877 Published Reviews
Playing Cyberpunk 2077 is like suffering a death of a thousand cuts. If the bugs don't get you, the bad quest design, the insensitive writing, or a million other small problems will. All told, Night City might not be worth the visit.
While a bit muddled in combat design and pretty dull in world design, Godfall is a passable 3D action game. Under normal circumstances, you'd be safe to skip it, but if you need something to play on that shiny new PlayStation 5, it's not the worst option.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold WarPS5
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is one of the best Call of Duty games in years, with vibrant new gameplay additions and robust multiplayer offerings. Despite that, it still feels hampered by aspects of its approach and tone that would have better been left in Call of Duty's past.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of CalamitySwitch
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity isn't The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, but it's a great musou game with a lot of content for starved fans of Breath of the Wild. Even if you're a Zelda fan who can take or leave musou games, Age of Calamity is worth taking. However, occasional slowdown and frame drops, especially in handheld mode on the Switch Lite, make it clear the Switch is aging quickly.
The Demon's Souls is a gorgeous technical powerhouse. Fans may differ on stylistic aesthetic choices, but the core game remains the same challenging and precise experience. It's a perfect way to begin a new console generation for the core gaming set, and an all-time classic you will beg your friends to play.
Yakuza: Like a DragonPC
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a new frontier for the Yakuza series, and the life and crimes of the series feels right at home in this new setting. Ichiban is an instant addition to the pantheon of Yakuza legends, his party an endearing band of ruffians, with the combat doing just enough to make everything familiar feel new again. Where Yakuza goes from here is anyone's guess, but mechanical friction aside, this is a step in a fun and compelling new direction.
It has great characters, an entertaining story, and all the Bugsnak catching is just varied enough to keep the experience interesting to its end. All that talk about Bugsnax over the past few months wasn't misguided: it's a flavor-blasted joy.
Assassin's Creed ValhallaXbox One
Assassin's Creed Valhalla's vision of ninth-century England is a beautiful place to explore, populated with a great cast of characters who make up for the bland new protagonist, Eivor. Nevertheless, the tired overarching story of Templars and Assassins, and a design ethos that overstuffs the setting with side activities, add unnecessary bloat and distractions to the experience.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles MoralesPS4
The early heroic career of Miles Morales gets some shine in this standalone soft sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4. Web swinging is still fantastic and the combat system expands with Miles' more varied powerset. And while you might have played most of this game before, Insomniac does an amazing job telling the story of its version of Miles. Rooted in his new home of Spanish Harlem, he's probably the most "friendly neighborhood" of any version of Spider-Man.
Watch Dogs LegionPC
The new "Play As Anyone" system is as impressive as it sounds on paper, creating a host of intriguing characters if you choose to dive into their backgrounds. Crafting your own version of DedSec is a ton of fun, especially early on. The problem is the gameplay of Watch Dogs Legion is mostly the same as its predecessors and the missions are quite repetitive overall.
NHL 21 tries to end the current generation on a high note, but legacy issues continue to hold it back. Its revamped Be a Pro mode is particularly disappointing, proving to be a disjointed, somewhat sloppy experience. It has its usual strengths, with online team play being a definite highlight, but longtime fans of the series will likely find this year's entry eminently skippable.
Making a sequel to one of the most acclaimed horror games in recent memory may be a tall order for some, but Frictional Games has done it with aplomb with Amnesia: Rebirth.
EA SPORTS FIFA 21PS4
FIFA 21 closes out a mixed generation with some key gameplay improvements, making for the fastest, most enjoyable experience in FIFA 15. Its modes are more mixed, with career mode being a particular sore point. Ultimately, FIFA 21 may not be the comprehensive update everyone wants, but it's enough to generate some positive momentum heading into the new console generation.
STAR WARS: SquadronsPC
Star Wars: Squadrons is a slim but highly enjoyable revival of the classic LucasArts space sims. It's hampered by a limited number of maps, and its signature Fleet Battles are a bit of a drag, but its moment-to-moment combat is sheer delight. With a solid single-player campaign and above-average VR implementation, Star Wars: Squadrons is the multiplayer space combat game we've wanted since the days of X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter.
Super Mario 3D All-StarsSwitch
The Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection could stand a few more extras. Customizable controls would be great, as would sound options, design documents, or artwork. When you think about everything the original All-Stars offered—three graphically upgraded Mario games, plus a "lost" game—3D All-Stars is a bit lacking.
13 Sentinels: Aegis RimPS4
How 13 Sentinels strings its complex narrative together is nothing short of astonishing. It operates like a great melodramatic sci-fi TV show, only reworked and shuffled into an interactive format, and it takes full advantage of it. And for that, even with weak RTS battles complementing it all, it's an easy recommendation.
Spelunky 2 is an outstanding sequel. Derek Yu, BlitWorks, and the rest of the team behind it have assembled a game that adds to what made Spelunky great without trending toward bloat or changing too much of the essentials. In some minor ways, the level randomization and art style don't feel quite up-to-par, but the overall package is polished, compelling, and brimming with secrets.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2PS4
Even being a grinding, rolling advertisement for the sorts of brands you'd find at Zumiez, all the brands's non-stop presence is something undeniably Tony Hawk—and hell, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a cart waiting to check out at Zumiez now. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is an excellent remake with a rare power: the power to make skaters of us all.
Combat has depth to it, and each hero truly feels distinct. Unfortunately, the endgame is where our heroes falter, with broken matchmaking, rough options in terms of progression, and endlessly reused environments and enemies. Surely, Marvel's Avengers will see improvements, but here at launch, the endgame needs a good deal of work.
Tell Me WhyXbox One
After a solid debut chapter, Tell Me Why: Chapter 2 doesn't keep the momentum going. There are pleasant individual character moments between twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan, who remain the undisputed highpoints of the game, but the rest of the cast suffers as a result. Tell Me Why wants to paint an emotional tale of struggle and growth, but Chapter 2's experience is stunted by overuse of the Bond mechanic and the decision-based icon sapping any tension.
Paradise Killer drips with endearing style and charm, but can't quite make its finale match up to its opening hours. Discovering intrigue and mystery is compelling at the start, but the good gets lost in its collectible busywork. Paradise Killer is a good option for virtual detective fanatics in need of new mysteries, but it lacks the staying power of other modern mystery giants.
Madden NFL 21Xbox One
Madden 21's gameplay takes some appreciable steps forward as the generation comes to a close, with The Yard providing some casual fun. The experience is marred by an abnormal number of bugs though, and the single-player modes remain a major sore point. Ultimately, it's able to pick up a few yards on the way to the next generation of consoles, but just a few.
Tell Me WhyPC
Tyler Ronan is a surprisingly positive depiction of a transgender character, even if the bar is set incredibly low, and it's a relief that for once a Dontnod protagonist isn't put through drawn out, traumatic events as a rite of passage. I'm cautiously optimistic to see if Tell Me Why can build on this solid start.
Spiritfarer is a cozy game about helping spirits move on. Its wide scope of systems and resources can sometimes get in its own way, but when working in harmony it unveils a touching narrative, all the while adorned by gorgeous art. Best enjoyed in small pieces, Spiritfarer is a warm and inviting world to get lost in, with the occasional emotional gut punch for good measure.
Fall Guys: Ultimate KnockoutPS4
Prolific server issues and slim bonus settings are holding Fall Guys back for now, but for the time being, the wobbly obstacle course battle royale forges its own path. It's easy to envision the game only getting bigger from here on out—especially considering this launch era has been declared as Season 1, battle pass and all. As a foundation, Fall Guys is an endlessly engaging one. I'll be chuckling as I fumble to finish lines for quite some time.