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Rage 2 contains some of the best shooting of any game in 2019. Taking numerous cues from Doom, the familiar gunplay is loosed upon a more open environment. Shredding bandits and mutants never gets old, regardless of if you have a campaign-only focus or you are pushing past the 20th hour on a completionist run. The achievement set by the gunplay reveals how far below it other areas sit. The open world isn’t utilized to its fullest potential, characters (including Walker) are as forgettable as the story, and driving leaves much to be desired. Rage 2 may be considered a one-trick pony, but that single aspect is so gratifying that it carries the lesser parts on its back to the finish line.
MLB The Show 19 manages to craft a solid baseball experience despite being a yearly released title. This year they managed to improve and expand each of the main modes be it Diamond Dynasty, or Road To The Show. Not only that, but they even added another addicting mode to the plate with March To October. Fans will surely be playing this long after the MLB season is over.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is From Software at its best (so far). The developer has beautifully married the demanding nature of their Souls games to a narrative-driven action game. The swordplay is engaging, requiring quick learning and quicker reflexes. All in all, Sekiro is top of its class, offering one of the most memorable experiences of 2019.
Being able to use unorthodox characters like Yami from Yu-Gi-Oh! is certainly quite unique, but Jump Force’s barren world barely takes advantage of these opportunities due to lacking gameplay and what feels like too much of a ripoff of Dragon Ball Xenoverse without bringing anything refreshing to the table.
Serving as a spin-off of the previous two titles, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes features some of the charm and DNA of the past games, but mostly ends up as a disappointment after the years of waiting for more from this unique series.
Even without the series' signature tag mode, Dead or Alive 6 is still a blast to play with a large roster of characters and enjoyable game modes like story and the brand new DOA Quest. The tantalizing nature of DOA may show a little restraint as well, but it is still ever present in Dead or Alive 6 for those that are looking for it.
Far Cry New Dawn hardly reinvents its core formula, for better or worse. The expected bits are all there, peppered with a few low-impact RPG elements. This isn’t an evolution of the franchise, but rather a more favorable pairing of gameplay and setting than past releases. New Dawn sure feels familiar, but it definitely knows how to have a good time.
Hitman 2 offers a variety of options in the gameplay department. It also allows for exploration and trial and error. The additional modes adds even more replay value and continued play as we transition from standard single player games into games as a service, this is an example of a great combination of both worlds. 47 has never looked so good and so deadly.
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.