CI Games has taken its lessons learned from the past and given Sniper Ghost Warrior a Hitman-inspired makeover. With improved sniping mechanics, and focus on replayable, open-ended sandboxes, Contracts is thrilling and tense - while nailing that perfect shot is endlessly rewarding.
There's not much in the way of new content, but Red Dead Redemption 2 is undoubtedly best played on PC. With scalable graphics options for future PC tech, improved input latency and an already burgeoning modding scene, Red Dead Redemption will continue to shine on the platform for years.
A middling collection of mini-games held together by an unfortunately lacklustre story mode, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is, unfortunately, little more than a distraction. While the throwback retro events add a much-needed bit of flavour, they're just not good enough to bring the series out of mediocrity.
There's an undeniable charm to Boet Fighter, with its peerless art and often biting pokes at South African stereotypes. Unfortunately, the joke wears thin, and its moral lesson has been better executed in other games. It's also a bit of technical mess, and worst of all, just isn't very much fun to play.
Overall, I'm a little disappointed with Luigi's Mansion 3 - though that's largely down to my own expectations. It's an undoubtedly good game that's competently made. It oozes charm and is filled with clever puzzles and fun boss fights. It's just that all the bits between those start to become tedious before the game's end.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a loving remake of a decades-old game remake with just enough modern touches to make it worth playing again. Graphical overhaul aside, it's perhaps a little too faithful to the original, while additions like the dungeon-builder are a bust. Newcomers get to experience one of the quirkiest games in the series, but for those who've played through it multiple times, there's little reason to play other than nostalgia or adoration - both of which are perfectly good excuses to return to Koholint.
There are missteps, especially with the open worlds feeling lifeless, but Gears 5 is a more confident turn from a developer that no longer has to prove it's capable of making a faithful Gears of War sequel. Bigger, better and more beautiful – and a bold step in the right direction for the series. The action is superlative, the writing hits humorous and emotional notes, and the number of multiplayer modes is extensive. If ever there was a reason to subscribe to Xbox's Game Pass service, this is it.
While the attempts to inject a bit of life into the series with a semi open-world mode and a track editor are laudable, the game itself is just too familiar. Newcomers might appreciate what the MXGP 2019 has to offer, but anyone who's played any previous game in the series will just feel like they've seen it all before