For an open-world, immersive experience replete with quests, fishing, farms, and more, look no further than Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. The design is apt to please any gamer interested in what Yonder has to offer, while nightfall and the gloominess of a heavy rain ensure that players who might otherwise avoid overly bright hues don’t feel left out -- a sure recipe on Yonder’s part for broad appeal. However, as an exploration-heavy title, especially one that does not offer combat, the allure is counteracted in part; ultimately, though, all -- save the hardcore -- can enjoy Yonder.
A quarter-century after nuclear war devastated the earth, a few thousand survivors still cling to existence beneath the ruins of Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro. They have struggled against the poisoned elements, fought mutated beasts and paranormal horrors, and suffered the flames of civil war. But now, as Artyom, you must flee the Metro and lead a band of Spartan Rangers on an incredible, continent-spanning journey across post-apocalyptic Russia in search of a new life in the East.
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.
Starpoint Gemini Warlords is a fine title, though it’s not without the occasional rough edge. Solid gameplay, with smooth controls, is hampered by a frustrating camera, but an interesting (albeit sometimes compromising) mix of single-ship combat and 4X civilization management, and great graphics, seal the deal.
Given that Planet Nomads is in alpha, some of the issues get a pass, but there are other, more serious optimization problems with this title, and the building mechanic is borderline terrible. Movement felt delayed, graphics looked choppy more often than not when moving, and the game went through a serious bout of crashing until I switched to a windowed-only view.
There’s a lot of room for improvement for this title, but the foundation the devs have built is workable. Keep your eyes on Planet Nomads going forward, but be wary; your expectations might not be met if you jumped into the game now.