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I’ve said it once before, but 2023 is an absolutely wonderful year to be a gamer. There have been so many well-made and enjoyable games, and even the relative flops (like Forspoken and Gollum) have at least been interesting. Now, in the second half of the year, we’ve gotten several excellent RPGs in quick succession. In the last few months, we’ve had Diablo IV, Final Fantasy XVI, Baldur’s Gate 3 and now Starfield. Having now played all four of them, it’s been a treat to see how different they are and what they have to offer.
The two that invite the most comparison are Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield, having been released relatively close together. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a Dungeons and Dragons-inspired title with rich, almost over-designed missions, cities and characters. It’s a traditional adventure, its twists and turns layered with the familiar flavors of fantasy and intrigue. Starfield is more of the broad-strokes exploration-based adventure we’ve come to expect from Bethesda, set against the backdrop of a futurist sci-fi setting. Both offer a role-playing experience, but with vastly different roles on offer.
Other than Starfield’s release, the news this week hasn’t been very rosy. Embracer has shut down Volition, the Saints Row developer, and it’s possibly also laying off others as part of its restructuring. Sony’s raising up the prices of PlayStation Plus, at least as part of its yearly pricing structure. But on the other hand, we got a perfectly enjoyable Direct all about Super Mario Bros Wonder, which looks like it’ll be a delight.
In personal news, I’ve finally finished my review of Starfield, after a few all-nighters. I’m excited to see everyone else’s reactions to it, both in the early access period right now and during the official release next week. I fully intend to explore the parts of the game I’ve not thus far found — and there are lots of those. Afterwards, I’ll finally have a chance to try out Armored Core VI, and possibly also the new visual novel Master Detective Archives: Rain Code.
What to play this week
- Sea of Stars
- Bomb Rush Cyberfunk
- Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy
- Samba de Amigo: Party Central
- Goodbye Volcano High
- Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle
New on subscription services:
- Summertime Madness (Prime Gaming)
- Deep Rock Galactic (GeForce Now)
- HITMAN – World of Assassination (GeForce Now)
- King’s Bounty: The Legend (GeForce Now)
- Little Big Workshop (GeForce Now)
- NARAKA: BLADEPOINT (GeForce Now)
- Portal: Prelude with RTX (GeForce Now)
- Railway Empire 2 (GeForce Now)
- Shadowrun Returns (GeForce Now)
- Snake Pass (GeForce Now)
- STORY OF SEASONS: Friends of Mineral Town (GeForce Now)
- Samba de Amigo: Party-To-Go (Apple Arcade)
- Excitebike 64 (Nintendo Switch Online)
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