Michael Thomsen


34 games reviewed
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Feb 26, 2018

'Metal Gear Survive' turns survivalism into a theater of the absurd

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Nov 6, 2017

In the same way, "Call of Duty: WWII" feels like a game in which the prospect of moving on is somehow scarier than staying in the battlefield for one more tour.

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South Park: The Fractured but Whole is a game that's too eager to laugh at cruelty

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Unscored - Polybius
Jul 12, 2017

If too many games today entangle the mind with ceaseless complications, proliferating differences with only superficial distinctions in outcome, "Polybius" provides the feeling of having one's mind washed clean for a few moments, shaken free of clutter. Its biggest reward occurs in the moment when the headset is removed and the screen goes dark, a moment when it feels possible to see everything with what feels like new eyes.

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May 4, 2017

"Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" feels like the most complete game in the series, with 23 remade tracks from earlier games and 25 originals, yet the racing feels like it's been tamed by the mild courses and gentle drifting system.

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Unscored - 1-2-Switch
Mar 21, 2017

Another game asks players to re-attach the controllers to the side of the Switch console, remove it from its television dock and cradle it like a crying baby, complete with a crudely animated infant tossing its head back and forth on the console's portable screen. It was perhaps the most uncanny moment of all the experiences in the game — a human child used as a skeuomorphic wrapper for a software simulation.

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Unscored - Final Fantasy XV
Dec 12, 2016

"Final Fantasy XV" is at its best when treated as an act of tourism. It's gratingly intrusive when it tries to keep you busy, and transcendentally comforting when it settles for just keeping you company.

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Nov 10, 2016

“Infinite Warfare” is arguably the most imaginative and wide-ranging game in the series, and yet every new idea it tries feels hamstrung by the conventions that have made the series so successful. There are a few interludes of space dogfights, but these feel strangely similar to on-foot levels, but with fighter ships that can come to a full halt and hover before zipping off again to chase a new enemy vessel.

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Unscored - Battlefield 1
Oct 26, 2016

It’s a gratifying to play for a few hours, and the overlay of experience points and weapon upgrades offer formulaic but still effective reasons to keep coming back. Yet, all of it feels like it’s speeding further away from its source material.

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Oct 11, 2016

‘Paper Mario: Color Splash’ makes a game of dragging the past into the present

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