Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is a gift for the faithful

Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco FromSoftware’s Elden Ring expansion provides a next-level challenge with a meaty side story Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is a humbling experience, one that will remind you of your early days — and early defeats — in Elden Ring. FromSoftware’s expansion to its 2022 open-world RPG will hit you harder and …

Shin Megami Tensei 5: Vengeance is beautiful and bland

Image: Atlus/Sega via Polygon God’s not in heaven, all’s wrong with the world The world of Shin Megami Tensei 5: Vengeance can be an unforgiving place. Tokyo is under siege by demons of all stripes. The throne of heaven sits silent and unoccupied. An extradimensional civil war threatens to rip reality apart. And just to …

Dune: War for Arrakis board game owes its success in part due to The Lord of the Rings

Image: CMON and Legendary Entertainment Dune: War for Arrakis already stands out as one of the best games of 2024 As if predestined by the Bene Gesserit, Dune: War for Arrakis arrived at the perfect moment. This big-box strategy game emerged in the wake of Dune: Part Two, Dennis Villeneuve’s follow-up film that portrays the …

Bad Boys: Ride or Die has a troubling case of franchise cancer

Photo: Frank Masi/Columbia Pictures They’re Bad Boys for life, not Bad Boys for lore Cancer is often described in layman’s terms as the body’s cells performing their function, just without any of the biological checks and balances that keep them from interfering with or overtaking one another. I’ve found it a useful metaphor for franchise …

Mutant Year Zero: Zone Wars is the year’s goofiest tabletop skirmish game

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon With rock-solid rules written by a veteran of the Necromundan hive wars Skirmish wargaming — traditional miniatures wargaming with a smaller footprint and fewer minis — is having a moment. Used to be there were just a few flavors available, but a new crop of games is suddenly giving all kinds of …

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is less personal, more spectacle

Image: Ninja Theory/Xbox Game Studios Ninja Theory’s sequel has a much wider scope It’s no surprise that, as a sequel, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is bigger and more expansive than the previous game. Though this game’s scope, length, and subject are quite similar to those of the original Hellblade game — it is, of course, …

Life in Reterra is the highly replayable board game that now lives rent-free in my family room

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon We picked it up, we plopped it down, and now we may never put it away A good board game has a lot of layers to it. Narrative layers surround and define a board game’s storyline, while mechanical layers govern the moment-to-moment action. More complex games have a rich strategic layer, with …

Vecna: Eve of Ruin, D&D’s final 5th edition campaign, delivers the high-level combat fans have been asking for

Admittedly, lots of them have eight legs Vecna: Eve of Ruin is unlike anything yet published for the modern incarnation of Dungeons & Dragons. The final campaign for the original 5th edition rule set begins at level 10, far higher than some other published adventures reach over the course of their entire run. It then …

Netflix’s erotic thriller Miller’s Girl is a goofy mess — and a solid Jenna Ortega showcase

Photo: Zac Popik/Lionsgate No one here makes any sense, but it’s going to look great on Jenna’s showreel This piece on Miller’s Girl was originally published in connection with the film’s theatrical release. It has been updated and republished for the film’s arrival on Netflix. No matter how often the argument resurfaces, we aren’t really …