The lead-up and eventual release of CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 is probably one of the biggest rollercoasters I have ever witnessed in gaming. Due to a lot of speculation from fans, heavy marketing from CDPR, and CDPR’s stellar reputation as a developer due to the success of the Witcher games, people more or less assumed Cyberpunk was going to be the second coming of Jesus. Flashback to April of this year, where CDPR announced they were going to delay the game to September, and that was followed by another delay until December, and massive amount of Twitter rage from angry “gamers” was quite the sight to behold. CDPR would also come under fire once news leaked that its developers were put through massive crunch, and suddenly people began to come to terms with the possibility that Cyberpunk would not, in fact, be the second coming of Jesus. …


I have not paid much attention to the Assassin’s Creed franchise for largely the same reason I generally ignored other franchises known to pump out annual games (Activision and Call of Duty); I have heard brilliant things about the first few games or so but my impression of the series since then is one of Ubisoft beating one of its franchises to death for the sake of pleasing more shareholders.


Horizon: Zero Dawn, developed by Guerilla Games, probably has one of the dopest premises I have ever seen for a game; it really cannot get much cooler than hunting huge animal machines with bows and arrows. I first found out about the game from a friend who hyped it up back in 2017, but alas due to it being a Playstation exclusive upon release I was never able to actually experience it until it was finally ported to PC. …


Imagine a society where one’s worth as a human being is determined by some artificial construct, a system that is capable of analyzing and evaluating every individual’s mental/emotional states as well as their aptitudes (and thus their career decisions). In essence, every person’s life is more or less determined by this system. This also applies to criminals as well; if one’s analyzed mental/emotional state is stressed to a certain level, they are marked as “latent criminals” and are judged accordingly by law enforcement. Sounds creepy right? This is the universe of Psycho-Pass, where individuals are governed by the Sibyl System. Now Psycho-Pass, produced by studio Production I.G. with the first season written by Gen Urobuchi (who has written other anime classics like Fate/Zero and Madoka Magicka), is not a new show; in fact it first premiered in 2012, though I just watched it relatively recently after putting it off for so long. …


Nioh is an action RPG developed by Team Ninja, originally released for the PS4 but has since been ported to PC as the complete edition with all DLC’s. For better or worse, it is often classified as a “Souls-like” game and thus draws a lot comparisons to the famous FromSoftware franchise, and as someone who loves FromSoftware it was not particularly surprising that I ended up playing Nioh. …


The Persona series (or more accurately the games part of the larger Shin Megami Tensei franchise) by Atlus is a series of critically acclaimed JRPG’s that for the longest time eluded me due to their exclusivity on Sony’s Playstation platforms. Persona 4 Golden (P4G) is not a new game, as it was released Playstation Vita back in 2012, so at this point it is almost a decade old. However, now that it is the first Persona game to be officially ported to PC without the use of an emulator through Steam, it is more convenient than ever to enjoy the experience as someone who currently owns no Sony hardware. …


Metroidvania is an interesting genre of video games that focuses on progression, exploration, and non-linearity, the term being homage to the Metroid and Castlevania series which feature those aspects prominently. In metroidvanias, players explore a world that is initially limited to them, but upon acquiring more gear/abilities, their ability to explore becomes increased. This sort of game can be challenging to get right as back-tracking and re-visiting old locations can easily become boring to the player if it is executed poorly, so good level/world design as well as a substantial sense of progression are both crucial to the experience.


Any person familiar with video games is familiar with the Call of Duty (CoD) franchise. The yearly Activision release that gets millions of players to stop whatever they were doing on the previous game and drop $60 even if nothing new of substance is added; it is frankly a brilliant marketing scheme. It is for that reason, and the fact that support for each title more or less gets dropped with the release of each new title (meaning that every release has an effective life-span of only a year or so which kills any incentive to actually get good at the game), that I have never really expressed an interest in the franchise until the release of the newest edition, Modern Warfare. To be more precise, it was Modern Warfare’s newest game mode, called Warzone, that finally drew me to the series. …


I am going to be frank off the bat; DOOM Eternal, developed by id Software, is probably the greatest single-player FPS I have played in recent history, and one of the most challenging as well. I was a fan of its prequel, the franchise reboot DOOM (2016), for its fast-paced and visceral gameplay, so naturally news of a sequel was exciting to me. Even the prequel was special from its other FPS contemporaries for its approach to gameplay and level design philosophy, as a fitting embodiment of the motto, “violence, speed, momentum” iconic of famous streamer Dr. Disrespect. So how does DOOM Eternal compare? Well, imagine everything about DOOM (2016), and ramp it up to the next level; DOOM Eternal is like DOOM (2016) on crack. …


The Half-Life series, developed by Valve Corporation, is perhaps one of the most iconic video game series of all time, despite its last official game coming out more than a decade ago (not counting the VR game that released for Valve’s own VR system), and to this day people still make jokes about Valve not being able to count to 3 seeing that Half-Life 3 (or Half-Life 2: Episode 3) will likely never be developed, along with sequels to other beloved franchises like Team Fortress and Portal. Black Mesa, just fully released recently by Crowbar Collective, is not Half-Life 3; it is in fact, a remake of the original Half-Life. While it is not the sequel that a ton of people have been looking forward to since forever now, it gives a fresh, more modern take on the classic that began it all. I played Half-Life 2 and its subsequent episodes when I was younger, and I absolutely adored it, although I had a harder time getting into the original as the original game is almost 10 years older than that, being released in 1998. …

About

Edmond Wu

Software engineer and gaming enthusiast, writing reviews to share quality media; check out my personal site at https://edmond-wu.github.io

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