PS4

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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was a real surprise when it came out. That’s partly because it happened just as the series was being rebooted and used the old Lara and not the new one, but partly because it was a well-designed cooperative puzzle game that seemingly came out of nowhere. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a direct sequel to Guardian, expanding the potential player count to four from the original’s two. READ MORE

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Life as an outlaw in the Wild West must have been rough. Secret Ponchos focuses on the romantic notion of the Western shootout, and allows up to eight players to simultaneously enter an arena and duel to the death in a variety of score-based modes. Occasionally I would feel completely untouchable, a dead-eyed outlaw taking no prisoners and gunning down my opponents while ducking in and out of cover and evading the bullets that could end it all.

Much more often, however, I felt like a clunky joke that was constantly out of bullets and missing point-blank shots. When everything clicks just right, Secret Ponchos is a lot of fun, but things never seem to do that often enough. READ MORE

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When you think of Western RPGs, the name BioWare is bound to pop up. It has created some of the finest and most well-regarded titles in that genre, turning a once-modest studio into one of the foremost RPG experts. Despite BioWare’s rich history, many fans have been disappointed in its recent efforts, especially 2011’s Dragon Age II. The expectations for the third game in its large-scale fantasy series, Dragon Age: Inquisition, were cautiously optimistic.

No matter how you feel about BioWare’s modern titles, it’s safe to say Inquisition is a return to form for the team and a shining example of what it does best.

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Borderlands is a quick-moving game. You’re always running around, shooting spider ants in the butt and then hopping into a car and taking it off a ramp. Contrast that to something like The Wolf Among Us, where you are, for the most part, traveling to a location and having a conversation. Telltale is best known, at least lately, for slower-paced games, and Borderlands really doesn’t fit that mold. If you liked Telltale’s Jurassic Park, however, then Tales from the Borderlands will be right up your alley. READ MORE

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LittleBigPlanet 3 includes over 150 tutorial videos to lead a new user through the crazy amount of creation tools available in its creative mode. This fact alone should give you a glimpse of the potential that it provides to someone dedicated enough to dive deep and learn the intricacies of its system. Unfortunately, the experience from the perspective of someone that purely wants to play through the story mode of the game falls far short of this potential. READ MORE

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The last release from Jackbox Games, Fibbage, was definitely a fun game, but it was also an experiment in using tablets and phones to control games on your TV. The Jackbox Party Pack represents the next logical step in that exploration, though the release itself was definitely a surprise. The compilation includes five games, including a new You Don’t Know Jack and a version of Fibbage with more questions, and it’s angling for a spot at your next game night. READ MORE

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At one point during Far Cry 4, I literally rode an elephant through a crowd of flamethrower-wielding enemies while being chased by tigers. The situation did not end well for me (who’d have thought), but during the loading screen I remember trying to retrace my steps, wondering “how did I get to that point?” At another section in the game I needed to climb a radio tower, and instead of going the long way and fighting all the way up, I flew a tiny one-seater helicopter to the top of the tower and just landed at my destination. I couldn’t believe it worked, and this notion seemed to be a repeated theme during my playtime. READ MORE

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity is the closest the series has come yet to making me feel like a true assassin. It provides an incredible open world with missions that can be approached from a variety of different angles, and it rewards creativity while punishing brute force. It falls short of the the best titles in the series, but for a fan that isn’t suffering from yearly franchise fatigue, Arno’s journey in late-eighteenth-century Paris is one that is definitely worth taking. READ MORE

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I found myself constantly surprised by Rollers of the Realm. Phantom Compass has managed to blend pinball gameplay with RPG mechanics in the absolute best way. There’s no denying that Rollers is a digital game, and there is no effort put into making it a simulacrum of a real pinball table. Physical pinball is great, but sometimes it’s nice to use electronic platforms for more, and that’s exactly what Phantom Compass has done here. READ MORE

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There’s no denying that The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a huge package offering lots of replay value. With over 200 items, randomly-generated maps and enemy placements and rewards for completing the game multiple times, Rebirth is a completionist’s dream. READ MORE