In a holiday season rife with games that are riddled by bugs and glitches of all sorts, it's beyond refreshing to know that I can sit down and repeatedly wail on Mario or pummel Samus into submission to my heart's content in lag-free glory. Smashing truly never felt so good.
Amsterdam-based studio Guerilla Games, best known for PlayStation's grim but visually impressive Killzone franchise, spent more than six years on Horizon Zero Dawn, and it shows: in the beauty of the game's visuals, the depth of its backstory and the tightness of its design. Hopefully this isn't the last we'll see of this high-tech savage land. (Horizon Forbidden West, maybe? Please?)
Would it have been great to see Ubisoft crack the conundrum of delivering open-world freedom with an equally unforgettable storyline? It would, and I challenge them to do exactly that with the inevitable Far Cry 5. But until then, this trip to Kyrat is well worth taking.
It's sometimes tough to sing high praises of a re-release being sold at full price. But with all the improvements, the included expansion, better-than-anticipated performance on consoles and serious bang for your buck, Ultimate Evil Edition is an easy recommend, even if you've already played some Diablo III.
It's tough to recommend for PS3 players who have already played the game, as the $55 price is a bit steep for some enhanced visuals and a bit of added content. But PlayStation 4 owners who haven't yet experienced The Last of Us absolutely owe it to themselves to pick up this modern classic, and take a journey with Joel and Ellie across the heartbreakingly beautiful ruins of our world.