Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is a refreshingly old-school FPS game that places amers in the boots of an iconic Space Marine. What’s the game’s story? Who cares! You’re there to purge heretics, nothing more.
The gameplay and presentation essentially channel the best different Doom games with a Warhammer 40,000 paint job, which is fitting since demons are a constant threat in both franchises. Action is as frantic as it is brutal, and levels consist of hand-drawn 2D sprites placed over simple (yet beautiful) polygonal levels. The result is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the thumbs, and the action doesn’t stop until you exterminate the final boss. For the Emperor! – AG
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
At a time when it seems like nearly every popular game has become a genre, the relative lack of Monster Hunter-like games remains truly surprising. The few titles out there that do mimic Capcom’s increasingly popular series often lack the budget and ambition needed to elevate its core concepts and offer meaningful competition.
Despite its shortcomings, Wild Hearts does just that. By emphasizing a slightly faster-paced, slightly more accessible version of the basic Monster Hunter experience, Wild Hearts allows those who have never really gotten into the Monster Hunter series a chance to see what the basic hype is about. Even Monster Hunter fans may find a few ideas in this game that Capcom would do well to pay attention to. – MB
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC
It’s a testament to the strength of 2023’s new release lineup that a game like Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty already feels forgotten about. While there’s a healthy debate to be had about where Wo Long ranks among the best Souslike experiences, there’s less of a debate to entertain when it comes to the many standalone qualities of the core experience.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty‘s unique counter-attack mechanics afford its action the kind of pace we’re not used to seeing in many modern Soulslike experiences. There are times when the game actually feels closer to a “classic” Team Ninja action game, and that’s a good thing. It’s an utterly compelling examination of the tentpoles of the genre that keeps you hooked as you gradually figure out its more unique qualities. – MB