Since Dear Esther I have to admit I can be partial to a well-done Walking Simulator. The Stanley Parable, for instance is a personal favourite and remains an incredibly smart and amusing game. However, these days far too many games which fall into this category rely too much on the same tricks Dear Esther did. Primarily relying on pretty graphics and a vague, “you-decide-what-it-all-means” story to try and carry themselves to critical acclaim. Personally I feel these things are often in danger of being overly pretentious and actually just not very interesting. Continue reading
(Contains spoilers for the first Life is Strange)
Looking back on the original Life is Strange by DontNod is an odd thing for me. I remember enjoying the game and I remember thinking there were a fair handful of effective moments from it, but also when tasked to actually recall some things about the game what I invariably come up with is that I remember playing as a mousy, impossibly introverted teenage girl who only speaks in super breathy whispers and says super cringey things. And also there were a few absolutely impossible phenomena occurring in the game which absolutely nobody seemed to make a big deal about.
So it’s certainly a strong plus for Deck Nine that they more or less completely captured every aspect of this in their prequel to the game: Before the Storm. Continue reading
You know what really bothers me about Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice? Something which made me feel really extremely silly and therefore irritated with developers Ninja Theory for making me look and feel silly. Have you heard about the whole controversy that surrounded the game’s save files? The game itself even outright tells you that if you die too often that it would delete your save in a manner of permadeath? I had a big long discussion about this and whether or not I thought it was good game design, whether it was a gimmick or actually could even be construed as a legitimate mechanic. Well it turns out that actually it’s simply not true and doesn’t happen.
Yeah, mind blown.
Apparently there is no permadeath mechanic. The game doesn’t delete your save file. The rot which creeps up the protagonist’s body to show how often you’ve died actually just always stops at a certain level and never progresses higher. It was all a swindle, a sham, a bald-faced lie. Continue reading
As always, I waited until the final episode of Telltale’s Batman was released before playing the series (more-or-less) straight through.
It used to be the case that my intro when writing about a Telltale game would be a fairly boring affair (and indeed much of the review would be as well) as my praise for the game they produced tended to almost be as formulaic as the games themselves. Lately though, Telltale has been fairly prolific, with essentially two major series released every year for at least the last three years in a row. However, perhaps as a by-product of this increased output, there has been a rather significant drop in the quality of the games produced over that time. Other than their flagship Walking Dead series I have had mixed feelings towards their different titles, from definite enjoyment of the Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands to outright loathing of Minecraft: Story Mode. Continue reading
So, a Telltale Game… Excellent! I get to tell you that Telltale have made another game along the formula of “a point-and-click, character-based, interactive-story with rapid decisions made during dialogue, minor puzzle-solving, and several major decisions made over the course of the game which will have supposedly far-reaching consequences within the scope of the game?” *Gasping inhale* I get to repeat all of that, tell you my few niggles about the game and then recommend it to you… Again…
EXCEPT this isn’t the case. While the game does stick to the forumla, I can rather gleefully inform you that Minecraft Story Mode, is utterly fucking DREADFUL! Oooh, I’ve been looking forward to this happening!
Say “hella” again. I dare you, I double-dare you motherfucker say “hella” one more, goddamned time.
Okay, now that’s out of the way…
I assume people by now are aware of “The Telltale Game”? You know: a point-and-click, character-based, interactive-story with rapid decisions made during dialogue, minor puzzle-solving, and several major decisions made over the course of the game which will have far-reaching consequences in the scope of the game? *Gasping inhale* The sort of game which I have heard, in my opinion slightly unfairly, termed as interactive films, rather than games. Well, Life is Strange is a new Telltale game, by DontNod entertainment and NOT by Telltale surprisingly… This is indeed a most disturbing universe…
As I stated last year, when I had finished reviewing The Wolf Among Us and the second season of The Walking Dead, I refuse to play and thus review any of Telltale’s games until they are actually FINISHED, with every episode released. So, if you are wondering why the heck this is the first you are hearing of Tales from the Borderlands from me, when perhaps I ought to have been raving about it last year at some point, then that should fill you in. Now that’s out of the way I can actually tell you that I have now, at long last, played the game and formulated some opinions on it. Continue reading