Tuque Games must have rolled a natural 20 on their saving throw, because none of Dark Alliance's faults are able to bring the action-RPG down. It's a solid cooperative dungeon crawler that's positively dripping with D&D's iconic Companions of the Hall setting and lore. The combat may take some getting used to, and putting your party together is more fiddly than it needs to be, yet Dark Alliance remains an entertaining adventure from beginning to end.
Necromunda: Hired Gun does have redeeming qualities. The movement is great, the gunplay feels good, and the environmental design is stellar. There's simply a legion of issues on both the design and technical fronts working overtime to hold it back. If you are willing to overlook Hired Gun's many problems and massive amounts of jank you'll likely have a great time blasting gangers to bloody bits. But, I won't fault you for waiting on a sale or sequel instead.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is an unfinished expansion with some cool ideas in need of a lot of additional iteration and work. As it currently stands the Elite Dangerous PC community is beta testing Odyssey for the inevitable console launch, despite the expansion being advertised as a finished product. Unless they don't mind paying to play in a glorified beta, commanders should stick with Horizons until the dust settles.
If you are still enjoying Valhalla then Wrath of the Druids is worth a gander. Hopefully the Siege of Paris expansion breaks the mold a little, but for now this first expansion acts as a serviceable excuse to revisit Assassin's Creed Valhalla, if nothing more than to tour about 9th century Ireland.
Subnautica: Below Zero doesn't reach the same heights as the first game, but it's proof Unknown World's 2018 survival game wasn't a fluke. The act of exploring a mysterious underwater world whilst trying to survive is nearly as captivating in Below Zero as it was then. I'm still not a fan of the survival genre, yet I loved every moment I spent with Subnautica: Below Zero. I may know most of the tricks by now, but that didn't make the experience any less magical.
Despite some flaws, Evil Genius 2 is a doomsday device built to dominate your free time. It's addictive, easy to understand lair building and retro Spy-Fi aesthetic will pull you in and not let go, even after hundreds of hours. It's a shame the titular Geniuses don't feel all that distinct, and that the otherwise stellar UI has some annoying issues, but that won't stop Evil Genius 2 from taking over your world. It feels oh-so-good to be oh-so-bad.
Bravely Default II doesn't do all that much to differentiate itself from the games that came before it. How you'll feel about that will depend on what you want out of the game: do you want something that is familiar and comforting, or a title that innovates on a decades-old formula? If you're here for the former you'll absolutely enjoy your time with Bravely Default II, even if some of its failings start to grate on you. If you wanted the latter then the excellent combat, art, and music will help you overlook Bravely Default II's otherwise tired tale.
A small helping of issues are not enough to derail Nerve, though they do keep it from greatness. What's on offer is worth playing if you're a fan of games that encourage "one more attempt", though there will be moments you'll walk away more annoyed than satisfied. The lurid, psychedelic art style and pumping soundtrack nearly elevate Nerve to similar heights as its inspirations, but it'll need a little more tuning under the hood before it reaches those same lofty precipices.
Post-launch support will ultimately determine Shadowlands' fate, but as it currently stands World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is a fantastic expansion that once again proves why Blizzard's 16 year old juggernaut remains the king of the MMORPG genre. While we may be touring Azeroth's afterlife ourselves, it's clear World of Warcraft won't be sauntered off into the great beyond any time soon.
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla takes all the previous systems introduced in Origins and Odyssey, and streamlines them into a more focused experience. The game may have some flaws, and it's a shame to see the combat remains mediocre after all these years, yet Valhalla is easily the best entry in the recent trilogy. Grab your axes and shields: it's time to go a-viking!