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!
Amnesia: Rebirth won't dramatically shift the modern horror landscape like its predecessor did ten years ago, yet it's an excellent addition to the genre nonetheless. It's an excellent marriage SOMA's narrative sensibilities with The Dark Descent's more terrifying pacing, capable of standing out in the now crowded market. It won't replace SOMA as my all-time favorite horror game, but it's up there.
Aquanox: Deep Descent works well enough to justify its existence. Performance is fine, gameplay is fine, story is fine, length and price are fine - Aquanox is just fine. It won't wow a lot of people, but the people it does impress will be enamored by it. And, you know what, sometimes that's all you want out of a video game.
If you are new to the Torchlight franchise then Torchlight III is an excellent jumping on point. At $30 it's a great binge game to play with friends while we all wait on the next-gen onslaught that's just around the corner. But, if you're a hardcore ARPG fan looking for something deeper then you may be better served elsewhere, namely by Torchlight II.
Despite its often less-than-subtle nods to Nintendo's Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact does enough differently to stand apart. Throw in punchier combat, a more traditional story packed with interesting characters, and an outstanding score and Genshin Impact easily sits among the upper echelon of games released this year. Hopefully miHoYo relaxes the stamina system and gacha rates soon, because Teyvat is a world absolutely worth revisting. They're just making it difficult for anyone but gacha fans to find the motivation to hold on.
The Outer Worlds: Peril On Gorgon is story DLC done right. It builds and expands on the existing world while providing a fun, meaty new narrative for fans to dig into. It doesn't address all of the issues players had with The Outer Worlds at launch, but that doesn't stop Peril On Gorgon from being a worthy addition to Obsidian's spacefaring RPG.