For years now, the latest console generation has been coasting on the idea that more raw power means better games. The PS4's newest exclusive, Horizon: Zero Dawn, is the rare game that delivers on that promise.
I've chopped, smashed, and stabbed more medieval bodies in the past few days than I can count. I've also been cut open, impaled, and beheaded more times than I care to admit. Kill and be killed — that's the proposition at the heart of For Honor, a game in which burly men and women swing crafted hunks of metal at one another until someone eventually bites it. It's a humble vision, but one the game manages to turn into an art form all its own.
On first glance, Nioh does not seem remarkable. A generic looking action RPG in the vein of Dark Souls, Nioh seems more like a lost Playstation 2 curiosity than a killer AAA exclusive. Ignoring it would be a terrible mistake though. Nioh is one of the best action titles in years, packed with exciting combat and genuine heart.
If Football — that is, the American National Football League football — used the same naming scheme as "Dungeons & Dragons", we'd call it "Beer Commercials & Cheerleaders". Like dungeons and dragons, beer commercials and cheerleaders are two things that not everyone likes. They are also, however, not The Point of their respective games: they are simply nouns which evoke an atmosphere. You either buy into that atmosphere body and soul — or you don't.
Despite having a taste for horror movies and novels, horror video games freak me the hell out. Still, I was curious about Resident Evil 7's promise of a Southern Gothic zombie game. Like millions of other scaredy cats out there, I decided to watch it on YouTube instead of playing it.
Horror games are a difficult thing to get right. They can feel like carnival attractions, full of overblown scares, or have so little horror that they elicit nothing but eye rolls. Resident Evil 7 gets it right. It's a scary and violent blast of survival horror that sneaks up behind you before plunging a chainsaw in your gut.