D-Day Enhanced offers fun gunplay that only sporadically functions 100% correctly, in addition to myriad bugs and a paltry player base. The bugs can be squashed in the weeks ahead, but the lack of players and subsequently poor AI make this one a tough sell.
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a deeply emotional collection of human stories, of both the protagonists, but also the settlers of New Eden. The combat is nothing great, but the stories within certainly are. You'll be surprised at how easily you can empathize with late 17th century colonials, which is the magic of developer Don't Nod.
Regardless of if you're experiencing the story for the first time, or returning for the $10 upgrade, this is the definitive version of one of the finest video games ever made. It's worth playing for the story alone, but the No Return mode is an intense and fun addition that might keep you around longer than you expect.
Towers and Powers is an excellent example of how virtual reality can enhance certain genres. I've played tower defense games before, but what I didn't know until now is that VR is the definitive way to enjoy them. Towers and Powers convinced me of that, making it an easy game to recommend on PS VR2.
Jusant is one of my favorite gaming experiences of 2023. The rock-climbing gameplay is simple yet extremely satisfying to play, and it's masterfully interwoven with the narrative and lore of the world. It's a surprisingly quaint, emotional story that packs a punch despite having zero spoken dialogue, which is a testament to the narrative chops of Don't Nod. I still find myself thinking about Jusant days after staring a meditative hole through its ending credits.
Mirage is the ultimate Assassin's Creed comfort food for those who've been longing for a return to the classic stealth formula. It's not going to blow you away, but it's well done, and the nostalgia you'll feel playing it will remind you of why you enjoy the series in the first place. Ultimately, Basim and Baghdad coalesce to create a tantalizing vision of what the future of Assassin's Creed could be – a reincarnation of what it once was.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty proves once again that CD Projekt Red are the undefeated champions of DLC. At $29.99 it offers supreme value, with a compelling new story, location, and hours of content that outclasses many other full-blown AAA titles. After a few rough years, both Cyberpunk 2077 and CD Projekt Red have regained their footing rather triumphantly.
NBA 2K24 delivers the most authentic on-court gameplay in the series' history thanks to the new ProPLAY technology. Gameplay feels less scripted, animations feel less canned, and modern players perform closer to their real counterparts than ever before. Some modes and features still feel largely untouched from years past, while MyCAREER caters to veteran and pay-to-win players, but I guess we can't have it all.
Is it the system-seller that PS VR2 fans were hoping for? Not exactly, but there is plenty to like about Firewall Ultra. It's an extremely comfortable VR shooter with fun tactical gameplay that uses the headset's features in an interesting way, though it does take some getting used to. Sluggish progression and minor bugs need to be addressed, but First Contact Entertainment has been updating the game rapidly since launch.
Farworld Pioneers had a promising premise, mashing together ideas from other sci-fi survival favorites, but it simply doesn't fulfill that promise in any way. Unintuitive controls, poor AI, and a lack of show-and-tell for the game's various systems are likely to frustrate, rather than entertain you.
EA was smart to snatch up the rights to Immortals of Aveum. It's an impressive debut from Ascendant Studio, featuring a refreshing take on FPS combat, a great fantasy story with loads of interesting lore, and an endearing cast of characters. Bottom line – I can't wait to see what Ascendant does next.
Dust & Neon is a fun isometric twin-stick shooter, enveloped by the trappings of a roguelite that won't be for everyone. Even so, it never felt unfair, thanks largely to its tight and fun gunplay mechanics that fans of twin-stick shooters will easily latch onto.
Atlas Fallen might not make any game of the year lists, but its inventive, refreshing combat is worth checking out. It will require a bit of patience, as the opening and closing acts are a protracted slog, in addition to numerous bugs, but the foundation is set for a sequel that capitalizes on the promise of this new IP.
Aliens: Dark Descent is a tense real-time strategy shooter that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you prefer not to be stressed out playing video games, it is certainly not for you. On the other hand, if you have the patience and mental fortitude to withstand relentless Xenomorphs, it is a clever take on the RTS genre that can be tough to put down.
Nova Lands is an engrossing supply chain management game that can be tough to put down. As is typical for the genre on consoles, there are some minor quality of life frustrations, but it's an easy game to recommend despite that. For newcomers to this sort of game, Nova Lands might be the perfect starting point, while genre enthusiasts can expect to spend many hours building and optimizing.
Super Mega Baseball 4 is simply a blast to play. It's an arcade baseball sim-lite with a focus on fun factor, and it includes a surprising amount of depth that will appeal to a wide range of baseball game fans. If you're looking for something more laid back than a full-on baseball sim, but also not mindless button-mashing, this is that game.
Another Fisherman's Tale eventually tells a heartwarming story that many people will relate to, but whether or not they stick with it to the end is the big question. The narrative feels contorted to accommodate the gameplay, which itself stales rather quickly, and by the time it gets on track the game is over.