Everybody's Gone to the Rapture's greatest accomplishment is making you care for its departed characters. Their personal stories give you an incredible glimpse of what life was like in their little corner of the world. They're not the nicest group of people. They can be selfish, stubborn, and downright stupid. But that's what makes them feel real and memorable. The most tragic part? You can't do a damned thing to save them.
Tearaway packs charm and ingenuity into every pixelated pulp. You’ll bounce along to its perky soundtrack, fall in love with the way its ocean waves — as rolls of white paper — break on the shores, and smile when you see just how personal the ending is.
Act 1 was just an appetizer. Act 2 is the meaty main course that defines Broken Age — and not just because it finishes the story. It's where Double Fine let loose and went crazy with the puzzles (and the complex train of thought you need to solve them). It's where characters I previously thought were only there for a joke or two became much more important. It's where Shay's and Vella's rebellion against their preordained fates turned into a cause that is much bigger than themselves.
If you strip away the Rauser parts and the catchy soundtrack, Luftrausers would still stand on its own because of its excellent gameplay. But those features add so much depth and excitement that they actually pushed me to become a better player. Judging by the wide gap between my score and those higher up on the leaderboard, I still have a lot to learn.
Axiom Verge uses Metroid's building blocks to create a fantastic adventure that can stretch for hours if you want it to … though maybe not always in a good way. I'm not a big fan of the genre, but even I started getting obsessive over my map and item completion rates. I'll just leave it to the rest of the community to fill in the blanks.
You'll find a lot to like in Broken Age. It has a beautiful world populated by a colorful cast of characters and an alluring mystery that doesn't unfold in the way you expect it to. This is Double Fine Productions at its finest, and it's on track to finish strong with Act 2.
It’s not always a perfect combination. A few of the latter puzzles feel needlessly complicated, requiring you to place the objects at pixel-perfect angles to trigger the next area. But that doesn’t take away from how remarkable the game is. Like Portal before it, Maquette redefines what puzzle games are capable of, and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about these characters any time soon.
For better or worse, Daybreak didn't design PlanetSide 2 for instant gratification. I've had hours of playtime where enemy forces were so overwhelming that I barely got anything done. But I've also had hours that were full of tense battles filled with explosions, multicolored lasers, and missiles. When you play at night, it looks like a chaotic fireworks show.
Madden NFL 21 is the clearest example yet of how unwieldy the series has become, so your en-joyment will vary depending on which modes best suit your play style. For me, that comes from seeing my virtual 49ers hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season, so anything else on top of that is just a bonus.