Reviewed on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Every guard you come across in a stealth game is a sort of puzzle. How do I get past this guy without being spotted? Or do I put an arrow through his face? That’s the kind of thing Thief does well, using nice-looking shadows and scenarios with multiple paths to make us think before we steal. Everything else, from a clunky story and flat characters to a frustrating mess of a central map made me wish that this Thief reboot hadn’t bothered trying to connect those scenarios with fiction at all.
Reviewed on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
In Earth Defense Force 2025, you have to make sacrifices to have fun. For example: if you're willing to give up a decent frame rate, you get to explode dozens of bugs with a massive airstrike, all while blasting at the gooey pile of limbs and abdomens with an electric sniper rifle. It runs badly, and some of its mission design is tedious, but that constant over-the-top destruction and co-op with distinct classes make it hard to stay mad at.
Reviewed on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Strider Hiryu has always seemed like the Boba Fett of the Capcom universe - iconic looks, massively popular with fans, yet has never really had a chance to fully deliver on his enormous potential. Double Helix’s 2014 reboot of the flashy platform series fleshes out the 1989 coin-op original and gives it a light Metroidvania-esque layer of exploration. While its slightly unbalanced design holds it back from being a genuine classic, it nonetheless does enough right to put a swagger back in Strider’s step for the first time in decades.
Reviewed on Wii U
Over 100 Kongs died to bring you this review. But it was not in vain, because beating Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze earned me some serious platformer bragging rights. This is a tough platformer, seemingly intentionally designed to make you go ape at times. Some stages quickly pulled the ground out from under me, others challenged me to make precise jumps using springboards, vines, and other kooky contraptions to move forward.
Reviewed on PC
Insurgency is smartly camped on a spawn point between two of the better online tactical shooters: Counter-Strike and Red Orchestra. Slower and more open than the former, but on a smaller scale (with more concentrated action) than the latter, it’s a great midway point that gives you more to think about during the action than simply shooting the other team, but also keeps its pace moving quickly enough that matches don’t turn into 45-minute slogs.
Reviewed on Xbox One
Take a moment to conjure up in your head all the things you dislike most about gaming with Kinect, and there's a great chance that The Fighter Within does all of them. Practically non-functioning menus? Check. Paper-thin gameplay mechanics? Check. Half-baked gesture controls that make simple, straightforward concepts feel vague and ungainly? Big check! The terribly written gobbledygook of a story merely adds insult to injury for a game that, top to bottom, feels like a flailing first attempt at using a new piece of hardware.
Reviewed on Xbox One
Ryse: Son of Rome is about going to beautiful places and repeatedly stabbing everyone you meet there. Developer Crytek’s Roman tale looks magnificent, and its typical revenge story setup is handled with great care, but the combat doesn’t always keep up with the high bar Ryse sets for itself in all other departments.
Reviewed on PC and PlayStation 4
The original release of Injustice: Gods Among Us delivers exactly the kind of glorious fights you’d expect from the DC Universe's mightiest, and makes them as fun and rewarding to watch as they are to play. While it buckles just a bit under the weight of all it was trying to do, it more than earned its spot on the shelves of fighting aficionados. Now NetherRealm has released Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, collecting all the currently available DLC and sprucing it up for the PlayStation 4 and PC, and the result is…largely the same. Ultimate Edition looks and runs a bit nicer, but it doesn’t do anything substantial enough to warrant picking it up if you already own the original.
When fleeing from a pack of cops at 150mph through a forest after midnight, I found it difficult not to be excited by Need for Speed: Rivals – and then a helicopter’s searchlight pours in through the trees for an additional adrenaline kick. Those initial potent highs aren’t sustainable, though, and after a while I was left wishing for just a bit more variety and depth to keep the thrills coming beyond simply doing the same thing online. That said, I still found it an exciting, highly polished experience, which appealed to both to the racer and more casual thrill-seeker in me.
Reviewed on PC
My favorite thing about SimCity has always been watching the rippling effects of my experimental choices. There have been eight bug-fixing updates since its infamous launch, and now all those many details work much more predictably — but it's been hard to get past that initial frustration. It's fitting, then, that its first expansion, Cities of Tomorrow, is looking toward the future. It's a new chance to showcase the intricacy and complexity of the simulation, and although it doesn't always feel new and can be somewhat underwhelming, it’s nicely balanced and improves upon the base game.