The same elements and design choices in Observer that make it a cerebral and provocative failed-future experience are those that prohibit satisfaction in its gameplay. Detailed world-building shines through in-game dialogue and lore, yet falls drastically short in any actual spatial embodiment of forces and institutions. The small space in which you're trapped is a quaint microcosm of Observer's world, but after rich promises of variety and exploration, it's ultimately too micro to satisfy.
Hover: Revolt of Gamers is a solid, open-world MMORPG that livens up the genre by honing in on what made its inspirations so great, and fusing these qualities together, culminating in an exciting world full of vibrant personality. While there is room for some refinement, Fusty Game and Midgar Studio have created an impressive action parkour game which promises to overload the senses.
Not all efforts in nostalgia end in success, but with Nex Machina, Housemarque has crafted a fast and fun twin-stick shooter with crisp visuals and challenging gameplay. Flawed only by a problematic mouse adaptation, Nex Machina is a solid execution of a gaming genre staple that promises long nights with guns blazing (instead of sleep).
While Tokyo 42 could be deeper, and it has issues with being frustrating at times, this is the rare game that becomes less problematic the more you play it. It is for brutal combat what Katamari was for puzzle games: A new way of looking at things, quite literally, and one that chooses bright joyfulness as its medium and lives up to it through its play. For less than half of what a AAA game will run you, this title is absolutely worth the time and the money, and if you find it frustrating, I encourage you to give it another few hours. Just about anyone who does will be charmed by the supersaturated, gloriously isometric, high octane, quirkily funny cyberpunk blowout that is Tokyo 42.
P.A.M.E.L.A. is one of the most visually solid games on Steam today, in the indie market — and possibly including AAA as well. There was a rash of bad reviews for crashing and loading issues, but the issues were fixed very quickly thereafter. Even with a small development team, NVYVE Studios has produced one of the most polished Early Access games I’ve seen, and it bodes well for the future of the title and the studio.