If you made the plunge last year and you’re looking for NHL 20’s one marquee feature that makes this a must-buy, there really isn’t an overarching reason to upgrade. Pure and simple. That said, this year’s outing has plenty of incremental improvements that deliver a superior experience to what you would’ve played twelve months ago. Allow your level of fandom to dictate if this purchase is right for you. Ultimately, regardless of where you land, you won’t be disappointed.
AI: The Somnium FilesPS4
Investigating gruesome murders in AI: The Somnium Files is fun even though it’s not particularly challenging. What really makes this game worth playing is its gritty sci-fi story and engaging characters. The mix of oddball characters work perfectly together to make you experience a rollercoaster of emotions, and piecing together all the threads of the story will reveal some surprising plot twists.
NBA 2K20 is the best basketball game around. Granted, thus far, the competition hasn’t shown up. But if and when it does, the bar has been set very high for the basketball sim genre. Facial animations are still odd, and monetization rears its head in practically every mode. But the core ball play, plethora of gameplay modes, and a great presentation all combine to make NBA 2K20 the basketball game to beat this year.
The art style, combat mechanics, and even loot drop loop are so finely tuned that it feels like the game fits in as well now as it did, seven years ago. With the obvious exception of the big boys over at Blizzard, the argument could be made that this is the best dungeon crawler on current generation consoles. Read more at https://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2019/09/06/torchlight-ii-ps4-review-lighting-the-way-ps4/#6dlb3S28XIatVXby.99The art style, combat mechanics, and even loot drop loop are so finely tuned that it feels like the game fits in as well now as it did, seven years ago. With the obvious exception of the big boys over at Blizzard, the argument could be made that this is the best dungeon crawler on current generation consoles. Read more at https://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2019/09/06/torchlight-ii-ps4-review-lighting-the-way-ps4/#6dlb3S28XIatVXby.99
The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under PressurePS4
Look, I honestly expected The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure to have been an obvious stinker with no redeeming qualities. Instead, it’s a perfectly solid local co-op game that can be worth a few runs with some friends. Is it great? Nah. Does it have issues? Certainly. But don’t be like me and just turn it away because of its dubious origins. More VR games should look at catering to the local co-op crowd anyway.
WRC 8 FIA World Rally ChampionshipPS4
WRC 8 is a rally racing fan’s dream. This is a game that will test the skills of even veteran rally fans. Those who are looking to live the dream of taking a team from relative obscurity to championship winners will enjoy the extensive career mode. There’s even split screen! In 2019! Split. Screen. While the environments may not seem as detailed as in Dirt Rally 2.0, and the co-drivers are a bit robotic, these are smaller issues and by are no means deal breakers. It seems the rally racing genre just got competitive for the first time in a while with the release of WRC 8.
Decay of LogosPS4
There’s still plenty of room for Decay of Logos to mature into a quality experience. However, it’s hard to shake the feeling that with these many issues, it had no business being released at this point in time. Through diligent work and keeping a keen ear to the community, these missteps can be overcome. But really, the paying audience shouldn’t have to be your QA team. Unless you are fond of the “early access” style of unpolished releases, you should absolutely steer clear of this cataclysmic clusterfuck.
MXGP 2019 is a safe bet for those looking to race with the full weight of the real MXGP behind the game. It’s a mostly by-the-numbers dirt biking game, with some modernity thrown in. The addition of a track editor should provide for extra replayability once players master the built-in circuits. Though, the inherent challenge built into the game will mean that won’t be for quite a while.
If you’re looking for a beefy console RTS experience that’s inspired by real events and oozing violence out of every bloody orifice, then look no further than Ancestors Legacy. It may not be the perfect experience, but it’s shockingly solid, especially when you consider the design hurdles that the development team must have been facing. This is the perfect entry-point for anyone who’s been curious about real time strategy, when armed with only a Dualshock.
This is fun, but not nearly enough to keep me returning to the game. There are a variety of multiplayer options for fans of racing and demolition, however, as I was playing during the pre-release period, I couldn’t find a match in any of them. If this component is solid at launch, though, it could give Wreckfest legs (or, ahem, wheels?) in the months after release.
Is Sairento VR a masterpiece of technical innovation? Far from it. But despite its obvious visual and mechanical shortcomings, the game knows what it does well and takes every opportunity double-down on delivering this experience. You will find very few games on the PSVR that can provide a combat experience this frenetic, kinetic, and goddamn amusing. If you’re looking to take a slice out of crime and indulge your inner ninja, this one’s a cut above the rest.
Age of Wonders: PlanetfallPS4
Alas, if you’re coming to Age of Wonders: Planetfall for a brand new angle on games you’ve played before, then you’ve come to the wrong place. It’s novel to see several different recognizable mechanics blended into one genre soup. The final product isn’t better than the sum of its parts, though. It makes the 4X a faster game to play, but not a better one, ultimately.
Solo: Islands of the HeartPS4
Solo: Islands of the Heart is perhaps the most introspective game to release this year. The gameplay may not have much to do with the story, but the puzzles are decent roadblocks on the journey. The whole adventure will only take most gamers 4-6 hours to complete, and while that may feel like enough for the price ($19.99) for some, just as the puzzles start to get more challenging, the game is over. Fans of puzzle games may want to check out Solo: Islands of the Heart, but those who are expecting a major challenge will probably want to look elsewhere.
Itâs a shame that Labyrinth Life didnât choose to go the route of Criminal Girls 2, where it released with mini-games in tact but had artwork that was redrawn by the original Japanese team to be a bit less smutty. Releasing the game without many of the naughty mini-games means that you see it for what it truly is; an uninspiring dungeon crawler that, apart from the challenge dungeons, is a bit of a dull slog to play through.
The Church in the DarknessPS4
That said, The Church in the Darkness is a smart stealth game that impressively warps to reflect your actions. It lets you get in and break out as you see fit. While failure still feels like failure, success is sweet and varied. Once it gets a hold of you, you may not want to break out, at all. Read more at https://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2019/08/06/church-in-darkness-review-spilling-kool-aid-ps4/#kQ4DQjZwd60OfDT2.99
Madden NFL 20PS4
I found Madden NFL 20 to be a fairly vanilla entry in the franchise. The one exception to a somewhat lethargic installment is the new X-Factor system, which helps give everyone a glimpse into playing the sport at a truly elite level. Factor in the continuous visual enhancements and a new hybrid run-pass playbook schema, which feels more like an evolutionary step than a revolutionary advancement, and it almost feels like this season is a wash when compared to its predecessors.
In theory, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot sounds like the ultimate culmination of ideas and technology. What’s not to love about smashing together virtual reality, mechs, and killing some Nazis? Unfortunately, the execution isn’t just lacking, it fundamentally removes many of the best elements of those things, undercutting the strength it could have were it a deeper experience.
Wargroove is the sort of game that brings back a feeling people had long forgot. Advance Wars has been absent for years and, while there were similar sorts of games like Tiny Metal, they didn’t quite capture the same magic. Wargroove does. It couples whimsy with dire straights. It offers multiple premade challenges from Chucklefish, while also giving players everything they need to put together their own impressive adventures.
DATE A LIVE: Rio ReincarnationPS4
DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation is great for fans of light novels, but especially for fans of the DATE A LIVE series. Even those who aren’t familiar with the series won’t be too confused with what’s going on, as the reading is easy and characters easy to like. Very long segments between making choices may turn some people off who want to have more say in what happens with the story, however.
Penn & Teller VR: Frankly Unfair, Unkind, Unnecessary, and UnderhandedPS4
I really love Penn & Teller VR for what it was willing to do differently with a VR headset, something that no ordinary video game can replicate. The headset becomes a magician’s prop, and you the performer. But its welcome wears thin too quickly, its traps, tricks, and inner workings too easily revealed, and gimmicks too often expected. It’s just not the magic of video games that I was hoping for from two of magic’s greatest.
Sea of SolitudePS4
Sea of Solitude is an interactive story that has bits of a game peppered into it. Like gamey meat, it’s not for everyone. Some players may want more to do than run around looking for seagulls and messages in bottles in between story moments and the occasional “fight” sequence. The story (which we have not spoiled here) is likely to resonate with many people, but for some it won’t be enough to overcome a lack of fun gameplay to take players in between exposition. It is a worthy attempt, but just falls a bit short.
Citizens of SpacePS4
You can really see that the developer has tried hard to address the criticisms of the first game. The mini-games are a fun new addition to the combat system but don’t totally eliminate the repetitive nature of the fights. The memorable cast of characters and kooky storyline helps to keep things fresh but ultimately this isn’t too different from the first Citizens game.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-FueledPS4
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a faithful remake of a classic karting game, with extra content from across the franchise to boot. Whether playing the respectfully challenging campaign mode to unlock all kinds of parts, stickers, and more, or skirmishing with strangers and friends both online and off, those who have fond memories of the original will get their money’s worth out of the racer, without a doubt. The sliding mechanic still takes some getting used to after all these years, but it just wouldn’t be CTR without it.
World End SyndromePS4
World End Syndrome is such a beautiful visual novel and it expertly weaves its romance and mystery elements together to create a truly alluring adventure. It does a very good job at subverting your expectations but it's lengthy prologue may mean that some will switch off before the game reaches the really good bits.
MotoGP 19 stands as a serviceable motorcycle road racing game. It’s a step forward with the inclusion of MotoE, and the historical races provide an intense challenge. Fans of the series should appreciate vastly improved loading times, a better (if still underwhelming) presentation, and especially customization options. While not the best racing game on the market today, the MotoGP series has come back into its own as a respectable franchise with the release of MotoGP 19.