Battlefield 2042 feels like the most complete Battlefield game yet, mainly thanks to the incredible depth provided by Battlefield Portal and the brand new Hazard Mode, even though it is unclear whether it'll be enough to draw flocks of new players to the franchise.
Football Manager 2022 is yet another improvement on the long-running series, one that brings the beautiful game to life more than ever before and recreates both the small and large moments that make the sport so engaging. The options are near limitless, and the game puts even more at your fingertips, from the Data Hub to improved staff meetings, all adding onto a revamped match engine. This is the closest Sports Interactive has come to perfection, with only small elements feeling aged and needing polishing.
Forza Horizon 5 is yet another step up for the series and arguably the best racing game ever made. Offering a host of content across a fantastic representation of Mexico, its varied terrain and scenery, there's so much to explore and race. A massive roster of cars will perform all of these, each feeling different from the others, with a variety of upgrade and tuning options almost matching those of simulation titles. While there are a few minor niggles here and there, they are nearly so small as to be hardly worth mentioning. All in all, it's impossible not to recommend this for anybody, regardless of them being a fan of racing games or not, as this is that good.
Featuring a new approach to exploration and extremely solid gameplay, Shin Megami Tensei V masterfully balances innovation and tradition to offer an excellent JRPG experience. While the technical issues can get in the way, the game's quality is so high that most will be willing to look past them, as Shin Megami Tensei V is one of the best entries in the series and one of the best JRPGs released in 2021.
Riders Republic’s posturing is more than a little phony and the game may be a bit mechanically simple for some, but its playground is an impressive one. With travel still difficult, Ubisoft’s sometimes-breathtaking recreation of America’s greatest national parks feels like something to be grateful for, and this game’s wide range of activities and challenges means almost everyone will be able to find some way to amuse themselves amongst its peaks and valleys. Riders Republic is a surprising breath of virtual fresh air.
Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water is a strange release. It's not a remake, nor a remaster, feeling more like a re-release with a few added features. Visually, it's barely different to the Wii U Release, so if you've already played it, then there's not much I can say. However, considering the original was limited to the Wii U, with a limited audience, this version brings it over to modern consoles and the PC, keeping the excellent atmosphere and different combat system and making it control better than expected. Is it worth buying? That is very dependent on if you like horror games.
The focus placed by The Riftbreaker's gameplay loop on resource management may be too monotonous for some players. It's a game that focuses on its base-building mechanics more than its Action RPG mechanics. Still, it's a decent mixture of both that can either be loved or hated by players.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is a highly enjoyable action/adventure romp that never strays from the beaten path. You won't find any major experiments or innovations here, but you will experience a great adaptation of the beloved dysfunctional team of galactic superheroes. The story and characters are well written, the combat is fun (if perhaps a bit too easy), and the audio is excellent.
As a Mechanics-First style of game, Dungeon Encounters offers little to entice players that aren't already fans of Final Fantasy's Active Time Battle from yesteryear. What surrounds that dungeon crawling experience is threadbare but established fans can use what's there and chart their own paths.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes is easily the best of the series so far. There are clear improvements in gameplay, such as difficulty options and complete control over the camera, which help push this forward. The writing also takes strides forward, with an excellent cast of characters, more realistic writing, and a satisfying narrative throughout. Add the already exceptional abilities of Supermassive Games at building atmosphere, and you have a recipe for a great game - something that I firmly believe House of Ashes is.
The Good Life comes with excellent narrative elements, but the entire experience is damaged by some weird design choices that result in mediocre gameplay. While this is hardly surprising for a game directed by SWERY, some of the ideas featured in The Good Life, like the cat and dog transformation mechanics, deserved a much better execution, as they feel shallow and not particularly interesting. With such flawed gameplay, only die-hard fans of the Japanese director will truly love The Good Life.
FIFA 22 is an undeniably fantastic football game, once you get on the pitch. HyperMotion Technology, and a push for enhanced visuals, physics, and more, make this an incredibly tactical experience and closer to the real thing than ever before. The inevitable problem is when you look at the insidious inclusions off the pitch, such as FUT, which - while somewhat more generous with the in-game currency - is still incredibly predatory and push on the in-game gambling mechanics.
Lemnis Gate is a game at odds with itself. Its well-executed time loop mechanics could potentially appeal beyond the usual hardcore shooter crowd, but the game's matchmaking shortcomings and lack of single-player content will keep that wider audience at arm's length. Lemnis Gate is fun, but it feels like a concept that needed more resources to fully realize its promise. That said, if you are a dedicated shooter fan looking for something a little different, you may find yourself doing the time warp again (and again and again).
Back 4 Blood isn't Left 4 Dead, and it doesn't even try to be it, doing away with the classics' straightforward campaign in favor of a more modern experience that rewards progression and offers plenty of replayability. The excellent map and mission design, the huge variety of builds made possible by the card system, and satisfying gameplay make the game by Turtle Rock Studios the one to get for those who have a team of friends ready to take on hordes of undead, but those who are looking to play the game solo would do better to look elsewhere, as Back 4 Blood doesn't offer much for those not too keen on teamwork.
Diablo II is one of the best ARPG's in gaming history, and Vicarious Visions haven't made many changes for Diablo II: Resurrected. Visually, there's a stark difference and it looks great while keeping the atmosphere. A few quality of life changes help keep this fresh and make it playable on consoles, but it just doesn't go far enough at points. This ageing master may have had a facelift, and it's one you can have a fantastic time with, but you can hear the creaking of its bones.
Metroid Dread proves that the Metroid franchise is still ready to innovate the genre it helped build with exciting new ideas. While it hasn't taken on all the lessons from newcomers that have filled in since its absence, it doesn't feel like an outsider looking in.