Observer is a beautifully crafted thriller from Bloober Team that creates a riveting story by blending the horror and cyberpunk genres. Its captivating narrative serves as an excellent vehicle for detective work and puzzle-solving. The cyber-noir aesthetic is upheld by character development, rich world-building, and convincing voice-acting. Whether you've played it before or are playing it for the first time, Observer is deserving of your time and money. However, the Nintendo Switch port falls short in comparison to other versions of the game because of its frustrating graphical resolution when docked. While Observer is highly enjoyable in handheld mode, not being able to fully enjoy it when docked eliminates half of the Switch's format. If a Switch is all you own, then absolutely look into Observer. For those with other consoles, I'd recommend grabbing the game on PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One first. Overall, Observer still manages to shine through as an excellent addition to the horror genre.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Insurgency: Sandstorm, and whenever the mood strikes for an intense, realistic shooter, this will probably be my game of choice. It isn't as punishing as something like Arma, but it still offers fantastic audio and a brutal TTK that forces the player to slow down, think about their steps, and use all the tools the game puts at their disposal. One can't go into this game hoping for a sleek experience. The technical side of the game is just as gritty as its combat. In the heat of an intense battle, your processor will also put out some heat. Hopefully, New World Interactive can devote some time toward the technical side of things and put as much care into that as it did the audio and gameplay. If the developer can fix those issues, Insurgency: Sandstorm would be one of the better competitive shooters available on Steam.
CrossCode shows that the size of a developer and its overall budget doesn't determine the quality of the game. AAA developers can sink all the money in the world into a title, and it may still lack that "special something." That isn't the case here. Radical Fish Games' CrossCode is a masterpiece action RPG by a small-scale studio, and it's damn-near perfect in nearly every way.
When it comes right down to it, everything in Crackdown 3 is by-the-numbers game design, and the end result is not more than the sum of its parts. There are hints of good ideas in Crackdown 3, but the end product isn't worth the $60 purchase. Unless you're getting it free with your Game Pass subscription, you're better off downloading the original game (currently free for all) and playing that instead.
On a platform that already has a pretty solid fighting game lineup, Shadow Fight 2 is a pleasant surprise. The fighting system is different from most games, but if you can deal with its slower flow, you'll find some fun here. The presentation is muted in places but still interesting, and even though some parts of the campaign can feel like a slog, you'll get your money's worth. Shadow Fight 2 won't be your main squeeze, but it can be a good cooldown offering to play between some other fighting games.
As an overall package, Far Cry New Dawn delivers a focused expansion of the world that was established in Far Cry 5. You don't need to play the prior game to enjoy what's here, but those who have done so will come into New Dawn with a greater appreciation of the world and the characters. The more limited scope means no add-on features (like Far Cry Arcade) and no season pass, but it also allowed for some experimentation that you don't usually see in a AAA title. Put this one on your purchase list, but you should stick with the regular edition and skip the deluxe edition. The deluxe edition is $10 more, with nothing to offer except some early weapon unlocks with alternate skins.
Debris Infinity does a very good job of being a pure arcade shooter. The shooting is thoughtful, since you're trying to balance abilities with quickly shooting enemies. The number of foes on-screen at any time makes the game difficult but not impossible, and the presence of both leaderboards and co-op for every mode provides a real incentive for another run, no matter how many times you've already died. Debris Infinity is a well-done pick-up-and-play shooter with a low $5 asking price, so it's easy to recommend for the Switch.
Metro Exodus is an absolutely solid, all-around experience. Although the change from indoor to outdoor scenery is striking at first, it allows the gameplay to breathe and feel different from previous titles. The signature makeshift guns are paired well with the new crafting ability, and their lack of stopping power makes firefights meaningful and stealth sections tense. There are still issues here and there, and the presentation could be tighter, but this is a worthy sequel to a game that has earned its cult status throughout the years.
La-Mulana 2 is an absolutely solid sequel. Even though there are a few additions to the core gameplay loop, they don't dilute how unforgiving the game can be. The level of difficulty doesn't feel cheap, and obtuse puzzles can feel very rewarding when solved. The game is long enough to feel like you've squeezed more than enough value out of it, but it never drags on. The game has a few flaws here and there, but anyone who's looking for a tough platforming experience will be pleased with what they find in La-Mulana 2.
Overall, Farming Simulator 19 plays well and effectively puts you in the shoes of a farmer. Many use games as sort of escapism, to become something fantastical, powerful, to overcome evil, etc. Farming Simulator serves the same general purpose, only in a more realistic and tangible way by sating our curiosity about a profession that many of us will never know.
Gungrave VR is a game that not only tarnishes its own legacy but also leaves a bad impression of VR as a whole. The gameplay is shallow, as attacks feel slow and lack any sort of impact. The limited nature of the stages and the lack of any intelligent enemy combat makes the affair boring, but the clunky implementation of VR is what really drags down the game. The VR feels unnatural, and it doesn't safeguard one from getting nausea. There's still hope that the upcoming sequel will fare better, especially if it sticks with more traditional gameplay elements and presentation, but this VR take is one that players can easily skip.
Runbow works against itself by creating needless tedium throughout the game. The controls, shaky and particular platforming, and waiting for the background colors to flip in order to progress are all damning in a platforming game, and the frustrating background music makes the title feel so much longer. This isn't the only takeaway because the game's aesthetics and premise are pretty good: racing to the end of the level with cool '60s aesthetics and deft maneuvering through visual gameplay cues! 13AM had a really cool idea that mostly works but unfortunately gets lost within a slew of issues. Runbow could be a great game for the dedicated speedster, but for most others, it comes off as pretty, but lackluster.
Apex Construct is neither long nor perfect, but it's an intriguing and immersive adventure. The controls sometimes work against you, the pacing can slow down a bit too much, and the story isn't as surprising as it could be. What's left is a very good bow-and-arrow shooter with some excellent environmental storytelling and atmosphere that pulls you through from start to finish. After a few updates and quality of life improvements almost a year after its original release, Apex Construct is certainly a well-made experience on PSVR that will satisfy everyone in need of an original adventure built with VR in mind.
Despite these flaws, Override: City Mech Brawl is a funny and lighthearted brawler title for everyone, and it's another multiplayer option during a time when consoles seem to be shying away from local cooperative play. It's a title that doesn't take itself too seriously, and it does a solid job of bringing lighthearted giant robot fun to consoles.
As a sum of its parts, Borderlands 2 VR is a good and fun game even though it shows its age in the level design. Its VR implementation is impressive but not perfect. The lack of DLC content, co-op or AIM support may turn off players, especially given the game's high price point, but it's truly a solid and long VR experience that will keep you entertained for at least 30 hours. If you cannot wait for Borderlands 3 or have never played Borderlands 2, Borderlands 2 VR is perhaps the best excuse in a while to immerse yourself and return to vault-hunting on Pandora.
There's a certain audience that'll find Heavy Fire: Red Shadow to be a decent game. For those people, the turret sequences in other shooters must be their favorite part of the game. For everyone else, including fans of the series, Red Shadow is an utter disappointment. From a regression in gameplay to overly long stages and terrible presentation, there's nothing to recommend here, even if you just want to Trophy hunt. Unless you absolutely need to have every game in the console's library, stay as far away from this as possible.
Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry is a good start to a potential comeback for the series. The return to the classic point-and-click formula is appreciated, even if some of the puzzle solutions can be obscure. The humor could be much better, but some of the jokes do stick, and the presentation is decent. Franchise fans will enjoy this title if they won't miss the original creator's nuances.
Resident Evil 2 Remake is everything a remake should aspire to be. It captures the feel of the original almost perfectly while updating and improving almost everything. It has its flaws, but nothing detracts from the excellent experience. It's fun, spooky, and everything Resident Evil 2 was — but even better. Fans of the franchise and newcomers should enjoy themselves greatly. If you like killing zombies, you owe it to yourself to try out RE2 Remake.