In 2019, I reviewed Monster Jam Steel Titans and felt it was middle of the road. I’m here now with the sequel, Steel Titans 2, and though I think: it’s an upgrade, and there are things the game does that make my time with it less than enjoyable. The initial presentation of colorful open worlds feels deceitful when you find out there mostly isn’t much to do within them. Overall, you find out quickly how much of a slog things are.
I have a special spot in my heart for the Hitman series. Hell, Hitman was my Game of the Year in 2016, and with good reason. It was amusing, creative, packed with content, and most important of all, fun. Hitman 3 brings the World of Assassination to a close with a swan song; it takes what made the series great and gives us more.
In a year, where everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, people have flocked to their hobbies. Anything to help them escape the turmoil of modern life in 2020; entertainment has become more valuable to us than ever. It’s a weird year to make a list of 10 games. Knowing that this hobby is small potatoes when compared to the scale of things happening this year. But here we are, 10 of the best games that Ed has played to help him navigate these coarse waters of 2020.
Watch Dogs: Legion is set in a dystopian future, years after the events of Watch Dogs 2. Legion’s world is loaded to the brim with content like its predecessor and yet, still brings some new and exciting features to the table. I only wished I liked London as a setting more.
After a year away from the franchise, Ubisoft is back with another Assassin’s Creed title, Valhalla. It’s Ninth century England, and the battle between the Assassins and the Templar is just as fierce as it has ever been. Building upon and fine-tuning the gameplay seen in Origins and Odyssey, Valhalla is the best in this trilogy of RPG centric Assassin’s Creed games, but is it the best Assassin’s title so far?
It’s been 10 years since the release of Criterion’s first foray into the Need for Speed franchise with Hot Pursuit, a remake of the third entry in the series that catapulted the franchise into a household name. Oddly enough, I remember that night opening up my copy of the first highly anticipated Need for Speed game in years. It wasn’t my home, but I remember the room, I remember the TV I played it on and I remember the chills I got when the intro splash screen booted up. Those same chills returned as I stared down the splash screen for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. The team at Criterion and Stellar Entertainment did a great job and gave me one more ride down memory lane, top-down, and flying by the seat of my pants.
The Cook, Serve, Delicious! series has been with us since 2012 with a sequel released in 2017. It’s a series that gives me a great way to unwind, even if utter chaos is happening on the screen. So in this apocalyptic year of 2020, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! is making it’s way into our hearts once again but wouldn’t you know it, the apocalypse has also come to CSD!
NASCAR Heat 5 is nearly a carbon copy of last year’s game, especially if you partake in the career mode. As with my review of last year’s NASCAR Heat 4, that year’s previous year’s NASCAR Heat 3 had a good thing going for it and was the same solid game. NASCAR Heat 5 is still that same solid game; it’s unfortunate that we get no significant improvements this year.
Alternate universes or parallel dimensions must exist. With how crazy things are in the world, we must have jumped into an alternate reality. We have a worldwide pandemic; we’re seeing those sworn to protect murder instead, living through all the countless climate disasters, and even experiencing the early stages of American fascism. One would have to believe that this can’t be the real world, almost as if someone has trapped us in some hellscape. Yet somehow in this messed-up reality we live in, good things shine through, even if they are small and inconsequential to everything happening around us.
Assetto Corsa Competizione is one of the most realistic racing experiences one can have on the PlayStation 4 sans Gran Turismo. The world and the vehicles are gorgeous, but unfortunately, there isn’t much else to the game Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC). It’s a reasonably straightforward racing game that is relatively bare-bones.
Maneater puts you in the role of a bull shark seeking revenge on a deadly shark hunter. What developer Tripwire has crafted here is a “shark RPG.” It’s an open world you can traverse as this ferocious shark. Maneater is silly and campy, with just a hint of the realistic thrown in and thankfully, balances it all together very well. Things never feel too silly, yet you never get the feeling that you’re supposed to take any of this seriously, creating the perfect blend of fun.
I reviewed Gear.Club Unlimited 2 over a year ago for the Switch, and it was not a great game. Navigating menus is a drag with most of your time spent waiting. Plus, cars drive like they have a pole stabbed through the middle, one of the greatest sins in a racing game. But there were some bright spots where you could see potential improvement. All that’s to say that the Porsche Edition doesn’t change any of that.
I want to clarify something upfront regarding my top 10 this year. I didn’t have the opportunity to play some big games I know are in my “wheelhouse.” There are a few games that I would have loved to play and would likely have included in my Top 10 if I could. Pokemon Sword & Shield, Jedi Fallen Order, Outer Wilds, and Death Stranding, to name a few.
Farming Simulator 19: Platinum Edition is the latest to come out of the Farming Simulator series; that is until 20 inevitably comes out for PC next year. I’ll be reviewing this game as a whole as we don’t have a standalone review for the base game. The Farming Simulator franchise has been around for over ten years now. That formula hasn’t changed all that much. Which depending on the type of player you are, it is either a good or bad point.
If you’ve dabbled in other tycoon/management sims before, you know that to make it fun and exciting, the game has to make the micromanaging actually enjoyable. A game where you don’t mind diving into menus as your business flourishes. It’s the feeling of chaos being wrangled in to produce your desired outcome. More money!