Despite the bugs, the déjà vu I get from sneaking around an FND Base, and the filler, I still found myself having a blast in Far Cry 6, both literally and metaphorically (I’m sorry). After 40 hours in, I’m still eager to hop back in, venturing further off the beaten path, clearing out any lingering FND Bases and checking out the Insurgency post-game content to grind out additional weapons and rewards. With a solid story, an engaging cast of characters, and a plethora of enthralling side content, Far Cry 6 is an easy recommendation for FPS fans. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to head back out on the road with ma boy Chicharron.
Sable will find an audience that truly adores its free-form exploration, stylistic visuals, engaging writing and chill soundtrack, but for me, these redeeming qualities were lost in a sandy sea of emptiness and repetition in its core mechanics. Its messages certainly resonated with me but its gameplay lacked the variety to truly keep me hooked for lengthier sessions. If you’re looking for a chill experience and can overlook any performance issues that aren’t quite resolved by the time you pick it up, then Sable will deliver. I just can’t help shake the feeling of missed potential here.
Life Is Strange: True Colors is right up there as one of the best games in the series, if not the outright best. Its characters are interestingly complex and believable, the writing is strong — albeit a bit clichéd in true Life Is Strange fashion — and its more sinister narrative has plenty of twists and turns that’ll keep you hooked. It’s all punctuated by heartwarming, lighthearted sections reminiscent of Before the Storm’s beloved ‘play’ scene, and its decisions will have you second-guessing yourself for hours. The whole experience is wrapped up in the strongest presentation values and a soundtrack that never skips a beat. This is a must-play for fans of the series, and a serious contender for my Game of the Year.
The Ascent is a tough game to recommend for solo players in its current state. Its buggy, tedious at its best and utterly frustrating at its worst. While I’m sure playing with friends will resolve some of my chief complaints, more fundamental issues like a rather boring overworld can’t be fixed with a few laughs with friends.
Where the Heart Leads is a fascinating and heartwarming narrative-driven story. That cannot be disputed, but what can is its pacing and rather lengthy run-time for a game that’s designed to be replayed and experienced multiple times. What you’re left with is a game hindered by its own lofty CYOA ambitions and desire to provide as much context — both necessary and not — to you about Whit’s world. I’m glad I got to experience it for its intriguing portrayal of life, but it may not be a journey worth taking again.
Even with its grueling final boss fight, I absolutely adored every second of Death’s Door. The world developer Acid Nerve has created still feels rife with secrets I’m still yet to uncover after 10 hours with the game. Outside of a minor technical blip and a significant difficulty spike towards the end, Death’s Door is simply sensational. It may not have that AAA budget or cutting-edge super realistic graphics, but it’s jam-packed with charm, style, and challenging, rewarding action that it’s an absolute must-play this year.
The Magnificent Truffle Pigs labels itself as a first-person, romantic, metal-detecting game, but it’s far, far more than that. It’s a reminder that every person’s path through life is wholly different, and that sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all. It’s a meditative, peaceful experience that I’m sure will resonate with many others as much as it did with me. If you’re a fan of Firewatch and other narrative-driven titles, The Magnificent Truffle Pigs is absolutely worth your time and money.
By simply being an interactive experience, ‘The Longest Road on Earth’ won’t be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of the genre or want some ‘chill out time’, or even just want something to serve as food for reminiscent thoughts, I implore you to find a moment to take a stroll down this road. If nothing else, it’s a reminder to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Life’s too short not to.