Telltale struck gold with the critical and commercial success of The Walking Dead last year. Now they’ve decided to bring a different comic book series to the adventure game genre with The Wolf Among Us. The first episode covers a lot of ground very quickly. It acts like a pilot episode of a serialized television show, establishing a complex world and characters with around two hours of content. It’s messy, but that doesn’t hinder the impact of its narrative. [Read more...]
It’s a little difficult to understate the importance of 2010′s Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It was responsible for a resurgence of interest in gaming’s horror genre (which had been a bit on the wane for the past half-decade), taking some of the core tenets of horror games to their logical extremes. Removing any sort of combat, The Dark Descent was a series of terrifying stealth sequences where the very process of hiding itself would wreak havoc on your sanity. The Dark Descent lost itself a bit in its last third where it relies too heavily on mediocre puzzles, but it stands as a highly influential title, one still largely used as a blueprint for many horror games today.
Everyone has their favorite stealth franchise — for some it’s Metal Gear, others it’s Deus Ex. While I like those games quite a bit, nothing scratches that stealth itch quite like Splinter Cell. Conviction was something of a reboot for the series, taking away certain features like hiding bodies and night vision, but also allowing for a more streamlined and snappier action game. Splinter Cell: Blacklist represents a return to form for fans of the PS2 era games, and a refinement of ideas and mechanics from Conviction. [Read more...]
The thing I found most immediately interesting about Gone Home was the quaint banality of its setting. This isn’t meant as an insult, but as an observation about the industry at large; how many games are out there that don’t take place in either an abstract/heightened version of reality, or exist snugly in genre trappings? I didn’t realize how badly I’ve wanted to play something like Gone Home until I was right in the middle of it. Gone Home doesn’t just tell an engrossing narrative unique to the medium (although it certainly does that); it does it in an unorthodox fashion that feels like the culmination of this generation of games.
Remember Me is the kind of game that should be desperately trying to please you. It’s an Uncharted-style adventure-platformer with stylish, combo-driven, character action combat. There are a handful of “run away from the camera while the ground crumbles beneath you” segments. It’s about 6-8 hours long on average. It is the very definition of a linear, guided, cinematic experience.
And yet, around every corner, Remember Me doesn’t really seem to give a shit about what you think. [Read more...]
If there ever were a game worthy of the “diamond in the rough” moniker, it’d be Metro 2033. Based off the Russian novel of the same name, 2033 debuted back in 2010 seemingly out of the blue, but quickly turned into a bit of a cult-favorite. Caught off guard at the game’s success, Metro: Last Light has clearly been given a good deal more in the way of funding and support from THQ (and eventually Koch Media), and it shows. Metro: Last Light is a good follow-up to 2033, but it definitely feels changed in ways that aren’t always to its benefit.
Let’s say that the first Dead Island was a survivor of a zombie apocalypse. He wasn’t the ideal survivor, but he had his quirks. You may not have wanted to stay around him for too long, so after you worked together for about 15-20 hours you left to go find your friend named Skyrim. Two years after leaving him, you decide to go back and find Dead Island, but all that is left of him is a shambling corpse that goes by Riptide. [Read more...]
I’ve never been much of a drinker. I mean, I’ve had a beer or two on occasion, but I’ve never really been in one of those situations where I just compulsively need a drink. I started playing Star Trek and was having a pretty alright time with its subpar co-op, third-person shooter action. Then Kirk uttered a line about how he was frustrated with the number of locked doors along their path. It was meant to be a quip, delivered by the dashing action hero and used to lighten the mood in a desperate situation. But this line only frustrated me. I hate it when characters call out flaws in a game’s design in an effort to brush them off; it’s as if the designer knows the game is terrible, and wants to joke about it with the player. I had a pack of PBR sitting untouched in my fridge for a pretty long time. It’s no longer there. All that’s left are a few crushed cans and a crumpled up cardboard box sitting in the corner next to my trash can. [Read more...]
To begin, I would like to say that this post will contain a fair amount of spoilers so read at your own risk.
Bioshock is not just a game. It is a masterpiece in storytelling, as you have likely heard from many other critics and review sites, such as our own. This is not to be debated; it is a fact set in stone no matter what reality tear you are in. As I write this my mouth is still agape from the ending events and how complex and astounding they are. With the concluding events now behind me and the intrigue of forthcoming DLC on the horizon, I became curious as to what Irrational Games could possibly do. While I would like to obviously see new vigor’s and weapons, I am far more curious with the story and where it could place players within the floating skylines of Columbia, and with whom they would come to interact with. Following are a few hopeful wishes for the DLC and how it will further come to shape Booker, Columbia, and all of its inhabitants.
In another life, things would probably be different. In another life, we might be somewhere else, someone else. But we’re forced to live with the hand we’re dealt, and there’s no changing that. Or is there? It’s hard for Bioshock Infinite to cast itself away from the shadow of its predecessor, mostly because of how strong the narrative of the original Bioshock was in its day. Bioshock Infinite quickly relinquishes itself from the shackles of just “going through the motions” and carves out a unique place all its own. [Read more...]