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The best bits come in an interstitial visual novel that shows how Travis gets the Death Balls themselves; funny, self-aware, and styled with gorgeous retro-pixelated graphics, it’s the one part of the game that feels like the product of someone authentically giving a ****, an expression of the anarchic spirit that made Grasshopper’s early games feel like a refreshing breath of post-modern air in a frequently too-serious medium.
Subset also deserves credit for the game’s deliberately limited, laser-focused scope. Every aspect of Into The Breach’s design—the gorgeous soundtrack, the bleak storytelling, even the way characters quip about the in-game reset button—contributes to making the player’s battles feel like a life-or-death, “We’re canceling the apocalypse” moment.
Despite being the product of some obvious pre-existing parts—Dragon Ball’s anime flair, Marvel Vs. Capcom’s frantic tag-team melees, and the skeleton of previous Arc System Works games—it comes together into what’s easily the best Dragon Ball game made in the series’ 32 years of existence and a great fighting game that’s as thrilling to watch as it is to play.
With the way Gold brings 15 years of WarioWare together and slathers them in new layers of weird, manic energy, it serves as a much-needed salute to this underrated, often genius series. More than that, it’s a fitting testament to the last 15 years of daring ideas and handheld consoles from Nintendo, an era that’s possibly coming to a close.
Throughout its runtime, A Way Out is fun, in the way any game with a friend is fun (and that’s definitely the correct way to play it, since playing with strangers would make its communication-based challenges a goddamned nightmare). But outside a few promising flourishes, it ultimately fails to distinguish itself from any number of more engaging co-op offerings, and its best moments hinge on caring about characters who never rise very far above the level of flat, unengaging caricature.
Hitman 2, like most of its predecessors, is catnip for perfectionists: It rewards patience, careful preparation, and attention to detail—an obsessive-compulsive alternative to trigger-happy action gaming. But as satisfying as it can be to successfully weaponize your understanding of the game’s teeming environments, to convert chaos into control, there’s a lot of fun in watching your best laid plans go astray, too—to having your disguise fail to fool someone, to getting caught dragging a body to a hiding place, to failing to clear out of a restricted area fast enough and suddenly having five bodyguards raining hellfire onto you.
State Of Decay 2 occasionally feels like the perfect “podcast game,” the sort of experience best served by shutting your brain off and checking off items on a to-do list while gradually improving your little community. But its best moments don’t click when playing that way.
Even without embracing that duality, Celeste would be an exceptionally well-made platformer worthy of sitting alongside its titanic peers, but by caring to find the right amount of warmth to balance its barbs, it ends up standing up and taking a step ahead.
This is the first time in years it’s felt like one of these unfathomably expensive blockbusters is putting its weight into moving that field in a different direction rather than riffing on one of its standardized formulas, and it’s every bit as jolting as that Hydra fight was 13 years ago.
Like all of Quantic's games, Detroit is a big, stupid swing for the fences, yet another attempt to get Cage's dream of "playable movies" off the ground. Skeptics of the studio's previous games won't be convinced, but there are plenty of small improvements that make it Quantic's best offering to date
Montana features some of the most beautiful country in all of America, and Ubisoft has done an amazing job of capturing its rural glory. And the freedom to get credit for just f***** around in this gorgeous world, doing whatever feels most fun, is legitimately intoxicating.