- Kentucky Route Zero
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
NHL 21 is absolutely a step forward. We won't be able to see if this improvement is a one-time thing until next year, but as it stands, this final release of the generation is also its best in that span. With a long-overdue update to the Be a Pro mode, alongside the pretty fun HUT Rush and the changes to Franchise, the series took a bigger step forward than it normally does. Sure, there's a give and take quality to many of the alterations, but the overall product is a net positive. It won't be scooping up an endless stream of awards any time soon, but this series has been in far worse shape in the past.
Being able to wield a lightsaber and deflect laser blasts, or pull a Stormtrooper up close to skewer them, carries an appropriate amount of weight, and there are many moments where the trappings of VR fade away, and you feel completely integrated into the Star Wars universe. These transcendent moments are many, and when this experience is firing on all cylinders, it’s truly special.
Descenders is a solid experience if you're looking for a time waster that you'll return to over and over. While constant screen tearing issues hamper its presentation quite a bit, the game has solid controls, as well as simple though endlessly entertaining mechanics. While the controls aren't the tightest we've seen, they do everything adequately and contribute to the fun. Add in the wide range of biomes to race through, including some more wacky ones towards the end of the game, and it makes for one fun package. And that's to say nothing of the fun little gimmicks, like the first-person mode and the trials-style courses. Descenders has everything you could possibly want in a downhill cycling roguelite.
Pistol Whip is a transcendent experience. This brilliant rails shooter has the trappings of a rhythm game which helps to make an already sublime experience stand out that much further. With a vibrant world and a variety of tracks to test your mettle with, the game offers a solid package right out of the gate. And that's to say nothing of the upcoming content that will further expand what Pistol Whip has to offer.