Ben is a writer, cinephile, chemist, and amateur filmmaker. He has been in love with the potential of gaming as a storytelling medium ever since he first played Baldurs Gate II: Shadows of Amn. He mainly plays competetive skill based multiplayer games, story rich RPG's, and grand strategy games. He also has experience with tabletop games like Warhammer 40k and Warmachine. He has far too many hobbies for his free time.
No matter how much I may criticize the faults, and the faults certainly aren't insignificant, Rise of the Tomb Raider is without a doubt extremely fun. Fans of the first Tomb Raider will find more of what they loved. Rise shines brightest when players adopt the full John Rambo mindset, and embrace the balls to the walls action available. I found myself having much more fun when I intentionally ignored stealth and played like I was in a John Woo movie. Rise of the Tomb Raider is a fast-paced, action-packed feast for the senses that sets a new benchmark for technical excellence. Just don't expect many original concepts or challenges, as Lara “John Rambo” Croft brutally murders hundreds of baddies en route to a very thrilling final chapter.
Hearts of Iron IV is both a military history fan and a war game enthusiasts dream. Those players who are willing to put in the time it takes to not only complete an actual playthrough but to learn all the nuances of the game will find a deeply strategic war experience that will keep you entertained for absurd amounts of hours.
Those familiar with Paradox or grand strategy may find that Stellaris isn't quite as deep as HOI, CK2 or even EU4, but it has more than enough to keep space fans consumed for hours, and enough variety to keep each playthrough unique. The lore is awesome. The custom ship designs are awesome. The map and visuals are awesome. If you're a Star Trek fan, a BattleStar Galactica fan, a Star Wars fan, a Dune fan, or even if you just looked up at the stars one day and thought “woah...” then Stellaris is for you!
Xcom 2 is a well designed, mechanically diverse tactics game that will hold your attention for many, many hours. The “just one more turn... “ feeling is strong with this one. When your soldiers are dying, and the aliens are closing in, steel yourself and remember – Suffer not the alien to live!
Now more than ever, the world of Cinema and the world of video games are kindred spirits.
If you're a die hard 40k fanatic who will simply consume anything Games Workshop related, refuse to play a physical copy of Relic, and see no real value to engaging your brain for as much as 4 or 5 hours at a time, then Talisman: The Horus Heresy is for you!