Nex Machina – Review

June 29, 2017

Nex Machina infuses the classic Robotron twin stick formula with breakneck speed, adds in the wild voxel-based visual style of Resogun and sharpens it to a razor edge.

The Surge – Review

May 26, 2017

Developer Deck13 — creators of 2014’s Lords of the Fallen — bring the Souls sensibility to a grim, mechanized future.

Snake Pass – Review

April 5, 2017

Charming, accomplished and fun, Snake Pass is a quietly ambitious puzzle platformer that nods to a bygone era but exhibits gamemaking acumen that is distinctly modern day.

Nier: Automata – Review

March 30, 2017

This time around the fascinating semi-open world structure of the original has been fleshed out and augmented with the combat know-how of developer Platinum Games, which means it looks and plays great.

Watch Dogs 2 – Review

November 20, 2016

The sprawling, sun-soaked and varied terrain of Grand Theft Auto V’s Los Angeles and Watch Dogs 2’s San Francisco Bay Area truly feel like gigantic playgrounds, like miles-wide ball pits made for adults who just want to explore and play.

Gears of War 4 – Review

November 4, 2016

One would think, considering how many imitators came out of the woodwork, that something would have come along in the last decade that improved upon the Gears formula. But if Gears of War 4 proves anything, it’s that there’s no substitute for the real thing.

RIVE – Review

October 5, 2016

RIVE is a frantic, fast-paced shoot-em-up/platformer that draws from a ton of great source material from the history of white-knuckle action games.

Hitman – Review

May 6, 2016

The 2016 incarnation of the Hitman franchise is one of the first big names to try out the episodic model for its new game, and it’s a great fit. Hitman is well suited for the episodic approach since the focus isn’t a narrative that you want to barrel through quickly to get to the ending, it’s a series of elaborate, self-contained locations where you practice your trade as a silent assassin.

Enter the Gungeon – Review

April 8, 2016

Enter the Gungeon jumps into the fray with its own offbeat genre soup, and it’s particularly tasty: A bullet hell roguelike. You guide one of four characters through increasingly difficult, randomly generated floors of the titular Gungeon, clashing with enemies that spew all manner of bullet patterns at you.

Street Fighter – V – Review

March 25, 2016

On its release day last month, Street Fighter V was missing a ton of features, from a promised Story Mode to any meaningful training challenges to even Arcade mode. All of these features are planned to arrive in the next six months, as well as six new characters on a monthly basis. It’s not cool or acceptable that something so half-assed was pushed out onto store shelves, but dammit, when you play the game you’ve just gotta shake your head and give them a pass. It’s that good.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – Review

December 11, 2015

The latest game in the Rainbow Six franchise serves as a nice bit of counter programming during this holiday gaming season. While the other big shooters of the season (Halo, Call of Duty, Star Wars Battlefront) are focused on bombast, Rainbow Six Siege turns down the spectacle and explores tense, high-stakes combat in tight areas.

Just Cause 3 – Review

December 11, 2015

Just Cause 3 is an incredible action movie amusement park filled with the tools to create any explosive, over-the-top Bond/Bourne/John McClane fantasy that may be swimming around in your head. The fictional Republic of Medici is your faux Mediterranean powder keg playground, and your character, Rico Rodriguez, is completely at ease in it, whether he’s soaring through the sky in a wingsuit, grapple hooking around an industrial park, racing cars into fuel tanks, or surfing a jet into an enemy encampment.

Rodea the Sky Soldier – Review

November 6, 2015

Sometimes you gotta have a little imagination when you’re playing a game. Old school gamers know this — I remember being blown away by Hook on the SNES, thinking I was soaring through snowy skies, raining death on my enemies.

Transformers – Devastation – Review

October 16, 2015

A new Platinum Games joint is like a new Quentin Tarantino movie or a Ryan Murphy TV show – if you call yourself a fan of the art form, you have to check it out. Platinum is a superstar developer that has both the desire to experiment and the technical chops to bring their ambitions to playable reality.

Dengeki Bunko – Fighting Climax – Review

October 10, 2015

I’ll admit to having no idea what a Dengeki Bunko was before booting up this game, but I’m always up for a sleek-looking 2D fighter (especially on the original Vita’s OLED screen).

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 – Review

October 2, 2015

Except for an HD reworking of the original game a couple years back, the Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games has been missing from the gaming world as of late, after previously appearing with incredible regularity for more than a decade.

Toy Soldiers – War Chest Hall of Fame Edition – Review

August 28, 2015

The concept of Toy Soldiers is solid gold: Actual toy soldiers duking it out on a virtual battlefield, reminiscent of those many on-the-rug or on-the-couch action figure battles that comprise roughly 90 percent of the waking life of kids under age 10.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – Review

July 31, 2015

Eerie PC hit The Vanishing of Ethan Carter won accolades upon its release last year for its gorgeous visuals and offbeat narrative. Now, as it makes its debut on consoles, it’s easy to see what the buzz was about.

Batman – Arkham Knight – Review

July 17, 2015

The best game trilogies don’t start out as trilogies. (This usually rings true for trilogies in other media as well.) If you look too far into the future and try to create some grand plan, chances are you’ve forgotten to focus on the here and now, and nobody will want to play the first game you make, let alone its two sequels.

htoL#NiQ – The Firefly Diary – Review

February 27, 2015

Despite what many big-budget developers may have you believe, atmosphere and mood are fairly cheap to create. Gamers do most of the heavy lifting with their imaginations, and they’re happy to fill in the blanks when a game comes along that has a modest approach to its presentation.

The Crew – Review

December 19, 2014

Confession: I have a pretty worn-out copy of Need For Speed: The Run up on my shelf. It’s not the greatest game (I have a feeling that most of the other copies are heaped in trade-in bins across the country), but in my eyes it takes a worthwhile stab at the holy grail of racing titles: The cross-country USA trek.

Call of Duty – Advanced Warfare – Review

November 21, 2014

The year 2014 was a scary time for first person shooter fans. Their beloved genre was messed with to no end – some big names ditched singleplayer, others multiplayer; some injected MMO elements, others borrowed from MOBAs; some wouldn’t even let you connect to a simple deathmatch.

Sunset Overdrive – Review

November 7, 2014

Amidst a Fall release schedule filled mostly with dark, stone-faced titles – Shadow of Mordor, Alien Isolation, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty – it’s nice to see something different, something that recalls the big, fun, full-color games of years past, like Jet Set Radio, Jak & Daxter, and Ratchet & Clank.

Forza Horizon 2 – Review

October 3, 2014

Plenty of games have captured the joy of racing, but precious few have reproduced the joy of driving, and none have done it as well as Forza Horizon 2. Every little detail on your cruise through this replica of Southern Europe seems crafted by people who know what it is to love to drive.

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