- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Metal Gear Solid 2
- XCOM 2
The already marvelous Civilization VI makes the jump to PS4 almost entirely intact, and with the addition of two meaty expansions, this is an essential title for console strategy fans. It's a little overwhelming for newcomers, but it treats the player with respect and rewards a curious mind with an utterly absorbing experience.
Despite some small grievances with it, I still believe Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives to date. It’s full of fun, humor, joyous discoveries, and clever design. It’s atmospherically spooky in patches, and doesn’t quite feel as creepy as the original did, but there’s a commitment to throwing up all sorts of crazy takes on ghosts that is so very Nintendo.
It’s a game that keeps on giving as you can miss so much depending on your choices, and in that sense, it’s very much got a classic game feel to it. It’s a mixture of eras poured into a satirical sci-fi romp and it’s such a joy to experience. The Outer Worlds may not be exactly what I thought it would be, but I’m so glad it turned out to be what it is.
Trine 4 isn’t a reinvention then, rather a return to that which made the series work in the first place. That alone was absolutely necessary after the misstep of the previous entry. There are times I wished there was a teensy bit more ambition with combat and platforming, but the meat of Trine 4 is the puzzles, and that is some pretty succulent meat.
If you’ve played Sniper Elite 3 before, there’s not a whole lot new to this latest version beyond the motion controls and portability, but in fairness, that’s as significant an update you can get without changing the game’s base structure. There’s no doubt we’ll be getting more of this series on Switch in the future, and hopefully, that will include the next Zombie Army spinoff. For now, having another round of Nazi skull-exploding sniper shots playing out in slow motion X-Ray form shows it never gets old, no matter what the format.
Tropico 6 is the city-builder series as satirical and silly as it's always been, but with a few new bells and whistles that improve the solid winning formula. It's a sideways step in many ways, but it's still a pretty confident one from the series' new developer.
Mostly, Code Vein is underwhelming. It’s highly stylish, and has some really good enemy design and gameplay options, but more could have been done with the pitch of ‘Anime Vampire Action RPG’. This effort sadly falls short of its potential and somehow makes a gore-soaked game about vampires a bit boring.
These are still pretty minor grievances because all The Surge 2 really needed to do to be an improvement was to be a bit more interesting, and it's definitely that. Refined combat, an intriguing and varied place to explore, and just more variety, in general, are huge contributors to The Surge 2's success as a hardcore action RPG and as a sequel. It's not ripping up any rulebooks or striking out with all that much fresh ambition, but it is a supremely confident followup to a bang average game.
NHL 20 balances out the fun with the competitive better than any previous entry. It has some excellent modes in Ones and Threes, a staggering amount of content, and a solid set of mechanics. It does feel like multiplayer has received the lion's share of the attention, but there's still something enjoyable for all sorts of hockey fans.