Fires of Rubicon offers a new frontier for the Armored Core series, demonstrating developer FromSoftware's ability to weave its recent success and confidence back into familiar territory, while at the same time demonstrating that you can indeed teach an old hound new tricks.
Synapse is a confident outing that offers some of the most compelling moment-to-moment gameplay available on PSVR2. And while it may feel a little samey over its three-run duration, there's little doubting that what's here is worth the price of entry alone.
Distilled from the composite parts of developer Team Ninja's prior efforts, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty opts to delve deep into the fundamentals of high-stakes combat and delivers a pulse-pumping experience that rewards anyone willing to step up to the plate.
Despite its rough edges and myriad of issues, the heart that's present at the centre of Clive 'N' Wrench is evident throughout, and it's safe to say that this is a labour of love and homage to a genre that enjoyed its peak around 25 years ago. And while there is praise to be had in certain respects - indeed, fans of the genre may well find some merit here - Clive 'N' Wrench is ultimately a little too raw and unevenly cooked to be put on the pedestal alongside its famed influences.
Stray has managed to meet the lofty expectations put upon it once it became known that you would take control of a lone cat within a dystopia punctuated by scores of neon lighting. While some may say that it's hard to miss with a setup like that, what developer BlueTwelve Studio has managed to fashion from the composite parts is something truly special and has us yearning for more.
Despite early fanfare very much focusing on Kero Kero Bonito's catchy theme song, and on just how outlandish a game the initial trailer seemed to show it as, the actual fact of the matter is Bugsnax is a real success, a game chockful of charm, wit, and plenty of heart - and one that revels in its eccentric trappings and delivers a meaningful adventure that'll ensure you never quite want to leave the inhabitants of Snacktooth Island after all.
Capcom has achieved the near-impossible with the remake of Resident Evil 2. A remarkable labour of design, iteration, faithfulness, and adaptation; a masterclass in knowing what to change, how to change it, and what to build upon, Resident Evil 2 in 2018 emerges from the shadow of its namesake with consummate ease.
Despite the lack of career mode improvements, FIFA 19 is a faithful representation of the sport we know and love, complete with unparalleled bells and whistles. But it falls a bit short of the mark of being the definitive experience we had hoped for this year.
FIFA has rectified the majority of its shortcomings, providing a confident marriage of fluid, dynamic never-say-die football and just enough content to undoubtedly tie footballing fans over for as long as their free time permits. Simply put, this is best FIFA in years.
Aside from some niggling pitfalls – many of which will be mitigated or exacerbated by your level of patience – Snake Pass is a success; a delightful throwback to the classic puzzle platformer of yonder that levels a keen eye on trying to expand modern control sensibility.
The addition of 'The Journey', the engine shift to Frostbite, and the strides towards a more unpredictable, methodical representation of The Beautiful Game render FIFA 17 a game certainly worth playing. Of course, while other players in the game, primarily that of Pro Evolution Soccer, are racing ahead in the gameplay stakes, much like Balotelli, you can never quite rule out FIFA to come out swinging when it matters.
It's maddening, beautiful and downright frustrating all in the same utterance; an unpredictable, oftentimes surprising, experience that gives and takes in the same breath. It's more like the sport that it's trying to replicate than ever before and oddly enough that's not always as laudable as one might think. Though not as refined as optimally as one would hope, there is undoubted progress in this year's FIFA.