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Metro Exodus emerges from the underground to explore a world far more colorful than the Moscow railways. Exodus does a fine job of injecting larger spaces with familiar gameplay, even if the two don’t always compliment each other. The refocused survival aspects are welcome additions and add to the hopelessness of the post-apocalyptic setting. The game goes off the rails a bit due to abundant technical issues and restrictive movement that reveal the lack of AAA polish. Even with its lesser parts, Metro Exodus takes the franchise forward with an experience worth seeing through to the end.
While we may be waiting on the jump to new platforms for future entries, Atlus brings together a greatest hits package in Etrian Odyssey Nexus for its farewell outing on the Nintendo 3DS, which is the definitive version of the series to date.
Returning 12 years after the previous mainline entry, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown shows why fans have been awaiting a return to the danger zone for so long. The game features a very enjoyable campaign of respectable length alongside a serviceabale enough story, but the actual gameplay itself and exclusive PSVR support are what really stand out in the high flying Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
All in all, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a competent, exhilarating tactical shooter. Even after countless hours of capturing objectives and eliminating aggressive AI, each battle maintains its high level of tension. The weapon behavior and audio work beautifully in tandem to provide an offering that is difficult to find elsewhere currently. The small flaws that crop up occasionally do little to detract from the overall experience, although they don’t go completely unnoticed. New World Interactive has crafted a quality FPS that builds emergent war stories in every battle. Here’s hoping they someday release the cancelled single player/co-op story mode. One could only imagine what their advanced grasp of sound design could do in a structured, nail-biting narrative.
Coming eight years after its predecessor, Red Dead Redemption 2 is exactly what we thought it was going to be and more. Living up to the legacy of the first game was a tall task for Rockstar to undertake, but they have delivered with one of the best games of not only this console generation, but of all time.
Battlefield V is very much a work in progress. The core experience is thrilling and comes together beautifully with the right players. It’s a multiplayer offering that DICE could no doubt expand upon in the coming months with meaningful updates to put it more in line with community expectations. Once the balancing issues and technical problems become a thing of the past, Battlefield V will stand as one of the most engaging multiplayer experiences on the market.
Call Of Duty is a franchise that has almost always stuck to its set formula. That abruptly changes with Black Ops 4 and the end result is better for it. The Blackout mode comes across as the evolution of not only the Battle Royale genre, but also the Call Of Duty franchise as a whole. The accessible mode is accompanied by familiar and improved aspects, such as the multi-layered Zombie mode and a competitive multiplayer that finally feels competitive again. You may forget that Call Of Duty ever needed a single player campaign at all.
While LEGO games rarely change much outside of the characters and setting, LEGO DC Super-Villains does try some new things that manage to work out. This isn't going to be the game that changes the minds of those who already do not like the LEGO formula, but LEGO DC Super-Villains is still one of the best LEGO games to release in the last few years.
Playground Games could have put out a near carbon copy of Forza Horizon 3 with a new setting and fans would have been happy, but they were not satisfied with simply doing that and instead provided us with the most ambitious and best entry in the series to date.
The idea of an online focused Naruto game seemed like a good idea, but a mostly bare bones approach and small scale feel holds Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker back from being a great game. If Soleil can refine many of the game's elements and build upon it however, a sequel for this could be very interesting in the future.
Not even the Mayan Apocalypse can scare off Lara Croft this time as part of her darkest outing to date. Though the gameplay is very familiar, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an action packed adventure that does a fantastic job of wrapping up the first trilogy for reboot Lara Croft.
Destiny 2 has been trudging along, kept alive by the weekly log ins of its most faithful Guardians. Forsaken makes Destiny 2 fun again, giving more meaning to those log ins. The Tangled Shore and Dreaming City are visual treats and the Barons make for deserving recipients of those new Supers, but it may be the hefty collection of smaller changes that accompany Forsaken that make it feel all the better. The weapon slot revisions, return of random perk rolls, and other back-end modifications bring Destiny 2 closer in line with what it was expected to be from the start.
Even though SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy brings together some of the best and most popular females from the SNK Universe, a creepy story mode that lacks content and an overly basic combat system relegates this game to the lower end of the fighting games of recent.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 is the culmination of the greatest parts of the franchise. Utilizing Yakuza 6: The Song of Life’s Dragon Engine and physics-enabled combat pairs beautifully with the high stakes tale born on the PlayStation 2 over a decade ago. I might even go as far to say that this recreation could be an even more fitting send-off for Kiryu before the series embraces its new protagonist. Simply put, Kiwami 2 is the peak of Yakuza.
We Happy Few is a brilliant concept in a world I’m dying to explore. However, the game’s mechanics and performance problems work against that which Compulsion Games have spent so much time crafting. The run-of-the-mill survival mechanics bog down the flow of the campaign and make uncovering the narrative’s answers feel like a chore. Still, underneath it all, it is hard not to find something lovable. Given time, tweaks, and patches, We Happy Few could rise above and become the game it was always meant to be, one that would not require a Joy pill to cover its blemishes.
Even without any new stages being added outside of Angel Island Zone, the inclusion of Encore Mode and two new playable characters with Ray and Mighty make Sonic Mania Plus arguably the best in the series' history from both a quality and content standpoint.
Those who have played LEGO games in the past pretty much know what to expect from each subsequent game and LEGO The Incredibles does very little to break the mold. Even so, LEGO The Incredibles is a perfect segue for kids who have just seen the latest movie and want to jump even deeper into the world of The Incredibles.