Tag: PS3

Postmortem: The Emotional Impact of The Last of Us

The Last of Us 1Now 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.

The Last of Us Review: Struggling to Survive

The Last of Us 1Uncharted 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.

Remember Me Review: Mnemonic Deception

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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.

Star Trek Review: Objects In Space

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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.

Bioshock Infinite Review: An Empire of Liberty

Bioshock InfiniteIn 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.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Review – Exercises in Futility

The Walking Dead Survival InstinctI played through The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct in one sitting. It wasn’t because I was having fun with the game, or because I had a large amount of free time I could devote to it. I played it through in one sitting because it was incredibly boring, incredibly short, and I wanted all of it to end as soon as possible.

God of War Ascension Review: A Well Run Dry

Yeah, but he is much more fun as a god.

Following up a critically acclaimed game can be tough. It can be even tougher when it’s considered one of the best games on its system. So what are some ways to make a successful prequel to an entire series that has grown with each installment? The answer does not lie within Sony Santa Monica’s God of War Ascension.

Tomb Raider Review: Not That Kind of Croft

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The Lara Croft of old was a snarky, athletic, rich girl, toting two pistols and clothing that any legitimate archeologist would chortle at if they saw. But the rebooted Tomb Raider’s Lara isn’t that kind of Croft; she’s a frightened, inexperienced, young adventurer thrown into a situation where she must fight if she has any chance of surviving. Crystal Dynamics’ reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise is a high-stakes adventure that develops a character from innocence to murder – in a very abrupt and disjointed way – and creates a platform for further Lara Croft adventures.

Dead Space 3 Review: In Space No One Can Hear You Probably Not Scream

Dead Space 3The original Dead Space was a tense, atmospheric horror game set aboard a mining vessel in the vacuum of space. It was frightening, stressful, and creative, but certainly not without fault. Two years later, Dead Space 2 took what made the first game great and expanded upon that formula by refining the combat and crafting a greater sense of tension from its atmosphere, lighting, and sound design. Dead Space 3 is little more than just another Dead Space game, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.