Categories
News

Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – July 2020 round-up

The reviews of the month’s best smartphone games includes Beyond A Steel Sky, Slay The Spire, and Yoko Taro’s SINoAlice.

Even though the country remains in the grip of a pandemic for which there’s no vaccine or effective treatment, the pubs are open and some of the children are back at school. Against this perplexing backdrop, it’s nice to have a clutch of mobile games that instantly reaffirm your faith in humankind. The tactical genius of Slay The Spire, the dreamlike If Found… and the nostalgic whimsy of Beneath A Steel Sky are all hugely welcome diversions to carry in your pocket.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=hzJfUk3arSs%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Crying Suns

iOS & Android, £8.99 (Humble Games)

Set in the future on the galaxy’s outer rim, colonies are in trouble after all their AIs simultaneously stop working. Your job is to figure out what’s going on and you do that in the style of genre classic, FTL.

Crying Suns is a sci-fi roguelike specialising in ship-to-ship combat and random encounters, but this time it’s less interested in crew management, focusing instead on various squadrons of drones and use of your ship’s big guns.

It can’t match FTL’s perfection, and its assortment of 300 events start repeating much earlier than you’d imagine, a problem exacerbated by how story-focused it is, making the repetition particularly glaring. It’s still very good though, with a solid script and beautiful pixel art styling.

Score: 7/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=jrkN1IaJXuA%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Beyond A Steel Sky

iOS and PC, included with Apple Arcade (Revolution Software)

It’s been 26 years since Beneath A Steel Sky was released, making this one of the longest awaited sequels in the history of games, but fans will be delighted to discover that not that much has changed.

It’s still a dialogue-heavy adventure set in a dystopian, cyberpunk future, and maintains its Broken Sword-esque sense of humour and charmingly British sensibilities. Sadly, it also suffers from the same peccadilloes as its ancient forebear.

Chief amongst those is the need to figure out sometimes non-intuitive sequences of actions to solve its puzzles, and sitting through reams of chat that sometimes isn’t quite as amusing as it imagines. It’s still worth it for the sweet pang of nostalgia though.

Score: 6/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=wS9F2_aq9yg%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Slay The Spire

iOS, £9.99 (Humble Games)

With a PC incarnation that’s already very fairly hailed as a classic, Slay The Spire makes its way to touchscreen with this excellent port.

Mechanically, everything is as it was; a roguelike deck builder that relies on tactics that get increasingly deep as you unlock cards and reach a fuller understanding of their interactions and combat possibilities.

It’s exquisitely designed, both graphically and in terms of its ruleset, and gives the distinct impression of being a labour of love. It’s also monumentally addictive and despite its high – at least for mobile – price is an essential purchase. The Android version is due for release later this year.

Score: 9/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Bdoy_8aqOBs%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Flick Solitaire

iOS & Android, free-to-play (Flick Games)

The world is in absolutely no danger of running out of solitaire games, whether on PC or mobile. However, it’s fair to say that some of those versions of the classic solo card game are far more playable than others.

Flick Solitaire is certainly extremely easy to enjoy. Its lean interface, pleasing sound effects, and the mellow formation ballet your cards perform when you complete a level are never less than winning. It also comes with basic solitaire, and its Pyramid and Elevens variants, both of which add new facets to the game.

You have to watch a short ad every few games, or you can spring for a subscription that removes advertising and lets you select the table surface you play on. It’s up to you whether that’s worth the frankly ludicrous £1.99 per week.

Score: 7/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=r8Wke7HzjvU%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

The_Otherside

iOS, included with Apple Arcade (The Label)

The_Otherside is a board game-meets-role-playing game about clearing out monsters from a small town. You do that by finding and destroying ‘spirit anchors’, which rid a section of the board of its infection.

Each turn your heroes spend their three action points moving, searching rooms, looking for ammo, kicking down or erecting barricades and attacking monsters. Each turn fresh horrors teleport in from the Otherside, which seems to be a bit like the Upside Down in Stranger Things.

Earn XP to level up, unlocking new creatures, equipment, heroes, and bigger maps. While finding a decent weapon early on can make a big difference, the randomness isn’t too brutal, and the game gets more interesting as you progress, with more characters and larger levels forcing you to make judicious use of each hero’s skills to survive.

Score: 8/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=rLtFwvoV3u4%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Oceanhorn 2: Knights Of The Lost Realm – Golden Edition

iOS, included with Apple Arcade (Cornfox)

Oceanhorn 2 has been out for a while, but the recent Golden Edition adds two expansions: The Shield Of Chronos and The Criminal Hunt. The first is a dungeon containing a shield that bounces projectiles back towards assailants, and the second casts you as a bounty hunter pursuing a series of miscreants.

If you have a fancier iPhone or iPad, this update will also allow you to lock the frame rate to 60fps, adding to the beauty of its colourful landscapes, azure sea, and Sega blue skies.

Although frequently compared to Zelda games, and indeed sharing a similar structure and pastoral charm, it unfortunately lacks Nintendo’s magic and feels plodding and workaday despite its undoubtedly lofty production values.

Score: 6/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=q_Qs6CjGeQc%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

If Found…

iOS, £4.99 (Annapurna Interactive)

Like Annapurna stablemate, Florence, If Found… isn’t quite a game, more a work of elegiac interactive fiction. Set in a 1990s world without social media or mobile phones, you read the illustrated diary entries of an Irish teenager returning to her small hometown, having been at University in Dublin.

Your interaction with every single part of the story is to obliterate it, either using an eraser, or slowly spreading splodges of watercolour to rub out written memories, each of which is ironically framed as ‘Things to remember’.

The light touch of the writing offsets the slightly melancholy content, and its Emerald Isle setting makes for a welcome break from the usual Americana, fantasy violence, and crime fighting.

Score: 8/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=P3XtW63U3So%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

SINoAlice

iOS & Android, £Free (Pokelabo)

Coming from the mind of NieR:Automata creative director, Yoko Taro, the much-anticipated SINoAlice was released in Japan in 2017 and now finally makes its way West.

Taking place in a mysterious library, it remixes the plots and protagonists of fairy tales from Snow White to Little Red Riding Hood, its battles taking place in semi-real-time, feeding the usual gacha loot box mechanics that let you claim random new kit for your heroines.

Despite its elegant art style and stirring musical score, it’s crushingly dull. The narratives don’t branch, and with auto-fight turned on, your role is reduced to that of spectator rather than player, and no amount of fourth wall-breaking humour or twisted fairy tale storylines make up for the boredom at its core.

Score: 4/10

Email [email protected]kmetro.co.uk, leave a comment below, and follow us on Twitter

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
News

Games Inbox: When should Nintendo release the Switch 2?

The Friday Inbox tries to understand spending £150 on cosmetic DLC, as one reader looks forward to the Sega Astro City Mini.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Unexpected sensibleness
Personally I think Nintendo would be crazy to make their next console anything more than just a more high-tech Switch. Which is why I assumed that would be the last thing they tried. But no, it seems like they are going to do the sensible thing. I don’t imagine it’ll arrive any time soon but they’ve definitely already got my attention.

What I would like to see is an approach similar to the Xbox Series X with everything on the Switch is guaranteed to be backwards compatible with the new machine, no questions asked. Let’s face it, no Nintendo console is going to be the powerful so they should go all out on the extra features, including… a version of Game Pass.

I’ve never really heard anyone suggest this before but considering so many people buy Nintendo consoles just for the first part games wouldn’t a Game Pass be incredibly popular. I’m sure Nintendo wouldn’t do it, because they’re Nintendo but I’d love to think they’re considering it at least. Beyond that, it’s just the games as usual and that’s why people are getting upset at the moment with no news on any of them.
Streetdive

Sudden death
The Xbox One has already been discounted. Seems unlikely but you can’t argue with the Amazon listings at least. Suddenly it all seems very reminiscent of the original Xbox, where they ditched that puppy the second they had a better alternative. I don’t blame them but it shows just what a colossal failure the Xbox One was.

As long as Microsoft keeps its promises about backwards compatibility it doesn’t matter but it does make the decision to have no exclusives seem even weirder. The assumption originally was that it was to not annoy Xbox One owners that they were being replaced (even though the Xbox One has had a perfectly long life at this point).

But now what’s the point of it? What would have bene lost if Halo Infinite was an exclusive that really pushed the new console? OK, they’ll get a few more sales from Xbox One owners (who have just been told their console is extinct) but the benefits seems much more important. Ah, well. Games companies, who can ever understand them?
Wotan

Crazy Town
I will never in a million years explain anyone that spends money on microtransactions and loot boxes but this stuff about Valorant and Dota 2 and whatever. £90 to make your gun (not) look like a dragon? The animation for that was laughably bad! And £150 for a single character skin? £150! Who in their right mind would pay that. The characters are so tiny on screen in these MOBAs I don’t even see what difference it would make.

I guess this means I’m out of touch or something but it also means I’ve saved a heck of a lot of money to spend on actual games. £150? You could buy three full price games for that. Tell me that I’m not the only one that thinks all this belongs in Crazy Town?
Luceto

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Next gen gaming
I am extremely excited about the new Sega arcade home machine and can’t wait to find out about the other games. In fact, it’s strange in a way that my next home games machine will probably now be made by Sega!

I’m writing in as Inbox magic has a great track record, so fingers crossed for OutRun, After Burner and Virtua Fighter 2, to name just a few I’m hoping will be on there. Also, that this is released over here as there’s been no confirmation of that and also that the games are a good arcade port, not sure who is in charge of that but pleeeeaaase do this system justice! I know that’s quite a bit of Inbox magic to ask but this is such a good idea I can’t help but get my hopes up.
Rob

GC: M2 did the Game Gear Micro so there’s a good chance they’d be working on this, in which case there should be no concerns about the emulation.

Next gen sequels
My suggestion for a future weekend hot topic is the following: which video game franchises do you think should make a return and why? With PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X coming up would you like to see any specific video games franchise return and do you prefer newer titles or a remaster or reboot? It can be any games franchise providing that the developer of that franchise is still around and as long as it is recognised as a popular franchise.

Finally, what would you like to see be implemented if a franchise makes a comeback, for example VR and online gameplay? And would you welcome further titles to ensure that the video games franchises will continue to provide the great entertainment that they have done so in the past?
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

GC: We had pretty much exactly that just the other week.

Physical capability wall
Since accessibility in gaming seems to be a popular theme at the moment I thought I’d share some of my own frustrations:

I used to love playing Call Of Duty, but now I can’t since I have limited movement in my fingers on my right hand. I get frustrated that my hands can’t keep up with inputs as fast as I can think them up. I’ve always been mediocre at the game, but my disability just sucked out all of the enjoyment I was getting. I have a similar problem with racing sims. Where complete manual control used to be a must for me, I now feel cheap having to rely on automatic gears and such. I no longer enjoy what was once one of my favourite genres.

I get irrationally angry with games that insist on locking Trophies/Achievements behind what I call a ‘physical capability wall’. I’m the kind of person who enjoys mopping a game of all its Trophies/Achievements, but many games now have a high-level achievement specifically for beating it on an unlockable super hard difficulty setting. Many people with disabilities are just physically incapable of doing that and I find it hugely unfair. I’m not saying that all game achievements should be easy. I do though think it’s worth exploring to find the point at which these achievements start to exclude people with physical disabilities.

Button mapping absolutely has to be a must for all games going forward. I know that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have the capability of remapping in the system settings, but as yet there is no option to save profiles for individual games. To many, it’s an inconsequential thing, but for some it’s the difference between being able to play and enjoy a game or not.

I find that with some games I have to turn down the difficulty setting to easy mode, which again feels cheap so I stop enjoying and subsequently stop playing those games. Some of the most critically acclaimed games of this generation sit unfinished on my shelf for this reason, and in most cases I feel the addition of a button mapping function would enable me to finish them, and more importantly, enjoy them.
Disadvantaged Gamer

Just wonderful
The Wonderful 101 is what I would describe as the sort of jaunty, inventive pure action game that PlatinumGames does best.

I’m around four or five hours in now and this Wii U cult classic is consistently starting to live up to its moniker at this point.

Even at this relatively early stage in the game it almost feels like it’s bursting at the seams with novel ideas, fun mechanics, and a colourful, charming cast of characters.
Galvanized Gamer

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

All Greek to me
Well, my mellowing out is over for now. I finished What Remains Of Edith Finch, what incredible storytelling, and done in such varied styles. I particularly liked the pulp horror Creepshow-like comic for scream queen Barbara. I also finished Firewatch, nice adult themes and conversations. Sadly, two short gems that the vast number of gamers will probably never play.

Back to the killing sprees. So I’ve been bashing away on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for a couple of weeks, or The Witcher 4 as it might as well be called. I’ve seen others comment on it, but was still shocked by how much it wants to be a Witcher game with message boards for quests, and even how you call your ever present just out of sight horse Greek Roach.

And the grinding, again commented upon, or moaned about to be more accurate. When I start up the game I sometimes feel like I’m going to work rather than settling in for some fun. Did they put any thought into the side quests? At least The Witcher 3 had some fun and interesting side quests, hallucinogens and ghost horses anyone?

For balance, it’s not all terrible of course. I love Ikaros, and what a fun way to tag people, and some of the scenery is breathtaking. I’ve spent a lot of time with Greek friends, even started learning Greek, and I love that we get lots of Malaka (look it up). I’m also avoiding killing any animals, it just makes me sad to do it. I didn’t clear a bandit camp because they had a dog. Stop laughing, I know they’re virtual.

The bottom line is that Odyssey being open world and dripping with Greekness should of been my perfect game to invest hundreds of hours in. I should love it, but it feels like a soulless experience, which is why I simply don’t care about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. And I’m still not that happy if you play as a foreign invader with Brits as the killing spree bodies to rack up XP, but let’s actually wait for details on that.

I’ve started a wish list of indie mellowing out and weird games, grabbing them during sales just in case they turn out to be less than enjoyable (GC’s suggested Outer Wilds in the list), hoping to find another hidden gem, and most importantly keep me loving my gaming.
Spooky Dreamer (SpookyDreamBoo – gamertag)

Inbox also-rans
I always love the questions Nintendo gets asked at its AGMs. They’re always so weird and shows that the shareholders have no idea bout gaming whatsoever. I mean what was the question about doing without screens even getting at? Beaming it into your head?!
Bronson

Can’t pretend I’m not a bit gutted to learn that the new Paper Mario isn’t a role-playing game. Glad it turned out well anyway but I wonder why Intelligent Systems are so opposed to making one? Did Final Fantasy steal their girlfriend or something?
Tim

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston who, inspired by the release of The Last Of Us Part 2, asks what is the best ever video game story?

No matter what kind of game it was, or when it was released, what do you feel has been the best story told in a video game, and why? Was the story the main element of the game or just part of the overall package? Did it work so well because of the script, the characters, the voiceovers, the integration with the gameplay, or something else?

How important is the story to you when playing a video game and how much do you care when it’s not very good? And how much do you put up with poor gameplay when it’s good?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
News

Free Games You Can Own Right Now (Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC)

Many of us are stuck inside for the foreseeable future. To help people kill time, online storefronts and developers are giving away a bunch of free games right now across PS4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile. Because there are so many freebies floating around right now, we’ve rounded up all the games that are free for a limited time so you can easily claim any you’re interested in. This list won’t include any games that are normally free-to-play–like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends–but you’re sure to find something to fall in love with, whether it’s an old PC classic, a must-play iPhone game, or a brand-new game.

The freebies span multiple platforms and storefronts, with most of the options available on PC from stores like Steam, GOG, and Itch.io. You can currently snag Hue and Sludge Life for free on the Epic Games Store, and there will be two new games next week. Nintendo also announced and released a surprise game about jump-rope, and you can get it for free until the end of September.

You may already be subscribed to a service that gives you access to free monthly games. PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold, and Twitch Prime all currently have free games available for the month of May.

On top of that, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is currently $1 for your first month. Ultimate gives you access to a huge library of games on both Xbox One and PC, in addition to all the benefits from Xbox Live Gold, including those free monthly games. There are a number of other similar services like PlayStation Now, EA Access, Origin Access, and UPlay+.

We’ll keep this list updated as more free games become available, so stay tuned throughout the week. In the meantime, check out all the free games you can claim on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile below. If you’re looking for more recommendations, check out some of the best movies, TV shows, and games to get for social distancing.

Free PS4 games

PlayStation Plus:

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • NBA 2K20
  • Erica

Free Xbox One games

  • Crackdown
  • Crackdown 2
  • Too Human

Xbox Live Gold:

  • Coffee Talk
  • Saints Row 2
  • WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship

Free Nintendo Switch games

  • Jump Rope Challenge

Free PC games

Epic Games Store:

  • Hue
  • Sludge Life

Twitch Prime:

  • Art of Fighting 2
  • Blazing Star
  • Dark Devotion
  • Dear Esther
  • Fatal Fury Special
  • The King of Fighters 2000
  • The King of Fighters 2002
  • Mad Tracks
  • Melbits World
  • Kunai
  • PictoQuest
  • Pulstar
  • Reus
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Steel Rats
  • Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

GOG:

  • Akalabeth: World of Doom
  • Alder’s Blood Prologue
  • Ascendant
  • Beneath a Steel Sky
  • Bio Menace
  • Builders of Egypt: Prologue
  • Cayne
  • Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure
  • Doomdark’s Revenge
  • Eschalon: Book I
  • Flight of the Amazon Queen
  • Hello Neighbor Alpha Version
  • Jill of the Jungle: The Complete Trilogy
  • Legend of Keepers: Prologue
  • The Lords of Midnight
  • Lure of the Temptress
  • Postal: Classic and Uncut
  • Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves
  • Shadow Warrior Classic Complete
  • Stargunner
  • Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius
  • Teenagent
  • Treasure Adventure Game
  • Tyrian 2000
  • Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar
  • Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams
  • War Wind
  • Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire

Uplay:

  • Might & Magic Chess Royale
  • Rabbids Coding

Itch.io:

  • Becalm
  • Death Ray Manta SE
  • Fjords
  • From Orbit
  • The Restless
  • The Things We Lost In The Flood

Free Mobile Games

Free iOS Games

  • Cytus II

Free Android Games

  • Cytus II

Free Stadia Pro games

  • Crayta: Premium Edition
  • Destiny 2
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • Get Packed
  • Grid
  • Gylt
  • Little Nightmares
  • Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
  • Panzer Dragoon: Remake
  • Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  • PUBG
  • Serious Sam Collection
  • Spitlings
  • Stacks on Stacks (on Stacks)
  • SteamWorld Heist
  • SteamWorld Dig 2
  • SteamWorld Quest
  • Superhot
  • The Turing Test
  • West of Loathing
  • Zombie Army 4: Dead War

Best Deals This Week

  • Steam Summer Sale 2020 Live Now
  • PlayStation 5 Pre-Order Guide: Get Notified When PS5 Pre-Orders Go Live
  • Over 3,000 Steam Deals, Free Game Available In New PC Games Sale
  • Here's Where You Can Get A Nintendo Switch Lite
  • All The Free Game Promotions You Can Claim On PS4, Xbox One, PC, And More
  • Best Budget Monitors Under $200 – Cheap Monitors For Working From Home

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
News

The Best PS4 Games (July 2020)

Sony’s PlayStation 5 is coming in holiday 2020. While we wait on a release date confirmation, you might as well use this time to catch up on all the great PS4 games you may have missed in the current console generation. The PS4 launched back in 2013 (time flies, right?), and as you’d expect, the console has seen a ton of great games over the last six-plus years. That includes big titles like Death Stranding, God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, and a whole lot more.

With so many to play, it can be difficult to decide which video game to commit your time to, especially if you’ve only recently picked up a new PS4. Luckily, the team at GameSpot have played tons of PS4 over the years and have more than a few recommendations–whether you’re a new PS4 owner or have had the console and are just looking for something you might’ve missed.

We’ve put together a list of the best PS4 games you can get right now. This includes many of the games that have received an 8 or higher on GameSpot, and we’ve prioritized games that were nominated for our end-of-year Best PS4 Game lists. Check out our choices for the best games released on the PS4. And with the console’s library continuing to expand, make sure to check back often as we update this feature over the coming weeks and months.

If you’re curious to see some of this year’s best games in motion, then be sure to check out the video above. Make sure to check out our gallery of the biggest PS4 game release dates of 2020 and beyond for every major video game coming to the console, whether it’s a racing game, open world RPGs with tons of side quests, survival horror classics, or multiplayer games to compete with Overwatch, we’ll help you find the next game to throw into your PS4 Pro or regular PS4 console. Of course, some of the marque Sony exclusives from Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, Sony Santa Monica’s God of War series, and more are here.

There are heaps of amazing PlayStation 4 games out there. Which PS4 games do you love the most? Doesn’t matter if it’s popular or incredibly underrated. Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for even more recommendations? Check out our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games and the best Xbox One and Xbox Series X games to go along with our favorite PlayStation 4 games.

Persona 5 Royal — 10/10

“Persona 5 Royal is many things: a collection of small inspiring stories, an ambitious harrowing journey with some good friends, a stunning visual and auditory experience, a resounding call to action. By refining what was already great and building on its best qualities with a brilliant new story arc, Persona 5 Royal asserts itself as an unforgettable and empowering RPG that should be recognized as one of the best games of our time.” [Read the full review]

— Michael Higham

Final Fantasy 7 Remake (10/10)

“Regardless of your history with the original game, Final Fantasy VII Remake is an astounding achievement. The wait for its release was a long one, but in gameplay, story, characters, and music, it delivers–the wait was worth it. For first-time players, it’s an opportunity to understand why Final Fantasy VII is held in such high regard. It’s the chance to experience a multifaceted story that grapples with complex subject matter, be in the company of memorable characters, and be moved by their plight. For returning fans, this isn’t the Final Fantasy VII your mind remembers, it’s the one your heart always knew it to be.” [Read the full review]

— Tamoor Hussain

Bloodborne — 9/10

“The finest treasures are found within the city of Yharnam and the forests, lakes, and purgatories beyond it. Only Bloodborne would be so bold as to bury an entire factional player-versus-player mechanic within an optional region, which is in turn buried within a series of oblique steps you might miss if you aren’t exploring every nook and cranny, or ignore the game’s enigmatic hints. I finished Bloodborne in less time than I did Dark Souls II, yet I treasure it more in spite of its few missteps. In death there is life, and in blood, there is redemption. More hyperbole, yes, but for a game this theatrical, only hyperbole will do.” [Read the full review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Death Stranding — 9/10

“Death Stranding is a hard game to absorb. There are many intertwining threads to its plot, and silly names, corny moments, and heavy exposition belie an otherwise very simple message. That comes through much more clearly in the game’s more mundane moments, when you find a desperately-needed ladder left behind by another player or receive a letter from an NPC thanking you for your efforts. It’s positive without ignoring pain; in fact, it argues in both its story and its gameplay that adversity itself is what makes things worth doing and life worth living. It’s a game that requires patience, compassion, and love, and it’s also one we really need right now.” [Read the review]

— Kallie Plagge, Reviews Editor

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — 9/10

“The orchestration of intense one-on-one boss encounters that truly test your mettle, and slower-paced stealth sections that let you take on battles at your own pace, is masterful. More so than in previous games, From Software has honed in on the inherent tension found in the challenging nature of its games, and uses it to incredible effect. Sekiro marries the developer’s unique brand of gameplay with stealth action to deliver an experience that is as challenging as it is gratifying.” [Read the review]

— Tamoor Hussain, Global News Editor

Control — 8/10

“It’s not often that a game invades my thoughts the way Control has. I’m at the point where I want to consume every last thing it has to offer. And if I’m honest, it also makes me want to go back and replay Remedy’s past games, too. Sure, it’s a faulty metroidvania in some respects, but there are so many exceptional qualities afoot that Control handily deflects any momentary ire. I can’t wait to take part in discussions about the game, to see what others have figured out, and to better understand where it all fits into Jesse’s story.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

The Outer Worlds — 9/10

“I finished The Outer Worlds wanting more, eager to jump back into the world to see extra things. It’s not a short game, but it’s one packed with such a steady stream of wonderful characters to meet, interesting places to explore, and meaningful, multi-layered quests to solve, that it didn’t feel like there was any room to get tired of it. I wanted to rewind the clock and do everything in a completely different way. The Outer Worlds is consistently compelling throughout, and it’s a superb example of how to promote traditional RPG sensibilities in a sharp, modern experience.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor & Producer

Outer Wilds — 9/10

“Outer Wilds’ deeply captivating narrative and plentiful mysteries push you further into exploring its richly varied and stunning solar system. The time loop you’re trapped in lets you craft bite-sized expeditions that all end up telling their own stories, irrespective of whether you make a monumental discovery or simply encounter a playful interaction. Having a tool to neatly document your discoveries helps you slowly piece together a tale filled with charming writing, and one that presents its own open-ended questions that add emotional heft to the numerous exchanges you parse through during your travels. By letting you chart your own course and piece together its mystery at your own pace, Outer Wilds makes each of its expeditions feel incredibly personal and absolutely unmissable.” [Read the review]

— Alessandro Barbosa

Apex Legends — 9/10

“Apex Legends is a mix of smart shooter ideas that makes for a competitive, team-based game that gets at all the best parts of battle royale while addressing a lot of the weaknesses. Respawn’s intense focus on team play makes Apex more than just a worthy addition to the genre; it’s an indicator of where battle royale should go in the future.” [Read the review]

— Phil Hornshaw, Editor

Resident Evil 2 Remake — 9/10

“Resident Evil 2 is not only a stellar remake of the original, but it’s also simply a strong horror game that delivers anxiety-inducing and grotesque situations, topping some of the series’ finest entries. But above all, the remake is an impressive game for the fact that it goes all-in on the pure survival horror experience, confidently embracing its horrifying tone and rarely letting up until the story’s conclusion. Though Resident Evil 2 has its roots firmly in the past, it reworks the familiar horrors into something that feels brand new and all its own.” [Read the review]

— Alessandro Fillari, Editor

A Plague Tale: Innocence — 8/10

“Powerfully ghoulish depictions of the plague and rats aside, Innocence is ultimately an emotive story of resilience against harrowing odds. The game’s title is an obvious nod towards the loss of innocence the endearing young cast faces throughout their journey. But more than that, it also speaks of the depths of human depravity and the agonizing cost of survival in the midst of war. Despite the unremitting horrors of Innocence’s beginnings, the game occasionally lets in a faint glimpse of hope. One of my favorite moments is when Amicia spots another wildflower in a lone trek across the city, nestled among the decay of the rats’ revolting nests. Without her brother around, she picks it up, and places it gingerly in her own hair–a personal reminder to keep trudging on amidst the hardships, and a testament to her growing strength and tenacity. Despite flashes of predictability, moments like these will bring a lump to your throat, as it did mine.” [Read the review]

— Khee Hoon Chan

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled — 8/10

“Simply put: This is a remaster done right. Nitro-Fueled maintains the spirit and rock-solid foundations of a childhood favorite while building on it and modernizing it where necessary–even if the handling might take a bit of getting used to. Adventure mode’s classic variant feels a little tough, but your first race on Roo’s Tubes or Sewer Speedway will bring a nostalgic grin to your face regardless. When the nostalgia fades, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled remains fun and engaging enough to keep you racing on with a smile on your face for much longer yet. It’s good to have Crash back.” [Read the review]

— Oscar Dayus

Moss — 8/10

“It’s a testament to just how well Moss understands PlayStation VR and works with the device instead of trying to bend it to a will it was never designed for. Moss wouldn’t feel right without it at all, and its many strengths are married to the interactions that only full immersion can manufacture. Unsurprisingly, then, Moss is easily one of PlayStation VR’s best titles to date, even if it’s a little too eager to get you in and out of its world.” [Read the review]

— Alessandro Barbosa

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

“Astro Bot is a 3D platformer where you control a bot, but also a representation of your controller that acts as a Swiss-army knife of useful gadgets. Your Bot friend may be cute, but it’s not very capable, so you’ll need to help it solve puzzles, free it from danger, and provide a home for the other bots you rescue along the way–who adorably scurry into your controller’s virtual representation by way of the hatch-door touchpad. This would all make for a fine game outside of VR, but a big part of its allure is feeling like you’re along for the ride with your charming companion in a bustling cartoon world. Astro Bot feels like the product of creators who recognized both the potential of the character at their fingertips and the unique strengths of VR, and the result is a lovely game that remains a delight to play from beginning to end.”

— GameSpot Staff

Marvel’s Spider-Man — 9/10

“Minor shortcomings don’t detract from Insomniac’s achievement in creating a game that feels like an authentic interpretation of a beloved creation. The feeling of embodying Spidey and using his abilities is astonishing, and the time spent on exploring its major characters help make its story feel heartfelt, despite superhero bombast. There have been open-world Spider-Man games before, but none so riveting and full of personality, none that explore and do justice to this many facets of the universe. Insomniac has created a superior Spider-Man experience that leaves a lasting impression, one that has you longing for just one more swing around New York City, even after the credits roll.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Tetris Effect — 9/10

“Tetris Effect is a transformative game that will more than likely be overlooked by people who think it’s “just Tetris.” Well, it is and it isn’t. Anyone who knows Tetris can pick up Tetris Effect and begin playing right away. The fundamentals remain the same; it is a time-tested formula that continues to work, after all. But Tetris is just the beginning of Tetris Effect. It provides the foundation for a complex emotional journey that defies expectations. Its a vector for meditation. It’s a driving force that pushes you beyond your presumed limits. It is the definition of awesome, and if you have an open heart and an open mind, you owe it to yourself to take the plunge and see why it’s anything but “just Tetris.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Return of the Obra Dinn — 9/10

“But it’s more than that. Your magical pocket watch and its time-traveling, corpse-identifying mechanic offers far more than just an exceptionally clever puzzle game–as if that wasn’t already enough. It also delivers a wonderfully evocative method of storytelling as you gain glimpses into the lives of each person on board at vital moments along the Obra Dinn’s journey and piece together who they were, what they had to deal, what motivated them, and how they responded when tragedy struck. You may only see them in scratchy monochrome stills and hear them in brief snatches of urgent conversation, if at all, but if you’re paying attention then you should feel like you know (almost) every one of these sixty people intimately by the end of the game.” [Read the review]

— David Wildgoose

Dead Cells — 9/10

“Dead Cells is a fascinating amalgam of several of today’s most popular indie genres. It juggles elements of tough-as-nails action games and Metroid-inspired exploration platformers, with the procedurally generated levels and random item allotments found in roguelikes. It’s impressive how it all comes together without a hitch, especially given that the persistent character growth found in games like Dark Souls or Metroid squarely conflicts with the randomized resets emblematic of Rogue-inspired games.” [Read the full review]

— Daniel Starkey

God Of War — 9/10

“In many ways God of War is what the series has always been. It’s a spectacular action game with epic set pieces, big-budget production values, and hard-hitting combat that grows more feverish and impressive as you progress. What may surprise you is how mature its storytelling has become. Like Kratos, God of War recalls the past while acknowledging the need to improve. Everything new it does is for the better, and everything it holds onto benefits as a result. Kratos is no longer a predictable brute. God of War is no longer an old-fashioned action series. With this reboot, it confidently walks a new path that will hopefully lead to more exciting adventures to come.” [Read the full review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Monster Hunter: World — 8/10

“Ever since the title was first announced last year, it was clear that Capcom was gunning for something grander than Monster Hunter Generations. It has succeeded, and this is likely the biggest and best that the franchise has ever been. It’s not just the comparative depth of the narrative; it also boasts almost seamless integration between combat systems that were previously incomprehensible for amateurs. The Monster Hunter formula has definitely honed its claws, and all the above factors play their part in making Monster Hunter World a meaningful evolution for the series at large.” [Read the full review]

— Ginny Woo

Celeste — 9/10

“It’s a testament to convincing writing and ingenious design that after playing Celeste I felt like I’d been on the same journey as Madeline. Her struggle is one made easy to empathize with, her low points painful to watch, and her high notes exhilarating to experience. Her tale is delicately told and beautifully illustrated, confidently coalescing with the satisfying, empowering game it lies within. Not bad for a game about climbing a mountain.” [Read the full review]

— Oscar Dayus

Hitman 2 — 8/10

“The addition of other minor mechanical changes–like concussive weapons, a picture-in-picture enemy activity alert, and visible security camera sightlines–help to improve Hitman 2 overall as a dense and accessible stealth assassination game. But the new locations are the real stars, impressive and inventive sandboxes ripe for picking apart with exciting experiments. Hitman is about experiencing the anticipation of seeing whether a plan will work when you try it for the first time. It’s about feeling the tension of briskly walking away from a bad situation, hoping you can lose the suspicious guards. It’s the satisfaction of knowing the machinations of a level so well that when a target moves into a particular place at a particular time, you have the perfect way to intervene. Hitman 2 is a familiar experience, but in the Hitman world, familiarity is an incredible strength.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Shadow of the Colossus — 9/10

“Shadow of the Colossus is a tremendous journey, and one well worth taking and retaking. The visual overhaul is stunning, thoroughly enhancing every facet of Wander and Agro’s excellent adventure. Galloping through the tranquil world is always breathtaking; felling a monumental colossus is always humbling. Shadow of the Colossus is a beautiful reconstruction of an already exceptional title. It continues to be a modern classic and is an extraordinary game that everyone must experience.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Spyro the Dragon: Reignited Trilogy — 8/10

“The Reignited Trilogy is the best kind of collection that not only brings a beloved series up to current visual standards but also proves just how well-built the original titles were. Granted, the originals were done by a little studio called Insomniac, and it’s not exactly surprising something that team did is a fine example of the genre. But the Reignited Trilogy’s developer, Toys for Bob, deserves major kudos for bringing Insomniac’s vision to life in the way we could’ve only dreamed in 1998.” [Read the review]

— Justin Clark

Yakuza Kiwami 2 — 8/10

“The tale of Tokyo and Osaka, Kiryu and Sayama’s partnership, and Kiryu and Goda’s rivalry remains one of the Yakuza’s best stories, and Kiwami 2’s minor missteps don’t affect the heart of that experience. The modernization of its presentation and its mechanics elevate it, making it absolutely worth revisiting or experiencing for the first time. Yakuza is an exemplary, if flawed series that does an incredible job of steeping you in contemporary Japanese-style crime drama, and establishing an evocative sense of place. Yakuza Kiwami 2 is an excellent example of the series at its best, coupling its most memorable stories and characters with its most sophisticated mechanics yet.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition — 10/10

“From lonely farmhouses through pitched battles with gods in far-flung dimensions, Divinity: Original Sin II is one of the most captivating role-playing games ever made in both its original and Definitive incarnations, with the latter proving that even the most complicated role-players can be ported successfully to gamepad-limited consoles. This immaculately conceived and emotion-wrought fantasy world, topped by brilliant tactical combat, make it one of the finest games of recent years, and it remains an instant classic in the pantheon of RPG greats.” [Read the review]

— Brett Todd

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection — 8/10

“Digital Eclipse proves once again that it’s the right team for the job of both preserving and resurrecting classic video games. For SNK and its fans, the team has elevated some of the company’s most important milestones. It’s responsible for more than just Neo Geo games, and though not every game that came before is worth replaying on its own today, the addition of supplemental materials and revitalizing modern gaming conveniences make them feel more interesting than they have in years, and in some cases, decades.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Persona 5 — 9/10

“Within Persona 5 is a complex set of interconnected gameplay mechanics, and in almost every aspect Atlus has executed on its vision exceptionally, barring the pacing issues towards the end. At every turn, it presents something to marvel at, whether it’s the fluid combat, vibrant world, or the many memorable characters. It’s a game I could talk about for hours; I haven’t mentioned the ability to connect to the Thieves Guild, which lets you see how other players spent their day or ask them for help answering questions at school. Or the thumping acid-jazz-infused soundtrack that I’ve not been able to get out of my head. Or even just the joy of seeing how it stylishly transitions between menus. But that encapsulates why Persona 5 is a game that shouldn’t be missed. It’s stuffed to bursting point with gameplay ideas and presentation flourishes–there’s an overwhelming level of artistry in every part of Persona 5, making it a truly standout entry in the series. It’s a refined, effortlessly stylish RPG that will be talked about for years to come.” [Read the review]

— Lucy James, Senior Video Producer

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard — 8/10

“By the end of the campaign, I was ready for the game to be over, but that’s okay. RE7 ends just as it starts to outstay its welcome, and after the fact, I felt like I’d survived a truly harrowing journey. The boss fights may be slightly inconsistent and certain sections might drag after a while, but RE7 is still a remarkable success. It has a clear vision and executes it with impressive patience and precision. By returning to horror, Resident Evil has once again become something special.” [Read the review]

— Scott Butterworth

Horizon: Zero Dawn — 9/10

“This is the first departure from the Killzone series for developer Guerrilla Games, and though you might think the team took a risk by stepping out of its FPS comfort zone to create a third-person open-world action game, you’d never know it was their first rodeo. For every minor imperfection, there’s an element of greatness that recharges your desire to keep fighting and exploring Zero Dawn’s beautiful and perilous world. Guerrilla Games has delivered one of the best open-world games of this generation, and redefined its team’s reputation in the process.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus — 9/10

“The New Colossus never lets you forget who and why you’re fighting. Nazi brutality is on full display, from the blown-out, irradiated remains of Manhattan to each of the resistance members, who all carry mental scars if not physical ones. You’re never given a chance between cutscenes, missions, and even downtime on the U-boat to lose sight of the Reich’s cruelty. Wolfenstein’s tense gameplay elevates this further by giving you the power to truly resist–and come out of each battle ready for another fight.” [Read the review]

— Kallie Plagge, Reviews Editor

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — 8/10

“Hellblade’s most notable achievement is the handling of an incredibly sensitive subject matter within an engaging and well-crafted action/adventure game. At its heart, the story is about Senua’s struggle to come to terms with her illness. In the process, she learns to find the strength within herself to endure, and to make peace with her past. And in a profound and physical way, we go through those same struggles with her, and come away with a better understanding of a piece of something that many people in the world struggle with.” [Read the review]

— Alessandro Fillari, Editor

What Remains of Edith Finch — 9/10

“Developer Giant Sparrow managed to strike the delicate balance between joy and sorrow in 2012’s The Unfinished Swan, but What Remains of Edith Finch transcends even the latent sadness of that game, finding the beauty–even sometimes the fun–in what’s always fundamentally a tragedy. It’s not often that a game’s plot slips past the bitterness of grief to finally get to the acceptance, but that’s the triumph in What Remains of Edith Finch. Ultimately, if the game has any resemblance of a moral, it’s that the bravest, most beautiful thing every one of us does is choose to keep going, despite knowing what’s coming.” [Read the review]

— Justin Clark

Nier: Automata — 9/10

“Thanks to Platinum Games’ knack for riveting and gratifying combat, Automata is Yoko Taro’s most exciting game to date. The combat mechanics click after hurdling a low learning curve, and the end result is a skillful dance where balletic dodges complement wushu-inspired aggression. Moreover, this multi-ending trip is generously peppered with surprises and revelations, as well as Easter eggs that call back to the first game and the Drakengard series from which Nier spun off. It’s a meaty, often exhilarating trek that showcases Platinum Games’ and Yoko Taro’s unique blend of genius.” [Read the review]

— Miguel Concepcion

Wipeout Omega Collection — 9

“By focusing on this specific era of the series, Wipeout Omega Collection maintains a level of cohesion you wouldn’t get if this compilation included, say, Wipeout Pure or Fusion. While each of the three games exude style and stimulation in their own distinct ways, they collectively showcase the best elements of franchise’s engrossing racing and silky smooth visuals. And even though it doesn’t completely scratch the itch that only a completely new PS4 sequel can offer, this collection is easily the next best thing.” [Read the review]

— Miguel Concepcion

Yakuza Kiwami — 8/10

“Kiwami does a great job as both a remake of the original Yakuza game and as a sequel to Zero. Despite that combat remains more of a bump in the road than a rewarding pursuit, it’s a no-brainer for existing fans of the series, and shouldn’t be overlooked by newcomers, even if Zero passed them by. There’s nothing else quite like Yakuza, and Kiwami isn’t afraid to show it.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End — 10/10

“Uncharted 4’s gameplay pushes the narrative forward, the narrative feeds off its gameplay, and every detail coalesces to create something bigger. Uncharted 4 bounces between set pieces and personal moments with such grace, with such skill and poise and affection for its characters, that you don’t mind when the guns stop firing, and the smoke clears, and Nathan gets a moment to breathe.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Titanfall 2 — 9/10

“Titanfall 2 demonstrates a vitality that its predecessor couldn’t. Whereas the first Titanfall kept up its breakneck pace throughout the entirety of every match, Titanfall 2 understands that sometimes, dialing things back for a few moments can make the long run much more enjoyable. In many ways, Titanfall 2 feels like the game Respawn should have made in 2013. It’s a fantastic sequel. It’s a fluid shooter. It’s a spectacular game.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Dishonored 2 — 8/10

“Any time I’m given a choice between stealth and action, I go stealth. I love the hold-your-breath tension of hoping a guard didn’t spot you and the hard-earned triumph of executing a perfectly timed plan. Dishonored 2 delivers that sneaky satisfaction, arming you with stealth essentials like hiding bodies, peering through keyholes, and silent takedowns. But it’s also an incredible engine for gleeful chaos, one so engrossing and amusing that I kind of accidentally beat the entire campaign raining hilarious, elaborate death on my enemies.” [Read the review]

— Scott Butterworth

The Last Guardian — 9/10

“It isn’t clear whether or not The Last Guardian means to be frustrating at times–if it’s a concerted effort to test your patience for a lovable-yet-stubborn creature. Your affection for Trico and sympathy for both characters blossom nonetheless, culminating in an enrapturing series of revelations that cements your attachment to their personalities. Trico is the undeniable star of the show, exhibiting believable physicality and emotional range, but the boy is a valuable lesson in how to be patient and resilient when faced with unforeseen challenges.

When the book closes on their story, it’s hard not to open it up again and begin anew. The trials you overcome endear you to both characters, but the emotions Trico elicits make you want to give it another chance–to be the patient, effective partner it truly deserves.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Doom (2016) — 8/10

“But without a doubt, the loud and chaotic campaign is Doom’s strongest component. It’s straightforward and simple, but it serves its purpose: to thrust you into increasingly dire scenarios fueled by rage and the spirit of heavy metal. Many shooters chase the thrill Doom delivers, but few are as potent in their execution. It captures the essence of what made the classic Doom games touchstones of their day, and translates it to suit modern palates with impressively rendered hellscapes and a steady influx of tantalizing upgrades. Doom is the product of a tradition as old as shooters, and while it’s not the model to follow in every case, modern shooters could learn a thing or two from Doom’s honed and unadulterated identity.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Battlefield 1 — 9/10

“With Battlefield 1, EA and DICE have proven the viability of World War 1 as a time period worth revisiting in first-person shooters. It brings into focus countries and nationalities that do not exist today while also shedding light on how the outcome of that war has shaped our lives. As World War II shooters proved many years ago, no game can truly capture the entirety of a global conflict. This is why the focused structure of the War Stories anthology works well. Moreover, Operations succeeds as an effective educational primer on the battles that this gripping adversarial mode are based on. Battlefield 1 is just an introduction to one of the deadliest world events in history, but it is an outstanding, feature-rich package in both its emotional stories and strong multiplayer.” [Read the review]

— Miguel Concepcion

XCOM 2 — 9/10

“Now that XCOM 2 has made its way to consoles, these sentiments remain the same. Some technical issues have migrated from this year’s PC release: characters sometimes freeze in place while the turn progresses; soldiers can take almost 10 seconds to execute commands; and cutscenes have a tendency to drop frame rates throughout campaigns. But the layered tactics, impactful meta-game, and deep character-building are all intact on PS4 and Xbox One. XCOM 2 remains a superb strategy title.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

The Witness — 9/10

“That’s what The Witness is about–gaining knowledge to make sense of the island and its gorgeous but exotic environments. The Witness molds its world, puzzles, and themes into such a layered, cohesive whole that, if we look hard enough, we’ll keep finding new ways to perceive it. There are still things about The Witness I can’t make sense of–some clues I might never notice, and some puzzles I might never solve. But the hints are there. It might not all be clear at first, but that’s okay, because I’m always learning.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Inside — 8/10

“This is a beautiful, haunting, and memorable game, a worthy follow-up to Limbo. Its puzzles, although rarely difficult, are engaging complements to the story. The real achievement of this game, though, is the way that it crafts its narrative: detailed environments convey the bizarre world that you travel through; introspective moments are filled with minimalist sound design and just the barest touches of music; and the things you must do to complete your journey force you to confront the realities of humanity, freedom, and existence.” [Read the review]

— Alex Newhouse

Dark Souls III — 8/10

“Dark Souls III is a game of valleys and peaks, down through dungeons and up over castle walls. It’s a plummet into places we shouldn’t be–an escape from places we don’t belong.

But of course, we fight our way through the darkness, and find our way out. There are a few stumbles along the way, but in the end, Dark Souls III is well worth the riveting climb.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Thumper — 9/10

“It sounds odd to claim that a lack of consistently original music wouldn’t be a major problem for a rhythm game, but music isn’t the point. Thumper thrives due to the way it marries speed, simple controls, and mesmerizing atmosphere. It’s far more convincing in VR, where you’re enveloped in the game’s space and free of distractions from the outside world, but it shouldn’t be ignored by those without the appropriate hardware. Thumper, no matter how you play it, is too good to miss.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Abzu — 9/10

“Art exists to bridge a gap, to communicate emotions or ideas that would otherwise be impossible to articulate. Abzu does this–courageously, confidently, sincerely. Its stirring soundtrack, vivid colors, subtle storytelling, living world, and thoughtful execution combine to create a singularly moving, transcendent experience. In a word: Abzu is beautiful.” [Read the review]

— Scott Butterworth

Stardew Valley — 9/10

“On the surface, Stardew Valley is a game about farming, but there are more adventures awaiting curious players beyond cultivating a rich and bountiful garden. From mining and fishing to making friends and falling in love, Stardew Valley’s Pelican Town is stuffed with rewarding opportunities. As modern-day woes give way to pressing matters on the farm and within your newfound community, Stardew Valley’s meditative activities often lead to personal reflection in the real world. It’s a game that tugs at your curiosity as often as it does your heart.” [Read the review]

— Mary Kish

Owlboy — 9/10

“Owlboy is consistently charming and surprising, and when its final act doubles down on every front, it’s bittersweet to see it end. As you relish the outcome of the final battle and watch the closing cutscene, you can’t help but reflect on the beginning of your adventure and how far the world and its inhabitants have come. You’ll never be able to play Owlboy for the first time again, but the memories of its magic moments stick with you. This is more than a treat for fans of old-school games; Owlboy is a heartfelt experience that will touch anyone with an affinity for great art and storytelling.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Firewatch — 7/10

“It’s a shame Firewatch fails as a mystery because it succeeds in so many other ways. Its world is captivating, its design is clever, and its characters are among the most well-written in gaming. Though it might sound counterintuitive, the plot is in many ways secondary to the relationship you build between Henry and Delilah, and that portion of the game is truly inspired. I’ve already returned to Firewatch for a calming walk in the woods; I imagine I’ll go back again soon to visit with Henry and Delilah.” [Read the review]

— Scott Butterworth

Final Fantasy XV — 8/10

“One of the first things you see when you boot up the game is this claim “A Final Fantasy for fans and first-timers.” It’s a strange statement; fans can’t agree on what makes a good Final Fantasy game, and who knows why newcomers shied away from the series in the past. It’s been a long ten years since Final Fantasy XV was first revealed, and tastes have changed in the meantime. While it’s safe to assume fans and outsiders will find some aspect of Final Fantasy XV disappointing–be it the shallow story or finnicky Astrals–it would be hard for anyone to deny that Final Fantasy XV is a fascinating game after giving it a chance. Where its characters fail to impress, Final Fantasy XV’s beautiful world and exciting challenges save the day.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Hyper Light Drifter — 9/10

“Lastly, consider how enjoyable it is to navigate Hyper Light Drifter’s spaces–the networks of elevators and shimmering force-fields that lead to more discoveries, more hidden regions, and more locked doors begging to be opened. I vanquished the final boss after six or seven hours, but I’m still exploring, hoping to find every last crevice, every opening I’ve missed, every invisible platform. There are untold stories lurking out there. And once I have uncovered them, I hope Hyper Light Drifter’s community has multitudes more to share.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Rez Infinite — 9/10

“Despite its short campaign–you can complete everything in a little more than an hour, if you’re skilled–Rez Infinite is the game to buy a PSVR for. It’s hypnotic and enveloping. And it’s transformative, both within itself and in the wider scheme of the experiences made possible by VR. You don’t want to sleep on Rez Infinite, because with the addition of more polished visual flair and the dreamy Area X, we have a new classic for the new generation on our hands.” [Read the review]

— Alexa Ray Corriea

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate — 9/10

“But a disappointing final fight and some control hitches can’t diminish the charms of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. The game is a triumphant return to form for the franchise, and presents a beautifully structured tale with heart and soul to spare. Ziplining through London is thrilling, and the game allows you to organically discover missions and leaves you open-ended solutions lets you to create a meaningful, personal experience within its world. Coupled with strong, loveable leads and a seemingly endless procession of ways to leave your (fictional) mark on London’s history, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is a shining example of gameplay and storytelling.” [Read the review]

— Alexa Ray Corriea

SOMA — 9/10

“These missteps of tedium shine a light on just how incredibly assured SOMA is elsewhere. I came in expecting something similar to Amnesia, just in a terrifying new location, but what I found is an intelligent game that forced me to think and contemplate ideas as only the best sci-fi is capable of doing. It may not stir the hordes of wailing YouTubers looking for the next best haunted house, but SOMA succeeds at crafting something much more meaningful in a genre that’s deserving of more than just simple jump scares.” [Read the review]

— Richard Wakeling

Undertale — 9/10

“Without spoiling the many ways it will screw with your expectations, it isn’t possible to truly capture how wonderful Undertale is. You wouldn’t know it with a passing glance, but it’s one of the most progressive and innovative RPGs to come in a long time, breaking down tradition for the sake of invention, with great success.” [Read the review]

— Tyler Hicks

Dying Light — 7/10

“I am rooting for Dying Light’s success, even as I shake my head at its avoidable foibles. I understand it, I get it, and so I find pleasure in it even as it disappoints me, even when I land between a fence and a rocky cliff and get stuck there, even when I don’t grab a ledge or pole after a jump for reasons that I can’t quite understand. My dearest Dying Light, I am so grateful for your specialness, for it shines through even when I am prepared to damn you to hell.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Cities Skylines — 8/10

“Even with a few PC issues and a less-than-perfect Switch port, Cities: Skylines remains the best city-builder on the market right now. The game’s presentation is stodgy, but it is all but guaranteed to provide you many hours of carefully crafting cities, laying out zoning, and establishing districts for specifics residential and industrial uses…all free from real-world mayoral headaches like 6 a.m. phone calls griping about snowplowing. Right now, there is no better way to take a peek at life as a mayor without filing your papers to run for office in the real world.” [Read the review]

— Brett Todd

Until Dawn — 8/10

“I didn’t expect to have so much fun with Until Dawn, and the depth with which my choices mattered and affected the final outcome encouraged repeat playthroughs. The visuals can be wonky at times, but in the end Until Dawn succeeds in being a thoughtful use of familiar mechanics, a great achievement in player-driven narrative, and a horror game you shouldn’t miss.” [Read the review]

— Alexa Ray Corriea

Kerbal Space Program — 9/10

“You will fail at this game. It will demoralize you and it will stress you out, but, more often than not, it will soothe, quiet, and inspire you. Innovative muscles will be stretched here that aren’t stretched very often by games, and more complex moments require a sort of zen beyond being simply twitch-ready for a surprise attack. Even failure imparts a lesson. No matter how big or small the achievement, anything else that can be done is limited only by your imagination. Even with its cartoonish humor and quirks, Kerbal Space Program has an almost sacred respect for the tiny miracles involved in space travel, and even at its most difficult, it deserves that respect in return.” [Read the review]

— Justin Clark

Tales from the Borderlands — 9/10

“Tales from the Borderlands’ is a triumphant piece of narrative, a thrilling romp through an already rich game world piled high with both reverential and tongue-in-cheek nods to its source material. It asks you what it means to be a hero, but on a deeper level explores themes of greed, family, friendship, and forgiveness. It has its cataclysmic, epic moments, plot twists that were impossible to see coming, gut-wringing sad bits, and an embarrassing wealth of humor. The choices you’ve made throughout the series matter and ripple outward to the finale, and with a cast as irritatingly loveable as this one, it’s impossible not to care about where they’re going next.” [Read the review]

— Alexa Ray Corriea

Rise of the Tomb Raider — 9/10

“Rise of the Tomb Raider’s first shot pans over the vast, foreboding landscape we’ll soon come to know. In many ways, it functions as a promise on the part of Crystal Dynamics: there are big things ahead of us. And at the end of Lara’s journey, after we’ve seen her through this adventure, and experienced everything the world has to offer, it’s clear that promise was kept.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Fallout 4 — 9/10

“Fallout 4 is an engrossing game that lures you in with mystery and the promise of adventure. Its wretched wasteland can be captivating, and you never know what odd person or settlement lies around the next bend. Fallout 4 uses its dark world as a canvas for exciting combat and gripping stories, and when you dig deeper into its post-nuclear-apocalypse version of Boston–defending yourself from violent scavengers and using your wits to climb social ladders–you become attached to the new you, and ultimately invested in the fate of your new world.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain — 10/10

“There has never been a game in the series with such depth to its gameplay, or so much volume in content. The best elements from the past games are here, and the new open-world gameplay adds more to love on top. When it comes to storytelling, there has never been a Metal Gear game that’s so consistent in tone, daring in subject matter, and so captivating in presentation. The Phantom Pain may be a contender for one of the best action games ever made, but is undoubtedly the best Metal Gear game there is.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Rocket League — 9/10

“The joy of Rocket League rests on the countless plans that are conceived and discarded every other second in any given match. Trying to predict where and how the ball will bounce next is a game within the game. Despite the use of cars, Rocket League emulates the emotional surges typical of The Beautiful Game, such as the rush of an unexpected fast break or a well-timed header into a goal. With Rocket League, the promising concept of combining two wonderful things–cars and soccer–is equally magnificent in execution. You can’t say the same thing about, say, combining cake and fruit to make fruitcake, as the comedian Jim Gaffigan observed.” [Read the review]

— Miguel Concepcion

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — 10/10

“Where the Witcher 2 sputtered to a halt, The Witcher 3 is always in a crescendo, crafting battle scenarios that constantly one-up the last, until you reach the explosive finale and recover in the glow of the game’s quiet denouement. But while the grand clashes are captivating, it is the moments between conflicts, when you drink with the local clans and bask in a trobairitz’s song, that are truly inspiring.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Dragon Age: Inquisition — 9/10

“Inquisition’s characters and world recall the grand gestures of the original Dragon Age, even though the game as a whole is so structurally different to its predecessors. It offers the thrill of discovery and the passion of camaraderie. It features a glee club called The Sing-Quisition, and a dwarf with writer’s block. It establishes connections with its world in big ways and small, with the sight of a titanous temple and the smirk of an Orlesian commander in love. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a wonderful game and a lengthy pilgrimage to a magical world with vital thematic ties to one we already know.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor — 8/10

“This is a great game in its own right, narratively disjointed but mechanically sound, made up of excellent parts pieced together in excellent ways. I already knew what future lay in store for Middle-earth as I played Shadow of Mordor; I’m hoping that my own future might one day bring another Lord of the Rings adventure as stirring as this one.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Transistor — 8/10

“Transistor is always a good-looking game, but in these instances, it demonstrates a rare knack for combining its visuals and music to powerfully convey both narrative information and tone, driving the story forward with Red’s own unwavering resolve. So in the end, yes, Transistor is a fun action role-playing game with a neat combat system, but beautiful moments like these make it more than that. They make it a game with a soul.” [Read the review]

— Carolyn Petit

Project Cars — 8/10

“That’s Project CARS at its best. No experience points. No parts to buy. No cars to add to your collection. The audacious decision to offer everything up front informs the rest of Project CARS’s design, making it distinct (and sometimes frustrating). Other games in the genre work like Skinner boxes, offering rewards according to a special schedule designed to keep you hooked. These games offer the fantasy of plodding, constant accumulation or low-stakes (if high-speed) action. Project CARS offers a different fantasy, one that’s a little less attractive and a bit harder to enjoy: the fantasy of learning how to do something difficult.” [Read the review]

— Austin Walker

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
News

The Best Xbox One Games Of All Time (July 2020)

Excitement is ramping up for the next generation of Xbox. Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox Series X console is scheduled to launch sometime later this year, after all. While that should come as no surprise, it’s crazy to think that Xbox One actually launched in 2013. Time certainly has a way of flying, and with each year, there have been tons of games released. As such, it can be pretty tough to decide what video game play. From exclusives to the top multi-platform games to indies, there’s a lot to choose from.

With that in mind, we’ve assembled the list of what we think are the best Xbox One games so far. We’ve excluded backward compatible games on Xbox One, which includes many original Xbox and Xbox 360 favorites, because then this list would be way too long. Xbox also has a subscription service called Game Pass which lets you download and play a selection of over 100 games that varies slightly from month to month. We’ve excluded the older games on that service as well. Most any Xbox One game, whether it’s a AAA or indie game should work with the Xbox Series X, and these picks should be no exception, so you can feel confident about picking up an Xbox game regardless of which game console you plan to own by the end of the year.

For more Xbox One games, see our roundup highlighting when all the biggest new Xbox One games release dates from 2020 and next. You can also check out the best Xbox Game Pass games that you can play right now, as well as the best online multiplayer game to pick up with your friends right now, as well as the best games with a long and satisfying single-player campaign to keep you busy. We also have similar lists of the best PS4 games and the best games on Nintendo Switch.

Which Xbox One video game do you love the most? Is there an Xbox One game you think is missing from this list? An open-world classic we overlooked? An indie game masterpiece we’ve left out? Do you have another Xbox racing game you love? Let us know in the comments!

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — 8/10

“But especially as it wears on, Fallen Order becomes perhaps the strongest conception of what playing as a Jedi Knight ought to really be like. It’s true that Fallen Order borrows liberally from other action games, but those elements work together with Respawn’s combat and environment design, and a story that finds humanity in the Force and in its characters, to hone in on what makes the world of Star Wars worthy of revisiting again and again. Even with some rough edges, Fallen Order represents one of the most compelling game additions to the Star Wars franchise in years.” [Read the full review]

— Phil Hornshaw, Editor

The Outer Worlds — 9/10

“I finished The Outer Worlds wanting more, eager to jump back into the world to see extra things. It’s not a short game, but it’s one packed with such a steady stream of wonderful characters to meet, interesting places to explore, and meaningful, multi-layered quests to solve, that it didn’t feel like there was any room to get tired of it. I wanted to rewind the clock and do everything in a completely different way. The Outer Worlds is consistently compelling throughout, and it’s a superb example of how to promote traditional RPG sensibilities in a sharp, modern experience.” [Read the full review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor & Producer

No Man’s Sky Beyond — 8/10

“The drastic improvements made to No Man’s Sky in its Beyond expansion are the new gold standard for how to gracefully cope with a game’s flaws post-release. The game laid the foundation with its release, but it took Beyond to elevate it into something magnificent. Successfully transitioning to VR is a creative victory on its own, but realizing just how full and vibrant and rewarding an experience this game has now become is almost poignant. Beyond represents the courage of convictions, a concept that has not only met the lofty expectations it set forth, but transcended them.” [Read the full review]

— Justin Clark

Control — 8/10

“It’s not often that a game invades my thoughts the way Control has. I’m at the point where I want to consume every last thing it has to offer. And if I’m honest, it also makes me want to go back and replay Remedy’s past games, too. Sure, it’s a faulty metroidvania in some respects, but there are so many exceptional qualities afoot that Control handily deflects any momentary ire. I can’t wait to take part in discussions about the game, to see what others have figured out, and to better understand where it all fits into Jesse’s story.” [Read the full review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night — 8/10

“It’s that sense of comfort in its own skin that makes Bloodstained such a treat. This isn’t a bold modernization of the genre or a departure from its roots. It is exactly what it set out to be: a return to the style of a bygone era, with a few modern improvements. Its perception was always going to be affected by how well it invoked the feeling of a classic Castlevania game, but Bloodstained does that and better. With more flexible combat and level design that always beckons to check just one more room, Bloodstained shows that a modern Metroidvania can stand alongside its predecessors as an equal.” [Read the full review]

— Steve Watts

A Plague Tale: Innocence — 8/10

“Powerfully ghoulish depictions of the plague and rats aside, Innocence is ultimately an emotive story of resilience against harrowing odds. The game’s title is an obvious nod towards the loss of innocence the endearing young cast faces throughout their journey. But more than that, it also speaks of the depths of human depravity and the agonizing cost of survival in the midst of war. Despite the unremitting horrors of Innocence’s beginnings, the game occasionally lets in a faint glimpse of hope. One of my favorite moments is when Amicia spots another wildflower in a lone trek across the city, nestled among the decay of the rats’ revolting nests. Without her brother around, she picks it up, and places it gingerly in her own hair–a personal reminder to keep trudging on amidst the hardships, and a testament to her growing strength and tenacity. Despite flashes of predictability, moments like these will bring a lump to your throat, as it did mine.” [Read the full review]

— Khee Hoon Chan

Mortal Kombat 11 — 9/10

“MK11 isn’t just a sequel for series fans and NetherRealm devotees, it’s a gateway into the realm of fighting games for anyone who has a passing interest in watching ruthless warriors beat each other silly. Streamlined mechanics keep the act of fighting furiously exciting no matter what your skill level, and comprehensive tutorials encourage you to dig into the nitty-gritty. There’s a diverse roster of interesting characters and playstyles, and the story mode is an entertaining romp. The randomization of Krypt rewards and the odd issue with the game’s always-online nature can occasionally chip away at your patience, but Mortal Kombat 11 absolutely hits where it matters.” [Read the full review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — 9/10

“The orchestration of intense one-on-one boss encounters that truly test your mettle, and slower-paced stealth sections that let you take on battles at your own pace, is masterful. More so than in previous games, From Software has honed in on the inherent tension found in the challenging nature of its games, and uses it to incredible effect. Sekiro marries the developer’s unique brand of gameplay with stealth action to deliver an experience that is as challenging as it is gratifying.” [Read the full review]

— Tamoor Hussain, Editor

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 — 9/10

“The setting of The Division 2 is ripe for potential, and it’s a shame the game doesn’t use it to say anything. I have absolutely no clue why I’m here, what anyone’s motivations are, and I wish I had a strong narrative driver to fuel a purpose behind my endless hunger for progression. This letdown is hard to ignore for the game’s initial hours, but the strength of the systems and design that fuel The Division 2 as a game are compelling enough to keep you captivated for dozens more. The range of enemy types continues to keep combat encounters challenging, the equipment I earn and pick up continues to feel different, valuable, and asks me to consider new ways of play. The ravaged environments continue to intrigue, and sometimes they’re so stunning I find myself needing to take screenshots before I move on. It might not have much to say, but The Division 2 is a perpetual cycle of tension, relief, and reward that’s difficult to stay away from.” [Read the full review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Devil May Cry 5 — 9/10

“DMC5 thrives on the stylistic and mechanical prowess of its predecessors. It sticks to tradition above all else, pursuing a few ambitious new ideas along the way, but mostly maintaining the series’ focus on intricate fighting systems and campy bravado. Rarely does the game stumble, consistently leveraging its spectacle and mechanical depth to push aside any small frustrations. All the while, the story exudes a charismatic charm that keeps you constantly intrigued as you’re refining your skills. DMC5 proves the series can still be brilliant and imaginative without compromising its longest-held traditions.” [Read the full review]

— Matt Espineli

Apex Legends — 9/10

“Apex Legends is a mix of smart shooter ideas that makes for a competitive, team-based game that gets at all the best parts of battle royale while addressing a lot of the weaknesses. Respawn’s intense focus on team play makes Apex more than just a worthy addition to the genre; it’s an indicator of where battle royale should go in the future.” [Read the full review]

— Phil Hornshaw, Editor

Kingdom Hearts III — 8/10

“But the story of Keyblade wars, time-travelling villains, body-hopping also-rans, and world-ending darkness isn’t what I’ll remember about Kingdom Hearts 3 or the series as a whole. What sticks with me is the exciting battle against elemental titans with Hercules, taking Rapunzel out into the unfamiliar wide world for the first time, snapping selfies with Winnie the Pooh, and going toe to toe with Davy Jones. In 2002, as Sora, I left Destiny Islands to travel across the universe and make new friends. In 2019 I brought old ones home, and I had so much fun doing it.” [Read the full review]

— Tamoor Hussain, Editor & Global News Editor

Resident Evil 2 — 9/10

“Resident Evil 2 is not only a stellar remake of the original, but it’s also simply a strong horror game that delivers anxiety-inducing and grotesque situations, topping some of the series’ finest entries. But above all, the remake is an impressive game for the fact that it goes all-in on the pure survival horror experience, confidently embracing its horrifying tone and rarely letting up until the story’s conclusion. Though Resident Evil 2 has its roots firmly in the past, it reworks the familiar horrors into something that feels brand new and all its own.” [Read the full review]

— Alessandro Fillari, Editor

Ace Combat 7 — 8/10

“Good aerial combat is important for a game involving jet fighters, but it’s a given quality for Ace Combat. Skies Unknown boasts a beautiful photorealistic world, entertaining mission variety, and a reason to get excited about clouds. But most importantly, it carries renewed devotion to the history and stories of its fictional universe, and with that, it brings back the human, emotional center that makes it remarkable. Ace Combat 7 is a fantastic return for a series that is at its best when it wears its heart on its wings.” [Read the full review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Red Dead Redemption 2 — 9/10

“While Red Dead Redemption was mostly focused on John Marston’s story, Red Dead 2 is about the entire Van der Linde gang–as a community, as an idea, and as the death rattle of the Wild West. It is about Arthur, too, but as the lens through which you view the gang, his very personal, very messy story supports a larger tale. Some frustrating systems and a predictable mission structure end up serving that story well, though it does take patience to get through them and understand why. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an excellent prequel, but it’s also an emotional, thought-provoking story in its own right, and it’s a world that is hard to leave when it’s done.” [Read the full review]

— Kallie Plagge

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — 8/10

“Hellblade’s most notable achievement is the handling of an incredibly sensitive subject matter within an engaging and well-crafted action/adventure game. At its heart, the story is about Senua’s struggle to come to terms with her illness. In the process, she learns to find the strength within herself to endure, and to make peace with her past. And in a profound and physical way, we go through those same struggles with her, and come away with a better understanding of a piece of something that many people in the world struggle with.” [Read the full review]

— Alessandro Fillari, Editor

Valkyria Chronicles 4 — 8/10

“Ultimately, this is a return to form for the Valkyria Chronicles series as a whole. It stays so true to the franchise’s first iteration that it’ll feel as if almost no time has passed in the decade or so since the original game first came out. In revisiting the concerns and the environments of the first, it makes the most of those parallels and invites comparison in a way that highlights its strengths. Valkyria Chronicles 4 doesn’t necessarily tell a new tale, but it doesn’t have to; for all of its clichés and expected twists, there’s a charm to the game’s unwillingness to let up as it drives you and your friends forward at a rapid clip towards its bittersweet end.” [Read the full review]

— Edmond Tran

Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition — 10/10

“From lonely farmhouses through pitched battles with gods in far-flung dimensions, Divinity: Original Sin II is one of the most captivating role-playing games ever made in both its original and Definitive incarnations, with the latter proving that even the most complicated role-players can be ported successfully to gamepad-limited consoles. This immaculately conceived and emotion-wrought fantasy world, topped by brilliant tactical combat, make it one of the finest games of recent years, and it remains an instant classic in the pantheon of RPG greats.” [Read the full review]

— Brett Todd

PES 2019 — 9/10

“For as long as EA continues to develop FIFA and hold a monopoly over official licences, PES will be the scrappy underdog just hoping for a surprise upset, even when it’s fielding the likes of London Blue and PV White Red. The lack of licences for top-tier leagues remains a disheartening sticking point, but PES continues to make brilliant strides on the pitch, building on what was already an incredibly satisfying game of football to produce one of the greatest playing football games of all time. It might be lacking off the pitch, but put it on the field against the competition and a famous giant killing wouldn’t be all that surprising.” [Read the full review]

— Richard Wakeling

Dead Cells — 9/10

“Dead Cells is a fascinating amalgam of several of today’s most popular indie genres. It juggles elements of tough-as-nails action games and Metroid-inspired exploration platformers, with the procedurally generated levels and random item allotments found in roguelikes. It’s impressive how it all comes together without a hitch, especially given that the persistent character growth found in games like Dark Souls or Metroid squarely conflicts with the randomized resets emblematic of Rogue-inspired games.” [Read the full review]

— Daniel Starkey

Monster Hunter: World — 8/10

“Ever since the title was first announced last year, it was clear that Capcom was gunning for something grander than Monster Hunter Generations. It has succeeded, and this is likely the biggest and best that the franchise has ever been. It’s not just the comparative depth of the narrative; it also boasts almost seamless integration between combat systems that were previously incomprehensible for amateurs. The Monster Hunter formula has definitely honed its claws, and all the above factors play their part in making Monster Hunter World a meaningful evolution for the series at large.” [Read the full review]

— Ginny Woo

Far Cry 5 — 9/10

“Despite some brief irritations and missed opportunities with its narrative, spending time in the world of Hope County remains absolutely delightful. Far Cry 5 boasts a wonderfully harmonious flow to its adventure, with its smart changes to exploration, discovery, and progression distinctly bolstering the enjoyment of creatively engaging and experimenting with its spectacular open world.” [Read the full review]

— Edmond Tran, AU Editor / Senior Video Producer

Minecraft — 9/10

“Minecraft is about the big things, just as much as it favors the small. It’s almost impossible to think of Minecraft without envisioning the picturesque structures, from castles to cities, that have been constructed by fans. But Minecraft is also about the minor touches, and sometimes they are what you remember the most–that feeling of awe as you peer across a forest of snow-capped oak, nearly out of sight, the sense of relaxation as you watch the sun set behind a distant mountain, and the sharp intake of breath as you stare deep into an underground mine lit by glowing pools of red-hot lava. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition offers both worlds, large and small, as well as the tools to create your own voxel-constructed paradise.” [Read the full review]

— Cameron Woolsey

Celeste — 9/10

“It’s a testament to convincing writing and ingenious design that after playing Celeste I felt like I’d been on the same journey as Madeline. Her struggle is one made easy to empathize with, her low points painful to watch, and her high notes exhilarating to experience. Her tale is delicately told and beautifully illustrated, confidently coalescing with the satisfying, empowering game it lies within. Not bad for a game about climbing a mountain.” [Read the full review]

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus — 9/10

“The New Colossus never lets you forget who and why you’re fighting. Nazi brutality is on full display, from the blown-out, irradiated remains of Manhattan to each of the resistance members, who all carry mental scars if not physical ones. You’re never given a chance between cutscenes, missions, and even downtime on the U-boat to lose sight of the Reich’s cruelty. Wolfenstein’s tense gameplay elevates this further by giving you the power to truly resist–and come out of each battle ready for another fight.” [Read the full review]

— Kallie Plagge, Senior Reviews Editor

Sonic Mania — 9/10

“Sonic Mania methodically uses its sentimental appeal to great effect, but in the process, it heals the wounds inflicted by its most disappointing predecessors and surpasses the series’ best with its smart and interpretive design. An excellent 2D platformer, Sonic Mania goes beyond expectations, managing to be not only a proper evolution of the series’ iconic formula, but the best Sonic game ever made.” [Read the full review]

— Matt Espineli

Cuphead — 8/10

“Everything you’ve heard about Cuphead is true. It is a difficult side-scrolling shooter with relentless boss battles that demand rapid-fire actions and reactions. Think for too long, and you won’t stand a chance against the game’s toughest enemies. Battles may only last three minutes at most, but they feel far longer when you know that you can only absorb three hits before you have to start from scratch. When you are navigating your way around bullets, smaller enemies, and pitfalls, while simultaneously trying to damage your primary target, toppling Cuphead’s imposing bosses is both a monumental and rewarding task.” [Read the full review]

— Peter Brown

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard — 8/10

“By the end of the campaign, I was ready for the game to be over, but that’s okay. RE7 ends just as it starts to outstay its welcome, and after the fact, I felt like I’d survived a truly harrowing journey. The boss fights may be slightly inconsistent and certain sections might drag after a while, but RE7 is still a remarkable success. It has a clear vision and executes it with impressive patience and precision. By returning to horror, Resident Evil has once again become something special.” [Read the full review]

— Scott Butterworth

Overwatch — 9/10

“Overwatch is an exercise in refined chaos. There are multitudes of layers hiding beneath the hectic surface, and they emerge, one after another, the more you play. This is a shooter that knows how to surprise, one that unfolds at a frantic pace, one that takes a handful of great ideas, and combines them into something spectacular.” [Read the full review]

— Mike Mahardy

Battlefield 1 — 9/10

“EA DICE splendidly interprets the early 20th century as a world in technological transition while humanizing the war’s participants through well crafted, albeit fictional, narrative vignettes. Combined with an enthralling multiplayer component, the overall result is the studio’s best work since Battlefield: Bad Company 2.” [read the full review]

— Miguel Concepcion

Titanfall 2 — 9/10

“Titanfall 2 demonstrates a vitality that its predecessor couldn’t. Whereas the first Titanfall kept up its breakneck pace throughout the entirety of every match, Titanfall 2 understands that sometimes, dialing things back for a few moments can make the long run much more enjoyable. In many ways, Titanfall 2 feels like the game Respawn should have made in 2013. It’s a fantastic sequel. It’s a fluid shooter. It’s a spectacular game.” [Read the full review]

— Mike Mahardy

Dishonored 2 — 8/10

“Any time I’m given a choice between stealth and action, I go stealth. I love the hold-your-breath tension of hoping a guard didn’t spot you and the hard-earned triumph of executing a perfectly timed plan. Dishonored 2 delivers that sneaky satisfaction, arming you with stealth essentials like hiding bodies, peering through keyholes, and silent takedowns. But it’s also an incredible engine for gleeful chaos, one so engrossing and amusing that I kind of accidentally beat the entire campaign raining hilarious, elaborate death on my enemies.” [Read the full review]

— Scott Butterworth

Forza Horizon 4 — 8/10

“There’s such a diverse range of activities stuffed into every corner of Horizon 4, and meaningful changes contribute to smart driving dynamics and a more consistent sense of achievement. Everything you do in Horizon feels valuable, no matter how big or small–from the basic thrills of speeding a fast car down a gorgeous mountain highway to spending time tinkering with your favorite ride to manage seasonal road conditions to just hanging out with friends and strangers online and goofing off in friendly games. The charm of the Horizon series is as palpable as ever, a winning, all-inclusive recipe that celebrates the joy of driving above all else.” [Read the full review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Inside — 8/10

“This is a beautiful, haunting, and memorable game, a worthy follow-up to Limbo. Its puzzles, although rarely difficult, are engaging complements to the story. The real achievement of this game, though, is the way that it crafts its narrative: detailed environments convey the bizarre world that you travel through; introspective moments are filled with minimalist sound design and just the barest touches of music; and the things you must do to complete your journey force you to confront the realities of humanity, freedom, and existence.” [Read the full review]

— Alex Newhouse

Dark Souls III — 8/10

“Dark Souls III is a game of valleys and peaks, down through dungeons and up over castle walls. It’s a plummet into places we shouldn’t be–an escape from places we don’t belong.

But of course, we fight our way through the darkness, and find our way out. There are a few stumbles along the way, but in the end, Dark Souls III is well worth the riveting climb.” [Read the full review]

— Mike Mahardy

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — 10/10

“Where the Witcher 2 sputtered to a halt, The Witcher 3 is always in a crescendo, crafting battle scenarios that constantly one-up the last, until you reach the explosive finale and recover in the glow of the game’s quiet denouement. But while the grand clashes are captivating, it is the moments between conflicts, when you drink with the local clans and bask in a trobairitz’s song, that are truly inspiring.” [Read the full review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Halo 5: Guardians — 8/10

“Halo 5: Guardians is fueled by new ideas and propelled by some of the boldest changes to this storied franchise yet. Some of these changes fail, but others succeed, and although Halo 5 falters at times, it whisks us through black holes and across war torn tropical islands at a rapid pace. We can only surrender to its velocity.” [Read the full review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Rise of the Tomb Raider — 9/10

“Rise of the Tomb Raider’s first shot pans over the vast, foreboding landscape we’ll soon come to know. In many ways, it functions as a promise on the part of Crystal Dynamics: there are big things ahead of us. And at the end of Lara’s journey, after we’ve seen her through this adventure, and experienced everything the world has to offer, it’s clear that promise was kept.” [Read the full review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Ori and the Blind Forest — 9/10

“It consistently surprises you with new tricks: gravitational divergences, new ways to move through its spaces, and carefully designed levels that require you to think quickly and respond. It is not as snappy as, say, a typical Mario platformer, seeking instead a broader gameplay arc stretching across a single, interconnected world. It’s a superb and thematically consistent approach that allows Ori and the Blind Forest to build joy on a bed of heartache, adding a new layer of mechanical complexity with each ray of hope.” [Read the full review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain — 10/10

“There has never been a game in the series with such depth to its gameplay, or so much volume in content. The best elements from the past games are here, and the new open-world gameplay adds more to love on top. When it comes to storytelling, there has never been a Metal Gear game that’s so consistent in tone, daring in subject matter, and so captivating in presentation. The Phantom Pain may be a contender for one of the best action games ever made, but is undoubtedly the best Metal Gear game there is.” [Read the full review]

— Peter Brown, Reviews Editor

Fallout 4 — 9/10

“Fallout 4 is an engrossing game that lures you in with mystery and the promise of adventure. Its wretched wasteland can be captivating, and you never know what odd person or settlement lies around the next bend. Fallout 4 uses its dark world as a canvas for exciting combat and gripping stories, and when you dig deeper into its post-nuclear-apocalypse version of Boston–defending yourself from violent scavengers and using your wits to climb social ladders–you become attached to the new you, and ultimately invested in the fate of your new world.” [Read the full review]

— Peter Brown, Reviews Editor

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor — 8/10

“This is a great game in its own right, narratively disjointed but mechanically sound, made up of excellent parts pieced together in excellent ways. I already knew what future lay in store for Middle-earth as I played Shadow of Mordor; I’m hoping that my own future might one day bring another Lord of the Rings adventure as stirring as this one.” [Read the full review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Dragon Age: Inquisition — 9/10

“Inquisition’s characters and world recall the grand gestures of the original Dragon Age, even though the game as a whole is so structurally different to its predecessors. It offers the thrill of discovery and the passion of camaraderie. It features a glee club called The Sing-Quisition, and a dwarf with writer’s block. It establishes connections with its world in big ways and small, with the sight of a titanous temple and the smirk of an Orlesian commander in love. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a wonderful game and a lengthy pilgrimage to a magical world with vital thematic ties to one we already know.” [Read the full review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition — 8/10

“Lara herself is so well crafted that I grew attached to her exploits and was sad to say goodbye when the credits rolled. And the exquisite visual design is so breathtaking that I continually found myself staring at the scenery instead of pushing onward. Tomb Raider is a great reinvention of this enduring franchise that made me eager to see where Lara goes in her future.” [Read the full review]

— Tom McShea

Forza Motorsport 5 — 9/10

“All of this combined makes Forza Motorsport 5 an outstanding improvement to an already excellent racing franchise. It’s far more than just a great racing sim, or a gorgeous showcase for the types of feats the Xbox One hardware is capable of. This is a game built on the romantic thrill of motorsport in all its forms, and that love for its subject matter is all but impossible to resist.” [Read the full review]

— Shaun McInnis

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag — 9/10

“There’s an incredible scope to what you can do in Black Flag, with a level of harmony between its component parts that encourages you to try it all, and a story that keeps you invested throughout the whole thing. If there was ever any question that Assassin’s Creed needed something ambitious to get the series back on track, Black Flag is that game and then some.” [Read the full review]

— Shaun McInnis

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey — 8/10

“Despite this, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s ambition is admirable, which is reflected in its rich attention to detail for the era and its approach to handling the multi-faceted narrative with strong protagonists at the lead. While its large-scale campaign–clocking in at over 50 hours–can occasionally be tiresome, and some features don’t quite make the impact they should, Odyssey makes great strides in its massive and dynamic world, and it’s a joy to venture out and leave your mark on its ever-changing setting.” [Read the full review]

— Alessandro Fillari, Editor

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — 8/10

“Black Ops 4 isn’t short on content, and its three main modes are substantial. Multiplayer introduces more tactical mechanics without forcing you into them, and it largely strikes a good balance. Zombies has multiple deep, secret-filled maps to explore, though its returning characters don’t hold up and prove distracting. Finally, Blackout pushes Call of Duty in an entirely new direction, making use of aspects from both multiplayer and Zombies for a take on the battle royale genre that stands on its own. Sure, there isn’t a traditional single-player campaign, but with the depth and breadth of what is there, Black Ops 4 doesn’t need it.” [Read the full review]

— Kallie Plagge

Spyro The Dragon: Reignited Trilogy — 8/10

“The Reignited Trilogy is the best kind of collection that not only brings a beloved series up to current visual standards but also proves just how well-built the original titles were. Granted, the originals were done by a little studio called Insomniac, and it’s not exactly surprising something that team did is a fine example of the genre. But the Reignited Trilogy’s developer, Toys for Bob, deserves major kudos for bringing Insomniac’s vision to life in the way we could’ve only dreamed in 1998.” [Read the full review]

— Justin Clark

Hitman 2 — 8/10

“The addition of other minor mechanical changes–like concussive weapons, a picture-in-picture enemy activity alert, and visible security camera sightlines–help to improve Hitman 2 overall as a dense and accessible stealth assassination game. But the new locations are the real stars, impressive and inventive sandboxes ripe for picking apart with exciting experiments. Hitman is about experiencing the anticipation of seeing whether a plan will work when you try it for the first time. It’s about feeling the tension of briskly walking away from a bad situation, hoping you can lose the suspicious guards. It’s the satisfaction of knowing the machinations of a level so well that when a target moves into a particular place at a particular time, you have the perfect way to intervene. Hitman 2 is a familiar experience, but in the Hitman world, familiarity is an incredible strength.” [Read the full review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Battlefield V — 8/10

“The Battlefield series has a winning formula that Battlefield V doesn’t deviate far from, at least for now. Conquest and the map roster don’t mesh well together, however, Grand Operations–and the other modes within it–steal the show and foster some of the greatest moments the franchise has offered. You might be surprised by the impact of the slight changes made for this entry, especially when you’re deep into pushing or defending objectives in Frontlines alongside teammates fulfilling their roles. That’s when Battlefield V is at its best.” [Read the full review]

— Michael Higham, Associate Editor

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
eSports

Microsoft announces Xbox Games Showcase for July 23 – Daily Esports

Microsoft has teamed up with Geoff Keighley and the Summer of Gaming for a new event. Called the Xbox Games Showcase, the event should reveal new information about games expected to release on the upcoming Xbox Series X console. The stream starts early on July 23 at 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET. Viewers looking to tune in can watch the Showcase on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and at Xbox.com. You can’t use Mixer, though, since Microsoft will shut down the streaming platform a day before the event.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser thatsupports HTML5 video

    • Chapters
    • descriptions off, selected
    • captions and subtitles off, selected

      This is a modal window.

      Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.

      End of dialog window.

      The Xbox Games Showcase will begin with a pre-show live-stream hosted by Keighley. This begins an hour earlier, starting at 8:00 a.m PT. If the pre-show is anything like Sony’s Future of Gaming event, online celebrities will join Keighley to talk about expectations from the show.

      Microsoft has yet to say exactly what it will reveal during the Xbox Games Showcase. One of the biggest titles expected to be shown is developer 343 Industries’ latest entry to the Halo series, Halo Infinite. But while that’s certainly one of the biggest upcoming games Microsoft has, it isn’t the only one. Over the past year, Microsoft has added 14 new studios as part of the Xbox Game Studios to publish exclusive games on the console.

      🎮 Xbox Games Showcase
      📅 July 23rd
      ⏰ 9am [email protected] Pre-Show at 8am PT with @GeoffKeighley on @YouTubeGaming#XboxGamesShowcase pic.twitter.com/zGr5AnFwic

      — Xbox (@Xbox) July 6, 2020

      Bringing back the console wars

      This event could also announce the price and launch window of the Xbox Series X. As of this writing, neither Sony nor Microsoft have given firm answers to either of those questions. This Showcase, then, could be the opportunity for Microsoft to take the lead against Sony over next-gen consoles.

      Sony recently hosted its own gaming event called The Future of Gaming. The final design of the PlayStation 5 was shown off along with several accessories and more than 25 next-gen games. For more console news, make sure to follow Daily Esports and check-in on July 23 for more information on the Xbox Series X as it releases.

      Source: Read Full Article

      Categories
      eSports

      Epic Games employee reportedly fed information to Fortnite leakers

      Some controversy has arisen in the Fortnite community, but this time it revolves around the game’s developers. In the past, we’ve seen professional Fortnite players and other members of the scene be in the limelight for the wrong reasons. However, Epic Games is in the spotlight now. More specifically, an unnamed employee of Epic Games is. It’s reported that this employee has been feeding information to prominent leakers in the community. Apparently, this information involves mainly cosmetic items like future Item Shops and even encrypted skins.

      To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser thatsupports HTML5 video

        • Chapters
        • descriptions off, selected
        • captions and subtitles off, selected

          This is a modal window.

          Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.

          End of dialog window.

          Epic Games employee comes under fire

          While no official sources have confirmed these reports, several members of the Fortnite community have come forward. This includes leakers and data-miners who could have potentially received the early information.

          According to the accusations, the Epic Games employee in question would send emails containing future content to leakers. While we don’t know the full extent of this exchange, the employee is being accused of revealing future Item Shops, exclusive skins, and even Fortnite updates. Fortnite news channel @HappyPower was among the first to break the story.

          RIP to an Epic Games employee soon 💀 Man Is about to be sued even more than the chapter 2 map leaker

          — Happy Power (@HappyPower) July 4, 2020

          Sorry just got home, a person (still unsure exactly who) working for epic games has been giving leakers tons of leaks, and even giving out AES keys to certain skins that are encrypted. That’s how most leakers have dates to, updates, youtuber skins, itemshops, and things like that

          — Happy Power (@HappyPower) July 4, 2020

          Obviously, these are huge accusations to make. Epic Games has every right to sue this employee if the reports turn out accurate. The company went a similar route when a certain individual leaked the Fortnite Chapter 2 map ahead of its big reveal.

          At this time, there’s currently not much else in terms of information. From the sounds of it, though, this story is nowhere near finished. If Fortnite leakers themselves are coming forward, then this story is probably accurate. Of course, we can’t know anything until Epic Games releases some kind of statement, which has not occurred at the time of writing. There’s currently no time table for when this will happen, either.

          Do you believe the accusations? Let us know, and keep up with Daily Esports for all Fortnite news.

          Source: Read Full Article

          Categories
          News

          Games Inbox: Why are death threats so common with video games?

          The Monday Inbox is not sure that Horizon Zero Dawn on PC is a good idea, as one reader is very pleased with Ring Fit Adventure.

          To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

          Standard response
          I just want to say how sickened I am at the news that Laura Bailey, who voices Abby in The Last Of Us Part 2, has been receiving death threats. And just one or two vague comments but super creepy, super personal threats about murdering her family and doing unspeakable things to her. Someone doesn’t like a video game and their go-to solution is to threaten to murder one of the people paid to read out a script?!

          There is something deeply wrong with gamer culture given how completely predictable this was. I remember that poor little indie developer, making a cute little Pokémon style game, who also got death threats because the game was an Epic Games Store exclusive.

          I realise it’s the anonymity of the Internet and all this happens in every other walk of life and entertainment field but the irony of making death threats against someone in The Last Of US Part 2, considering what that story is about is mindboggling. I don’t know what the solution is but I hope that Twitter and whoever allow some means to trace these people and make prosecutions because this has to stop.

          To leave on a positive note I’d just like to say that Laura Bailey, along with the rest of the cast gave an excellent performance and I think them for it.
          Collins

          Comparative entertainment
          Got to say I’m slightly concerned about the news that next gen games could cost £65. Hoping that physical copies will be cheaper because I don’t know that I could justify those prices.

          I know I’ll probably be shut down, but I just don’t get the logic. Sure, I understand people will say development costs are up and video games have traditionally been the same price for a while. But just look at music. CDs used to be about £12 to 15, if I remember correctly. Nowadays, it’s about £10. And as for streaming. For the price of a £65 game I could subscribe to Spotify or whoever and have unlimited access to virtually every song every recorded for about six months.

          Perhaps that’s unfair. Music costs far less to make. A better comparison would be film and TV. Films possibly cost as much as games to make, if not more. But yet I can go to the cinema for like £10 a ticket or less depending on offers. I can access hundreds of TV shows and films through Netflix or other streaming services for £5 to 10 a month. I get that the target demographic for these services is greater and can reach more people but seriously, Blu-rays cost about £15 new release. That means I could buy four Blu-rays for the price of a new game and still have a fiver left.

          Imagine the production and development costs of all those films put together plus marketing, manufacturing of discs, etc. when compared to one video game. Not to mention the fact that loot boxes, cosmetic items, etc. mean games can be free to play and still be profitable.
          matc784

          GC: Physical copies won’t be cheaper, it’ll just be possible for shops to discount them. And the whole point of that article was that cinema tickets, Netflix, and so on have all seen price rises over the last 10 years, but games have not.

          Computer daddy
          This month is Sir Clive Sinclair’s 80th birthday, and no-one is celebrating it.

          He is the pioneer of home computers, calculators, pocket TVs, and electric motors.

          The Micro Museum in Ramsgate, Kent is hosting a month long event showcasing his inventions and how he defined bedroom coders, inventors, and collectors keeping his dreams alive.

          The Micro Museum YouTube page can be found here.

          The museum is non-profit and charges a small fee that covers their costs, run by husband and wife Mike and Carol Deer to display their collection with help from volunteers.
          Leigh

          https://youtube.com/watch?v=yiG8IomH9Ks%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

          E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

          Opening the bottle
          I have to agree that Sony letting the genie out of the bottle with a PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn is a bit of head-scratchers. I just don’t see what they have to gain from it. Sure, there’s money to be made selling the game but at the cost of making their console suddenly seem completely redundant?

          Microsoft has already made steps to give up on hardware with Project xCloud but Sony don’t have that at all. The PlayStation console has been all that’s been keeping the company afloat at times and risking it all like this seems like madness, because you just know that more and more game are going to make the jump now, and they’ll be getting more and more recent each time until both come out at the same time.

          It’s not a bad thing for customers but like many things I think many will come to regret this decision when consoles are no longer a thing and Sony are reduced to essentially being a third party publishers.
          Grinch

          Peripheral pleasures
          I long ago when 100% digital, for the convenience and the fact that games are actually cheaper if you wait for the sales, but if there’s one thing I miss it’s box art. I know it still exists but it’s becoming less and less important and you can tell they’re putting less and less effort into it.

          And while I’ll be as glad as anyone to see the end of loading, I’m going to kind of miss loading screens. As often they could be very iconic and memorable too. (Also, do this mean they’re going to get rid of the minute long stream of unskippable company logos when a game starts? I’d love to think so, but something tells me they won’t.)

          Along with manuals a lot of the peripheral pleasures of getting a new game are going away now, replaced with day one patches and server issues. It’s all for the best in the long run, but I’m going to miss these little details.
          Cubbin

          Language Adventure
          I’m surprised to be saying this myself, but I think Ring Fit Adventure may well be the best games purchase I’ve ever made! I’ve had it just over a week now and I’m already feeling the benefit. I don’t think I realised how much my body had turned to mush over the last few months with lockdown. The game genuinely makes exercise fun. It truly works wonders at keeping you motivated with its bright, colourful worlds, enthusiastic encouragement, from Tipp and Ring and a rewarding sense of progression.

          Getting a new move takes on a whole extra level of excitement as you physically try it out to varied levels of success (the plank was not for me!). The Ring-Con itself is a brilliant peripheral, it’s really versatile and feels very sturdy. I especially love using it for the bow pull exercise whilst imagining I’m Link. I was surprised with the inclusion of the mini-games, which have all been great so far, and my quick go on the rhythm game was enjoyable too. I can see myself playing this game for years and hopefully becoming super fit!

          Having worked their magic with fitness, I was thinking maybe Nintendo could turn their attention to some other daunting self-improvement activities. In particular I was thinking of learning a language. It’s been on my to do list for years but I really struggle to motivate myself. It may sound a strange suggestion but there were language training games on the Nintendo DS published by Ubisoft and Nintendo must have some expertise in the field to draw upon due to the extensive localisation their games go through. If Nintendo can make exercise seem so magical surely they can bring their talents to bear on this too.
          Ryan O’D

          GC: Now you make the suggestion it is surprising Nintendo has never tried that, as it does seem the sort of thing they’d be interested in. Maybe there was some sort of English language game in the early days but we certainly don’t remember any recently, let alone anything trying to teach English speakers.

          Dumbing-up
          Am I the only one has little interest or faith in a new Fable? The old games had a ton of problems and I’m not sure how you really make a new game that is good without it being completely different as well.

          Are they just going to keep the combat ultra simple or will they actually make it more than just two buttons? Seems like an obvious decision but make it too complex and people will immediately start complaining it’s gone too far (dumbing-up?).

          Just seems like a no-win situation to me and that they’d be better off going for a brand new franchise with none of the baggage.
          Coop

          Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

          All according to keikaku
          The Reader’s Feature at the weekend about Nintendo’s approach to 2020 awoke an unwelcome thought in my mind. As much as I hate to admit it, I think they’ve actually been pretty smart.

          The main difference between Nintendo’s radio silence now and in the past is that their software and hardware is continuing to sell. Every week, their games pepper the top 10 and I can’t remember a time when that’s ever been the case. Even during the halcyon days of the Wii and DS, it was predominantly Brain Training and fitness titles that charted week in, week out. Ring Fit Adventure aside, that’s not the case here.

          Some of Nintendo’s success this year is no doubt fortuitous based on a worldwide pandemic. But even without that, I think they could reasonably have foreseen that Sony and Microsoft would start to divert their attention to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. What additional value would Nintendo have gained by going hard this year?

          They will need that momentum in 2021 when they’re going up against two new consoles and having more or less coasted through 2020 so far, in theory they should have plenty left in the tank. I don’t necessarily like Nintendo’s strategy this year but from being a disaster, it might serve them well in the long-term.

          That is presuming they don’t once again manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
          @craigherman (Twitter)

          GC: You think all this was part of a plan? They had momentum already, why would they want to purposefully stop it?

          Inbox also-rans
          I’ve just noticed on Amazon that the PlayStation 5 has been listed. There is no price yet, just says unavailable, but seems to me Sony are getting ready to start pre-orders. Microsoft will be doing the same thing soon, all that’s left to say is next gen is nearly here.
          David

          GC: They’ve both got to start soon. The new consoles are due out in four months and are likely to be supply constrained from the start.

          I think The Last Of Us Part 2 has some of the best graphics on the PlayStation 4! From cinematic to gameplay it’s so smooth. I get the delays for this game and really appreciate the hard work put into it. There’s scenes where you’re taken by how beautiful it looks, just brilliant.
          Anon

          This week’s Hot Topic
          The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston who, inspired by the release of The Last Of Us Part 2, asks what is the best ever video game story?

          No matter what kind of game it was, or when it was released, what do you feel has been the best story told in a video game, and why? Was the story the main element of the game or just part of the overall package? Did it work so well because of the script, the characters, the voiceovers, the integration with the gameplay, or something else?

          How important is the story to you when playing a video game and how much do you care when it’s not very good? And how much do you put up with poor gameplay when it’s good?

          E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

          The small print
          New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

          You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

          You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

          Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at [email protected]

          For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

          Source: Read Full Article

          Categories
          News

          Upcoming VR Games For 2020: Star Wars: Squadrons, Onward & More

          We’re past the halfway mark in 2020 and we’ve already seen some great VR games release this year. But what else is coming between now and the end of the year? Let’s take a look at upcoming VR games for the rest of 2020.

          Some recent announcements have elevated what was looking like a rather quiet H2 2020 to an exciting few months. We’ll be taking off in X-Wings and making Dreams come true.

          Upcoming VR Games 2020

          Dreams (PSVR) – July 22

          At long last, Media Molecule’s fantastic creation tool is ready to add VR support. Dreams is essentially a development engine unto itself, letting players make their own games and share them online. The brief tease we’ve seen of VR support so far is hugely exciting. This will arrive as a free update to owners of the base game.

          Onward (Quest) – July 30

          The much-anticipated Oculus Quest port of Onward is very nearly here. The ever-popular military simulation shooter makes its way to the standalone headset with all the same features including, multiplayer, single-player and cooperative modes as well as, crucially, cross-play with PC VR players. If this port is up to snuff, expect Onward on Quest to be one of the biggest upcoming VR games for 2020.

          Solaris: Offworld Combat (Rift, Quest) – August (PSVR in 2020)

          The makers of Firewall: Zero Hour return with a new multiplayer VR shooter that trades Rainbow Six for Unreal Tournament. Solaris offers 4 v 4 battles in which players sprint and slide across maps, picking up new weapons and finding the high ground. Given the developer’s past experience, we’re hoping for a top-quality VR shooter here.

          Star Wars: Squadrons (PSVR, PC VR) – October 2nd

          We’ve been lucky enough to have lived out several Star Wars dreams in VR already, but Star Wars: Squadrons seems to have struck a particular chord with the fanbase. The chance to jump into the cockpit of an X-Wing or TIE Fighter in VR makes us a little weak at the knees. Fortunately, we’ll be seated for its online multiplayer battles and single-player campaign, though. This is probably the most anticipated of the upcoming VR games in 2020.

          Medal of Honor: Above And Beyond (Rift) – 2020

          Respawn Entertainment is one of the game’s industry’s best developers, which gives you more than enough reason to be excited for Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Add in that this Oculus exclusive sees the developer return to a series it helped established as Infinity Ward, plus the promise of an expansive campaign and multiplayer support, and you have one of the most promising games of 2020.

          Lone Echo 2 (Rift) – 2020

          Lone Echo’s sequel has been a long time coming, but we’re hoping it finally enters orbit in the second half of this year. It’s high time we checked in on Liv and Jack after the first space odyssey’s dramatic cliffhanger and, now that Ready at Dawn is owned by Facebook itself, we wouldn’t expect this Oculus exclusive to hold back.

          The Walking Dead: Onslaught (PSVR, PC VR) – 2020

          The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners may have stolen hearts and minds on PC VR and PSVR platforms already, but we’re just as excited for VR veteran Survios’ take on the zombie franchise. Aimed at the TV show instead of the comics, Onslaught delivers a full campaign with iconic characters including none other than Darryl Dixon, voiced by Norman Reedus himself. Definitely keep this on your radar for upcoming VR games 2020.

          Source: Read Full Article

          Categories
          News

          All The Games Releasing In July 2020 On PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC

          While July is known historically as a slower period for game releases, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything noteworthy coming out. Quite a few exciting games are launching this month that you should keep on your radar. This isn’t your typical summer game drought, especially with certain games being pushed from previous dates into July because of issues brought on by the pandemic.

          Sony is continuing to hit summer hard with its latest first-party developed game, Ghost of Tsushima, while last year’s limited-time PS4-exclusive Death Stranding will finally be arriving to PC. On the other hand, Nintendo is releasing a couple of Switch-exclusives, which includes the sequel to the cult-classic Deadly Premonition and a new entry in the Paper Mario series. There’s even some notable remasters re-releases on the horizon with the Switch port of Catherine: Fully Body and THQ Nordic’s remaster of PS2-era sandbox favorite, Destroy All Humans!

          To give you a look at what’s ahead for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch, we’ve rounded up all the biggest games of July 2020 below. For a wider look at the titles still to come this year, be sure to check out our list of game release dates in 2020. Otherwise, be sure to check this article often for the latest during this month, as we’ll be sure to update it with more new release dates that get announced.

          Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise (Switch) — July 17

          Source: Read Full Article