Life Is Strange: Remastered
Life is Strange is one of those games that I’ll go back and play every few months. I probably ow it on every platform at this point, and now multiple copies. Hearing that guitar intro To All of You brings me back to the very first night I ever played he game back in 2015. While the remaster didn’t add anything new and the lighting was a little too dark in some scenes, I’ll never have a bad thing to say about this game. It will always be a comfort game to me, and I’ll find any excuse to replay it.
Destiny 2: Witch Queen
Just when I think Im done with Destiny, a new expansion or season pass comes out that catches my eye. Witch Queen’s campaign might be my favorite to date, and with the introduction of weapon crafting (shaping), there’s a never-ending source of carrots on a stick to chase after. I did stop playing after the latest season to follow though as it wasn’t as rewarding as the main expansion felt. But just like clock-work, I’ll jump back in when Lighfall arrives.
Horizon Forbidden West
I loved the first Horizon game, but I was skeptical about how any follow-up could be just as good. While the new setting was gorgeous, everything about the game felt a little too formulaic. By the second act, it already felt like I was playing a generic western RPG of here's some objectives, complete them in any order, meet some allies along the way and send them back to your base for a final big attack at the end”. It was like I was playing another Mass Effect or Dragon Age. The finale does set up a potential final conclusion though, and whatever comes next will still be an instant buy as soon as it comes out.
Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons
Guild Wars is the only traditional MMO I still occasionally play. It's casual enough that I can quit for a year and pick it up right where I left off. It's also the only MMO other than maybe Final Fantasy XIV that I’ll play solely for the story. End of Dragons did not let me down. This was everything I hoped for returning to Cantha, and I look forward to the next living story season.
I’ll never understand the appeal to the brutality of Souls games. Elden Ring at least made the experience a little more enjoyable than previous titles though, and I was actually fascinated by the story and the lore of the world. It's probably not a game I’ll replay again, but I loved the community it created.
Stray was a nice relaxing break from the norm. It didn’t do anything different, but it was fun playing as a cat, and solving puzzles in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk setting filled with interesting robots.
Watchdogs Legion & Bloodline DLC
I finally got around to finishing Legion. After a week, I could not tell you a single plot detail. The series is still more fun than GTA in y opinion, but with the core mechanic of being able to play as any NPC, everything feels so shallow and and everyone feels like a soulless, faceless character. The DLC however ended up being it’s redeeming factor. I loved seeing Aiden Pierce painted in a self-destructive, reckless light that the original game completely dismissed. In fact, the Bloodline DLC was far more memorable than the main game ever was.
Disney Dreamlight Valley
I love all things Disney. I also I love Animal Crossing. But after I got a 5 star island and all my favorite villagers, I felt like I was done with the game. So it was only natural to give this AC clone a try. that seemingly has a lot more crammed in than most AC games. There’s even a surface level story that explains why Im running around asking Disney characters to move into town. BUT, being a lifelong Kingdom Hearts fan, it feels lacking. I keep waiting for heartless to pop up, or see Sora or others in the series popup. I know most people wont have the same issue I do, but every time I start playing, I just want to go play Kingdom Hearts.
Like everyone else that watched the Cyberpunk Edgerunner anime on Netflix, I jumped back into Cyberpunk as soon as it was over. Nothing new was really added other than a few Edgerunner easter eggs and items from the last time I played, but it was a breath of fresh air to play this game without any bugs this time. Having to restart with no weapons or upgrades was a little frustrating though, and really wish there was a New Game+ option by now.
God Of War
When God of War came out in 2018, I didn’t have time to initially play it. Instead, I watched others play it on Youtube. With the follow-up coming up this year, however, I felt like it was finally time to play it myself, and I'm glad I did. While watching others’ play it was satisfying enough for its story, the hack-and-slash combat, puzzle-solving, and exploration were all just as entertaining as the cinematics.
Baldur’s Gate III: Early Access
It had been about 6 months since the last time I checked in on Baldur’s Gate. And while there hadn’t been a lot of new content added in terms of the story, I found myself sinking over 20 hours into the game again, in just the first act. The series is in good hands at Larian studies, and I can't wait for the full game to finally get released.
God of War: Ragnarok
I finally got a Playstation 5, mostly just so I could experience the beauty of this cinematic masterpiece myself. I also didn’t want to make my PS4 sound like a constant jet engine for hours. This game filled me with a lot of emotions. None more so of how much I hated that little shit, Atreus. There were moments that made me groan out loud at just how much of a self-entitled piece of shit because he was a god, or thought he knew better, or any of the other annoying characteristics associated with a teenager. It wasn’t until the end of the game that I thought “ok, fine, this kid might be okay and I'm curious to see where they go next”. The fact this game played with my emotions so much makes it one of the best stories I’ve played in years.
Returnal makes me want to throw my controller across the room, go pick it up, and keep playing as I watch myself die 10 more times. In true rogue-like fashion, each time you die, you’re in a new timeline with a different set of weapons and items. Every play-through is unique, and have to adapt to new situations and challenges each time you restart.
Deathloop comes from the same creators as Dishonored, and the art direction shows it. In a lot of ways, it even feels like I’m playing a spirited successor to Dishonored, with slightly less serious overtones and more humor. The menu systems are a little confusing, but no one has made a great stealth, first-person game quite like Arkane Studios
Spider-Man Miles Morales
The latest game in the Spider-Man franchise, Spider-Man Miles Morales is a standalone title, meaning players do not need to have played the previous Spider-Man game to enjoy the story. In terms of gameplay, Spider-Man Miles Morales follows the same formula as the previous game and also introduces new powers and abilities for Miles, such as the ability to camouflage himself and generate electrical shocks. The abilities add an extra layer of depth to the combat, allowing players to come up with creative ways to take down enemies.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
Until Dawn will forever be my favorite horror game. It checked off all the cheesy horror tropes I love so much, so anything Supermassive Games puts out that remotely resembles it, I’ll always give it a try. In Little Hope, players take control of a group of students and their teacher who are stranded in the small town of Little Hope after their bus breaks down. Much like Until Dawn, it also features a similar “Butterfly Effect” system (in the form of a postcard, which shows how choices might affect the story. This allows players to see the vague consequences of their actions and encourages them to make careful decisions that will determine the fate of the characters.