The Invincible is fantastic, but it’s still little more than a story. As a game, it pushes the idea of a novel into a new realm, bringing it to life around you for those who might not have the imagination to make that happen while they read. I love that it sets the baseline for how good basic narrative-driven games need to be moving forward, but I wanted more from it. I wanted a few more mechanics, maybe some extra opportunities for exploration and collectibles, and to feel like I had a bit more onus on the events I played through. The Invincible comes so close to hitting the ethereal idea of truly ascended movie and novel narrative experiences and is very much worth playing, but there’s room for improvement.
I had a blast with Resident Evil 4 Remake Separate Ways, but I can’t help but feel it won’t be for everyone. This DLC doesn’t hold your hand, in fact, it tries to bite it off. The base game never made me feel as stressed or up against the wall as Separate Ways did, and I know some players will find it too much. With that said, this tight DLC is perfect for anyone who had a great time with the base game and just wants more. It’s always incredible to see classic games in the series revitalized for modern audiences, and I think Separate Ways is the best Capcom has done since it began making remakes.
It’s easy to see each new mechanic as another way to stretch the game and add content, but the fact is they’re more than that. Teachers deal with everything in Let’s School and more, making it the most accurate school management game out there. If you want a challenge and something that’s going to push you beyond the limits of other management sims, this is the perfect game to pour dozens of hours into over the next few months.
Tears of the Kingdom is an incredible game and an experience I’ll never forget. Going in as blind as possible and uncovering everything for myself has been amazing. Even now, I’m still finding new quests, activities, and concepts to explore that I’ve never come across in dozens of hours of play time.
There is so much to love in Planet of Lana. The visuals, the audio design, and the gameplay combine to create something that feels like you just slot into it. This is a game that everyone was born to play. It’s not overly complicated, except for one puzzle, and it doesn’t try to cram lots of high-sci-fi concepts down your throat. It just exists and welcomes you to play in a way that feels natural and you never truly want to leave behind.
Amnesia: The Bunker is a meaty package that keeps giving each time a new game starts. The world feels lived in, the horrors don’t ever let up, and no matter how much players try to farm fuel for the generator, they’ll never feel safe. It’s short enough to be finished in an evening, but I expect fans to play this game for years to come. Analyzing the way The Beast behaves, the intricacies of the randomization mechanics, and the unrelenting setting that portrays just an iota of what it must have felt like to be a soldier on the front lines.
The Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores DLC is phenomenal. No game has ever made me feel so good about sitting down to play every time I load it up. Most titles have lulls or pain points, but I didn’t see anything in Burning Shores that didn’t feel incredible. It’s so many things, the culmination of hundreds of hours spent in this universe across two games, the most touching moment for a beloved character alongside the introduction of another who is equally adored, and a meaningful addition to the series that expands upon the lore laid out at the end of the main title.
OTXO is fast-paced and endlessly replayable. Even once you’re finished with the main story, you can hop into a harder difficulty and find yourself fighting for survival all over again. The way the game contextualizes powers, weapons, and even the cycle of multiple deaths makes for a game you won’t put down quickly and will never forget. Despite it being an amalgamation of opposing genres, it epitomizes style and makes you eager to master it so you can push further in just one more run.
Meet Your Maker manages to streamline the asymmetrical base building and raiding genre thanks to proficient mechanics across both shooting and Minecraft-style construction. It’s entertaining to play, whether you’re hoping in to check on how many people your base has killed and reactivate it or sitting down to raid for a few hours. You never want more because the game always gives you just that.
For everything that Atomic Heart does well, there’s a caveat in the controls, stability, or simple game UI. At some points, you can even step between sections of loading in the game to abuse AI or see scenery pop in out of nowhere. It’s a beautiful tapestry with a rich story to tell worthy of the games that inspired it, not least the BioShock franchise.
By the end of your time with the game, you’ll have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. While it’s such a simple title that doesn’t seem to do anything massively impressive visually or mechanically, FAR: Changing Tides makes you feel and experience the emotions and physical exertion of the protagonist much better than any QTE ever has.
While Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires didn’t blow us away by doing something fresh with the franchise, that’s never been the point with Musou titles. The game gives you more of what you want: colossal battles in which you regularly rack up thousands of kills and see epic rivalries between great leaders emerge and die before your eyes.
Rainbow Six Extraction players have themselves mutated since the game’s launch. It gives us hope that those still playing understand the game much better than everyone did on release day. This isn’t a game you can pick up and run into as you would Call of Duty. It demands your respect, and in return, it respects your time. If you put in the effort to sneak through a mission, save your allies, and extract alive, you’ll reap the rewards.
If you’re even remotely into cyberpunk worlds, Cloudpunk is a game for you. It’s cheap, but the production value is through the roof. I would happily have paid double what this game retails for and still say it’s worth it. Don’t let the screenshots fool you. The world is massive, and the story is all-consuming.
This is a very chilled out game. It’s also one that I can see myself playing through multiple times. There’s so much to unpack, and for the price it really is a no-brainer. Don’t waste your time with other survival games, Windbound is all you need for years.