With the emotionally draining effect that That Dragon, Cancer will have on you in mind, I'd still implore you to play it. If only to further understand the harm that cancer brings, not only to those diagnosed with the disease, but to their family and loved ones too.
Hyper Light Drifter is a challenging 2D action-RPG experience just waiting for you to jump in and explore. It's not going to guide you by the hand, tone down its difficulty, or even tell you what's going on. That's all for you, as the player, to work out. However, underneath this obscurity and open-ended-ness is some of the most fast-paced and challenging action to come out this year.
Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode One was the perfect start for Telltale’s latest franchise quest. The combat was slick, the storytelling was as per usual second-to-none, and the investigation moments helped to keep the gameplay varied.
Ties That Bind Part I was the perfect way for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier to start. It reintroduced us to grown-up Clementine, provided ample time for us to get to know Javier and the rest of his group, and gave us plenty of moments for us to decide what kind of a guy we wanted him to be.
Before the Storm's first episode is an excellent starting chapter for this prequel. With a strong, endearing protagonist in Chloe, a deeper choice and consequence system than the original, and some intriguing mysteries surrounding the story, I found myself invested in Arcadia Bay once again, and it feels hella good.
After 30 hours, I've wrapped up Spider-Man's story, completed a substantial amount of its side content, and have almost got every suit mod and skill in the game, and I just want to keep playing. Though it has a few minor blemishes here and there, they're never significant enough to really detract from the overall experience.
Fans of the first game, as well as platformer and metroidvania fans in general need to give Ori and the Will of the Wisps their time. As long as the performance issues are completely ironed out in the near future, this is one platformer that’ll long be remembered.
Star Wars Squadrons gives you a decently-sized single-player campaign, an enjoyable albeit limited multiplayer and VR support for all modes on PS4 and PC, and all for $40. If only there were a few more maps and one or two game modes, this would have been near faultless.
The real star of the show, however, was Bowser’s Fury, which innovates on the foundations laid by previous 3D titles, to provide some of the most enjoyable, open-world platforming I’ve had the pleasure of playing. This is a must-buy for Switch owners and Mario fans alike and is sure to tide you over the next couple of months.
If you’ve not yet experienced the game — or just thoroughly enjoyed the original release — then the Judgement PS5 version – and I imagine the Series X|S versions – are the absolute best way to experience Kamurocho through the eyes of a detective. The visuals are better than ever, the 60fps framerate really amplifies the fluidity of Dragon Engine and combat, and load times are near non-existent. It may take a little while to get going, but once it has got its claws in you, it’ll be difficult to put down.
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.
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.
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.
Forza Horizon 5 is a superb racing game. Despite these slight niggles it still manages to put a beaming smile on my face every time I go hurtling off a danger sign, masterfully overtake the leader of a race to snatch the victory, or perfect a drift. It’s easily one of the best-looking games on the Xbox Series X, and its extensive roster of cars and events will ensure it’s engine keeps quietly ticking over for months on end. With an abundance of multiplayer options and seasonal content frequently released to offer more rewards for your podium finishes, it’s the biggest and best Forza Horizon game you can play right now. Racing and Forza fans alike start your engines. It’s time for a whole new Horizon festival that you simply can’t miss out on.
In the nearly 20 years since Sonic Adventure, it turns out all Sonic needed was a developer who actually understood what made a good Sonic game. Mania is a joyous non-stop celebration of everything you ever loved about Sonic The Hedgehog, with perfectly designed levels, and controls that feel just right..
Halo 5 has come through addressing a lot of the concerns that fans had leading up to its launch. The online multiplayer is stable, delivers classic Halo multiplayer, and freshens it up all at the same time. The single player campaign is enjoyable enough for those looking for a classic FPS experience, but not all too bothered about a strong story. However, 343 Industries seems to have missed out on truly filling out the characters on both Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris. What could have been a master crafted experience with a beautifully woven story and blockbuster set pieces falls just short, instead offering a consistently solid performance throughout that is still a credit to the genre.