Layers of Fear showed early promise, Blair Witch demonstrated that Bloober could resurrect a dormant movie license to great effect, and Observer saw the studio successfully turn its hand to cyberpunk horror. The Medium is a similarly excellent game, serving as further proof of the developer's horror expertise and its credentials as an exciting creative outfit.
For some reason, I always have a preconceived notion that I won't enjoy this year's Call of Duty. How can a series that releases every single year without fail possibly maintain a consistent quality bar? There are detractors who'd say it doesn't, but let's be honest – it does. Call of Duty: Black Ops
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is yet another impressive entry in Ubi's unstoppable franchise. The hidden blade is back and as lethal as it should be, combat remains a joy, and Eivor proves an immensely likeable lead in a glorious world of dizzying scope.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is about the importance of friendship and striving to become a better person, which is a message we could all do with right now. It also happens to be a sensational new dawn for a series that's brave enough to shake up the formula and accomplished enough to pull it off with aplomb. To quote Ichi, “let's do some hero shit!”
As far as immediate arcade thrills go, few games can compete with the level of gratification you're guaranteed to get from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2. If you enjoyed the originals or fancy seeing what all the fuss is about, you're in for an absolute treat either way.
At its core, Marvel's Avengers is so very nearly there, and while there are some glaring similarities to Anthem – BioWare's maligned attempt at aping Destiny – it's still an enjoyable and addictive game, for the most part, with a compelling gameplay loop that makes it easy to overlook the lack of multiplayer mission variety. If you were just to play Marvel's Avengers for its campaign, you wouldn't feel too hard done by, but clearly this is something that's built to last, and on that front we're unsure of where the game's fortunes will ultimately lie.