Prey – Metacritic Score: 82 (Average)
Prey had built up quite a bit of anticipation ahead of its launch and most critics feel like it lived up to its hype. Critics have described the game as “compelling,” “engrossing,” and “sublime” after diving into the fascinating world Bethesda has created. When it comes to really creating an immersive atmosphere, Prey excels in every way possible while also offering a rich narrative.
There is no denying that the game is solid overall but that doesn’t mean it is void of missteps. Perhaps its most obvious shortcoming comes in the form of lackluster graphics. To be fair, the graphics weren’t horrible by any means but it is rather disappointing to see a game like Prey not offer mind-blowing graphics. Not to mention the fact that the game didn’t have any PS4 Pro enhancements at launch. Prey just feels like a game that was meant to be downright gorgeous. Fortunately, there are more than enough successes available to distract you from disappointing graphics. With Talos I being such a joy to explore and the game offering a lot of freedom to play however you prefer, it’s easy to see why the title earned mostly favorable reviews.
RiME – Metracitic Score: 83.5 (Average)
RiME may have scored higher marks on the Xbox One but it still offers a unique gaming experience no matter which console you prefer to play it on. While reviews regarding the actual gameplay and performance of the game are mixed, critics agree on one thing—the game’s art direction is its best feature. RiME is packed with stunning visuals that are emphasized by an even more breathtaking soundtrack.
Unfortunately, this is also a game that reminds us of the difference between stunning visuals and stunning graphics. The artistic style of the world that is crafted for RiME is beautiful but many critics (especially those who reviewed the game for PlayStation 4) found issues with the actual graphics. The beautiful art is ruined at times by the presence of graphical shortcomings like heavily pixelated shadows. The story, however, is still moving (albeit it’s also forgettable) and gameplay is far from being boring or uninteresting. In the end, you’ll find that RiME succeeds at accomplishing many of the things it set out to do but it just ultimately failed to ever excel at any of them.
Steel Division: Normandy 44 – Metacritic Score: 84
Steel Division: Normandy 44 has its share of issues. The campaign feels rather lackluster and there seem to be a few balance issues that need to be ironed out. Those missteps aside, however, this tactical real-time strategy game is a unique experience that’s sure to captivate fans of the genre. It has quite a bit to offer for both single player and multiplayer content but the multiplayer 10v10 matches have emerged as a prominent selling point for the title. No matter what game mode you prefer, however, the game presents a level of challenge that often alternates between frustrating and delightful. But isn’t that what a good strategy game is all about? So be expected to have a few moments of rage along the way but also expect to feel an overwhelming sense of satisfaction once you emerge victorious.
Everspace – Metacritic Score: 84.5 (Average)
Everspace is a game commonly pegged as a better version of No Man’s Sky but even that description just doesn’t seem fair to the game’s own unique identity. The space roguelike treats death like an inevitability but makes the journey and overall process so entertaining that you’ll hardly be bothered by your losses. This is especially true since your defeats will come from a learning curve or simply underestimating your opponent as opposed to poor mechanics or troubling gameplay. Nope, there’s none of that. Everspace has received tons of praise for its smooth controls which makes your intense dogfights in space all the more enjoyable. Everspace hits a solid balance of being shrouded in mystery without ever allowing gamers to feel like they are longing for purpose. It keeps you guessing but also keeps you fully immersed and invested in everything that is at times rather chaotically unfolding around you.
The game’s smooth mechanics create a gaming experience that makes it easy for you to enjoy the beautiful, vast world that has been created for your exploration pleasure. While exploration is not nearly as much of a main focus as it is in a game like No Man’s Sky, a world like this is just meant to drive curiosity. So who are we to deny that calling? Simply put, Everspace is a refreshing and delightful addition to the surprisingly rapidly growing list of space shooters on the market today.
Minecraft: Switch Edition – Metacritic Score: 86
Nintendo’s new hybrid console has yet another highly reviewed addition to its library. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, considering how popular of a game Minecraft is. Bringing the title to the Switch just seemed like a no-brainer and now there are tons of reviews to support that. The Switch edition of the game is allowed to capitalize on some of the best successes from other handheld versions of the game while also introducing the best of what its console siblings brought to the table. In that aspect, Minecraft: Switch Edition doesn’t just show off the popularity of the franchise. It also perfectly captures the purpose of a hybrid console like the Switch. As most gamers would expect, the Switch version of Minecraft just recreates all the usual joy and fun that the game always offered but now allows you to take your game on the go in a way that still feels like a complete, immersive experience.
Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade – Metacritic Score: 86
This intergalactic strategy game has earned generally favorable reviews from critics despite the fact that users offered up mixed reviews overall. Critics insist that Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade is “not just another DLC.” Several reviews state that the game feels more like a sequel than anything else. Nonetheless, it’s an expansion that shows just how wondrous and prosperous an expansion can actually be. The Crusade expansion helps address many of the issues that made the original game feel like it wasn’t living up to its potential. The expansion received high praise for making the gameplay feel improved overall while also adding more longevity to the gaming experience. The improvements made to the base game are “significant” and critics believe the Crusade expansion is “everything an expansion should be.”
Thumper – Metacritic Score: 87
Every month Metacritic always seems to have at least one wild card for the best games of the month. For May, the wild card was certainly Thumper. This is, of course, no assertion that Thumper isn’t a solid game. It’s simply an admission that we’re surprised to see it earn a higher score than the likes of Prey and Everspace. Moving beyond the sheer surprise of it all, it’s clear to see that fans of the rhythm action genre are thoroughly enjoying Thumper on the Nintendo Switch. The game’s overall aesthetics emerges as the star of most reviews. Critics noted that Thumper excels when it comes to creating an immersive atmosphere with the help of a great soundtrack.
Of course, setting the tone is only half the battle. Thumper not only has the looks to impress reviewers but it also has challenging gameplay that left many reviewers trapped in its grasps. While there weren’t many reviews available for Thumper, the reviews it did score all seemed to agree that this title may be the best rhythm action game in quite some time.
Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 – Metacritic Score: 87
This has been quite the year for fighting games and Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 adds yet another great fighter to the 2017 list. Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 gives gamers all previously released DLC from Revelator in addition to packing in more new content just because Arc System Works loves you all that much. This version of the game even comes with improvements made to the game’s mechanics—an addition that many critics couldn’t help but rave about in their full reviews.
The other thing many critics pointed out was the game’s appeal to a wide variety of gamers. Whether you’re a fan of the series, just a fan of fighting games, or just a gamer looking for a fun time, critics believe Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 has a lot to offer everybody. Everyone knows the true balance that is ideal for a fighting game is a final product that feels easy to learn and spectate but difficult to master. Yet another addition to the Guilty Gear franchise can happily boast that it managed to do just that.
Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels – Metacritic Score: 88
To be honest, a Hot Wheels expansion for Forza didn’t initially strike me as a particularly interesting idea but the reviews of Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels seem to suggest that I’m the outlier here. The expansion earned at least one perfect score with a collection of other surprisingly high scores that deem this as a top tier racing experience. This addition was described by critics as “another stunning addition to the Horizon experience” that also manages to “bring new life to the Forza Horizon 3 world in an unpredictable way.” This expansion simply feels fun, adventurous and pretty unique.
It certainly doesn’t come across like any other Forza experience you’ve buckled up for. It’s an experienced tailored to entertain the child in you that always wanted to get behind the wheels of your favorite toy car and see what it’s like to navigate those whacky tracks and laugh in the face of physics. It would be silly to pretend like the additional content added here is some profound experience. It’s not. It’s just good old fashioned Hot Wheels branded fun and that’s apparently more than enough for Forza fans.
Injustice 2 – Metacritic Score: 88.5 (Average)
The month of May didn’t offer up a lot of solid competition for a game like Injustice 2 but it seems like this superhero-filled fighter would have made its way to the top of the totem pole either way. Critics from across the web and even our own team here at Twinfinite all agree that Injustice 2 dominated May and emerged as one of the best games of the year. In so many ways, NetherRealm’s newest fighter is worthy of high praise. It cleverly ties in RPG elements while also keeping true to everything a great fighting game is meant to be. Injustice 2 has been described by critics as “a triumph for NetherRealm” that “expertly builds upon the foundation laid by the original.” For avid fighting game players or those who have just been waiting for a great moment to dive into the genre, Injustice 2 brings a lot to the table. Supers are back and bigger than ever. The character roster is already impressive with DLCs bringing more favorites to the game. New mechanics have elevated the intensity of every battle. All the while, everything we have always adored about the first title makes a full return.
But even Injustice 2 is not without its flaws. There are certainly some balancing issues in the game that present a serious problem. The game was only out for a few days when videos of professional players abusing characters like Deadshot and Gorilla Grodd began popping up. Some players have also reported minor input issues within the game but these are few and far between. Ultimately, Injustice 2 is in the running to be the best fighting game of the year and even critics agree that it’s easily the best game of May 2017.