It's hard to deny that Maneater has colossal potential – though the lack of mission variety and some simplistic combat does lend it to feeling repetitious as time goes on. Putting these flaws aside, however, Maneater deserves kudos for an undeniably unique premise and laying a solid foundation for a franchise that developer Tripwire should almost certainly pursue.
At the end of the day, the value of Saints Row: The Third Remastered will wholly depend on either a heady reverence for the original game/series or a penchant for emphatically stupid antics bolstered by puerile humour. There's no denying that the visual overhaul is thoroughly impressive, but little else has been done to make the game feel like anything other than a throwback to the year that put both Pitbull and LMFAO in the Top 10.
Though it pulls a lot of the punches today’s open-world games freely throw, Mafia II is a time capsule in a lot of ways. Not only because its post-World War II Empire Bay lives and breathes only to have its face driven into the dirt by enterprising individuals fixated on the American dream, but because it’s a testament to the timeless, story-driven crime drama. The kind that became extinct once substance was forced to make way for Rockstar’s frenzied brand of mania.
Cloudpunk is a tremendous accomplishment in creating a setting; in the sub-genre of cyberpunk, it knows few rivals. There’s a sense of place that demands your attention and dares you to comb every corner and jaw with every sentient settler. For a game about choice, a simplistic approach to gameplay can, at times, deprive the player of meaningful agency, which feels as though it soars in the face of the message. It’s still an absolute pleasure to drink in this one unforgettable night in Nivalis, Cloudpunk is a frontrunner for indie game of the year.
Streets of Rage 4 is a solid tribute to the genre it arguably helped shape, but this feels like more of the same with a fresh coat of paint rather than an all-out reinvention. What’s on offer here is reminiscent and nostalgic, and still a great time, but it ultimately lacks the oomph to elevate it beyond the games that came before it.
Moving Out is one of the best games that the couch co-op party game genre has seen and I implore you to play it, especially during the current times that we're going through. There was a moment where my girlfriend and I were quickly hurrying to carry our last few pieces of furniture to the truck, but kept running into obstacles (a level full of rakes), and what started as small giggles quickly evolved into uncontrollable laughter. It's these kind of moments that makes games like this a success, and Moving Out delivers greatly in this regard.
There are parts of XCOM: Chimera Squad that will definitely disappoint long-time fans of the franchise. As a spin-off that departs in some significant ways from the true, mainline experience, XCOM: Chimera Squad is an excellent entry-level strategy game that’ll still provide a decent challenge to those looking to dip their toes in.
Full of ear-splitting energy, Modern Warfare 2's role in pioneering the cinematic, spellbinding first-person shooter can't be understated. With the world at a standstill, and with their careful and scrupulous translation of an undoubted classic, Beenox ignites the flare and call people back to this middle chapter, and where it all began for so many.
At the end of it all, even under immense scrutiny and in spite of some disappointing shortcomings, there's no getting around the fact that I had a giant grin on my face for just about the entirety of Final Fantasy VII Remake. It's an enjoyable enough game if you're a casual fan of Final Fantasy or action RPGs, but if you're in it for the fandom you may just have your mind blown.