In those halcyon days for Valve, there was no way of knowing that Half-Life fans would have to wait more than a decade for a new entry in the hallowed franchise. But twelve years, five months, and thirteen days later, a strange thing happened: a new Half-Life game released. It’s called Half-Life: Alyx, and it’s brilliant.
Kentucky Route Zero feels breathtakingly original. For something this powerful to exist in any medium would be a triumph. But for it to exist now, as an interactive narrative drawn with striking visuals, meaningful choices, and moving music, feels more like a miracle.
For all of the delightful combat, fun puzzles, and great narrative moments, Fallen Order is still marred by derivative action, frustrating navigation, and technical issues that prevent it from taking its place alongside Jedi Outcast and Knights of the Old Republic as one of the all-time great Star Wars games.
Death Stranding is a distorted vision of the open-world genre, pulled apart by its individual threads, deconstructed, and sewn back together in the image of its director, Hideo Kojima. It’s an astonishing, compelling and provocative experience, even if it isn’t always as exciting to play as it is to think about.