Sackboy: A Big Adventure represents a nearly forgotten genre of game, and represents it in fine fashion. Competent if not revolutionary platforming propels Sackboy through a stunning world full of fun set pieces and clever writing, while an approachable challenge level opens the experience to all skill levels. It’s about having fun, and Sackboy’s first full adventure absolutely succeeds.
The Pathless is a great game. It’s beyond stunning, with a remarkable soundtrack and phenomenal sense of place. Refined traversal mechanics do a lot of the heavy lifting, while puzzles and boss battles could use an extra dose of variety. Though the formula gets tired by the end of the tale, The Pathless proudly stands among giants of the genre like Journey.
Though it’s not as polished as the 2018 original, Spider-Man Miles Morales is a smashing success. It looks sensational and is an absolute riot to play. Miles’ story brings all the drama and feels it needs to, and highlights a community outside what’d normally be on the drawing board for a game like this. Despite some bugginess, this is the game you want to show off your impressive new hardware. I can guarantee I’ll be slinging from Harlem to Hell’s Kitchen daily for the foreseeable future.
Alas, Astro’s Playroom is only a few astonishing, magical hours long. There are lots of collectibles to go after and a leaderboard driven speedrun mode, but when I finished I was still hungry for more. And that’s kind of the only criticism I can levy against it. The way it leverages PlayStation’s history, I can’t wait to see what irresistible creation Team ASOBI comes up with next. In the here and now, Astro Bot has earned a place in my heart among the very best of PlayStation’s franchises.
Hades is a hell of a good time. It’s tight and responsive, with vast depth beyond the surface levels you’ll need to technically complete it. It looks great, sounds better, and does a masterful job of keeping you moving forward in both story and mechanics. Hades is without doubt one of the best roguelite games to date, a new high point for Supergiant Games, and a dark horse contender for game of the year lists this fall.
Gears Tactics tries some new things, but ultimately results in a game that’s less tactics oriented than the name suggests. It’s a competent experience, but completely whiffs on character with a lackluster story and every tool is a hammer class design.