In spite of its shortcomings, though, Back 4 Blood is already starting to feel like it could very well become my go-to zombie shooter whenever I just want to have a fun, social experience with friends. Despite how saturated the zombie game market has become, Back 4 Blood cuts through all the noise and delivers a solid co-op shooter that oozes charm and prioritizes fun with friends over everything else.
Death Stranding Director’s Cut continues to impress with its fearless commitment to fetch quests on top of fetch quests, and again, it’s not going to change your mind if you didn’t already buy into what it was selling back in 2019. But if you did, the Director’s Cut enhances and enriches that original experience, and you’ll be happy you jumped back into this one.
Before I knew it, my initial skepticism and complaints had begun to evaporate. Even as a silent protagonist, John manages to exude so much personality from his non-committal shrugs and sighs, and he and Sam play off each other so well it’s hard not to feel endeared to them. Everything about Eastward just feels immediately magical and nostalgic, and while my gripes with the combat and stretched out dungeon designs never really went away entirely, Sam’s journey is still one I’m glad I went on in the end.
By and large, though, Humankind is still an exciting evolution for the genre. Its dedication to historical authenticity sets it apart from its largest competitor, and the new systems like war support and shifting cultures feel like the very first steps leading to something that’s potentially greater. It’s not quite the ‘Civ-killer’ it wants to be just yet, but hey, give it a few more iterations and it just might be.
Twelve Minutes is bold in its artistic choices in every aspect of the game. From the top-down camera perspective to the deliberate lack of instruction from the very beginning, Twelve Minutes wants you to figure everything out for yourself and see just how deep the rabbit hole goes. There are drawbacks to this, as exemplified by my own shortcomings when it comes to puzzle games, but it’s also elegant in its simplicity and minimalism. Twelve Minutes is a deliberately introspective game that doesn’t waste its breath on unnecessary exposition or dialogue. Wanting to see all it has to offer may take some effort on the player’s part, but it’s well worth the hard work and investment.
Tribes of Midgard isn’t going to be for everyone. The solo experience features all of the intensity that comes with the time crunch, but very little of the fun, and it’s certainly not for players who might be looking for another chill Valheim-like viking experience. But for what it sets out to do, it executes it well. Tribes of Midgard successfully evokes that feeling of setting out as a united tribe in its multiplayer sessions, and the heart of the game lies in sharing the burden of fighting that ticking clock and hoping that you can all pull together in time to beat the odds.
Episode Intermission builds upon the already solid foundation of Final Fantasy VII Remake and delivers a new story chapter that is both a comedy and a tragedy at the same time. It adds to the mythos of Remake’s world, gives us a new look at various side characters we only spent a few minutes with in the base game, and most importantly, sets the stage for the next crucial party member we’ll meet in the second instalment. It’s a good time all around, and I couldn’t recommend this more to fans of FFVII Remake.
For fans of the series or those who are already in love with Nocturne, this won’t be a problem. But for newcomers looking to get into the series, I must warn you that there is a pretty high barrier to entry here. Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne is still the best of the bunch, and if you’re willing to put in the time to learn its various mechanics, you’ll get a lot out of it. The problem is, that’s a pretty big if.