With all of this in mind, Cyberpunk 2077 ends up being one of those games that can be frustrating to love. There are good design elements all over, from a menu option disabling licensed music for streaming to quests that completely change based on whether you choose to go in guns blazing or stay hidden and make sense both ways. The main and side quests are all packed full of great story, the characters are fun to get to know… and yet despite all of the effort that went into this game, we also see the bad design choices I discussed above and an unplayable console version. If you can take the places where it’s a bad example and remember to do better in your own life, and maybe wait until it’s been patched into working, there’s an amazing game here that you can be glad you experienced.
The Falconeer absolutely has its high points, and all of the elements of a great game are there. It’s just disappointing that they don’t gel enough to be wholly satisfying. Visually, the game is stunning, without caveat. The combat can be exhilarating … at its best. The story can be interesting, even fascinating … sometimes. The game’s heights are extreme, but so are its lulls.
It’s still an amazingly stubborn classic, one that manages to feel individualistic even now. It doesn’t do everything right, but the remake proves the bones of the original game are still strong and relevant today. Like all of FromSoftware’s latest games, Demon’s Souls gets under your skin with a combination of abject aggravation followed by glorious elation.
It’s still an enjoyable romp: a world filled with brutal combat encounters, a slew of arcane mysteries, and diverse sights that can be achingly gorgeous, powerfully harrowing, and even bizarrely psychedelic. But in the course of my playthrough as Feivor, I feel that I’ve received Valhalla as it should have been. My previous praises are kept intact, and the experience is only enhanced by a narrative that subverts Norse mythology while slashing the tether that binds executive misogyny to a world where supposed viking culture has been adopted by an ahistorical, androcentric right-wing. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla can be great, but if you want an inferior experience, don’t worry: Ubisoft has you covered.
Hades is a game for almost everyone. The only people I could see not getting struck by Aphrodite are those who can’t stand procedural generation or action games at all. If you’ve got even a cursory interest in roguelikes or action RPGs, you absolutely cannot pass this game up. Its only real shortcoming is the less-than-stellar story, which is a first for Supergiant Games. Rest assured, the gameplay, characters, secrets, and customization more than make up for a lack of a gripping narrative.