It's unfortunate that Gears 5 continues the trend of 'games that were clearly shipped before they were ready' since its diverse offering of different gameplay experiences is virtually unmatched by any other shooter game or franchise. Once The Coalition has ironed out the campaign performance issues and multiplayer network problems, this latest Gears of War game has a very bright future and is a must-play for any fans of the shooter genre no matter their individual tastes.
Remnant: From the Ashes sometimes struggles to present a cohesive, balanced vision for the kind of game it's trying to be, but nestled within that chaotic swirl of ideas is a strong core that's supported by equally strong gameplay. As long as you don't mind enduring highly difficult bosses and a lack of ambient polish, Remnant is the perfect sort of game for players who appreciate both the Souls-like and tactical third-person shooting genres.
I'm not going to go so far as to call Generation Zero a straight cash grab, but charging $40 for a game that was clearly rushed out the door is a hard sin to ignore. I'm not entirely sure what Avalanche's final vision for Generation Zero was, but it clearly wasn't confident enough in that vision to give the game the proper care and resources that were required.
With Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software has proven once again that has no qualms about pushing its own boundaries. The studio has made a name for itself by creating incredibly difficult games, but the breadth of innovation spread across the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne, and now Sekiro shows how good the studio is at defying fan expectations. Sekiro isn't perfect, but like the various Soulsborne games before it, From's latest shows the wisdom in pushing players beyond their pre-conceived limits.
The Division 2 is everything a player could want in a sequel. It reinvents and recalibrates where it must, but it also wisely builds off all the work Ubisoft put into refining the first Division. This sequel definitely makes you work for your rewards, but its fine-tuned gameplay and expansive suite of different activities ensures the journey towards earning those rewards is one worth taking.
Crackdown 3 does its best to ride on an action-packed wave of nostalgia, but in the end all it succeeds in doing is face-planting straight into a morass of tedium and frustration. Even the most stalwart Crackdown fans will likely wonder if the long wait was worth the final result.
If you've enjoyed playing deck-building card games and roguelikes in the past, you owe it to yourself to give Slay the Spire a try. It might take a bit to fully wrap your head around the game's concept, but once it click, it's addicting. Now's also a great time to get in on the action, since Slay the Spire will only continue to grow in the future.
Below is not an inviting or wholly accessible experience. It does, however, have a lot to offer to players who enjoy uncovering mysteries and delving headlong into the unknown. It's a more hardcore Zelda game without the true bite of a Souls-like. Love it or hate it, Below is unabashed in what it is and what it demands of players who brave its depths.
Insurgency: Sandstorm's slower, more realistic approach likely won't win over any Call of Duty fans, but then again it's not really trying to. Sandstorm was made with a very specific type of player in mind, and if you fit that mold you'll likely get dozens if not hundreds of hours out of the game. And even if you don't fit that mold completely, there are enough ancillary incentives to make Sandstorm an excellent pick-up-and-play game, especially if you have some friends to recruit.
Ashen is unique in that it borrows liberally from the Souls-like genre, but doesn't feel beholden to it. It's clear that A44 was influenced just as much by The Legend of Zelda, and even more niche adventure titles like Shadow of the Colossus, as it was by From Software's seminal Souls trilogy. Adventure game fans and Dark Souls fans alike definitely won't want to miss out on what Ashen offers.