- Kentucky Route Zero
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Gorogoa is an immaculate puzzle game. Gorgeous art, beautiful but ominous ambient music, and mind-blowingly clever design combine for something special. It's a game like nothing we've ever played before, and with a modest run-time and low price-point to boot, you have no reason not to snag this outstanding experience.
Giant Sparrow delivers beyond our expectations once again. A touching story about a tragically unlucky family hits all the right notes, making What Remains of Edith Finch a worthy successor to the studio's sublime The Unfinished Swan. A walking simulator with a smart delivery mechanism paints the picture of a family tree full of misfortune and sadness, but leaves room for some happiness and sunshine. Between the most realised home we've ever seen in a game, the incredible voice work, and the moving, intriguing story, this is the genre's new golden standard.
Grim Fandango is undoubtedly one of the greatest adventure games ever made, and, a few niggles aside, this remaster does its legacy justice. The occasionally obtuse puzzles do date the game in some ways, but the plot and setting is as refreshing as ever. If you're yearning for something a little different, then a trip to the Underworld may be what you need – just make sure that you get a good package.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions marks a triumphant PlayStation debut for an already popular property – and a solid start for the resurrected Sierra label. Offering a wealth of content as well as endless replayability, this game is a real winner. While the introduction of 3D stages doesn't change the franchise's core formula as much as you may expect, it still manages to breathe new life into a solid starting point – and even minor presentation and difficulty niggles can't sully this shapely treat.
Entwined is right on the cusp of being a masterpiece. A gorgeous art style is complemented by an exquisite soundtrack and tight controls, which culminates in one of the best PS4 titles to date. The game's occasional lack of identity prevents it from receiving the very top marks, but don't let that put you off this romantic release.
Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 1 – Zer0 Sum is quite possibly the strongest debut episode in Telltale Games' storied history. It combines a frantic pace with some genuinely funny dialogue, and offers more than enough fresh gameplay systems to make it stand out from the rest of the studio's output. Short of not being a fan of the Borderlands franchise, this an incredibly impressive outing – and the fact that it's not riddled with bugs is just the icing on the cake.
To put it simply, Hyper Light Drifter is incredible. Lovingly wrapped in a distinctly retro shell, the title fires on all cylinders. An intriguing, abstract narrative set in one of the most beautifully vivid world's we've ever seen helps provide a near flawless experience. Add in great combat and controls as well as an amazing soundtrack, and the end result is easily one of this year's must-plays. Its difficulty may scare away some, but for all who can cope, the experience is a truly rewarding one.
Night in the Woods is a truly magnificent adventure game. An eclectic array of different gameplay mechanics play off of a small American town vibe incredibly well. While the gameplay is fun and varied, the main attraction is the absolutely incredible writing. A college-aged life crisis story paired with some much darker and more sinister elements is used as the framework for developing some of the best-realised relationships we've seen in gaming. All of this set to an incredible soundtrack, while utilising a wonderful art style with exceptional use of colours that makes the experience that much sweeter. A few small complaints aside, this title offers a remarkable demonstration on how to write a game, and definitely stands out as one of the best Kickstarter releases we've encountered thus far.
Outside of the irritatingly expected technical hiccups, Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 4 – Escape Plan Bravo is brilliant. Creative, heartfelt, and fittingly ludicrous, it's represents Telltale at its best, in what is quickly becoming the most consistent series in its portfolio. When this was announced, we never thought that we'd ever write that sentence.
The more that we think about it, the more we reckon that Tales from the Borderlands just might be the best series that Telltale has released to date. The game is a consistent joy, fusing humor and touching emotions into one product. A Telltale Borderlands game sounds very strange on paper, but this series, and the finale in particular, illustrate exactly why this pairing has worked. The finale sets itself up for a second season, and we very much hope that we get one.
Dating back to January of this year, Max's adventure has been quite a ride. After a couple of episodes that were pretty shaky, the French developer righted itself and delivered three consecutive home runs that absolutely blew us away, and this has culminated in a finale that delivers on everything that we could have possibly dreamed of. We definitely hope that Life Is Strange sees something of a second season, and we can't wait to see what DONTNOD does next.
Thumper makes an incredible case for the future of virtual reality. With an incredible level of quality paired with a reasonable price of admission, this should absolutely be one of the first titles that anyone interested in making the most out of their new PlayStation VR headset buys. With blistering speed and intensity to go along some easy to learn, difficult to master gameplay mechanics, the future of rhythm games – and, by extension, virtual reality – is bright.
Pyre marks Supergiant Games' third consecutive masterpiece. A bizarre blend of genres creates an excitingly original title aided by incredible world building and one of the most consistently interesting casts of characters we've ever seen assembled. This is all further enhanced by some outstanding artwork. Framerate issues and the odd difficulty spike detract from the overall experience, but can't prevent this outing from achieving excellence.
Even with a downright cavalcade of triumphs, Kentucky Route Zero's strongest asset is its ability to redefine itself from episode to episode. The deeper your journey goes, the stranger things get, but the more they make sense too. While the game will definitely be a bit too bizarre and densely obtuse for some, this is a game unlike anything you've ever played before.
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.
Fuser is, frankly, a staggering technological achievement. The game takes the act of making music, an incredibly challenging thing to accomplish, and practically trivialises it. You don't need to have any kind of prior knowledge to make meaningful music with this title. The game walks you through everything with a perfect learning curve and near-limitless flexibility. It remains to be seen if it will court a large enough player base to confirm its existence, but as it currently stands, this title is yet another unexpected jolt of inspiration for the rhythm game genre, which even just a few years ago looked all but dead. Between the brilliance of rhythm titles in VR and now Fuser, the future is bright indeed.
The Pathless is an incredible experience, and easily one of the best launch titles available on the PS5 in what is already an excellent selection. A wondrous, beautiful open world with innumerable locations and secrets to uncover is placed alongside a moving narrative further heightened by an unexpectedly tender relationship between player and bird. And that's to say nothing of the game's exquisite use of colour, or the beautiful and wickedly unique soundtrack. The Pathless excels on all fronts.
We weren't particularly sold on the first two episodes of Life Is Strange, but we could see the kernel of potential that was hiding beneath the surface. Episode 3 – Chaos Theory is where that promise finally bursts to the forefront, delivering an almost perfect balance of tense storytelling, organic dialogue, and improved gameplay – all while setting up a potentially brilliant follow-up episode. This series is finally delivering what we always thought it could, and that makes us hella happy.
When all's said and done, Broken Age makes an excellent case for why the adventure game genre deserves to exist in this medium. Indeed, it's a wonderfully charming title that really feels like a celebration of the point-and-click format. Sure, it doesn't necessarily do anything ground breaking, but it doesn't really need to. If you're a fan of Tim Schafer's previous work, then this is unmissable.