Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is among the odder entries in the new trend of remastering old games for new hardware. It’s not simply a remaster that only increases visual fidelity, and it’s not a remake that overhauls the games in a fundamental way. Existing somewhere in the middle, the games definitely look a lot better than their original versions but won’t ever fool anyone into believing they were made for modern hardware, and while some of the mechanics have been updated/overhauled, there are a lot of areas where BioWare could have made minor tweaks leading to significant improvements in the experience. It’s understandable that they may have wanted to keep the games as close to their original versions as possible, but in a lot of ways it just feels like missed opportunities.
With full voice acting of over one million enrapturing lines of dialogue, new quests, and an undeniable painterly look, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a landmark RPG. Boasting an excellent murder mystery, it also challenges the player in deconstructing a broken socio-political system and interacting with its inhabitants. The game then slowly unravels itself a dense meditation on the human condition, made possible by your dialogue choices and their consequences.
All in all, this game is perfect for what it sets out to do – make it clear the power the PS5 has while also making the game fun and enjoyable. It falls short, though, with the difficulty spiking only at the very end, and none of the four-section paths providing much challenge. It is a must-play if you want to experience all the PS5 has to offer next-gen players though.
It doesn’t matter how much extra content you add if the base game’s issues haven’t been addressed. When you strip all of the bells and whistles off of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition, you are still left with a painfully mediocre fighting game with a horrendous monetization system. Sure the fighting may be fun in short bursts, and the gore factor may be fun eye candy, but this game felt as though it didn’t have any care put into it outside of the basic fighting controls.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a testament to old-school gaming and modern sensibilities. It balances the old and the new with grace, offering up a riot of radical changes while keeping the prime platforming appeal intact. All the while, the animation and art style propels the experience, making you feel like you’re watching your favorite cartoon. Ultimately, this all results in Crash’s most astonishing adventure yet.
Ghost of Tsushima is a flawed, but fun, game. While the gameplay itself was solid, and the story was decent, I definitely expected a lot more from Sony’s final PlayStation 4 exclusive. It had enough to keep me hooked, but lacked the polish we’ve all grown to love from a Sony first party game.
NBA 2K21 is a sports title that ticks all the boxes in simulation gameplay but falters tremendously in its plastic progression systems. Virtual Currency puts a stranglehold on your enjoyment, and it plays a big part in upgrading and purchasing in-game stuff. Sure, it might have a decent (albeit short and cliched) story mode, but the ball is in your court as to whether you want to fork out your hard-earned money on microscopic differences. Although, at the end of the day, it seemed like hoop dreams to think anything of substance would be changed. Stick with previous entries or wait for the next-generation version.
Shing! is a beat ’em up with a few good ideas and facets to admire. While many of its ambitions aren’t executed in the best of ways, Shing! serves as a decent distraction with friends. Its four-player cooperation, competent if iffy combat, and polished art style make it an okay journey for its humble several hours of playtime.
Rocket Arena is an admirably light-hearted shooter that soars when it comes to characters. The roster is full of versatile playstyles and memorable personalities that will draw you in, and the addicting gameplay could keep you there if you can get behind the floaty but satisfying combat. While the lack of content and underwhelming multiplayer suite doesn’t fully justify it not being free-to-play at the moment, things will only get better with time, and, fundamentally, Rocket Arena’s launch is worth the force of its trajectory.
The Last Of Us II is an improvement on the first in nearly every way while still keeping what made the first game special. Story and characters are well done as expected and the game plays and feels amazing. In keeping with the spirit of the first game, The Last of Us Part II has become one of the best games of this generation.