Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians is lost in its own plot but the gameplay has been sharpened and if you want Spartan action in spacious, interesting levels, it’s here. Frankly, I wouldn’t have had so much of a problem with the centering of the multiplayer by making the entire campaign about commanding a squad, but… You know how sometimes you want to tell a story about the relationship between two people and how they both change and drift apart over time but you accidentally add SEVEN extra protagonists? It happens to the best of us but it also happens to 343 Industries.

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game

A decade later, Scott Pilgrim’s retro-style brawler is still the same snappy, charming beat em up that captivated fans in 2010. It doesn’t explain a lot and the controls can be a little floaty, but it doesn’t matter when the punches are landing and the music is bumping. Once you begin to level and build your stats through eating food or buying bionic arms, the game really comes into its own as the cult classic that people clamored for over the years. Though, here’s hoping we don’t all fall in love with it, just to lose it all over again.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is my ultimate comfort food game. Yes, it’s designed for literal children, and to say it offers any kind of challenge for someone in their mid-20’s would be laughable, but I can’t deny that playing it feels like a warm blanket of wonderful familiarity. Most of the LEGO games are pretty interchangeable but I like this one best because the sandbox activities are the most fun out of every LEGO game I’ve played. Curling up on my awful office chair and slapping around some blocky goons is something I always turn to when times get rough.

Stardew Valley

Ever got sick of your shitty office job and wished that you could inherit your nameless grandpa’s farm for yourself? Well, you can if you play Stardew Valley. Yes, you swap your life of crunching numbers for having your own farm with like, 200 gold to your name. Sweet! A town full of old people, sweet but kinda repressed goths, and a mayor that can’t keep his underwear on his body, you’ll explore a land of mystical wonder, fall in love and make new friends – all while tending the field far away from the capitalistic hellhole of your previous life.

Superhot: Control Mind Delete

SUPER. HOT. There won’t be any closure. Just more senseless killing. SUPER. HOT.

SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. You don’t have to do this again. SUPER.

HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT.

SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. Do you like

who you’ve become? SUPER. HOT. The cycle of violence can be broken, by us.

SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER.

HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. Do the ends ever justify the means?

SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT.

Jurassic World Aftermath

When content is value for money, Jurassic World Aftermath may not deliver. For fans of the franchise and dinosaurs in general though, Aftermath is a small but satisfying VR cat and mouse game with Velociraptors that misses some hits it could’ve taken, like throwing items as a distraction or other common Virtual Reality techniques. However, if you can see past the flaws, it becomes apparent that the visual aspect of Aftermath is incredible and leaves you wanting—no, begging for more of that beautiful artwork in the same universe. Hopefully, they’ll bring more dinosaurs and gameplay to the table next time.

Halo 4

Halo 4, while messy and confusing, has certainly solid gameplay so it still feels like Halo. The strangeness begins with the star of the show: the Prometheans, the dull new enemy class. I understand that a new developer means changes, some fundamental, but it’s difficult to square some of these choices. Why do the ancient digital computer creatures drop shotguns? Why did the forerunners build a huge hollow planet? Why is there weird dramatic Dad tension between Chief and Del Rio? Why retcon Forerunners are not humans? Why is Cortana so horny? If you loved Halo, don’t play this game.

Doom Eternal

DOOM Eternal has a lengthy campaign but expresses everything it wants to in a single level: its seventh, Mars Core. Titanic barrels drift lazily through the sky, inviting ballistic detonation. Militarized Phobos, bleak Mars, and ancient Hell are blended and remixed as the Slayer skips across space-strewn islands, a frozen explosion of the series’ mythological topoi. The S/P/layer achieves their truest self, firing themself out of a giant gun in an instant of climactic, comical excess.

This is what you’re here for, isn’t it?

DOOM Eternal is DOOM eagerly and knowingly eating itself alive and savoring every morsel.

Doom (2016)

Doom is a story about DOOM told in its own language. It is a Rosetta Stone of game design; a compass bearing unerringly towards 1993. Doom cannot escape its own conversation. Every musical track or beat of action cannot be regarded outside the original’s enormous shadow. Every splatter of blood reckons with itself as a response to its predecessor. Commentary on the speed, power, and polish of this game could fill many times more space than the game itself. Of course, all of it is correct. The title thrums with diabolical spectacle and joy. Doom is a magnum opus, again.

Doom 64

Even after a modernized re-release and reintroduction into the series’ canon, the awkward single analog stick of the Nintendo 64 defines and continues to define DOOM 64’s identity as an understated counterpoint to the games that precede it. It disrupts everything about the original, trading power fantasy for melancholy, momentum for caution, dad rock for ambient synth, bloodsport for death traps. You come to DOOM 64 tired of DOOM, and find that DOOM 64 does not tire of you. It is malicious by design, and it has such sights to show you.

I love this one, even if it’s unrequited.