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...]
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...]
Now that The Last of Us has been out for a little more than a month, I’ve had numerous opportunities (as I sat around doing nothing) to reflect on what did and didn’t work. I kept swinging around in semi-circles with my chair as I thought back to the major thematic beats and emotionally gut-wrenching dialogue.
I stand by my review of The Last of Us; it is a flawed game. But I constantly find myself thinking about different, highly impactful moments. I run over my review time and again, never questioning my opinion, but wondering if there was a better way to articulate it. I continue to remember the fantastic narrative beats and the rich characters that permeate all throughout The Last of Us, and little by little my rose-colored glasses tint just a shade darker. I gave The Last of Us a positive review, even if some don’t think that’s the case. I really like the game, and it will probably make it into my top ten at the end of the year (but let’s certainly not think about that now), so I’m attempting to explore why I still think The Last of Us is one of the best games this year.
On a recent podcast we recorded Evan asked me which game I liked better, Bioshock Infinite or The Last of Us. I immediately thought I preferred Bioshock Infinite, but after thinking about the matter further, I realized I have no idea which one I like more. So within this editorial I am inviting you, the reader, to come on a journey with in which I will highlight some points between the two games and hopefully in the end I will have a definitive answer for Evan. Oh and reader beware SPOILERS AHEAD FOR BOTH GAMES! [Read more...]
Uncharted 2 is one of my favorite games this generation. It’s an adventurous shooter with sarcastic characters and bombastic setpiece moments; most of all, it felt like watching a fun summer movie. But Naughty Dog was also critiqued for the ludonarrative dissonance of the series: Nathan Drake will murder vast quantities of people then turn to the camera with a wink and a smile, the way only a likeable action hero can.
The Last of Us throws that entire formula out the window and creates something uniquely different, but not always successful. [Read more...]
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...]