Back in 2010, a Danish indie studio called Playdead released a macabre side-scroller called Limbo. It was good. In 2016, that same studio is releasing a new macabre side-scroller. This one’s called Inside, and it’s really, really good. I played the game from start to finish in one sitting. I laughed a lot, often in horror. Inside is a perfectly paced series of escalating "holy shit" moments.
Mighty No. 9, released yesterday for most of the platforms it was promised to, is not Mega Man with a new name. It shares a lot of ingredients with Mega Man, but these are lower quality ingredients combined with none of the finesse of Capcom’s classics.
For the uninitiated, here's a little bit of context: Unreal Tournament drew first blood on the PC in 1999, with a fanciful, science fiction tone and particularly gory splatters. The game focused its efforts on online multiplayer. Never before, nor since, has Capture the Flag been so much fun.
You control Victor with a controller that you cannot see, because you play this game with the Oculus Rift VR headset strapped to your face. You push Victor forward with a tilt of the analog stick and make him leap, icepicks drawn, toward the side of a glacier. You're not simply playing a game like Uncharted or Tomb Raider. You're inside of one.
Overwatch has only been out for a week, but it’s already a phenomenon. Normally, hype tells you nothing concrete about a game, but the hype around Overwatch has become a key part of the experience. The excitement around the game acts as a testament to Blizzard’s dedication to craft, refinement, and iconic character design.
Valve recently overhauled Steam’s review system, putting a larger focus on recent perspectives. The move made sense. Games are no longer static works. They constantly evolve thanks to updates and programs like Early Access. The system is, by and large, very useful, providing percentages that give narrow and wide snapshots of games. But numbers only tell part of the story.
For a time there Uncharted 4 feels like little more than a familiar, obligatory sequel. Thankfully, after a few chapters, the game dramatically improves and hits a great stride for much longer. By the end, it justifies the creation of a sequel in this nearly decade-old series beyond the need to check off the box between Ratchet & Clank and Wipeout on the PlayStation franchise list.
On a popular torrent site, Fallout 4 has been downloaded nearly 140,000 times. Nearly 200 people are downloading right now, as I write this. AAA or indie, Fallout 4 or Super Meat Boy, it doesn’t matter. Piracy is inevitable. But a torrent doesn’t appear out of thin air.
These days, it seems like Valve will let just about anything on Steam. Programs like Greenlight and Early Access make it easier than ever to get a game on the preposterously popular PC storefront. Some of these games are very bad. How does this happen? What is the process actually like?
Dying Light: The Following is just what an expansion should be: more of the the same great game, with a number of refinements and small, interesting tweaks. In one respect it’s altogether different: You have an automobile now, and an enormous new explorable area that requires the use of it.
Rise of the Tomb Raider tells the story of young Lara Croft, alone in a dangerous place, exploring ruins, solving puzzles, and shooting lots of guys with flaming arrows. This is an enjoyable sequel and the reason it's very fun is because it feels upgraded in nearly every way.
In The Witness, a magnificent new puzzle game from from developer Jonathan Blow you come upon challenges by wandering, in a first-person perspective, through the most beautiful island I’ve ever been to in a video game. The island is densely packed with puzzles, some propped up for you to solve, many others masterfully hidden.
I think it's happened to us all at some point or another: a game you've idolized from afar finally comes out. You boot it up and brace yourself for magic. Hours pass. Magic still hasn't happened. This is... unexpected. That is when you begin your Dante-esque multi-stage descent into a very unique sort of madness: disappointment.
Old-school publishers like Ubisoft, EA, and 2K are employing a distinctly old-fashioned way of doing things, especially in this era of free-to-play multiplayer juggernauts. In the long run, the $60 price point doesn’t help publishers or the players they’re catering to. It stops communities from growing.
#ThrowBackThursday Building a gaming PC can be time-consuming and stressful. There are a thousand things that could go wrong, and any one of them could wind up costing hundreds of dollars. And yet we do it anyway. Why? Because building PCs is totally awesome.
Unlike the other gaming platforms we’ve been evaluating here at the end of the year, the PC’s been around for decades. Recently, the PC’s long legacy of openness and customization has come into conflict with a mainstream that’s finally—finally—realized just how big of a deal PC gaming actually is. By and large, the PC is in a great place in 2015.
With Legacy of the Void, StarCraft II multiplayer is in a better place than it’s ever been. Competitive matches are faster and more interesting. The new co-op mode is an unexpected delight. There appear to be balance issues but this is a living game that will be patched and updated for years to come. Amid new ideas and changes it's clear that Blizzard is not afraid to experiment.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate takes us to Victorian London in 1868. The historical setting mixes painstakingly accurate architectural renderings with entertainingly campy and counterfactual cameos from figures like Darwin and Dickens. Interactively and narratively Syndicate is a mixed bag. But it's also the best entry in years for a series that's seen some high profile misfires.