With full voice acting of over one million enrapturing lines of dialogue, new quests, and an undeniable painterly look, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a landmark RPG. Boasting an excellent murder mystery, it also challenges the player in deconstructing a broken socio-political system and interacting with its inhabitants. The game then slowly unravels itself a dense meditation on the human condition, made possible by your dialogue choices and their consequences.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a testament to old-school gaming and modern sensibilities. It balances the old and the new with grace, offering up a riot of radical changes while keeping the prime platforming appeal intact. All the while, the animation and art style propels the experience, making you feel like you’re watching your favorite cartoon. Ultimately, this all results in Crash’s most astonishing adventure yet.
NBA 2K21 is a sports title that ticks all the boxes in simulation gameplay but falters tremendously in its plastic progression systems. Virtual Currency puts a stranglehold on your enjoyment, and it plays a big part in upgrading and purchasing in-game stuff. Sure, it might have a decent (albeit short and cliched) story mode, but the ball is in your court as to whether you want to fork out your hard-earned money on microscopic differences. Although, at the end of the day, it seemed like hoop dreams to think anything of substance would be changed. Stick with previous entries or wait for the next-generation version.
Shing! is a beat ’em up with a few good ideas and facets to admire. While many of its ambitions aren’t executed in the best of ways, Shing! serves as a decent distraction with friends. Its four-player cooperation, competent if iffy combat, and polished art style make it an okay journey for its humble several hours of playtime.
Rocket Arena is an admirably light-hearted shooter that soars when it comes to characters. The roster is full of versatile playstyles and memorable personalities that will draw you in, and the addicting gameplay could keep you there if you can get behind the floaty but satisfying combat. While the lack of content and underwhelming multiplayer suite doesn’t fully justify it not being free-to-play at the moment, things will only get better with time, and, fundamentally, Rocket Arena’s launch is worth the force of its trajectory.
Fury Unleashed is one of the best indie games of 2020, and one of the most excellent examples of the roguelite genre this generation. While it may be on the short side, this action co-op title should satisfy fans of Metal Slug and then some. Cool comic-inspired visuals, an inspiring story, and compelling moment-to-moment gameplay make this a stellar shooter.
Obey Me is a thrilling brawler with excellent co-op and awesome action. The elegance of combat will make you feel like a supreme badass, and every weapon is brutally satisfying. While the narrative did not live up to its full potential, I would love to see another adventure starring the cool punky blonde Vanessa and the hilarious hellhound Monty. Overall, this is an auspicious debut from Error 404 Game Studios.
Despite some flaws, Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure is a sincere homage to an underrated sub-genre. It captures what made classics like Arkanoid and Breakout beloved while putting its own special spin on the formula. The result is brick-breaking bliss that I would recommend to most lovers of arcade indies.
Hidden Through Time is a pleasing game of spot-and-find that will give you hours of head-scratching entertainment. With a growing set of online creations and a neat map editor, this is also a promising catalyst for a close-knit community. Even with the slight hiccups it has, the modest price tag for the game is wholly worth it.
Gamers everywhere should give the royal treatment to Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. It is a stunning display of storytelling that rarely stumbles throughout a 25-hour runtime. While bogged down by the stiff card-playing, the easy mode can turn Thronebreaker into one of the best visual novels around. With 30 endings and an arresting art style, this is one utterly unmissable tale.