What to play this weekend: Doom, Need for Speed, Horizon

This week's theme: Old games, but better.

Yes, it plays Doom. No hacks required.

Other Sean here -- remember me? When I'm not busy writing phone reviews (have you seen our Razer Phone unboxing?) I've been testing out the new Xbox One X that just came out this week. I've gotta say, it makes Quantum Break downright playable. (It was super muddy on the OG system.) So I've been enjoying that crazy-ambitious time-hopping shooter for the first time, as well as a bit more PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds... did you hear PUBG crossed 20 million sales? Insane. The new desert map is also looking pretty sweet.

But you'd probably like to hear about this week in games, yes? The theme is definitely "everything old is new again," as go-straight-to-hell shooter Doom comes to the Nintendo Switch, robo-dino-slayer Aloy gets an awesome expansion for her game Horizon: Zero Dawn (I love the art) and both famed speed demons Sonic the Hedgehog and Need for Speed add new (and sadly mediocre) entries in their respective franchises. Oh well!

BTW, if you want to preregister for the intriguing Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition on Android, you can do that now. On to the list!

New releases (Nov. 5 to Nov. 12):

  • Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds (PS4) -- With a new story, new machines to take on and a whole new difficulty curve, The Frozen Wilds offers a lot to fans of the core Horizon: Zero Dawn experience -- but sadly, more inventory slots aren't part of the deal. Bummer. 
  • Doom (Switch) -- The idea of playing something like 2016's Doom remake on Nintendo Switch was almost too absurd to consider when it was first announced, and yet, here it is. Bethesda successfully crammed the full Doom experience into the hybrid portable, but not without some visual compromises. If you don't mind a little bit of blur, however, it looks like a technically impressive (and still dang fun) port. 
  • Need for Speed: Payback (PS4, Xbox One, Windows PC) -- If you're dying for an arcade racer, the best option this week is Need for Speed: Payback. Unfortunately, even as the sole option, it's not great: repetitive races, bad action sequences, and a surprisingly frustrating grind help bring this game down. 
  • Sonic Forces (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Windows PC) -- How does Sonic Team compete with the extremely well received retro experience that was Sonic Mania? By giving into the fans: Sonic Forces is the first ever Hedgehog game with a character creator. In other words, your Sonic the Hedgehog fan-fiction is finally canon. Sort of. 
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Switch) -- Is there anything better than an octopus, stuffed in a suit, trying to pass as a human being while carrying out mundane everyday tasks with clumsy tentacles? Well yeah, probably, but Octodad is still a pretty fun physics game. 
  • Super Lucky's Tale (Xbox One) -- Super Lucky's Tale won't be the most creative or challenging platformer you'll ever play, but the cute throwback adventure game is special for one very weird reason: it started life as a VR-exclusive game. Well, sort of. Super Lucky's Tale has all-original levels, but it's still interesting to see a VR franchise make the jump to a more traditional platform. 
  • Monument Valley 2 (Android) -- This calming, beautiful puzzle game has been out on iOS for awhile, but it finally made the jump to Android this week. Explore some impossible architecture and relax. 
  • South Park: Phone Destroyer (iOS) -- It's strange to think that South Park is a name in quality games these days, but it is -- and now the brand is even making phone games. Surprisingly good-looking phone games. It's a weird, weird world, isn't it friends? 
  • Hand of Fate 2 (PS4, Windows PC) -- If you've ever wished a brawling dungeon crawler had card-game elements, this is the game for you. Build a deck. Mash some buttons. Kill some monsters. Sound good? 
  • Words With Friends 2 (Android, iOS) -- Ever thought a Scrabble clone needed a sequel? Neither did we, but it's here. Oh, what's new? Mostly a larger word database, but there are a few new team-play and lightning round modes for something legitimately new.
  • Farming Simulator: Nintendo Switch Edition -- Relax from work by going home and simulating another kind of work. Or you know, fake work from work at your desk because this work simulator is now on Nintendo Switch.