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…]


 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…]

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

 Immersive Shooters, Short Take  Comments Off on Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
May 112015

Status: Complete Most Intriguing Idea: Revisiting the sequence of the original Wolfenstein 3D. Best Design Decision: I am really partial to that pipe. Worst Design Decision: Zombiezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Summary: Last year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order was a refreshing blend of old-school run-n-gun FPS action with new ideas like optional stealth, cover, and actual characters. The Old Blood, its short-form followup/prequel, doesn’t reach the same heights. The brevity works against its efforts to be a character piece, as the span between a character’s introduction and inevitable horrific death can be ludicrously short. The pipe tool/weapon is an entertaining addition, but climbing The [Read more…]