Last Epoch offers a middle ground between its contemporaries in the action RPG genre, offering players plenty of deep character customization options while still managing to stay understandable and approachable. While its story might feel meandering, the endgame content is plenty fun on its own, and its dungeons are some of the most fun bits of content in the entire game.
Graven feels like it's a game with a identity crisis. Along with being a boomer shooter, it also feels like it's trying to be an RPG, a dungeon crawler, and an immersive sim. Sadly, none of these ideas really feel like they come together well enough, and even the core combat feels incredibly unsatisfying owing to a lack of hit reactions from enemies. This is a shame, considering how interesting its world actually ends up being.
Blood West is an excellent game for fans of stealth games. It makes use of classic design ideas from games as wide ranging as the seminal Thief titles, to more modern ones like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in order to shape its mechanics and general gameplay loop. The progression system encourages exploration, which is made all the better thanks to excellent level design.
Despite being from a time when console shooters had awkward controls and terrible visuals, Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion has aged really well thanks to this remaster. The campaign is incredibly fun and offers plenty of replay value thanks to its multiple characters.
Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is the best way to experience the story of Naruto, both for long-time fans as well as beginners. Naruto's story mode offers a host of content in itself, and the versus mode can be plenty of fun if you have friends that like the series. Just don't expect much in the way of actual gameplay depth.
Achilles: Legends Untold feels like there were several great ideas thrown together but were ultimately let down by poor execution. The game has some interesting aspects, like fusing Souls-styled gameplay with a loot-focused action RPG gameplay loop, but the combat never really feels satisfying and the setting is little more than an excuse to get you out there to kill things.
The Invincible isn't really a game you play for its core gameplay. You play it to experience an interesting story that takes place on an alien planet with technology plucked right from the early 1900s. The game may not have too many action moments, but it definitely does quite well with its fantastic art direction and wonderful audio that sell you on its philosophical aspects.
Alan Wake 2 is a fantastic horror game with some excellent atmosphere and an incredibly interesting story. While it does make use of jump scares that feel downright unnecessary, thankfully, the other horror aspects of the game are more than up to the task of creeping you out. Just make sure that you at least read up on the plot synopsis of the original Alan Wake before jumping in.
Skull Island: Rise of Kong, more than anything else, feels like a hollow attempt at cashing in on the Kong brand. The game has no real redeeming quality aside from the fact that it didn't accidentally set my PC on fire, and it can't even bother to be the kind of bad where it's interesting, rather, just being bad enough to be a boring waste of time.
Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 brings three classic stealth action games to a modern generation of players, and along with it, brings a host of goodies and books that are quite fun to dig through. The extra gameplay goodies, like different versions of classical games, are also fantastic additions.
Lords of the Fallen is an interesting new take on the Soulslike genre. While it isn't trying to reinvent the wheel with fresh new ideas, it instead acts as more of an evolution of the genre, refining ideas and concepts that have been tried and tested by other games. The game features excellent combat and fun exploration, which thankfully are more than enough to detract from its dull storytelling.
Witchfire is a game rife with potential that will hopefully be realized throughout its stint in early access. It has an addictive gameplay loop that makes you attempt at least "one more run" thanks to its fast-paced melding of first-person gunplay and magic. The only real downside right now is the relative lack of content.
The console release of Gloomhaven continues the trend of making it one of the best board game-to-video game adaptations out there, and there are a lot of deep combat mechanics for players to sink their teeth into. Inconsistencies in the interface and being balanced around multiplayer are the only real downsides to Gloomhaven on the PS5.
Lies of P succeeds in almost everything it sets out to do. Not only do we get a wonderful new setting in the form of Krat to explore and dissect, but we also get some great gameplay to go along with it. While the story sets up some interesting things, it takes too long to get it rolling. The game ultimately relies too heavily on the gameplay to keep you intrigued. Not that we're complaining.
Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is a wonderful return to form for a franchise that has been dormant for a very long time. Its unique mission structure that encourages experimentation, coupled with an insane level of customization is one of the game's major highlights, and while its story takes time to get started, no two missions ever really feel the same thanks to varied objectives and excellent encounter design.