Feb 262015
 

If you have heard anything about The Order: 1886 it is probably that the game is short. A person willing to stare dry-eyed at the screen and mechanically mow down the dozens of enemies thrown at em can apparently finish in five hours or so. With rather frequent breaks for food, playing with a cat, and occasional snark-tweets, I managed the feat in about eight. This is not important data in my view; it didn’t take me that much longer to blow through Wolfenstein: The New Order and several other games I have loved. Admittedly, I’m in the lucky position [Read more…]

Aug 182014
 

Status: Completed Most Intriguing Idea: Showing off every single input the Vita possesses Best Design Decision: The “mystery” puzzles, though they could have been harder Worst Design Decision: Showing off every single input the Vita possesses Summary: Well, Golden Abyss is bad, and I’m glad Nick Burgener wrote this detailed post about its many shortcomings so I didn’t have to.  My single point of departure with his opinion would be on the combat, which I thought was also total garbage, albeit in a completely different direction. Drake’s foes are ridiculous bullet sponges in this game in ways that barely make [Read more…]

Just for the trophy

 Cinematic Action Games, Critique  Comments Off on Just for the trophy
Jun 202013
 

I hate Firefly pendants. I don’t really hate anything intrinsic to the pendants, of course. They’re much too boring for that. In the context of The Last of Us, however, they represent a depressing victory of metagame social bullshit over the interests of simulation and world-building. They’re a bunch of crap tossed into a game in order to justify a trophy, adding no kind of value whatever to an experience they functionally degrade. Naughty Dog’s previous games had collectibles too, of course. The Uncharted series is loaded with little archaeological goodies, glints on the ground that Drake can pick up [Read more…]

Jun 192013
 

In the wake of Microsoft’s unpopular and ultimately reversed turn towards invasive DRM and daily activation requirements, there has been a renewed discussion of the economic challenges of AAA development and the supposed danger that used games posed to the industry. The standard excuse that it’s too great a challenge to create games that achieve players’ graphical expectations while still selling enough games to be economically viable in the context of a console exclusive has been trotted out, and as usual it is false, or at least lacking in perspective. Cinematic action games (including several that are PS3 exclusives) have [Read more…]