Helldivers 2 is a refreshingly fun power fantasy, where mastery through teamwork breeds satisfaction. Diving out of a charging bug's way and firing into its exposed back or blowing up a machine dropship before it can deploy its forces feels incredible. The game's tone is finely tuned so that getting caught in a friendly airstrike and seeing your own character's limbs go flying isn't frustrating, it's a hilariously minor setback. All told, the modestly priced, always online game takes a measured approach to its monetization while being built entirely to bolster its main gameplay loop, making Helldivers 2 a shining example against $70 live-service titles that nickel-and-dime their players.
Even with consideration for all the fresh content, The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered's $50 asking price still feels a bit steep for series newcomers who have held off until now. The new additions themselves feel particularly geared toward returning players, however, and No Return alone is likely worth the $10 upgrade fee being offered. The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered is ultimately still The Last of Us Part 2 – it's one of the greatest narrative achievements in the medium repackaged with more gameplay avenues.
Perhaps the one saving grace of In Tanta We Trust is that it's visually impressive. Forspoken runs well and looks incredible; its DLC is no different. For those that did enjoy Forspoken, the US$12.49 price point may be worth it, but they should go in expecting a much smaller experience. Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust is at best a neat aside, and at worst almost confusingly pointless as an expansion.
The most unfortunate aspect of Company of Heroes 3 Console Edition is the text size, an issue with no solution. The settings have an option to increase cutscene subtitle size, but the same is not available for the many, many text boxes in-game. It frequently makes for a frustrating experience when playing from a couch, and is a constant reminder that Company of Heroes 3 is first and foremost a game built for PC; it's perfectly playable and more than enjoyable on console, but is still often cumbersome and awkward.
Burning Shores' price of admission is practically worth it for the culminating boss fight alone. Although the expansion's pace doesn't allow for a steady crescendo to the climactic battle, it is hands down the most impressive and exhilarating set piece Horizon has accomplished thus far. Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores may be unfortunately short, but it's nonetheless sweet, and its technical accomplishments tantalizingly set high expectations for Guerrilla Games' third entry in the series.
After Metroid Prime 4's development was restarted in 2019, Metroid Dread and now Metroid Prime Remastered are reminders that Retro Studios and Nintendo have an iconic, evocative, and gripping sci-fi series that unfortunately now sees only sporadic releases. Luckily, the brilliance of Metroid Prime now has a chance to reach a much larger audience. The original 2002 release impressed with its bold new direction for the series, and now the definitive version of the classic has arrived in Metroid Prime Remastered.
Forspoken is sprawling, awing in its scale, and a treat to look at, and while the gameplay is snappy and engaging, it's not necessarily impressive enough to completely distract from haphazard discussions with NPCs and a narrative that should have been given more space.
If nothing else, Modern Warfare 2 and its return to the revamped gunplay of its predecessor is an assurance that Call of Duty is firmly within a new era. The relaunch of Warzone will undoubtedly only benefit the already solid package, one which deftly navigates the burgeoning crossplay scene with a slew of network features. Alongside such implementations, though, is a platform primed for its inevitable deep dive into live service monetization, which looks to begin in earnest upon the release date of Warzone 2 and the start of Season 1. The game will surely evolve over the next year or more, but at launch, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is a well-made entry in one of gaming's largest franchises, where innovation isn't necessarily expected, but would have certainly been welcome.
New Director's Cut content - including the Maser Gun, Firing Range, Racing Track, Cargo Catapult, and more - offer new experiences and tools for those who have played Death Stranding before, but are spread across the course of the game to accompany the steady inundation of items and activities the game already had. For new players, this means the Director's Cut is the definitive version of Kojima Productions' masterpiece. It delivers an incredibly pertinent story, with more content than ever before, to be experienced through ingenious integration of the PlayStation 5's DualSense.
maller bugs such as textures not loading (or missing entirely, perhaps), with the item glowing a bright, uniform white instead, were obnoxious but not impossible to ignore. They simply pull the player out of a game that is otherwise engaging on multiple fronts. The constant search for food and water, new loot or materials to expand a base amidst the ever-present danger of other players makes Rust Console Edition a compelling title for players interested in the survival genre or unable to play the PC version, but be prepared for some frustrating and immersion-breaking occurrences.
Luckily for Tales from the Borderlands, its minor annoyances aren't nearly enough to mar the incredibly rewarding narrative experience. While still humorous, the writing is much more nuanced than that of the mainline Borderlands games, offering an impressive amount of character development. The whole cast interacts in ways unmatched by the rest of the series, and achieves some of the most impactful narrative beats in the whole franchise, all while having player choices impact future events.