Maneater constantly blurs the line between sadistic mass murder simulator and clever satire, while also managing to be as fun as any human-based open-world game. Chris Parnell's narration can get a little repetitive, as can the missions, and the camera could use a little work, but it's all a matter of context. It's a wild reversal of ego, an experience that is both completely freeing and oppressive at the same time. Stare into the dead eyes of the shark, and the shark stares into you.
On a superficial level, Predator: Hunting Grounds succeeds at translating elements of the original 1987 movie into a four-on-one multiplayer game, and the matchups are occasionally tense and thrilling. But shoddy game balance, sloppy design, frequent bugs, and significant technical shortcomings squander most of the potential.
Final Fantasy VII Remake manages to balance the introduction of new concepts with faithfully recreations of the original game's most memorable aspects, but it also unnecessarily pads out this first installment in a larger story with too much downtime between its most striking moments.
With the game finally completed and released to the world after nine long years, Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories marks the return of Granzella's cult classic series about surviving natural disasters. This time around, the team has traded action set pieces in for a more personal look at the human toll of horrific events—but they've done so without injecting enough humanity into that new direction to make it truly work.
It was always a long shot that a new take on Resident Evil 3 was going to be able to live up to the expectations set by 2019's Resident Evil 2 remake, and that's exactly the case here. Still, beyond a few examples of missed potential, this is another stellar attempt by Capcom to bring its survival horror series into the modern era, and retains a sense of individuality and personality that make it stand out from its peers.
As long as Doom Eternal didn't stray too far from its predecessor, it was going to be a good game. But id Software comes surprisingly close to muddying everything with new mechanics. The flamethrower and rechargeable chainsaw give you more options during battle, but they can also feel like unnecessary additions. Still, a deeper lore, a banging soundtrack, and plenty of demons to gib leave Doom Eternal in a happy place—relatively speaking.
For now, Animal Crossing: New Horizons feels like a no-brainer for fans of the franchise, and a perfect place to start for newcomers—with the exception of ruining every other previous Animal Crossing game, should you ever want to go back to them.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps does everything that a good sequel is supposed to do. It refines The Blind Forest's mechanics, expands on the world, and throws in a whole bunch of new moves and concepts. But in an era that's rich with "emotional platformers," Will of the Wisps doesn't do anything to make itself stand out. It's a fine, if not forgettable, experience.
Nioh 2 takes the ideas of its predecessor and greatly expands on them, bringing a greater sense of depth to everything from gameplay, to stage design, to your ability to have a main character customized to your particular play style (and visual preferences). Admittedly, some of the simpler elegance of the original Nioh has been lost in the progress, but the result is still a game that'll terrorize and thrill those looking for a real challenge.