A Hat in Time excels with an overwhelming charm in its writing and art direction that overcomes any missteps in these areas. Its core, smooth mechanics also benefit from promising ideas, but none of them prevent the game from being pulled into a wormhole of mediocre level design and objectives. The potential for phenomenal platforming and exploration is here, but for every positive, there seems to be a negative in A Hat in Time.
Touching base with your origins is necessary to not lose touch with your audience, and that's exactly what Call of Duty: WWII does without simply regressing. It gets to the core of its key modes and seizes on their intrinsic appeal with some neat, little twists thrown in. However, its campaign and zombies modes (while solid) feel unusually safe, whereas the multiplayer suffers from lacklustre map design and technical issues. You could say this Call of Duty is a sign of hopeful action to ground the series once more, but doesn't go beyond its iconic namesake to deliver something truly special.
The Evil Within 2 has fine-tuned its solid mechanical base and visuals, and even crafted some big improvements to areas such as exploration and character direction. Yet it lacks creativity and diversity with its level design and bosses. The game may be more presentable and refined than its predecessor, but it's also lost some substance in the process.
Metroid: Samus Returns isn't just a simple reimagining that improves on the original game's limitations and notable issues. It's a phenomenal blueprint of the 2D Metroid formula that captures the series' best elements while adding in gameplay refinements and mechanics that feel just right. Some repetition lingers, but that's hardly enough to hold the game back from returning Metroid to the top tier of platforming.
Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash can be a romp in more ways than one. It's a decent third-person shooter with fast-paced, vertical gameplay, and there are some quirks here and there that make it stand out in its market. However, its single-player content can get noticeably repetitive and one-note amid a lot of the fluff that you'll unlock. If there's one thing the game owns with style and confidence, it's the overall presentation. We're pretty sure it's the most important part anyways.
Absolver's fighting system and weird blend of ideas make it a genre-defying gut punch of innovation. You'll be in amazement with how much you can customize the fluid combat, but its complexity and intentional design to be constantly altered might be off-putting for some. The same goes for those looking for more to do besides competitive play in an open world begging to be absolved of limited scope and content.
LawBreakers' world and characters don't carve deep impressions, but the experience itself exerts a strong pull with its diverse, balanced classes, solid selection of modes, and stellar gunplay. It's more than a nice distraction from its looming competitors, and while the map design and implementation of gravity leave more to be desired, the game has the potential to further defy gravity and our expectations if it keeps shooting for the moon.
While some may find Tacoma's length and lack of gameplay depth off-putting, it still manages to feel full in itself. A grounded, futuristic setting serves as Fullbright's most creative stage yet for thorough environmental storytelling that shines with an ordinary yet endearingly authentic cast of characters.