February is about love, well it’s supposed to be anyway. I spent most of my February grinding and making Apex Legends content as well as playing Destroy All Humans. That latter half is where self-love comes in. The first twelve missions are pretty great with only one slip-up where a boss fight of three mechs trips up the narrative and gameplay. It was forgivable. Then, the game kept going. There aren’t just 12 missions the game has, even though that’s what it shows when you boot it up for the first time. There are a total of 23 and that continues past what feels like a natural conclusion for the game. When Crypto finds his dead clone and destroys the base it is a great stopping point! He got some vengeance and escaped after blowing up his clone’s body. Set the sequel and roll credits, we’ve already played for about eight hours at that point if you don’t skip anything. The game became a chore past this point with super frustrating bosses that almost necessitate cheesing it past those bosses. I had to spend two and a half hours grinding levels I had already finished to get my ship leveled up to be able to even withstand the second to last fight. Why would you structure a game to be 90% ground-based then make one of the last boss fights air-based? Most players dump upgrades into Crypto off the bat, not his ship. It was agonizing to grind that much in a game like Destroy All Humans, It stopped being fun and I ended up finishing the game out of pure spite. These are what I played as a palate cleanser for some self-love this month. Valheim (PC) Valheim is brought to you by the solid studio that made Deep Rock Galactic. Coffee Stain Studios has another hit on its hands with the early access build of Valheim. Whether you are solo or in a group you can explore a vast server full of things to fight as your Viking. Gather resources and build a base as your character then go exploring. Some of the tensest moments came when my group was scouting for a dungeon to find and we came across a massive troll that dealt heavy amounts of damage. We spent solid several minutes fighting it down to no health and it truly felt rewarding to smite it and collect its’ hide. Like Skyrim, you level up your character by simply doing things. I have built my Viking as a brawler and stealth archer. So when I was tasked to hunt animals for our group I ended up trying to punch a deer to death. After several moments of me chasing after a deer trying to punch it and it escaping, my friend told me it would never happen. Later that same night of gaming I jumped into a river after a deer and fist fought it as we both were drowning. After a skirmish, I emerged from the water, meat, and pelt in hand. Never to be questioned as a hunter again. Stuff like that makes this game so much fun and worth the buy-in of twenty dollars on Steam. Donut County (PC, PS4, Mobile, Xbox One, Mac) If you are looking for something to kill a few hours of an afternoon or just the wait at a doctor’s office Donut County does an okay job at that. It has a very simple gameplay loop. Make the hole bigger by swallowing things and making events happen. Not much else to that but it makes for a pretty solid story about devious raccoons trying to take over a town to claim its garbage with a donut store as a cover. Grab the game now for as low as thirteen bucks or play it quickly on Xbox Games Pass as it is soon to leave the service. DEVOUR (PC, Mac) For five bucks this is a great experience. Devour is set around a mysterious cult, you play a cultist trying to stop your leader after she went too far and is now possessed. Find goats, gas cans, and keys all while avoiding your old leader and the demons that randomly spawn in the area. Players have to attract the goats with hay after they are freed with keys. Take the goat to the fire pit at the back of the house, add some gasoline and burn that goat. The cult leader will react negatively to this and attack. It’s a fun gameplay experience that while it doesn’t quite have that lasting feel of Phasmophobia the developers are hard at work adding more to this game and are already showing off a new level. Pick of The Month: The Medium (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X) The Medium is an homage to the classic horror Silent Hill used to bring to the table. Marianne goes to an abandoned hotel after getting a call from someone who knows about her abilities and this dream that she has been having. Marianne bridges the gap between this world and the spirit world. She often helps souls find peace and move on to the afterlife. Along that journey, she meets a spirit called Sadness she somehow ties into the whole thing and Marianne spends most of her time doing things tied to this spirit in some way. These interactions with other spirits is where the game shines. The whole thing about this game is that it takes place in two different realities. When she is having conversations with Sadness in the spirit realm Marianne looks to be talking to nothing in the real world. It adds an extra layer of creepiness to the game. There is so much more to this game. The puzzles using both worlds are generally wonderfully constructed. Shifting between the worlds is pretty easy and seamless. The only real gripes I had with this game were that it stuttered during transitions as well as having some elongated parts that could be trimmed down to help with flow. The controls were another slight nuisance as they are tank-based and make chase sequences more annoying than they should be. Try the game out on Xbox Games Pass or buy it for fifty dollars. Do you still want to know more? Check out our full review of the game here. Don’t forget to grab your free games from Epic Games Store, Xbox Games With Gold, and PlayStation Plus! Remember it is okay to not like a game that other people like or loathe. It is more than okay to set a game down and never pick it up again because you didn’t enjoy it. I hope these games bring some joy to you. The world could use a little more of that.