In 2019, more games flowed between PC and other platforms than ever before and we saw the titanic clash between Valve and Epic. PC gaming retains its unique identity through mods, hardware configurations, and its inextricable ties to Twitch and YouTube. Increasingly, though, the lines between these platforms are dissolving, and everybody's winding up back where so many series and genres started: on PC.
There is no elevator pitch for Death Stranding. Every inch of the game teems with meaning or implication. Even the most pretentious developments build to create a multi-layered game. It is a story about fatherhood. It is a dig at the gig economy. It is deeply concerned with environmental disaster and American politics, old and new.
Yes, The Outer Worlds mechanically resembles the Fallout series. It was made by the same team that worked on the first two Fallout games. It's built on the skeleton of Dungeons and Dragons. This is not dissimilar to what Fallout has become under the ownership of Bethesda, though I will say that I have not felt as motivated to finish Fallout 3 or 4 as I felt to finish The Outer Worlds.
Control is the latest game from the makers of Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break. It's all the standard elements of a regular third-person shooter, but its exhaustive world building and all-consuming eeriness make it much more.
I am generally suspicious of games that people say are "better with friends," simply because most things are. Wolfenstein: Youngblood isn't really just better with friends; it requires them. That's not a ding against Youngblood. The game has always been positioned as a cooperative experience. It's a co-op shooter. To criticize it for not being something other than that is unreasonable.
Ever since Rome 2's disappointing release back in 2013, it feels like the Total War series has been lost and in search of something. From Attila and Thrones of Britannia's tinkering to the Warhammer games' explosion of personality there has been wild experimentation between titles. Three Kingdoms is the culmination of that adventure -- and this game is amazing.
The mainstream narrative of esports has been lovingly crafted by those who benefit from its success. There's big money in esports, they say. You've heard the stories. Yet there's a reason why these narratives attract lip-licking headlines in business news and have accrued colossal amounts of venture capital. More and more, esports is looking like a bubble ready to pop.
The lightsaber has been around since the very beginning of Star Wars and they've been part of many different Star Wars video games throughout the past 30+ years. They also show us how video games have improved and advanced over the last few decades. So grab your lightsaber, turn it on and wave it around.
Sean Murray, lead developer of No Man's Sky, has seen the best and worst of it since the game's incredible first trailer was shown in 2013. But after a failed launch, No Man's Sky has flourished in recent years. While he won't release sales figures, Murray said that "last year we sold the kind of numbers a AAA game would be happy with at launch," using the industry jargon for big budget games.
It's hard to say how Fortnite is turning out because it keeps turning into something else. Skins and storylines come and go. Landmarks appear and disappear. Weapons are added and removed. Recently, a mysterious excavation site appeared, but it was dug up and abandoned by the time I got there the next day. There's never a perfect time to say what Fortnite is.
In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the thread between life and death is tenuous. As the One-Armed Wolf, a loyal shinobi seeking to save a young noble with a cursed bloodline, you traverse a feudal Japan so saturated with the remnants of war that the idea of mortality becomes fickle.
Apex Legends is a tasting menu of battle royale moments, rather than the potato chip jump-die-restart of my Fortnite experiences. There are countless moments to surprise or disappoint yourself. The hero aspect of the game is a change for battle royales, but other than that, the basics are standard for the genre.
Every once in a while, a game comes along that that does something surprising, different, memorable. Anthem is not one of those games. Anthem's core idea of "jetpacks plus guns" works excellently on its own, but nothing else in the game quite lives up to it.
PC has never been a singular platform like, say, PlayStation or Xbox. Instead, it's a series of disparate landmasses sharing the same turbulent sea. PC gaming looks to become more fragmented than it's been in the past few years---for better and worse. More options means more chances for new ideas to flourish and, perhaps, for a new middle class of developers to emerge.
PlayStation Classic is a faithful reproduction of the experience of playing original PlayStation games in the mid-1990s. The experience is technically accurate, but the PS Classic doesn't feel like it was created by a company with a true and abiding passion for the games of this era, or even with the good sense to fake one.
Since 2014 updates to Diablo III have been light and sporadic, and four years later, Blizzard's announcement of Diablo Immortal at a time when fans are hungry for any news of a Diablo IV has led to big questions about the future of the franchise. What's really going on with Diablo?