ELEX is an ode to fans of Gothic and Risen, and fans will most likely be satisfied. How detailed the title is makes it clear: Piranha Bytes isn’t trying to cash in on an aging franchise. That being said, the issues cannot be brushed aside. It’s been nearly two decades since the studio published its first game, Gothic I, and what plagued the earlier titles plagues ELEX as well. And that, is a problem.
Nights of Azure 2 offers players a rich story with tension and intrigue, but there are mechanics in place, such as freezing time limits and retaining XP and loot even after death, which still protect an enjoyable playthrough. Without straying too much from the Atelier playbook, Azure 2 results in a fresh yet familiar, classic JRPG experience.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins is an exciting addition to the Assassin’s Creed legacy, featuring new brotherhood lore and intriguing RPG elements. Crafting and a skills tree promises character customization beyond that in previous Assassin’s Creed titles, while underwater exploration and mounted combat give you fresh ways to play and interact with enemies and an expansive map. If you like assassinating people with primitive weapons, Origins is for you.
Blue Reflection is an excellent release in both design and execution. The title, and what it means, run along the story and plays a prominent role in nearly every aspect. Not unlike the Persona series, this is not an RPG where your main focus is nonstop battle. Unlike that series, however, there aren’t deadlines about which you must worry. For a JRPG that balances its combat with school life and befriending classmates, while providing a relaxing time, look no further.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm plays like a cutscene with a point-and-click element that is a joy; no button combinations or consulting a grainy minimap: Daedalus himself designed the levels. The title deals with weighty issues wrapped in stunning visuals and peppered with a comprehensive soundtrack by real artists. This addition to the franchise is a must-play.
Ys SEVEN is packed with content -- over 30 hours of gameplay, a deep storyline, and a catchy soundtrack. Though the plot retreads the ‘hero tasked with saving humanity’ story arc, it does so in an original manner through a rich cast of characters. However, the default configuration is a hassle, which seems odd, considering that this title was first developed for the PSP — although if you had no idea that this entry originally came out on PSP, you’d never think that it wasn’t developed for PC. You’ll want to love this game, but problems with the controls might keep you from considering it one your favorites.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Episode 5 is a gripping, emotional ending to this chapter in the series, but it's also one that doesn't quite hit the mark as well as the prior seasons of this successful franchise have. When it comes to the grand finale, players simply deserved a bigger, more satisfying resolution to Javier's story and the outcome facing him and his loved ones. And, while I did enjoy Clem's ending – again, I'll keep it vague – Clem's presence alone isn't enough to carry this piece of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier to the heights that prior episodes in this saga could reach.
Black Desert Online comes to the table with an intricate character sculpting tool, gorgeous graphical presentation, and a nuanced, exciting combat system overlying a less immediately apparent, but very unique, sandbox-style resource management simulation. Those looking for a rich narrative, complex or groundbreaking PvE questing, or highly unique monster design may be disappointed, but those seeking a mechanically rich, visually striking MMO will find themselves at home.
Impact Winter may have just a few too many issues now, but the real reason it isn’t a must-buy is that it would be much more fun if you were just a lonely man wandering the wasteland for items to make your church better. Instead, you must keep wondering if the campfire burnt out, and if the nearly-useless compatriots huddled around it are slowly dying now because no one knows how to throw another damned baseball bat into the embers.
At the end of it all, yes. There were quite a few things in this installment that could have driven me batty — had I allowed them to do so. The beautiful reality of Syberia 3 is that I didn’t need to know what happened beforehand in the franchise. If you play for release, for freedom that you don’t have in a normal, boring life — and if you can look past some rough handling -- Syberia 3 is for you.