There's a kind of meditative quality about hiking to a quest kilometers away, cutting a tree or two, hitting a couple of rocks and soaking in the scenery. Few games have made walking to objectives a worthwhile experience. But when these walks are more interesting than the objectives, there's a problem.
But the lack of significant choices coupled with the game's awkward structure makes it challenging to get immersed into it. There are three solid experiences contained in Last Stop, and if separated into their own games they could probably all carry the impact they were intended to. Together, though, they come across as competing for the player's attention without adding up to a singular whole.
But when it came time to put my gun down and watch a cutscene, I found myself wanting to pick up my phone. Outriders is worth playing for its story missions, which offer well-designed encounters and engaging gameplay. Outside these missions however, there's little worth seeing.
60-odd loops in, and Gnosia has maintained a firm grip on my attention with ease. Its elegant yet simple debate system offers a surprising level of strategy for players to chew over, and its characters add a splash of unpredictability to every loop. Where other social deduction games grow stale after enough playthroughs, Gnosia wraps itself in a narrative that keeps you coming back for more.
Star Wars Squadrons is a solid Star Wars starfighter game that struggles under the limitations of trying to make a game that can be played both in and out of VR. The game's visuals are striking, but don't do much to makeup for its repetitive gameplay. As a VR experience, Star Wars Squadrons ranks among the best, but as a videogame it leaves much to be desired.
Four generations in, I felt it was time to retire and did so with a smile on my face. Crusader Kings III forces you to play as a human capable of only human feats, and constantly reminds you of that fact. But it is this limitation that gives every action you take a real sense of weight, and makes even the most mundane of decisions feel like life and death.
While on the surface the core gameplay loop may seem repetitive, it manages to be anything but. With each new technology unlocked, the level of complexity and resources required in creating new items increases, demanding the player create larger and larger factories to keep up with their own self-imposed demand.