Sep 032014
 

I blame Daniel Day-Lewis. I watched Last of the Mohicans and got a hankering to play a game set in the Colonial frontier, one of many periods of history poorly covered by games. In fact, in a reasonably extensive library the only game that really addressed this setting was Assassin’s Creed III, a game that, to put it mildly, I did not like very much. Shorn of its only real virtue, the multiplayer component, I felt reasonably certain I would still hate the game virulently. I’ve given second chances to games I formally liked less, though, so I booted up [Read more…]

Dec 032013
 

Assassin’s Creed IV has many problems, most of them inherited from Assassin’s Creed III. The free-running is sloppier than ever and actually trying to go to a particular place quickly (say, the top of a mast to take a flag) feels like a struggle against the game’s mechanics rather than a use of them. Combat, especially swordplay, is a mess plagued by a useless camera, and while stealth has improved slightly it’s not strong enough for the demands the game makes of it, especially in tailing and eavesdropping missions. The story is silly and inconsequential – in both the past [Read more…]

Nov 052013
 
Let me do it

I have the same fundamental problem with Gone Home that I had with Assassin’s Creed III. In terms of their construction, these games could hardly be more dissimilar – ACIII is an expansive open world third-person game where the player spends almost every minute killing people, and Gone Home is a first-person adventure in uncovering the events of the past year in a single empty house. Yet these games are alike in that they give the player a good set of tools for solving their problems, which they seem unwilling to let em use freely. The main story of Gone [Read more…]

Dec 192010
 

My review of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has gone up at GameCritics, but in case you don’t want to bother, the summary is that Brotherhood is great and you should get it. It’s not great like War and Peace is great. Brotherhood completely squanders all the awesome things you could do thematically with the horrible Papacy of Alexander VI and instead uses that as a backdrop for more of its tediously silly techno-conspiracy mumbo-jumbo. And, it’s not great like Saint Peter’s Basilica is great, because its poor design choices and occasionally slapdash construction deny it any real feel of majesty. Brotherhood [Read more…]