Return of the Obra Dinn review – Meddling insurance provider saves the day?

I’m not sure who I feel worse for right now, Lucas Pope or other devs aspiring to release their own indie hit… On one hand you have to feel for Lucas Pope because now he’s created Papers Please and Return of the Obra Dinn, releasing both to great success and critical acclaim, so now all eyes are on him to see what he does next. Don’t they always say the third album is the difficult one? On the other hand, imagine what it must be like to be a solo indie dev these days, in University or beyond. You can’t win awards and get famous through your hot take on pixel sprite platforming now! No, for you to achieve success what you need to do is come up with a unique mechanic which is simultaneously simple and intuitive but also engaging and involved, you’ll need to write an exciting story which prompts discussion and thought, and then on top of that you can sprinkle in the graphics and animations, which also ought to be unique enough that someone could point to a still frame from it and recognise what it’s from. And even then you’ll still be compared against Lucas Pope. So, y’know, it’s not asking much! Continue reading

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 review – Forgive me father for I have sinned. Again.

Multiplayer RPGs. It’s a tough nut to crack when it comes to writing out my thoughts for them. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed a conspicuous absence of any review of Divinity: Original Sin (the first one) despite the fact that I gave it my game of the year for 2014. This is because I find myself struggling occasionally to decide whether I loved the game quite so much because I loved the gameplay and story and characters, or whether the enjoyment stemmed from the fact that I was experiencing said gameplay, story and characters with Tim. Continue reading

The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine story critique – Another Witcher post? It’s only because I love it

*Contains main story spoilers for Blood and Wine*

When it comes to games I love I enjoy critiquing them into the ground, discussing their various foibles and small imperfections with anyone who will listen. If I ever do actually begin properly going into an in-depth analysis of parts of a game’s story on here then you know at least that my imagination was caught by the game’s writers. It’s fairly rare for me to really love a game, for instance I’ve only ever posted any in-depth analysis of the ending for Mass Effect 3, and despite my continuing dislike of that aspect of the story, the rest of it still shines as one of my favourite experiences in gaming.

So with that preface I will follow it by saying that when I now start to negatively talk about the ending and a few important plot points in The Witcher 3 DLC: Blood and Wine you know that this does not mean you should not get the DLC. I will repeat what I said in my actual review that despite my frustrations with a few aspects, this is still one of the absolute best things you can play, bar none.

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Prey review – Not to be confused with Prey or Bioshock

Prey 2017 wallpaperIt is perhaps a little unfair that pretty much every single review I’ve seen of Arkane Studio’s Prey 2017 (because why would they want to give it its own name when there was a perfectly fine older IP to reboot) immediately begins by comparing it to other games. One could be forgiven for thinking therefore that it is a hodgepodge of elements from other games, melted down into a single product. It’s touted as yet ANOTHER spiritual successor to System Shock 2 as well as to Bioshock whilst also drawing on elements from Dishonored and Half Life. Continue reading

Telltale’s Batman review – I’m the gosh-darned Batman!

Telltale's Batman wallpaper

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

Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt review – Triss and Yen have competition…

witcher-3-wallpaper

Honestly I kind of spaffed my load early when it comes to what I think about the Witcher 3. I said it in our 2015 Gaming Awards but I’ll go ahead and say it again now. The Witcher 3 is not just mine and Tim’s Game of the Year for 2015, but quite honestly I do see it as being my absolute favourite game of all time and very likely the outright best made to date. It is absolutely an instant classic, damn near perfect in every way that counts and I don’t see anything knocking it from the top spot of my list for years to come. That is an exceptionally strong claim to be making right at the start of this review, but I did want to clarify that so that if I spend the next 3000+ words ranting and raving about just how damned good it is, you knew what you were getting into when you started reading after the jump. Continue reading

Minecraft Story Mode review – Telling tales about Telltale

Minecraft Story Mode wallpaperSo, 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!

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