Taking all of this into account, it's still safe to recommend Lords of the Fallen to anyone remotely interested in this genre, be it veterans or those looking for an entry point. When it comes to Soulslikes, this release is very accessible to new players to the genre and offers more than a good challenge to those with more experience. While it still has plenty of fine-tuning ahead, Lords of the Fallen is a worthy reboot of its predecessor that offers something new and lays a strong foundation for future adventures in Mournstead and beyond.
Overall, Payday 3 is another fantastic entry in a series of well received games. It may fall short in its storytelling and player onboarding, but it excels in providing an interesting plot, satisfying gameplay, well-designed levels, smart enemy A.I., and refined gameplay systems. While it's easy to recommend this for players that have access to a team to play with, the same cannot be said about those that don't; an issue that can hopefully be addressed with the changes and updates outlined in Payday 3's roadmap. Payday 3 is smart, fun, and chaotic in every way and is sure to rope in even more members into the Payday Gang.
While the RPG mechanics may feel like a crawl compared to similar RPGs, the world it presents players is rich and beautiful in every way. The characters Yin meets on this journey are all distinct from one another and a joy to interact with, regardless of if they're a ride or die companion or a random blacksmith that's incapable of understanding why his crush finds him a bit weird. While Wandering Sword is a wonderful game that may not resonate with everyone, it's a very easy recommendation to hardcore turn-based RPG fans that are looking for the next big adventure to dive in to.
For those looking for a fun and charming puzzle platformer to play, especially with friends, Trine 5 is the perfect choice. Each hero is distinct and lovable in their own ways, the story is fun and engaging, and the puzzles are intuitive and simple, if not lacking in creativity towards the end. In a series full of positively received games and support from players that have stuck with it for years, this is yet another great entry that's sure to leave players with a smile on their face.
While it's roguelite elements aren't balanced well and navigation is often an annoyance, the actual gameplay, story, and mechanics of Sea Horizon are polished and a joy to engage with. Each archetype's journey is short and scales well regarding power and abilities, which feels even better when a party can be assembled. Overall, Sea Horizon is a wonderful game that would benefit from a few tweaks, but those are by no means necessary to have a great time.
Thankfully, these weaknesses are overpowered by everything else and never become apparent until after the halfway point. From beginning to end, My Friendly Neighborhood is a wonderful game full of mystery, tension, clever design, and phenomenal performances. This is a must-play title that will hopefully gain the traction and attention it deserves.
Exoprimal is a strong game that lacks the it-factor necessary to keep players coming back for the long-term. It has incredible combat and aesthetics that are a joy to engage with but that enjoyment only lasts so long when it takes a couple of hours to experience new game modes. The story is interesting but is told in a limiting way that risks players feeling confused and, at worst, uninterested. It's hard to tell if this will be a title that really hooks players in, but with its release on Game Pass and new content coming very soon, Exoprimal is well worth jumping into and keeping up with.
It's surprising to see how much Nimbus INFINITY is struggling to deliver the level of polish that Project Nimbus did nearly 6 years ago. Not only that, but it has been in Early Access for over a year and throughout that time, players pointed out the very same issues in this review. This is a team that clearly knows how to make a satisfying mech-based action game, and maybe this will turn into one with some post-launch support, but as it stands now, Nimbus INFINITY is a poorly optimized experience that wasn't ready for a full release.
Humanity builds on the theme of collective humanity in a number of other ways. The first is with its cross-platform Stage Creator that, like the building system in Meet Your Maker or Halo's forge mode, is a versatile and polished system that allows players to create and share custom stages to challenge other players. The second way is through the game's score, which uses human voices as a choir and as other instruments through clever sound design and modulation. In the end, Humanity is a phenomenal debut title that finds new and creative ways to shake up the puzzle platformer genre, and with it being free on day 1 for PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium subscribers, there's no reason to skip over this must-play title.
What makes Showgunners so addicting is that its combat is tight, responsive, fair, and accessible. The options available to players during combat and exploration are just enough to feel varied without feeling overly complicated; though the combat U.I. can get cluttered at times. This is the perfect game for players that are new to this genre or for veterans looking for a more casual experience that still provides enough of a challenge to stay interesting.
Thankfully, all the issues mentioned are isolated and only standout because the rest of the experience is fun, smooth, and engaging. Even with a foggy narrative, the feeling of mystery and wonder is ever-present and the player is encouraged to be creative and take chances. With a $20 and runtime between one-and-a-half to two hours, Teslagrad 2 is an easy recommendation to those looking for a unique and challenging platformer.
This Game Pass release is adding more variety with the "Spider's Thread" update, which adds a new Ghostwire: Tokyo game mode and additional story elements. The narrative bonuses include new areas, enemies, and extended cutscenes that flesh out the weaker parts of Akito's journey. The new game mode is a roguelike gauntlet that sees Akito fighting through increasingly difficult stages to reach the end. Overall, this Xbox Game Pass release not only preserves the experience of the initial release of Ghostwire: Tokyo but comes a ton of new features that make this just as easy a recommendation as it was the first time around.
While these were the minority of outposts, they highlighted just how limited the Custodians are compared to the builders. While players will unlock more resources to get better weapons, utility items, suits, and upgrades for their Custodian, only so much can be done to combat and overcome outposts built in bad faith. There's a fair bit of balancing needed for this game, which will likely happen during the three-month post-launch roadmap, but the potential of Meet Your Maker is clear as day. The versatility of building, the built-in social systems, and the fluid movement mechanics already present is enough to recommend this title, and it's likely that the experience will only improve from here.
Like its predecessor, Tails: The Backbone Preludes tells an unconventional and surreal story with confidence, resulting in narratives that are sincere, vulnerable, complicated, and heart-breaking. The only downside to this branching narrative style of storytelling is that it's easy to accidentally take the short route and leave the experience feeling like something is missing. Ultimately, Tails: The Backbone Preludes tells four phenomenal stories that either deepens the characters that players know and love, or introduces them to new players entering this stunning world for the first time.
All these things come together to tell a story about change and how one processes and works through the fear that comes with it. Overall, Backfirewall_ is a wonderful experience filled with heart, wit, emotional intelligence, and respect for the player. It's a high recommendation for anyone as a result - even if puzzles aren't appealing, the uniqueness of its story and the deft skill with which it's told make for an excellent experience all the same.
So, in order effectively play this challenging city-building, survival hybrid, players will need an upper mid-tier PC. It's unfortunate because IXION is a game that quickly catches the player's attention and, despite it's high demands of the player, it finds a way to feel balanced and fair. For those that enjoy this type of game and have the hardware to comfortably play it, then there's no hesitation in recommending this title. Otherwise, it might be better to start with a less intense game in this genre and wait for some performance patches to avoid the punishment of the ever spinning wheels of fire and buffering.
Railbound's puzzles can still be deceptively difficult, too. Some of the larger puzzles with multiple moving parts can be surprisingly simple, while the more bare-bones puzzles can provide some of the game's biggest challenges. While some puzzles may take some time to figure out, they never feel obtuse or unfair. Finding solutions to those puzzles generally means taking a small break to reset the brain and coming back with a fresh pair of eyes. With over 150 puzzles and ability to play on the go, Railbound is truly a fantastic game with a charming aesthetic and well-designed puzzles that reward and empower the player.