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Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart (PS5)

A rousing, smart distillation of western society over the past few years, Ratchet & Clank’s return fits complicated world events into a comfortable platform/my-first-shooter frame. Rebellion against a bumbling authoritarian leader, multiverse traveling akin to Marvel, and genuinely nuanced approach to character drama allow A Rift Apart to eclipse the seemingly perfect predecessor. Where that… Continue reading Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart (PS5)

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Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PS4)

The world is literally in pieces when World Brothers begins. Ignore the physics of this situation – the EDF team seeks to put these individual blocks back together by defeating alien motherships. For some reason, that works. Just go with it. World Brothers does. Don’t arrive at World Brothers looking for a formula twist; this… Continue reading Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PS4)

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Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood (PS5)

It’s odd to see lycanthropy lore warped from a tormented curse, with the afflicted forced to live with their uncontrolled murder, into something celebrated for its brutality, cruelty, and viciousness. Rather than fear, Werewolf: The Apocalypse treats the primal and instinctual bloodlust as a defensive means against a comically crude oil corporation. In its own… Continue reading Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood (PS5)

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Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4)

Originated in the early ’80s, the term cyberpunk (and resulting genre) rooted itself in anti-Japanese phobia, arriving in mainstream fiction as Japan became a technology-centric export economy. Cyberpunk 2077 looks the part, as does most cyberpunk. The neon signs, the noodle vendors, skyscrapers. A murder mystery too, revolving around a vicious generational divide and rebellious… Continue reading Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4)

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5)

Spider-Man’s Peter Parker fought alongside the police. Miles Morales fights against them, or, is rejected when entering a battle. Morales lives and fights in Brooklyn. It’s a different New York. Culture breathes compared to Parker’s more static, Hollywood-ish good white guy approach. As an immigrant, Morales is an immediate underdog. Still righteous, but from a… Continue reading Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5)

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Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War (PS5)

Ronald Reagan’s first appearance in Cold War makes the former President appear worthy of sainthood. It’s a dramatic, postured moment for the man staged as someone standing up to the Iron Curtain, dramatically stopping nukes, and taking down that wall. Mostly though, it’s a conspiratorial grab bag, more illusory than Oliver Stone, if avoiding a… Continue reading Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War (PS5)

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Life is Strange 2 (PS4)

Life is Strange 2’s first antagonist is a cop, recklessly drawing a gun, leading to tragedy. Then come the racists, the bigoted conservatives, cultish Evangelical Christians, and finally, the border wall. Life is Strange 2 follows two Mexican boys – orphaned by police violence – as they road trip through Donald Trump’s America. It’s obvious… Continue reading Life is Strange 2 (PS4)

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Fast & Furious: Crossroads (PS4)

Fast & Furious: Crossroads doesn’t count how many die during its story. A lot, probably. Driving through suburban neighborhoods and public expressways, cars shatter when hit. There’s no penalty levied against the “heroes.” The explosions look cool, anyway. Besides, this is an important mission – Peter Stormare is out to destroy America’s spy network. Some… Continue reading Fast & Furious: Crossroads (PS4)

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Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)

It’s possible to see Final Fantasy VII as a Japanese cultural study. From outside, the city of Midgar, isolated on all sides, mirrors Japan’s post-war, industrial boom. The dominate color is green, the only change from winding pipe systems and smokestacks that once defined the country’s polluted skylines. At the core though is something entirely… Continue reading Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)