It was a defining display of the industry’s most creative personalities, and how they set up expectations to create digital treehouses under which we can find consolation, and how they can deliver on the eccentricities that no one saw coming.
The Best Games From 2019 That You Can Play This Month
1. Untitled Goose Game
Untitled Goose Game is a villain’s story about a goose who is an utter dick to the inhabitants of an English-inspired village. It’s a slapstick-sandbox misadventure that’s as the internet as Kermit sipping tea and works regardless of its patent irony and House’s approach to fun minimalism. There’s not much to it when you honk, waddle, fly about, rob objects, and bug the living hell out of any human being in sight, but the stealthy, innocent confusion is what makes it one of the most captivating recent titles in the Switch Collection.
Judgment is the best narrative drama you’ve ever heard of. In a decade of story-driven triumphs, SEGA’s Ryu ga Gotoku Studio has made the world of Kamurocho ever more niche, as their post-Yakuza spinoff traces a fallen lawyer-turned-private investigator who is wrapped up in his attachment to the facts. The whole thing is like a Phoenix Wright-meets-Law & Order soap opera co-directed by Antoine Fuqua and Steven Seagal, and then there’s a mixed bag of EX maneuvers, chase scenes, drone relays, selfie flights, and a two-player port of the AM2 ‘s Combat Vipers. Judgment is complex, gripping, full of heart, and it’s the starter of the S-tier series that redefines the crime-solving genre.
What would happen if you took The X-Files, put it in a Southern Reach trio mixer, and politely seasoned with the Metroid and Zelda elements? You’d have something that feels a lot like Power. The newest action game from Alan Wake Studio Cure, Control is a supernatural adventure where players take on the part of Jesse, the newly named head of a mystical government department called the Federal Office of Control. It’s not long until things get wrong.
Almost the whole game takes place within The Oldest Building, an incredibly fitting title for the headquarters of the FBC. It’s a sprawling brutalist structure, one that covers all manner of disturbing secrets. The environment is unbelievable: you’re going to walk through rooms full of moving bodies, all singing in harmony, set in the otherwise mundane office furniture.
4. Gears 5
Gears have always been enjoyable, and Gears 5 takes a fantastic formula and strengthens it, introducing side-quests, open-world mechanics, and an enhancement feature that makes the series’ penchant for collectible-hunting finally seem worthwhile. It’s everything you’ve ever found in Gears, but with sleek new additions, it reminds you that you liked the old rusty pieces. The campaign has a lot of familiar moments and a whole middle segment that’s nothing you’ve ever seen before in the Gears series (there’s a skiff, and some intense lightning storms), And a multiplayer that has been streamlined to be just as hard-hitting as before, with no clunkiness.. Grab it so you know Gears, enjoy it because it’s always-so-different.
5. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a game that’s a lot of stuff people thought they couldn’t do. Is it narrative-driven? To make informed. Single-player only? Not as much as a whiff of a co-op. With the best producers, huh? Yeah, that’s another point, but Respawn Technology has already played some incredible games in its comparatively short past.
That might be the greatest surprise — and lesson — within Jedi: Fallen Order’s appeal: that no one but Respawn figured that, well, running about and investigating stuff in the Star Wars universe instead of squeezing it all apart, and playing it as a high adventure instead of a cosplay event, would be a pretty cool experience, too. It’s a shocking surprise, but it makes sense in retrospect, but the crucial part is that we now have another very fun, story-based experience.
If the indication of a strong game is that you love playing it even though you’re bad, then Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an all-time favorite with QWOP and Ikaruga. I haven’t done it yet, I’m definitely never going to, and I don’t hold it against it. This is me, not Sekiro.
From Software’s new action game, it obviously expands on previous studio games like Bloodborne and Dark Souls, with a similar system focused on the exploration and resetting enemy locations anytime you need to chill and cash in your experience. However, the fighting system is entirely modern. It’s From the tightest and quickest game ever, inspiring players to go on the offensive and rewarding perfect parrying.
7. Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 is in a class of its own since the decades-long NetherRealm squad is completely insane. They remain attached to design and performance, but the MK11 is more of a nostalgia-inducing break than a new classic. The story mode is an earth-shattering John Woo soap opera; deaths are ridiculous and eye-popping gorgeous; and its lessons on attacks, cancellations, frame info, zoning, and player moves help to create one of the best fighting game tutorials ever seen. It is attached to the loot grind, but with old faces (Liu Kang, Kitana), cult classics (Frost, Noob Saibot), and customization that reaches into modular loads and 30 separate pairs of specs for Johnny Cage, frustration in MK11 is not a choice. It sets the standard for warriors and sequels with a budget, and it’s a beautiful analysis of how a studio should pull together tweens, seasoned players, and SonicFoxes to shade to kick you in the neck.
8. Life Is Strange 2
Life Is Strange 2 continues on a normal day, with two teenage brothers struggling to keep up with the minutiae of daily life in Seattle, before a fast quest for party supplies sparks a disastrous sequence of events. The split-second change takes the brothers in a completely unpredictable direction, and the numerous “Tracks” and “Laws” the follow indicate that Dontnod is committed to using human nature and American politics to expose problems that flicker beyond the Bay of Arcadia. Holding spoilers to a minimal, the first two (and a half) episodes stick on their strengths—-stitching a lovely plot to your core in hopes of reaching you where it hurts the most—-and with an improved engine and a perfect indie soundtrack that pulls off like Whitney, First Aid Kit, and Sufjan Stevens, it’s obvious there’s no point in going back.