPG mechanics with grand strategy and features battles so epic they can be overwhelming at times. It has some rough edges, and the interface can be unwieldy, but at its core lies a roleplaying experience that is virtually unrivalled in scope - especially on console.
The strategy RPG genre owes a lot to the Tactics Ogre franchise, which is filled with lesser titles trying to recreate even a fraction of its winning formula. The experience that lies at the heart of Tactics Ogre: Reborn has stood the test of time admirably and, thanks to the swathe of intelligent tweaks and quality-of-life improvements introduced, will likely remain at the head of the pack for years to come.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Enhanced Edition was already one of the best RPGs on PC, and on PS4, there's virtually nothing else like it. With an enthralling narrative, evocative world, and nearly endless build variety and replay value, Wrath of the Righteous is a glorious game to get lost in for whole weeks at a time.
Trails from Zero is kind of a miracle in its own right, the fact that we got a Western release after so many years, and that Trails from Azure is right around the corner, still feels surreal. But, for all its strengths, this is still a game from more than a decade ago, that was originally designed for the PSP. If you can get past that, then Trails from Zero won’t disappoint, and whether you are a series veteran or a newcomer, it provides a wonderful world in which you can truly lose yourself for hours at a stretch.
As it stands, Sunbreak represents the very best of Monster Hunter Rise, recontextualizing the base game through its clever integration of the old and the new. It won’t convert die-hard fans that bounced off of Rise, but for those that loved the changes to the Monster Hunter formula, Sunbreak represents a new high water mark for the series and is an absolute no-brainer for anyone looking to dive back in.
Disgaea 6 Complete is the perfect strategy RPG package for fans of the franchise and those looking to get their tactical fix. It won't convert those who have bounced off previous titles, but that was never the developer's intention in the first place. It's a little rough around the edges, but Disgaea 6 provides an immensely satisfying experience to its niche audience, who wouldn't have it any other way.
Suffice it to say though, Warhammer 40k: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters is a fantastic video game, a game of the year contender, that demands attention in a genre that is now synonymous with XCOM. Daemonhunters’ twist on the formula is unique, and the 40k setting is the perfect backdrop for this kind of game. I look forward to further entries in what I hope is a burgeoning new series, and whatever it is Complex Games works on next.
That being said, Age of Empires III Definitive Edition is a fantastic trip down memory lane, and the goosebumps I felt hearing that title theme again were very real. But without that nostalgia factor driving you onward, I just wonder how a player completely new to the series would fare.
There is a very promising kernel at the core of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. With some more game mode variety, some basic controller and accessibility options, and a stable player base, I could see it being a great alternative to other live-service games. It just isn’t quite there yet.
Wherever you play it, Death Stranding is an unforgettable experience, and it isn’t often that a high-profile game is able to take such artistic swings. They don’t always connect, but when they do, they show why the name Kojima holds such reverence in this industry.
Memories of Celceta is a perfect onboarding point for anyone looking for something more exotic than the ATB system, but with the look and feel of a classic game of that bygone era. It’s engaging, satisfying, and perhaps most telling of all has me excited to check out other entries in this storied franchise.
XCOM: Chimera Squad is a worthwhile and rewarding experience that takes the essential elements of the series and puts them under a microscope. In doing so, Firaxis has put a fresh new spin on a genre they were already responsible for revolutionizing.