I've put over 30 hours into Fallout 4 already, and I'm nowhere near finished with all the game has to offer. I plan on taking my time and working my way through all of the wasteland beyond the final main story mission, because the game allows that to happen seamlessly. DLC and future content updates are bound to come, and I can't wait to see what the mod community does to this game either. There are bound to be two camps this year. One who loves the Witcher 3 with all of its heart, and one whose love belongs to Fallout 4. For my part, I'm torn between the two. But for what it's worth Fallout 4 has certainly topped its predecessors as my favorite game in the series and sets a new bar for what to expect from a Bethesda RPG in the future.
Heart of Thorns may not be a perfect expansion, but it's definitely something I think every fan of the game should check out. Just be prepared to rove about Maguuma in a pack, you're going to need some help to get the most out of the jungle.
Devilian is free to play, and is infinitely better than most other imported MMOARPGs on the market right now. If not having an MMO world isn't a deal breaker, you might be better off with Diablo 3 or Path of Exile. But if you've always wished TERA and Diablo would just make a baby and let you have a Corgi pet, then this is the game for you.
I've had fun with my time in Blade & Soul, but my desire to log in is waning as I sit at the cap and realize all that's left to do is more dailies and grinding for better gear… I'm pretty sure I've been here before. I'd be all about the world PVP if it was more meaningful, just as I'd play the arena PVP if I was at all good enough to make a go of it (I am not). In the end, Blade & Soul just feels like a game that's not for me and that's OK. It's still a very good game, quite competent at achieving its goals. It sometimes feels like its big MMO features are just tacked on to give people something to do between the next arena match, and that's OK too. If League of Legends or SMITE had a big open world campaign, I'd wager I'd play them more too. Blade & Soul can be content in having some of the best combat in MMO history, and I'll be content to pop my head in on the game from time to time to see what's new.
Dark Souls 3 is the great game everyone expected it to be. There's no denying that. Two late game bosses are absolutely off-the-wall fantastic. But in hindsight having played it, I can't help feeling that there's not much room for the series to go if From Software insists on such a breakneck pace with sequels. Much like Bloodborne just felt like Souls in a different place, Dark Souls 3 feels like "more of the same" a little too often. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing, and I worry that another quick turnaround on a Souls game will make the series feel stale. Here's hoping whatever comes next shows us that the From Software still has more tricks up its sleeve.
Listen, I've rambled on for about 1500 words here, and several thousand more in preceding weeks. You don't need me to tell you any more about this game than what you can learn by simply picking it up. I will say this though: so many of us here clamor for something new and unique to hit the market. It's here now. Black Desert Online is one of the freshest takes on the MMO in years, and it deserves to be played.
Still, if you've been eying the crop of team-based shooters coming out these days, wondering which to pick, I'd recommend Battleborn. The PVE campaign, it's multi-layered and varied progression systems, and its Borderlands-esque humor make it a cut above the others still on deck. While it can often feel like Battleborn is trying to do too much at once, I'm glad it's more ambitious than its genre brethren, because in the end there ends up being more meat on Battleborn's bones because of its sky-high goals.
In the end, I’ve enjoyed Star Ocean 5, despite its shortcomings and any old school tendencies. I hope it sells well here, because the last thing I want is for Tri-Ace’s brand of JRPG to stop coming west. There’s promise in Integrity and Faithlessness that Star Ocean’s next incarnation could be really something special. Right now, it’s just not quite there in this edition.
For me, despite its missed opportunities and forgotten promises, I’m still glad I dropped the money to experience No Man’s Sky. It’s something unique in a world where most of what we get are sequels or off-shoots. Fortune favors the bold, and I hope this is just the beginning of the type of innovation we can expect to see from Hello Games. And frankly, I hope they take all the time they need with their next game.
It’s a shame that Livelock launched on the same day as WoW’s Legion expansion. While I’m sure it did fine on PS4 and XB1, the PC release was probably completely overshadowed by both Legion and the launch of Nuka World for Fallout 4. That said, if you’re in the mood for a decent top-down shooter with some solid ARPG elements in character building and load-out tweaking you could do a lot worse than the budget-priced Livelock. If you’ve got a good friend or two to play with, even better.
But therein lies the beauty: Atlas Reactor is something special amid a world filled with one too many MOBAs, team shooters, and card games. I truly hope it takes off like wildfire, though I fear it may be destined to be niche with its Competitive XCOM flare and somewhat steep learning curve. Once Atlas Reactor clicks for you, I promise you’ll be hooked. It hits the sweet spot in match length, has loads of replay value, and scratches the competitive itch. More than that, its community seems bright and helpful, the gameplay itself doesn’t require 200 APM skills, and you’ll succeed with quick thinking and careful tactics more than pitch-perfect aiming.
Tyranny is a game that must be played by any RPG fan. Some may knock its “old school” approach and style, but that’s about the only complaint that could be levied against such a wonderfully unique and deep RPG. It does everything Pillars of Eternity tried to do and it does so better. Consider Tyranny highly recommended and one of the best RPGs of the year.
Dishonored 2’s beautifully bleak world, incredibly level design, and top notch AI make for an altogether grand experience that will have fans of the classic Thief series truly enthralled. Its story is not the best narrative you’ve ever seen, and the voice acting (even of Vincent D’Onofrio and Rosario Dawson) is rough. Not Peter Dinklebot of Destiny Infamy bad, but it’s not great. That said, there’s little in Dishonored 2 that would keep me from recommending it for all fans of stealth action games. Simply put, it succeeds and surpasses where the sequel laid the groundwork.
Rise & Shine won’t likely single-handedly propel Super Mega Team to Indie Stardom. But it will certainly put them on the radar for gamers who like something different. Much like Supergiant’s Bastion, it’s the beginning of a bold new voice in games. It’s not perfect, but Rise & Shine’s a fun and frenetic little game that seems wholly worth the $15 bucks it costs on Steam and XBL. Recommended for those who like unique and challenging action games, and don’t mind the lack of longevity.
Yakuza 0 is a strong reminder of just how much potential the open world genre has for unique experiences. It’s easy to get bogged down with the long list of games that just give you a map full of tasks to complete. Yakuza 0 is not one of those games. It’s got a strong story to tell, and tons of genuinely fun and funny side ventures to partake in. On top of it all, its combat is so fun, you just might find yourself running around Japan looking for Mr. Shakedown to teach him a lesson.
Creative Assembly and 343 Industries should be proud of their work here. Halo Wars 2 isn’t perfect, and it’s not likely to win over tons of new RTS fans. But for fans of the game-starved genre (which is admittedly seeing a resurgence of sorts), Halo Wars 2 is a bright spot. It’s a little shallow, a little greedy with Blitz cards, and a little short in the campaign. But it’s a good game overall, and one I’d gladly play more of in the future. Keep it up, CA and 343i.
There are a lot of great platformers on the 3DS, and if you’ve already played Woolly World on the Wii U, it may not be worth shelling out another $40 for this lightly updated version. That said, there’s a real charm to the level design, some real challenge in its item hunt, and a whole lot of cuteness to its aesthetic. It’s not a game of the year, but for fans of Yoshi, it’s hard not to recommend this one.