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254 games reviewed

Ars Technica's Reviews

Unscored - Forza Horizon 5
Nov 4, 2021

FH5 is an easy recommendation as part of a paid Xbox Game Pass subscription, and it's a great excuse to flex your newest gaming hardware purchase. But if you're already happy with Forza Horizon 4 or were bored by that one, take your sweet time sitting behind this game's wheel.

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Ars Technica
Steve Haske
Unscored - The Good Life
Oct 18, 2021

Though technically rough and uneven, The Good Life is memorable and anything but predictable.

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Ars Technica
Steve Haske
Unscored - Far Cry 6
Oct 8, 2021

Likewise for outfitting your guns with separate types of bullets that target weaknesses on opponents. Since this requires a clumsy change via the menu-and more to the point, because you're invariably getting swarmed by a mess of soldiers of different classes-thinking this system was anything other than worthless was shortsighted on the developers' part. (And if this entire section sounds like a mess of menus, it is, so your mileage may vary there.)

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Unscored - Metroid Dread
Oct 6, 2021

If "classic 2D adventure on Switch" puts the same tingle in your spine as it does mine, Mercury Steam will not lead you astray with this impressive sequel. Buy.

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Sep 29, 2021

Keep an eye on Milestone's patch and update plans. If the company moves forward with customer-friendly moves, HWU may be a must-buy for arcade-racing fans. Until then, wait and see-unless the sales pitch of "Trackmania but prettier and more arcade-y" makes you want to immediately purchase. In which case, you'll have a good time.

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Ars Technica
Steve Haske
Sep 24, 2021

I could go on, but it's more fun if don't spoil all the fun uses KojiPro has found for these categories. Let's just say this is definitely the most comprehensive and smart use of the tech I've come across since the PS5 launched with Astro's Playroom, and that's a high bar to clear.

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Sep 21, 2021

Between those mechanical systems and cleverly arranged zones in and around the starting village, Ember Lab makes sure that players have stuff to look for and interesting systems to play with once they discover those puzzles. (And I haven't even mentioned the seriously cool, late-game magical ability that I'm not going to spoil.) By narrowing its magical abilities to only a few pickups, K:BoS emphasizes a simple, accessible path to adventurous treasure hunting. The result is the opposite of a standard "Metroidvania" in which new abilities often do a meager job unlocking new things in old zones. If you're hoping for a massive adventure with 19 different items that each expose new regions, K:BoS doesn't deliver. Personally, I enjoyed its tighter focus, which still opened previously explored regions for further investigation (complete with a handy in-game counter for secrets that have and haven't yet been found).

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Unscored - Cruis'n Blast
Sep 14, 2021

A must-rent if you own a Switch. A possible buy if shamelessly silly arcade-racing fun sounds up your alley.

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Unscored - Deathloop
Sep 13, 2021

Deathloop may ultimately go down as my biggest gaming disappointment of 2021

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Sep 9, 2021

Cumbersome, sometimes shallow, but boy, what a free treat

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Sep 8, 2021

A certain party-playing crowd will overcome the awkward bits and have a blast. Most won't. Rent, don't buy.

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Unscored - Psychonauts 2
Aug 23, 2021

Psychonauts 2 is one of the best video games I have ever played, and if anything in this review sounds like you and your family's bag, don't hesitate to join me in loving the heck out of it.

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Aug 23, 2021

Aliens fans with friends should buy, as should anyone hungry for a more focused take on online co-op combat (read: less sprawling than The Division). Solo, offline players should tread extremely cautiously. Destiny and Borderlands fans may be unmoved.

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Unscored - F1 2021
Jul 12, 2021

Perhaps the most important thing about F1 2021 is that Codemasters has not messed with the actual mechanics of driving the car much, beyond tweaks necessary for the 2021-spec cars. With a good force-feedback wheel, the cars are engaging to drive, and you can feel subtleties in cars from different teams—a McLaren handles differently to an Alpine to a Red Bull to a Mercedes, as you'd hope they would. If you're a fan of the sport, you'll probably enjoy playing F1 2021.

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May 5, 2021

If you loved RE7, you might like RE Village

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Unscored - Returnal
Apr 29, 2021

Returnal clearly heralds a new era for Housemarque, in terms of turning the focused arcade-blasting likes of Super Stardust HD into quest-worthy 3D action. Keep it coming, Sony and Housemarque.

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Unscored - Loop Hero
Mar 4, 2021

Buy, unless you have responsibilities. This game could very well threaten them.

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Unscored - Valheim
Feb 16, 2021

But any Valheim wishlist betrays the truth of the game's current, "unfinished" state: there's already so much adventuring, crafting, building, and discovery available-and in ways that can easily be shared amongst friends for only $20. (And if the screenshots I've chosen haven't made clear, this game can be very pretty, as its engine smothers its blocky characters with handsome effects and gorgeous vistas). We've put games in our year-end lists for less potential than what I've already enjoyed in Valheim thus far, and I don't see us getting out of 2021 without repeating praise for this killer multiplayer adventure option on PC.

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Bowser’s Fury works just fine as an added bonus packaged with an under-appreciated platforming gem from the Wii U era. If you’ve never played 3D World before, this is a great chance to catch up on a fresh take on 3D Mario design. If you’re mainly interested in Bowser’s Fury, though, maybe wait until the strong ideas get expanded into a full, standalone game.

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Feb 3, 2021

The good outweighs the bad. Get a PlayStation Plus trial and give this imperfect car-combat gem a spin.

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