Six new tracks by Daniel Deluxe, new Trophies and collectibles, and a refreshed progression system round out the major differences between Hel and its base game. For the most part then, Project_Hel is quite a lot like Ghostrunner, which makes sense. Ghostrunner is pretty unique though, so if you didn’t like it, you probably won’t like Project_Hel, either. However, those who did enjoy it should find enough differences, and similarities, with Project_Hel to make the most of it, and enjoy the additional context to the base story along the way. In conclusion, Project_Hel is a must have for fans of the base game, but safe to skip if you aren’t already a fan.
This is one of the best 3D fighting games released in years, made only better since its original release thanks to patching and gobs of extra content along the way. This is the culmination of about four and a half years of new content and tweaks, and serves as a celebratory release, a call for hold-outs to finally jump in, and a closing of the chapter of Tekken 7. Surely all eyes will be looking for news of Tekken 8 next year and into 2023, and it will be exciting to see where Harada and Bandai Namco take the series next.
In sum, Necromunda: Hired Gun is a very mixed offering. It seems that for every pro the game brings, there is a con to match it. I still had fun with Necromunda, but the experience is tainted significantly by the various issues — technical and otherwise — that the game has at the time of this writing.
I got to a point where I was not enjoying playing Death Stranding, but I was enjoying watching Death Stranding to see what happened. For me, it would have been better, probably, if the game were much shorter, because I got to where I wanted to experience the story without having to deal with the gameplay. I rarely find myself in that situation! Even still, I recognize the sheer quality and accomplishment Death Stranding is, and the value the Director’s Cut offers, so I find myself still recommending this game. If you are at all curious, you owe it to yourself to try it out, and odds are, you’re going to enjoy it more than not.
Overall, Lacuna is an interesting adaptation on the traditional point-and-click gameplay design. Though my interest in the characters and story plateaued around the halfway point of the game, they are both pretty well thought out and your mileage/interest in them may fair better than mine. At $20, it’s worth a look for fans of sci-fi noir adventure games.
I’d like to give a tip of the hat to publisher Playstack and Cold Symmetry for making the Enhanced Edition a free update to owners of the PS4 version, and, for newcomers, making the MSRP of the game only $30, less than half of the going rate for some other next-gen games. Certainly at that price point you can’t hardly find a PS5 tailored experience that’s as good as Mortal Shell. In sum, if you’re like me and like the Souls games for their lore and gameplay, but don’t want to spend hours in frustration with asinine difficulty, give Mortal Shell a sincere chance. Like any game in this genre, it can take several hours to get really comfortable with and in the groove, but when you do, it will hold on tight and you won’t want to put it down.
In sum, the surprise release of the fourth DLC is great news for anyone that enjoys this game. There is enough quality content in Eternal Embers to warrant a purchase, but it’s also clear that it’s time for Titan Quest to get a full-blown, AAA-level sequel. The bones of Titan Quest are still excellent, but they are very much showing their age in some respects. I don’t think anyone would disagree that it’s time for a proper sequel to be the next big news we hear about Titan Quest. Until then, though, it’s easy to recommend Eternal Embers to anyone that wants to take on another epic quest in the Titan Quest universe.
In sum, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is a must-have for anyone that has yet to play these two games or simply wants to revisit them. Oh, if you have savegames from either of these titles on your PS4, Sony provides an easy way to migrate those onto your PS5, by the way. But whether you’re revisiting these games or just playing them for the first time, you’re in for a treat. Naughty Dog have proven themselves as one of the best studios in the business, and these two games do not disappoint. Add this release to the ever-growing list of superb PlayStation-exclusive titles that you can’t miss.
Crysis Remastered Trilogy is a must-have for any fan of the games or of the FPS genre in general. This release represents the best way to play three of the best shooters from the mid-2000s. The absence of Warhead and multiplayer is unfortunate, though. Still, for the price, the amount of quality content that you get here is well worth it.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries and the Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC represent the best mech experience on modern consoles. Piranha took what was a good game that was only on PC via the Epic Store in late 2019 and turned it into a great game with dozens of improvements across the board, with a major DLC pack available as well. For newcomers like I was, it can be a little intimidating at first boot, but a good tutorial and focused-play on your part makes this a very approachable, fun, and deep game.
In sum, Judgment on the PS5 is a must-have for those that haven’t already paid or played through it on PS4. Unfortunately, previous owners cannot get a free upgrade, but, at least the MSRP for Judgment on PS5 is $40. This release does not offer anything new as far as gameplay, but, it is complete, runs like silk, and reminds us all how good of a game this was two years ago and still is today. Not to mention, its arrival is likely foreshadowing the imminent announcement of a sequel.
What is fortunate though is that The Sinking City is available again, and this freshly enhanced version for the PS5 is by far the best way to play the game. The changes that Frogwares made are impactful and make this a significantly better experience than it was at original release. It still has its quirks, but the positives far outweigh the negatives and it’s easy to recommend this game to anyone who has yet to check it out.
Issues aside, though, Call of the Sea is pretty good. It was nice to play through a new story with new characters, even if the story design was somewhat familiar and the outcome (essentially the same despite which ending you choose) was fairly predictable. Solid voice-acting, good writing, and pretty graphics (nothing show-stopping, but they’re good) make for a nice presentation package on top of an alright game. If you’re looking for a more casual, story and character driven game to play this holiday, Call of the Sea is worth considering.
Though the characters, locales, and general lore of Warhammer were lost on me not having ever played any Warhammer before (tabletop or otherwise), this didn’t stop me from getting into the game and enjoying it. The story, characters, quest and dungeon design, and general gameplay are all pretty straight-forward and familiar, and I don’t mean that in a disparaging way. This is a good case of ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ If you’re looking for an expansive and fun co-op loot-gathering, combat-heavy dungeon crawler, this is a good choice, and your only choice right now for the new consoles.
This is in spite of how great the game looks, runs, and also how it sounds. The presentation package of The Falconeer is quite good, especially on XSX, but that alone couldn’t overcome the struggles I was having with the experience otherwise. I appreciate the effort that went into making this, especially seeing as it was practically done by a one-man studio — but neither the lore or the gameplay really grabbed me and held my interest for long. I could see where more adept and/or forgiving players in this genre would have a better time than I did, though, so if the game sounds interesting to you, it’s worth keeping an eye on, especially given it costs less than half of some of the other launch games.
Overall, a ticket to Plant Coaster: Console Edition is a great buy if you’re at all into theme park management. Frontier did a superb job bringing their excellent 2016 PC game to next-gen with console-friendly UI, controls, and everything you could need to get a big jump on your theme park building and management gameplay.
So there’s any awful lot going on in Bright Memory in a very short period. I can say that I had fun and I am looking forward to the complete game, but with some caution: I do hope and anticipate that FYQD will do a lot more to tighten up the experience on console as the cursor-driven menus are no fun, and this feels like a rushed port from its original platform (PC). Gameplay has got get more focused as well; I’m all for such an unusual mixture of enemies and cross-genre gameplay blends and inspirations, but it’s got to tie together somehow to make some sense and matter to the player. I don’t need a grand story, but I am hoping that the full game makes a lot more sense than this current offering which seems like someone brainstorming out loud, so to speak. All that to say, for $8, and with very limited new game+ options, you could do worse — but it might be just as well to wait until Bright Memory: Infinite launches in full next year.
In sum, Cyber Shadow does a great job of doing what it set out to do. It’s a modern take on genre elders Ninja Gaiden and Shinobi, and it provides all the ninja lore, atmosphere, challenge, and aura that those games do. Furthermore, it gives players plenty of reason to keep playing thanks to evolving gameplay elements that keeps things fresh, interesting, and challenging. For anyone who enjoys the genre or ninja games in general, Cyber Shadow is a must-have.