Every once in a while, a game comes along that that does something surprising, different, memorable. Anthem is not one of those games. Anthem's core idea of "jetpacks plus guns" works excellently on its own, but nothing else in the game quite lives up to it.
PC has never been a singular platform like, say, PlayStation or Xbox. Instead, it's a series of disparate landmasses sharing the same turbulent sea. PC gaming looks to become more fragmented than it's been in the past few years---for better and worse. More options means more chances for new ideas to flourish and, perhaps, for a new middle class of developers to emerge.
PlayStation Classic is a faithful reproduction of the experience of playing original PlayStation games in the mid-1990s. The experience is technically accurate, but the PS Classic doesn't feel like it was created by a company with a true and abiding passion for the games of this era, or even with the good sense to fake one.
Since 2014 updates to Diablo III have been light and sporadic, and four years later, Blizzard's announcement of Diablo Immortal at a time when fans are hungry for any news of a Diablo IV has led to big questions about the future of the franchise. What's really going on with Diablo?
For a lot of gamers with demanding jobs, marriages and/or families, the excitement of reading good reviews for games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey is tempered by the sinking realization that they'll never have time to play them. How do you make time for a 60+ hour game when you have a busy life?
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a profound, glorious downer. It is the rare blockbuster video game that seeks to move players not through empowering gameplay and jubilant heroics, but by relentlessly forcing them to confront decay and despair. Rockstar Games' new open-world western opus is exhaustively detailed and exhaustingly beautiful, a mammoth construction of which every nook and cranny has been polished to an unnerving shimmer.
The fourth installment of Treyarch's Black Ops series might be the first Call of Duty to forgo single-player. But after a spate of less-than-fully-satisfying entries, putting full efforts behind multiplayer has paid off: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 finds the perfect middle ground between classic COD and the "jetpack" era, reviving the franchise's fun in many ways.
Is there anything so satisfying to watch as a well-played Mario speedrun? What makes an expert run of Super Mario Bros. so eminently watchable, and how do the players master their moves so perfectly? It turns out that the answer to both questions could be "music."
Mega Man 11 is a fine game, and a worthy eleventh entry in a series that once set the bar for tricky platformers. It also feels oddly shallow, the latest iteration of a formula that has gone largely unchanged for decades. Mega Man 11 is great at being a Mega Man game. Maybe that's why it didn't do much for me.
I started reviewing these two games together all the way back in 2012, but six years in, I feel like this double-review is in danger of settling into just the kind of repetitive drone it was designed to counter. Now, more than ever, each series' pros and cons are so established, so settled into routine that it's almost a waste of everyone's time to dredge them up once again.
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft ventures from Mexico into the jungles of Peru. It's fun and beautiful and is a lengthy adventure full of enjoyable Tomb Raidery things. It's built on the sturdy traditions of the 22-year-old franchise and uses most of the same smart systems that were introduced in 2013's Tomb Raider reboot and refined in 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Blizzard has spent the past six years transforming World of Warcraft from a tired massively multiplayer online role-playing game into something fresh and new. Between 2014's Warlords of Draenor and 2016's Legion, World of Warcraft today feels like a completely different game.
Dead Cells is a Castlevania-inspired side-scrolling action game from the French developer Motion Twin. In addition to having unusually progressive payroll policies, the indie studio is evidently very good at making video games. Yes, Dead Cells is a winner.
The latest sports games are not always the best. There's an obsession with incremental changes and bullet-point features, one which challenges fan's ability to take a step back and assess each game as its own title. It's something I try to do and I'm taking to its logical conclusion here in this Quixotic attempt to pluck one game out of hundreds and call it the "best."
While Nintendo is setting the world on fire with its 90s nostalgia trip, let's say your 16-bit desires are more unconventional. Perhaps you enjoy your games with a bit more violence and/or hedgehogs. Then the Sega Genesis Flashback HD may have you covered.
This new God of War is an excellent game, lovingly crafted and engaging all the way through. But much has changed. It's not merely the drastically revamped combat, with its over-the-shoulder angle and its emphasis on evasion. It's also the story, and the way it tells that story, with an emphasis on family relationships and quiet, low-key moments.