If you're a fan of the franchise and felt betrayed by Payback in 2017, then Need for Speed Heat is worth your time. With a packed roster of over 120 cars, a well-designed and gorgeous city to explore and race in, and a huge emphasis on customization, it's undeniably Ghost Games' apology letter for 2017's mess of a game.
Deep gameplay at an unseen fidelity and attention to detail cement Red Dead Redemption 2 as Rockstar's newest genre-defining adventure. In spite of technical issues at launch, the PC version reigns supreme as the decisive way to experience the Wild West epic at uncapped framerates, obscene resolutions and incredible visuals.
When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is operating at its peak, it's performing at a level the series or genre hasn't seen in over a decade. When Infinity Ward lets their many flaws show, it's painfully disheartening and only makes the potential for greatness feel that much richer. Perhaps this blinding contrast in their strengths and weaknesses will allow the team to come back and execute a sequel that will hit all of its marks without fail.
The Outer Worlds cements itself as an incredibly memorable RPG. Obsidian has built a vibrant and freeing world that is fresh, exciting, and ripe with galactic potential that will hopefully continue being explored in sequels. Even with its shortcomings, its easy to see Obsidian's newest RPG bordering on instant classic status.
The Witcher 3 on the Nintendo Switch, despite its many optimizations, remains a technical masterpiece considering the console's limitations. Playing in handheld is downright magical and masks some of its visual shortcomings. Well worth giving it a shot, even if you've already experienced the game elsewhere.
LA Noire: The VR Case Files is a great sample of some of the best missions from Rockstar's cinematic period piece but it comes at a cost. While it excels in being the best at traditional VR gameplay like gunplay and driving, it fails at what makes LA Noire original and unique. It turns the intimate detective experience that was previously filled with "Aha!" moments into one of frustrating grunting and annoyance due to stubborn mechanics and some poor tracking.
Even though Concrete Genie frequently fails to meet the heights of its gameplay potential, it's the kind of game that I'm glad Sony is pushing as a small but strong exclusive for PS4. It sets itself apart from all the other games coming this fall both in its sense of positivity and lush beauty making it a welcome pallet cleanser.
Tropico 6 continues to excel in being a series that oozes personality but can struggle in its efforts to be a fairly balanced sim. Its frustrating lack of sometimes easy to understand problems and communication can make for an experience that will cause permanently raised eyebrows. If you're looking for a new city-building sim, you will still enjoy Tropico 6 but at the expense of sometimes being easily confused or having your progression halted.
Borderlands 3 sometimes struggles to earn your time commitment. Whether that's testing your patience with a plentiful supply of bullet sponges or quests that outstay their welcome, it's difficulty lies within wanting to continue playing it. To play Borderlands 3 is a true test of endurance that may cause actual fatigue and exhaustion after a few hours. While it reaches a lot of highs in gunplay and progression, this long-awaited threequel may not leave people instantly begging for more like they were after Borderlands 2.
This all culminates in a $40 expansion that I feel could have easily been priced at $60. Sure, we do only get one new area to complement that original game's five, but Iceborne cleverly integrates the previous areas into easily half of its main campaign, and it's just as fun revisiting them all under new circumstances with new or returning monsters to hunt. There is so much to do, whether it's the chunky and sizeable campaign or the plethora of things to do once the credits roll.