The appeal of a roguelike lies in its heightened stakes, the rush of knowing that each decision you make matters so much more. The Persistence elegantly weaves those tropes into its premise, and the game is far stronger for it.
Monster Hunter: World stripped away just enough of the Byzantine quirks accumulated by the series over its 14-year history to seduce me into giving the storied series one more shot. And wow — am I ever glad I did.
It’s not just that the titular hero Astro is adorable (he is). It’s not even just because the levels are a marathon of creative platforming experiences (they are). It’s because in a year filled with excellent takes on the virtual reality medium, Japan Studio have expertly threaded the needle to create an insanely fun platformer that will stand as a landmark for what all VR games should aspire to be.
In every Assassin’s Creed game, there is a moment where the assassin clambers up to some high-reaching vista — a tower, a balcony, maybe even a ship’s mast — and briefly focuses their eagle eye on the land below them before bounding forward into a leap of faith.
A rebuild of a 34-year-old puzzle game on a console powerhouse doesn’t scream game of the year, does it? And yet here we are. And rightly so. Tetris Effect is an utterly compelling game for PS4, whether experienced in PS VR or not.
God of War defies hyperbole. Almost every effusive thing you may have heard about Santa Monica Studio’s hit is borne out through gameplay. It’s a study in contrasts. It’s brutal, but sensitive; fast, but methodical; huge and sprawling, but intimate and focused; loud, but quiet.
Swinging from webs in Marvel’s Spider-Man is intuitive and freeing. Simply holding the R2-button turns every movement into a ballet of blue and red. If you can imagine a complex, death-defying route between skyscrapers or across rooftops, you can execute it with finesse.
At first glance, Motion Twin’s acclaimed roguelike platformer Dead Cells could be accused of being a little light on content – just a handful of ‘biomes’ and four bosses to master. Yet somehow the plucky French studio turned in 2018’s premier time-sink – a game that grabs you from the get-go and refuses to let go.
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