I'm going to tell you something that I can't easily explain: When I advance the quest, I'm having fun. I barely know why, in the same way that it's difficult to explain why paying off a mortgage in Animal Crossing is fun.
Valorant may still be more promise than reality in some ways, but what already exists is strong enough to bring in players and keep them there while Riot refines the experience. Valorant, as of this writing, is at a fantastic starting point, and there’s every reason to believe it’s only going to get better from here.
Everything you do in Hardspace: Shipbreaker is mediated by the forces of debt and capital. You own nothing; not your equipment, not your salvage, not even your own life. Salvaging sessions are divided into 15-minute shifts, and you must get the work done as quickly as possible to maximize profit. You return to your private quarters — leased from LYNX, of course — between jobs, and it's there that you're charged a rental fee for the use of your tools and salvage bay.
This simple package, with an unassuming title and cover, is already one of my favorite games of the year. Nintendo may have released the perfect game at the perfect time with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and it looks like the company may be able to repeat the same trick when Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics.
Microsoft and Mojang have created a game where you’re hitting endless minions and boss characters with all sorts of pointy weapons, but they did so in such a way that playing still feels creative, and freeing. That’s a very welcome magic trick from a series trying something this new, this confidently.