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…]

Mar 072016
 

Status: Story complete, all Endless modes unlocked Most Intriguing Idea: Time stops moving when you do Best Design Decision: The throwing / grabbing interactions Worst Design Decision: Lack of embodiment Summary: The elevator pitch is this: SuperHot is a first-person Hotline Miami spliced with Matrix-like slow-mo. Time moves quickly only when the player does, allowing for incredible precision of action. The game balances against this incredible power by making the player’s other resources very finite. Any gun the player picks up can only be fired a few times, most melee weapons break apart in a swing or two, enemies enter [Read more…]

F.E.A.R.

 Immersive Shooters, Short Take  Comments Off on F.E.A.R.
Mar 022016
 

Status: Campaign completed Most Intriguing Idea: that enemy AI can be good Best Design Decision: that AI, man Worst Design Decision: the evil spirits Summary: F.E.A.R. is a dumb name for a game, and the story that goes with that name is dumb. I want to get that out of the way at the start. The scenario is absurd, the plot is ludicrous, the characters only rarely manage to gain even two dimensions, and the whole thing is written as sloppily as can be. HOWEVER I did not come here for a great story. I came here to slo-mo shotgun [Read more…]