The Division 2 is almost certainly a step up from its predecessor, offering more content than you can shake a stick at and enough tweaks to make it feel somewhat fresh. While Massive has attempted to rectify the issues of the original, it hasn't quite managed that yet: yes, enemies are still kind of bullet-spongey and the missions can get quite repetitive after a while, but aside from that, The Division 2 is an impressive follow-up, building upon what was already a solid foundation.
Anthem is a game that despite poor optimisation, agonising load times, bizarre design decisions and an unbalanced loot system, can actually be a lot of fun to play. The open-world, story, characters and combat are all solid, the rest, not so much. Anthem has potential to be a good game, it just isn’t right now. It could be one day though.
The term 'more of the same' is bandied about a lot in this industry, but when it comes to Crackdown 3, it is absolutely more of the same. With a few tweaks here and there, and a new city, there's no doubting that the gameplay still absolutely holds up. The structure and busywork tasks issues still persist from previous iterations though, which is perhaps the most disappointing aspect. Fun but repetitive best sums up Crackdown 3.
Darksiders III's shift to a more Dark-Soulsy experience seems to fit perfectly within the Darksiders universe. The third outing in the franchise is a solid effort by Gunfire Games – one of my favourite gaming experiences of the year, in fact – let down only by some shaky traversal mechanics, a dodgy compass and some downright unpleasant frame-rate issues.
Hitman 2 is a solid follow-up to our 2016 Game of Year, delivering five huge killer sandboxes to explore to your heart's content. Yes, the maps might not be as unique as iterations gone-by and there is seemingly fewer than normal, but boy, are they great maps. Factor in Contracts mode and the excellent Ghost Mode, and Hitman 2 is very much worth your time. Where else can you dress up as a mascot or get involved in a poisonous drinking game to take down a target? Answer: no-bloody-where!
Divinity Original Sin 2: Definitive Edition is a fine installment in the Divinity series and despite a few odd design decisions and the balance being completely out of whack, it's still a truly memorable and enjoyable experience.
We Happy Few is a case of quantity over quality. A by-the-numbers venture whose game world seems to have been populated by a script rather than being handcrafted. Despite moments of what could only be described as brilliance, We Happy Few is full of fetch quests, boring busy-work and some of the most baffling design decisions in the history of video games. Oh, and it's broken as shit too. Happy? Not really, no.
The Crew 2 feels like a missed opportunity for Ubisoft after what was a decent start for the franchise in 2014. It's a racing game with some interesting ideas, but the new main additions frankly aren't entertaining enough and there's too much of a focus on quantity over quality.
State of Decay 2 is a perfectly fine game. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure, it may be buggy and it might be a step back from the original, but it is nevertheless still a fun game, albeit one that doesn't really motivate you to keep playing. To keep grinding. I imagine it's what a real zombie apocalypse would be like, we just wanted more from a game about it.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a harrowing journey into the fragility of the mind. It's a masterpiece in storytelling, and while the game mechanics itself might not complement that throughout, they do a decent job of allowing Ninja Theory to deliver a mature story revolving around a sensitive subject matter. We hope that this opens up the door for more budget priced triple-A experiences, because this one was one hell of a ride!
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is not completely awful. It's just not very good. Sure, it does have some good ideas and some interesting mechanics, but for every good idea, there are ten that are just bloody bewildering. Warhorse seems to have valued realism over fun and enjoyment with Deliverance, but to be honest, it's not even that realistic. It's just a bloody boring buggy mess of a game, but one that isn't completely terrible. Every cloud and all that.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a stellar follow-up to MachineGames' 2014 reboot of the franchise, one with super-satisfying combat and a wacky, engaging story. Sure, it might go a little too far at times, but you'll have a blast with The New Colossus from start to finish, that's a promise.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a case of one step forward, two steps back. From a gameplay perspective, it's infinitely better than it was in the previous outing, but as a piece of entertainment, The Fractured But Whole simply doesn't measure up to The Stick of Truth. There's no censorship this time, which is good, but it almost feels like the whole thing got self-censored somewhere along the way.