As Dusk Falls hides many secrets down the winding paths of its story web, and by its nature, you won’t get the full picture in any single playthrough, encouraging replayability. But you may also be tempted to play through one take on the story and then step away, content that you’ve seen “your” version play out. Either way, this is a weighty and gratifying excursion into interactive drama, confident enough in its writing to not rely on superpowers or fantasy. For players interested in the progress of interactive narrative frameworks, it’s a laudable success. But even for someone who never plays games, it works. That’s because good characters and storytelling make for a universal experience, and this is a project that has both.
Card Shark features an attractive art style, subtle writing, and a promising premise. But I couldn’t get past my dislike of the core gameplay encounters and the endless teaching segments. I applaud the effort to pull together a unique concept, but the accompanying frustrations mean I have to discourage a sit-down at this particular table.
The Witch Queen is an especially robust expansion, with a particular focus on customizing the play experience and rewarding longtime players’ investment in story and systems. If it’s not the most welcoming moment for players to jump in, that may be a price the developers at Bungie are willing to pay at this point. The long-running story arc that opened in 2014 is gradually steering toward a climax, and it’s possible the developers are increasingly interested in building a ride for those who have been in the vehicle for a while now.
I was happily surprised by the breadth, depth, and challenge of the Iki Island expansion. For new players, it will extend an already lengthy adventure into something more. Meanwhile, returning players should be thrilled at how well this experience dovetails out of an already stellar game. Iki Island is what I want out of single-player game expansions. And it’s further proof (as if we needed any more at this point) that Sucker Punch has a standout new property to continue building on.