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3.7 stars

Average score of 23 user reviews

Assassin's Creed Mirage is a mostly solid return to form 0

In hindsight it maybe seems inevitable that Assassin’s Creed would move back to its roots after it reinvented itself in 2017 with the excellent Assassin’s Creed Origins, a game that restructured the series around gigantic open-worlds and 100 hour playtimes. Origins and the two games that followed were exhaustively huge, and while I dearly loved Origins and Odyssey, I could feel myself craving a return to form after burning out on the most recent entry, Valhalla. Assassin’s Cree...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bethesda's format reaches the galactic scale, but it might've been better off staying grounded 0

After years of exploring fantasy and post-apocalyptic worlds in its Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, Bethesda Game Studios has sought new adventures on a galactic scale with Starfield. And yet what it has found amongst the stars is a more pervasive feeling of limitation than has ever graced their previous titles. Where once a Bethesda game was defined by a potent sense of time and place, of being immersed in a handcrafted world, and of what might be possible, here is a game that feels thinly st...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

What Final Fantasy VII Remake lacks in pacing it absolutely makes up for in character and style 2

Quick note: I've never played the original Final Fantasy VII, so this review is of my experience as a newcomer.Among the many remakes that have graced the video game industry in recent years, Final Fantasy VII Remake stands as the most ambitious, a dramatic undertaking to reimagine the original 1997 title as an entire trilogy. Remake, therefore, is less a complete story and more of a fully-fledged kickstart to what will likely be quite a spectacular adventure, if the high points of this game are...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Maybe open world games were the real walking dead all along 1

Consider the many strengths of the first Dying Light, specifically the ones outside of the core melee combat and parkour gameplay. The setting, a quarantined city brought to its knees by a zombie virus as the rest of the world goes on as normal. The stories of the Tower's residents, who found themselves in Harran for one reason or another at the worst possible time, and now must grapple with the reality that they have nowhere to go. Those quiet moments of gazing past the walls and seeing city li...

5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Back 4 Blood is very uneven but still a bloody good time all the same 0

Back 4 Blood represents a bit of a homecoming for Turtle Rock Studios, the original developer behind the Left 4 Dead series that this game spiritually succeeds. Though the title might give the impression that it's highly derivative, Back 4 Blood brings a few interesting ideas that actually change the experience quite a bit. It's not a perfect evolution; the game carries virtually none of the charm of the Left 4 Dead games, opting for a setting and an attempt at story that are both way too seriou...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Resident Evil Village successfully strikes out in new, unforgettable directions 2

Resident Evil Village is a fantastic evolution of its predecessor, a remarkable feat for a follow-up to one of the best horror games in recent memory. It trades Resident Evil 7’s slower-paced haunted house crawl for a more action-oriented romp through a European village steeped in Gothic horror and snowy vistas. While significantly less frightening than the Baker home, Resident Evil Village’s titular locale and its mesmerizing cast of characters are absolutely unforgettable. Many of ...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is excruciating 0

Around the 35 hour mark of Assassin's Creed Valhalla the game began to lose me, but then I acquired an ability that completely turned the combat on its head. This ability allowed me to dual wield heavy weapons, an absurd proposition that was as ludicrously powerful as it sounds. All of a sudden I had the power to shear limbs off of enemies with single attacks, pounding them into the ground and looking quite silly doing it. Finally, after nearly two dozen hours of unchanging tedious fighting, I h...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

Wasteland 3's deep character progression and choice-driven narrative create a wonderfully diverse experience 0

Wasteland 3 is successful in so many ways. Its turn-based combat is challenging and requires thoughtful strategy; its character progression is deeply customizable and allows for a wide range of role-playing opportunities; and, perhaps best of all, its narrative is immediate and driven by player-choice. This game is a complete package in all the ways a great RPG can be.Some conversations take place from a terrifically animated face-to-face perspectiveWasteland 3 tells the story of Team November, ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Fallout 76 is a very imperfect game, but the world of Appalachia is compelling and offers a ton to the series lore 0

When Bethesda announced last year that Fallout 76 would receive a major update that would add human NPCs, it was as much a reinvention of the game's basic premise as it was a reminder that somehow a Fallout game was launched without them. Even if one had bought into the premise of an online Fallout game--I certainly did not--this was a rather shocking omission, rivaled only by the aforementioned announcement that Bethesda would not be sticking to their guns with that decision forever. Was this t...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

For the price of a Game Pass subscription you really can't go wrong with Minecraft Dungeons 0

Minecraft Dungeons is a relatively straightforward dungeon-crawler set in the world of Minecraft, but it's not nearly as simplistic as it appears on the surface. There's actually a fair amount of depth to the game's loot system, and the whole thing is surprisingly fun to play.Crowd control is a mustIn Minecraft Dungeons, your hero character sets out to do battle against the Arch-Illager, a corrupted being with designs on conquering the world. Through a series of 9 levels (14 if you include secre...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Last of Us Part II's best lesson is not one on the human condition, but on unhealthy fandoms and expectations 0

This review contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.To discuss The Last of Us Part II today is to wade into one of the most toxic landscapes in games, conceived and operated by some of this hobby's most unreasonable bigoted participants. This is unfortunate, because Naughty Dog's latest is pretty spectacular.The new additions to the cast are seriously greatThe 2013 series debut was heralded as a swan song for the PlayStation 3, one that effectively raised the bar for dramatic storytelling w...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

DOOM Eternal is one of this generation's most stunning spectacles 14

The question of “How does id Software top DOOM 2016?” is answered in DOOM Eternal. The game’s ambitions are so wildly complex that the foundations of its brilliant combat and level exploration threaten to buckle under the stress. For some, it will; DOOM Eternal’s rules for combat are strict, necessitating the use of every available tool in nearly every combat encounter. It’s an experience that could prove too restrictive and demanding, but it resonated strongly with...

14 out of 16 found this review helpful.

Blair Witch is a faithful recreation of the infamous Black Hills Forest, for better or worse 0

How does one recreate the twisting, sinister locale of The Blair Witch Project in a video game? Developer Bloober Team's answer is a faithfully confusing adventure through the Black Hills Forest, but I can't help but wonder if this was ever a good idea to begin with.Blair Witch is for the most part a self-contained story, containing only a passing reference to the original source material. Its protagonist is a former cop and PTSD-afflicted military veteran named Ellis who, along with his dog com...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Modern Warfare Remastered is the very best version of an already infinitely playable classic 0

Maybe the most surprising thing about Call of Duty 4’s enduring legacy is its timelessness. It’s not often that a studio truly nails everything about a game, and the degree to which Call of Duty 4 succeeds can already be seen in its long-lasting impact on multiplayer. But revisiting the title with the benefits of a more modern look and feel offers another view: that this game is as close to perfect as you can get, even over a decade later.Modern Warfare Remastered is not a remake of ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Boy is it fun to be a bastard 0

I haven't finished Void Bastards, but I need to talk about it to someone.I don't play a lot of roguelikes, or roguelike-likes, or whatever it's been decided to call them at a given moment. The excellent Rogue Legacy is truly the only other game of this kind that I can identify as being a fan of, thanks to its persistent upgrades that guaranteed no matter how badly I played, I was making some kind of progress. That goes a long way to making an extremely challenging game doable for me. Enter Void ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Vampyr is a delightfully bleak narrative experience 0

Vampyr gets a lot of mileage out of its twisted afflictions, combining the 1918 influenza outbreak, more commonly known as the "Spanish flu," with a vampire scourge that has brought the city of London to its knees. While it doesn't quite make good on the promise of visceral vampire combat, it does offer an excellent narrative journey with a memorable cast of seriously depressed and hopeless citizens.Vampyr's protagonist is Dr. Jonathan Reid, a renowned surgeon who specializes in--of course--bloo...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

You need to dig a little to uncover the charm of Metro Exodus, but it's there 0

Metro Exodus demands a lot, and what it gives in return may not appeal to everyone. It is a deliberately paced game, with a decidedly languid feel requiring a level of patience that was at times difficult to muster. But once I finally got it I couldn’t stop playing. This game is rough in nearly every way, but I kinda loved it.Metro Exodus sees protagonist Artyom and his friends fleeing the Moscow underground where they’ve spent their entire lives and trudging east across the post-apo...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Far Cry: Primal has no purpose 0

I haven’t finished Far Cry Primal, but I feel like I’ve played it already. It occupies the same interim territory as something like Gears of War Judgment, but it doesn’t even get the series’ core action right. Trading firearms for prehistoric clubs and bows necessarily demands a dramatic shift in how the combat functions given that neither Far Cry 3 nor 4 had melee weapons, but they feel so awful that I found myself dreading having to use them. This is not the problem Far...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Resident Evil 2 is altogether terrific and frustrating 0

There’s a level of technical proficiency to this remake of Resident Evil 2 that makes dealing with its various frustrations somewhat easier, though the game is so close to excellence that I can’t help but wish the experience was a bit more perfected. It is a phenomenal looking survival horror game that is hamstrung slightly but uncertain voice acting and irritating combat encounters, and then practically obliterated by a late-game section that is more maddening than anything I can th...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Not to be the "Finally, a good battle royale game" guy, but... 0

Many of the battle royale games to come out in the wake of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have felt like mild diversions for the fledgling genre, and all have shared in common a sort of hacked-together feel, like something that gets modded into a game that wasn’t originally designed for it. Apex Legends feels like the first truly new battle royale game to come out post-PUBG, one that is designed from the ground up for that particular style of play. In turn, Apex Legends feels like the...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Forza Horizon 4 is familiar territory, but still brilliant all the same 0

Perhaps the most damning thing that can be said about Forza Horizon 4 is that it's the point where the series, having achieved its very best with the third iteration, starts to tread familiar ground. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; as it turns out, the formula is as exciting as ever. This is a fantastic racing game that really makes up for the genre being relatively empty by just being so good. The Horizon Festival doesn’t feel nearly as fresh the fourth time around, but there&rs...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

State of Decay 2 is a great time, even if it isn't the ideal sequel 0

2013′s State of Decay brought us on to potential of a zombie survival game with resource gathering and base management, one that would have the player spend nearly as much time looking at menus as they do swinging baseball bats at the undead. It was the sort of game that entertained through sheer novelty alone. It practically begged for a sequel, one that would hopefully iron out its rather significant performance issues. The very concept sounded like a perfect game.State of Decay 2 is not...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A significant and welcome change of formula 0

It would be remiss to claim that there were not more than a few quality Assassin’s Creed games during its exhaustive seven year run beginning in 2009. The series has always prided itself on its adventurous historical diversity, mixing up its hopelessly convoluted conflict between the Assassins and Templars with real world figures, events, and locations. There’s really nothing else that captures a moment in time quite like Assassin’s Creed, and even when the series is at its wor...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.