Phantom Liberty is CD Projekt RED’s masterpiece. Not only is Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty graphically easily three generations ahead of the entire industry and redefines how we experience video games with pathtracing, it’s also written even more thrillingly and staged even more explosively. Anyone who doesn’t enjoy this several times in different play styles has never loved video games. A clear must-play.
Bethesda has finally landed another hit. Starfield is the space RPG epic we’ve been wanting for so long. It has the incredible expansiveness and variance in design of No Man’s Sky mixed with the dialogue depth and creative quests of Fallout or even Mass Effect. The only thing that might bother some people is the heavy reliance on fast travel and that many planets only make sense when you build bases and production facilities there.
Top Gun: Maverick certainly won’t put as many demands on your time as, say, Elden Ring, but it’s absolutely worth spending a couple of hours in it. And when the electronic guitar of the original Top Gun theme kicks in, it’s like returning to the 1980s for an hour or two.
As someone who’s already sold on VR, I think Alyx is a hell of a good time. I put in four or five hours straight on Saturday (thanks to Dramamine) and few VR games manage to hold my attention that long. But I don’t think it’s the revolutionary new experience that people might expect, particularly people who owned a Vive or a Rift and have been living in this future for a while.
Above all, Kentucky Route Zero is an argument that games can be more. That argument isn’t nearly so revolutionary now as it was in 2011 when development began, or 2013 when the first act released. We’ve (thankfully) made some decent progress in the years since. People bought Kentucky Route Zero, and those people did go start their proverbial bands.
Control is the culmination of Remedy's entire oeuvre to-date, pairing a top-tier action game with a dizzyingly dense and layered story about the Federal Bureau of Control, and the everyday horrors within. It's so good, you might even stop asking for Alan Wake 2.