I really wanted The Last Guardian to blow me away. I've always had a soft spot for the underdog, and a game that sat in development limbo for over 10 years certainly fit that status. I hoped this would be a complete and beautiful experience that I’d talk about for years to come. Sadly, the decade-long wait for the third feather in Team Ico’s cap did not meet that standard, as the emotional story was marred by technical issues of a bygone era.
6.5 out of 10 Review
Mafia III's biggest strength is the ambitious narrative developer Hangar 13 has chosen to explore. At a time in our own lives that eerily echoes the world of Lincoln Clay's New Bordeaux, there are a lot of parallels to be drawn from this story. It's smart and engaging, and challenges players to think about their perception of the world when tasked with walking in the shoes of someone the world is clearly against. At least, that's true for the most part. Once you start bringing murders and delving deeper into the actual gameplay of Mafia III, you'll find there's a disconnect between the game and the story it's trying to tell. You'll also find it's frustratingly repetitive and riddled with glitches.
The challenge is well executed here, but the weakness in Hitman’s episodic structure starts to show with how out of place this chapter feels in context with the previous missions.
While there are glimmers of hope throughout the adventure, the majority of ReCore is neither remarkable nor technically sound.
Hitman does a great job of painting each target as a villain worthy of assassination. Even when the target is someone as unassuming as Jordan Cross, the lead singer of an indie band.
Telltale Games' fresh approach to the world of the Dark Knight makes the first episode of Batman: The Telltale Series an mostly worthwhile escapade into the life of Bruce Wayne. Taking a radically different path from the likes of Rocksteady Studios in telling a Batman story not only gave some much needed perspective into the other half of Batman's life, but allowed Telltale to play to its strengths in narrative and dialogue. It's unfortunate then that the PC version of Batman: The Telltale Series is so marred by performance issues that it's a real drag to play, and a challenge to enjoy.
Battlefront is meant to be the Star Wars video game to get as the world awaits the theatrical release of The Force Awakens. While Battlefront doesn't particularly fall under the doomed movie-based video game curse, it certainly feels like one. As a few more months of development could've greatly helped players get more bang for their buck when it comes to this multiplayer frag-fest. Luckily, Star Wars Battlefront is meant to tap into both the success that the first-person shooter genre has gotten over the years with the likes of the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises and the overall boom in hype/merchandising leading into The Force Awakens. Battlefront certainly doesn't reinvent online multiplayer FPS gameplay or even have any lasting reasons to keep you coming back for more, but its presentation and nostalgic values are more than enough to keep casual gamers out there entertained.
Simply titled Need for Speed, this racer marks the franchise's first current-gen exclusive, finally focusing on getting the most it can from modern consoles without having to worry about including last-gen tech. Fortunately, this helps NFS look absolutely gorgeous, which ultimately matters when you factor in the underwhelming graphics of Gran Turismo 6 compared to the fine polish of Forza Motorsport 6. Utilizing the full extent of the current-gen hardware, Need for Speed revs up into a promising experience that is all about underground and urban street racing, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee a smooth ride.
Koei Tecmo and Nintendo may have skipped out on taking the Wii's Project Zero: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse out of Japan, but the House of Mario decided to cave to fans' demands and give Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water a digital release for Western audiences. As the Silent Hill and Resident Evil series have started to stray and stumble in maintaining survival horror, Maiden of Black Water ups the frights. This new Fatal Frame purposely maintains a slow burn in order to properly build up suspense, bringing back the ghostbusting gameplay of the Camera Obscura, which now utilizes the Wii U's GamePad to exorcise the dead. In an era when survival horror has skewed into action-oriented gameplay or defenseless first-person perspectives, Maiden of Black Water is a welcome, old school-style callback to survival horror's glory days. Unfortunately, Fatal Frame 5 suffers from simple control issues pertaining to its core gameplay that should've easily been ironed out. Despite its solid attempts at spirit photography, there are some basic parts of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water that feel underdeveloped, which can ruin the overall shot.
Capcom's swansong to Street Fighter IV was hit with a massive combo breaker.