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Repetition and a general lack of polish crushes Warhammer: Chaosbane before it has a chance to put up a fight. Although the game has decent visuals and competent action, it is just too stagnant, with the same basic enemies filling poorly-randomized levels.
Three Kingdoms represents a return to form for the historical side of the Total War series, with an emphasis on much improved diplomacy and inner-faction politics, alongside a fantastic setting working in the favour of this massive strategy sequel - even if the real time battles mostly feel very familiar.
Team Sonic Racing offers a hopeful glimpse at how compelling a team-based kart racer can be. However, inadequate AI, limited loot box progression, and a poorly-polished multiplayer suite make this seem more like a stepping stone that'll hopefully lead to something more well-realized.
RAGE 2 held plenty of potential, but even considering how great the combat is, falls well short of that goal. The sequel is hampered by the same issues that cropped up in the original. The campaign is a non-factor and the open-world needed more life in it. Third time's the charm?
Having a high-concept idea is all well and good, but it doesn't matter what kind of story you tell, or the world you create, if the act of playing the game is so unpleasant. While occasionally putting the pieces together, often Observation left me bored and frustrated.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is legitimately captivating in its atmospheric depiction of the plague-stricken and war-torn France of the Middle Ages. The mechanics rarely shine and the plot has a fair share of contrivances, but there are plenty of outstanding sequences that put this unique setting to excellent use.
Mordhau's incredibly satisfying melee combat and slapstick ultra-violence make for a riotously good time on the medieval battlefield, though a lack of maps for the best mode and lingering technical issues are cracks in the armor of this otherwise thrilling multiplayer slasher.
Anno 1800 offers up a compelling blend of city building and strategy in the industrial era, with a smooth learning curve and fantastically flexible and replayable sandbox mode that will have you starting and re-starting your trading empire as the hours sail by.
Outside of the excellent co-op play, World War Z is a mixed bag of issues. With no story to get invested in, the progression system is a total drag and there's little here you haven't seen done better before. However, as long as you have friends willing to join in, this shooter can be an intensely enjoyable time.
Days Gone is a fairly typical open world post apocalyptic survival title that offers a few memorable mechanics and story beats, but is eventually consumed by genre clichés. Poor technical performance further hinders its chances of survival, but perhaps with time that wound will heal.
At first it seems that Heaven's Vault is an absolute treasure and you can just marvel at the creative ideas that Inkle Studio came up with. But in between all those moments when I loved the game, some of the gameplay mechanics made my eyes glaze over and the experience would lose its luster.