Mobile gaming has long since evolved from just touch controls, there’s controllers that help replicate a console experience, even if it isn’t widely adopted. Now with cloud services like GeForce NOW and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus is such a device that is an all-purpose controller on mobile. It’s an impressive piece of tech from its compatibility, to the bluetooth, as well as the gaming clip that is balanced for longer play sessions. The PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus Bluetooth Controller has zero compromises in its construction and execution, making it the perfect controller for mobile and cloud gaming.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War finally sees the return to the setting and characters we’ve been waiting for since the first installment. With Black Ops III, there was a lackluster story that never amounted to anything worthwhile. Then we got Black Ops 4, which was great on all fronts, but it didn’t have a campaign – which was probably for the best after the prior entry. Treyarch takes us back to the 1980s, reuniting us with Mason and Woods along with some new faces and names to stop a Cold War gone hot. Cold War offers a blend of nostalgia-fueled gameplay with next-generation visuals for a true sequel to the original game.
The next generation of games is being ushered in, and leading the pack is The Falconeer. While my experience has been solely on PC, it offers a fresh and exciting feeling I’ve not had in the prior generation. The game has incredible sound design, a sensory overload in visuals, and satisfying combat that is a soft mix between Crimson Skies and Panzer Dragoon. There’s also a careful balance of exploration and combat that drives the game in a direction we haven’t seen before. The sense of wonderment while playing The Falconeer is unparalleled.
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?
Everyone deserves a second chance, an opportunity to make things right. Most games don’t get to make a second first impression, but RUNE II has such an opening. RUNE II: Decapitation Edition serves as a “Definitive Edition” of RUNE II, and the tail end of a redemption arc for the developers at Studio 369 and publisher Ragnarok Game, who inherited a mess. In under a year, RUNE II has seen a massive overhaul and tons of improvements with a new vision and direction. The result of this work is an experience that’s a flawed, yet highly engrossing game that I keep coming back to play.
As a resident of Colorado, the state that this expansion resembles, I feel very qualified to talk about its accuracies, where there are many; as well as its inaccuracies, which thankfully there are only a few. The sixth state DLC is a never-ending highlight reel for this state, and American Truck Simulator offers someplace new with tough terrain and treacherous roads to traverse. Colorado is a place full of secrets and wonderous beauty that you can’t help but stop to appreciate at nearly every turn. The lengths that SCS Software went to with the Colorado DLC shows, it’s amazing and is well-worth the purchase.
There are a number of ways by which you may find yourself itching to explore Snaktooth Island. Maybe one of the game’s whimsical trailers caught your eye, or you could have been lured by the incredibly catchy theme song by Kero Kero Bonito, or the adorable creature designs (I mean have you seen that Strabby!?), or perhaps it’s the gaping hole in your heart left by the absence of a new Viva Piñata, or maybe some combination of the aforementioned. Regardless, if you’re coming to Bugsnax, you already have some idea of what you’re in for: a cute-as-heck creature collector full of good vibes, vibrant colors, and little food-inspired critters that speak their own names incessantly in the most endearing ways possible. This is all true, but this knowledge will not prepare you for what awaits.
As far as remakes go, XIII was one I wouldn’t have ever expected to get such treatment. A cult hit from Ubisoft’s weird publishing days, a relic of the past resurfaces after 17 years. Its re-emergence seemed incredibly promising. Getting the original game working on modern PCs has been helped by mods and fan packs, but it remains hard to get running. PlayMagic has put considerable work into the Microids-published XIII for 2020, and it’s a gorgeous game that’s ultimately let down by its gameplay and bug-ridden levels. There’s a lot to overcome to try to enjoy this remake, so now that’s two releases of XIII that are a hassle to play.
I have a special affinity for VR games that find unique ways to overcome the issue of stationary locomotion. Teleportation works fine, but it breaks immersion and distracts from the game a bit. This is where Phantom: Covert Ops excels. They took the most difficult genre for VR locomotion—a first-person shooter—and found a way to make the awkwardness diegetic.
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.
Spelunky is, by many accounts, a nearly perfect game. When it was released on Xbox 360 in 2012, it was the ideal combination of finely tuned game mechanics, precise controls, an extensive amount of things to discover (in more ways than one), and essentially infinite replayability and appeal. It was the epitome of the “just one more run” game, and it captured the hearts and minds of players across every platform it came to over the years (which is basically everything), developing a rich competitive scene and a wide audience on streaming sites like Twitch. The true beauty of Spelunky may be that despite its relatively steep difficulty and learning curves, it has broad appeal and is extremely approachable, for both players and viewers alike. Spelunky captured some of the best aspects of watching talented speedrunners play through older Mario games from the NES and the SNES, with the sense that some new and amazing previously unknown aspect of the game might always be just a few moments away. And so it persisted for many years, well past the lifespan of most game releases.
The things that that come to mind when you see the names HyperX or Kingston is either memory, headsets, or some other gaming peripheral. Until recently, microphones weren’t anything anyone thought HyperX would offer, but that started to change that with the release of last year’s highly rated Quadcast. Now we get a new model with RGB in the HyperX Quadcast S, building upon an already great microphone. With stellar audio quality, a striking look, and lots of extras at no added cost, the HyperX Quadcast S is an evolution and trailblazer in its class.
When DiRT 4 released in 2017, I thought it was a great racing game that offered both simulation and arcade playstyles for different kinds of players. Though, this lack of commitment to either was ultimately a problem. As a result, I felt that it was in a crisis of identity and personality, to which it had neither. Codemasters heard these complaints, because DIRT 5 doesn’t have that problem. DIRT 5 is beaming with personality, full of off-road arcade excitement, and every location is vividly detailed, while nearly spilling mud into your lap with every turn – a game that is next-generation, top to bottom.
Building off of the extraordinary Fanatec CSL Elite F1 Set, is the ClubSport Lite (CSL) Elite Steering Wheel WRC. You can purchase this wheel by itself as a new interchangeable part for the CSL Elite Wheel Base +, or as a complete system like the F1 set. It’s got direct compatibility for Xbox One (including Xbox Series X), PC, and even PlayStation 4. This is perfect for anyone just getting into simulation racing, or if you’re already invested in the Fanatec CSL Elite ecosystem. Fanatec offers a stylish, rally-inspired wheel that has multifaceted capabilities across all types of racing and driving.
Fanatec has been at the apex of simulation racing hardware for years now. They make hardware that everyone who takes racing seriously, wants. Fanatec solves and creates a problem with the ClubSport Light (CSL) Elite set, something I wholeheartedly embrace. The CSL Elite set works out the desire to have multiple wheels for various purposes to facilitate the immersion of the sport you’re racing in. It also creates a mess of things because of the same reason; you’ll be wanting more than one wheel for all your virtual racing desires. Fanatec’s CSL Elite F1 Set provides lifelike force feedback and responsiveness that actually makes you a better driver. The Fanatec CSL Elite F1 Set is an excellent starting point for anyone serious about F1 or GT class style cars, where the steering wheel is an essential part of the experience.