Category: Xbox One

Sniper Elite 3 Review: One Note

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“There are plenty of targets worthy of a bullet; men who need to die. Time for find more work.”

The final lines of Rebellion’s newest release resemble an apt view of the game as a whole. It is a power fantasy of the highest order; a hyper violent, marginally fun trek through orange and brown landscapes of Africa, looking for Nazis to kill. There are plenty of targets for you to shoot; plenty of men who die by your hand. But, Sniper Elite 3 is a one-note gimmick that will leave you longing for different work.

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Review: Zero Sum

To say I enjoyed High Moon’s take on the Transformer’s franchise would be an understatement. Having played Fall of Cybertron in preparation for this game, my expectations were heightened by just how much I truly enjoyed that game. It looked good, played well, and told and interesting story. Edge of Reality’s Rise of the Dark Spark, on the other hand, tries to do everything Fall did, but does it much worse from every angle.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War Review: Paths of Glory

Valiant_Hearts_Key_ArtWar never changes, especially in video games. Countless number of games set you in the heat of battle, gunning down hundreds of enemies with reckless abandon. We never understand the pathos of those stories; we never hear of their struggles; all we ever see are moments plucked from action movies. Valiant Hearts: The Great War tells a touching story of a handful of soldiers in the midst of World War I — it’s just a shame this story needs to be a video game too.

Murdered: Soul Suspect Review: Botched Execution

Murdered Soul Suspect

Outside of sequels to games I’ve really enjoyed, I typically only get excited for games that sound conceptually interesting. And if nothing else Murdered: Soul Suspect has a good conceptual hook. you’re cast as a ghost detective who has to solve his own murder. Now this sounds like an idea rife with potentially compelling mechanical and narrative possibilities (last I checked, “Ghost Murder Mystery” isn’t a super populated genre). Unfortunately, Murdered: Soul Suspect doesn’t really explore these to any meaningful extent. It’s a largely pleasant time for its eight hour duration, but my main take-away from Murdered: Soul Suspect was disappointment.

Wolfenstein: The New Order Review: Balancing Act

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Wolfenstein: The New Order doesn’t make a great first impression. In its opening level, which takes place during an assault on Castle Wolfenstein in 1946, The New Order feels sluggish, looks underwhelming, and seems overly linear and generic. It also seems to fall into the tired loop of set-piece, gameplay, set-piece that colors so many modern day shooters. At that point, I wasn’t feeling hopeful for the rest of The New Order, but fortunately this opening was an anomaly; the invasion attempt fails, and the series protagonist BJ Blazkowicz is sent into a 14 year long coma. He awakes to a world where the Nazis have won World War II, and now control much of the planet. It’s at this point that MachineGames reveal their desire to make The New Order heavy on both pulpy thrills and sobering World War II-era realities.

Titanfall Review: Making Moments

Titanfall_wallpaper2560x1440I thought I was done with multiplayer shooters. I was really into games like Call of Duty and Left 4 Dead, but at a certain point they stopped being fun for me. I thought I’d never find a game that could give me that same rush again. Well, Titanfall is the most fun I’ve had in a multiplayer shooter in quite a long time. It is entirely fresh and exciting. It’s a fast-paced game full of adrenaline-pumping action. The more I talk about Titanfall, the more I type about Titanfall, the more it sounds like I’m running a PR campaign on the game, with the amount of glowing things I have to say about it that just so happen to sync up with specific bullet points Respawn has been hitting since the game was announced. I can’t help it. Titanfall is a little rough around the edges, but it’s great fun.

Thief Review: Stumbling in the Dark

thief 2014Looking Glass’ original Thief games helped to define a generation of stealth titles. After an extended absence, Garrett returns in a new iteration from Eidos Montreal. Thief’s primary gameplay motives should be pretty clear from the title alone, but it suffers from a severe lack of focus. Instead of centering on the tools of Garrett’s trade, Thief tries too hard to be something it’s not, which ultimately breaks the one thing it does well.

Strider Review: Shadow Walker

StriderThe new Strider reboot from developer Double Helix is probably the best Metroid-style game since Shadow Complex, but that’s not saying much since there haven’t really been any Metroid-style games since Shadow Complex. While Strider may echo the design philosophies of that game style, it struggles to ever achieve any of the highs of a Metroid or Castlevania game. But hey, it’s a nice distraction until Nintendo’s next Metroid game, whenever that may be.