Taxi Chaos has aspirations to be something far grander than it ever achieves. It lacks a personality of its own, a reason to keep coming back to its flat city, and really anything memorable. This is simply a pale imitation of Crazy Taxi, and just doesn’t do anything new or inventive for the genre in the 20 years since that game debuted. Taxi Chaos isn’t a spiritual successor, it’s a mundane offspring.
Little Nightmares II manages to ratchet up the tension in every conceivable way that is dreadful without ever truly being scary. Tarsier Studios has brought out the best of themselves here. With a longer campaign, a larger world to soak up, and more creatures to experience, this is a bigger and better game in every regard. Little Nightmares II doesn’t reuse a single trick, has compelling reasons to experience this terrifying ordeal, and will encourage you to do it all over again to find its secrets.
While rough around the edges in a few areas, overall The Medium is an excellent adventure that’s not lacking in scares, and is thoughtful in how it approaches its subject matter. I felt the tension, the dread, the sadness, and the fear in those moments where they presented themselves, and I felt a connection to Marianne and her story that I don’t often feel in many games, regardless of genre. It’s a beautiful game to look at and the art direction is excellent throughout. The Medium has a lot of heart and it wants to tell you important things, if you’ll listen. I’m not generally one to say that I enjoyed my time with any horror game, but this is a case where that is absolutely true for me, and that alone is reason enough for me to say this is a world worth experiencing.
There’s a vast amount of content in each destination to see and experience; you’ll actively want to try various ways to play. It’s a game that’s meant to be played repeatedly, and combined with Hitman 1 and 2; you’ll have a near-endless World of Assassination to explore. As with the previous two titles, an internet connection is required for challenge and progression unlocks. So if you’re looking to check off everything there is to do in the game and earn rewards, you’ll want to be connected to the Hitman servers. If Hitman 3 is your first entry, I wholly recommend picking up the unlocks for the older games; the phrase “worth the price of admission” couldn’t be any more accurate when speaking of the Hitman series. The World of Assassination continues to thrive, so be its savior or its terror 47, I leave you to prepare.
Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition is a very difficult game, but an easy recommendation on PC, as its being the definitive way to play the game. Sure, there’s new consoles out there, but the performance and options for PC are unmatched here. Nioh 2 itself is the toughest one yet, now with even better rewards and variety. Every new feature, mechanic, and system in place is a worthwhile addition, and fits the game, so long as you’re willing to learn it. Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition demands your best, and gives you the best action role-playing game out there.
There’s fun to be had, but you have to dig really deep to find it. When the game is working, blasting through these levels in just a couple of minutes is the perfect time to be in a level, without it feeling like a waste of time. It’s a shame then that it’s good moments are overshadowed by so many of its flaws. Redout: Space Assault had the potential to be as exciting as refreshing as 34BigThings did with the original Redout, but instead has shallow gameplay, lackluster visuals, and is riddled with bugs from small to big that showcase that it wasn’t ready for the transition to more powerful systems.
I honestly could go on about all of the reasons why Hades is so incredibly good for another 1500 words. There is so much to unpack and explore here, but at a certain point you’re better served by just playing the damn thing yourself. Hades is Supergiant at it’s pinnacle. It is the culmination of a decade’s worth of buildup to an unparalleled experience that leverages all of their expertise, and it exemplifies the possibilities of what early access cycles can be with a supportive community and a responsive, talented team of creators. It feels as though everything Supergiant has made prior has been rehearsal for this triumphant performance, but better still, it shows the heights they’re capable of and leaves you with the strong impression that this is just the beginning of what they have in store. Don’t wait for a sale, don’t wait on Hades for any reason; if you are even remotely interested, you absolutely have to play it right away, and I promise you will not regret it.
Watch Dogs Legion is good fun, even if I’m not a big fan of it’s setting. The “Be Anyone” mechanic is a welcome addition to the series and one I would miss if it were not included in future titles. In fact, I think you have to include it in all titles going forward as it’s that fun to have. I do hope they improve on the storytelling and voice modulation for future titles using this feature though.
I can’t say for sure whether Immortals Fenyx Rising is for you. The systems in this game are absolutely not super in-depth; they are streamlined, easy to understand versions of systems you see in other games, and this is true of character progression, combat, and practically everything else. They are designed to get to the point and let you get on with your game. It’s not overly involved because it doesn’t need to be, and there are plenty of games out there that do get incredibly deep if you want those kinds of experiences. Immortals Fenyx Rising isn’t the perfect antidote to open world fatigue, but it is a damn good first volley at trimming off the extra checklists for the sake of checklists, and giving players a more focused experience that they can dial up or down to suit their tastes. As a bonus, it’s wrapped in a gorgeous looking package with some clever writing and a story that may not be ultra compelling but is fun to enjoy nonetheless. It’s the perfect open world game for somebody who loves Greek mythology, for somebody who wants to have more control over their experience, who wants to be able to kick back and explore without pressure, or who wants to dig into a big game they can actually finish. For me, it’s a fantastic way to revisit a style of game I’d given up on and focus on just having fun with it, which is worth the price of admission for me alone, and I can confidently say that between the three big Ubisoft releases this season, Immortals Fenyx Rising is the game I’ll be choosing to spend my time with.
While Empire of Sin is not the first to tackle the era or the setting, but it is the best realized version out of any of them. There’s a few bugs to be rid out by Romero Games, but what exists is not detrimental to its enjoyment. Becoming something from nothing is no easy task on the streets of Chicago, and there’s plenty of views and systems to understand where money and resources are going, and how to improve your rackets if they’re not performing well. There’s exciting possibilities for DLC and expansions, but the existing roster will keep you busy well into next year. Empire of Sin blends several genres together for a mafia game that’s infinitely replayable.