Tom's Guide's Reviews
The Last of Us Part II Remastered is an essential PS5 game for new players and veterans alike. The visual and performance upgrade is minor compared to the PS4 original, but the suite of additional content is worth the admission price. The roguelike No Return mode is a real winner, and the deeper insight into the game’s development will delight longtime fans of the franchise.
Asgard’s Wrath 2 is an essential VR game that showcases the potential of the Meta Quest 3. It weaves a sprawling mythological epic across multiple characters and offers an astonishing amount of content. Graphically it can’t rival flagship exclusives on rival VR platforms, but it’s extremely easy to overlook its minor shortcomings because playing Asgard’s Wrath 2 is such a consistent delight.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom lives up to the franchise's pedigree, and then some. It’s a remarkably confident sequel that refines and remixes elements of Breath of the Wild in delightfully surprising ways. The aging Switch hardware it's confined to can’t always keep pace, but that’s a minor blemish on an overall masterful experience that is essential for all Nintendo fans.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder takes the best parts of past 2D Mario games and builds on them with new characters, gameplay mechanics and upgraded visuals. There’s something here for both fans of the series and newcomers alike, with local and online multiplayer to keep you coming back after you’ve finished the main story.
Alan Wake 2 weaves together two compelling protagonists across a unique, multi-dimensional, narrative that is often seriously strange but still surprisingly engrossing. However, the stretches of puzzled-laced exploration overstay their welcome, and the flabby first act may test your patience. Fortunately, even when the blemishes poke through, Alan Wake 2 always looks utterly stunning.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a textbook example of a video game sequel done right. It retains everything that was great about its predecessor while also refining the experience in key areas. The biggest improvements come in the form of engaging side missions, but the highly cinematic main story is the ultimate show-stealer. This is the best Spider-Man video game ever made.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is an unwelcome throwback to the era of truly awful licensed games. It looks and plays like a movie tie-in game rushed out to meet a tight deadline. This is baffling as it was one of the first ‘next-gen’ games announced in 2019, and seemingly had a long production period. But even so, it’s a game that conceptually, visually, and technically screams out for additional development time. Patches and updates may squash the bugs. But with core gameplay so dull and lacking, I can't see a saving grace for Gollum.
Just playing Dead Island 2 in 2023 feels like a minor miracle after such a protracted production cycle. Nevertheless, the novelty of finally experiencing this long-in-development sequel wears off pretty quickly. Then all that remains is a hugely repetitive experience punctuated by hackneyed story beats.
Atomic Heart wants to be BioShock, but the tone of its narrative rubber-bands in quality. It's hard to tell which parts are poorly written, and which are intentionally comedic. By contrast, the environmental and character designs are excellent, which makes it worth pushing through the rougher sections. Atomic Heart is a spectacle, and it's got more highs than lows.
Despite its flaws, Hogwarts Legacy is clearly a game made by Potter fans, for Potter fans, and for that particular audience, it’s been more than worth the very long wait. Hogwarts Legacy is by no means a revolutionary gaming experience, but it’s still a pretty magical one.
Just Dance 2023 adds valuable visual detail to the series, and lets you dance with others online. It features a good range of music genres, although the game comes with only 40 default tracks. You will need to pay for the Just Dance+ subscription to access more routines.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot delivers a well-crafted, satisfying action/RPG, provided you’re already invested in the DBZ mythos — and ready to hear the same old story over again. The open-world elements aren’t as well-developed as they could have been, but the combat and gameplay variety help carry the game through some rough patches.
Dead Space remake brings the beloved survival horror franchise into the modern day, and then some. It’s a stunning reimaging of a classic that retains what made its progenitor so special while also improving various aspects that haven’t aged well. Plus, it’s also one of the best-looking and sounding games on modern hardware.