Feb 062017
 

Summary: Campaign complete Most Intriguing Idea: Playing as a unit, rather than an individual Best Design Decision: Character-swapping in the first mission Worst Design Decision: Stealth everywhere Summary: I was very excited by Battlefield 1‘s prologue mission. The mission activities themselves weren’t anything remarkable by Battlefield standards: hold this point, shoot these dudes, drive this tank. What set the scenario apart was that when I died I didn’t just reboot in the same body at a checkpoint. Instead, the person I was playing was dead, and I switched into the body of another guy in the same general vicinity. This [Read more…]

Feb 032017
 

Status: Campaign complete Most Intriguing Idea: Evil people are right Best Design Decision: Lock-on follow in the dogfighting segments Worst Design Decision: Stealth missions Summary: Infinite Warfare is a dark, nihilistic game in which a hungry Earth that aims to exert authority over every world in the system and extract all their resources is “good” and the evil militaristic colonies are actually right about warfare. Nothing that happens in the game stands up to much scrutiny, least of all the story of its protagonist. Nick Reyes is somehow absurdly proficient at flying space jets and carrying out secret missions on [Read more…]

May 312016
 

Status: Campaign complete Most Intriguing Idea: Don’t stop can’t stop gotta go fast Best Design Decision: Enemies drop health when you snap their necks Worst Design Decision: Mistaking itself for Dark Souls in the boss fights Summary: The fundamental effect of automatic health regeneration in a shooter is to encourage the player to turtle up. In these systems defensive play, centered around finding appropriate cover and only exposing one’s self judiciously to attack or move to new cover, becomes dominant. DOOM hearkens back to the shooters of the ’90s by using low-cover level design, non-regenerating health, dangerous melee-range enemy units, [Read more…]

Apr 182016
 

Status: complete / platinum Most Intriguing Idea: Taking the open-world shooter away from actual shooting Best Design Decision: Well-chosen achievements Worst Design Decision: Bullet… er, arrow-sponging bosses Summary: After the combat bow was one of the better parts of Far Cry 3, 4 and Blood Dragon, we finally get a game where it’s the star. Far Cry Primal rolls the series setting back to Europe 10,000 years ago so there are no guns, only arrows, spears, clubs, and flint knives. There’s no camera either, so the main character Takkar quickly gains the ability to summon an owl that can “tag” [Read more…]