Controlling Big Boss is so precise and supple, and the number of play choices so enormous, that failure can almost always be attributed to the player and the player alone. As a result, The Phantom Pain is a game where loss is often as empowering as victory is satisfying.
As a result, A Knight To Remember has little identity of its own. If the goal of this first chapter is to act as a bridge between old and new, and the later chapters offer more original themes, storytelling, and puzzles, then we might be looking at a lesser piece of a greater whole. There's reason to believe this might be the case, as the most interesting part of the story, the development of Gwendolyn, takes center stage by the end of the chapter. But right now, this new take on King's Quest is hoping that a fondness for the fairy tales of yesterday will hide that it has nothing new to offer. It doesn't, but at least it has time to find its purpose.
Kirby And The Rainbow Curse itself doesn't feel old at all, despite closely following in the footsteps of its decade-old progenitor. If anything, it feels like it belongs here right now. It's not taking us anywhere we haven't already been, or showing us a bold new future, and that's okay.
Never Alone is not just telling a story—it is connecting the player to a culture. To play it is to be transported to two places simultaneously. First, to the world of Nuna and Fox, and their epic journey through the blistering cold. And second, to the warmth of a fire, listening to an old man tell a story that is as old as the Earth, feeling it sink into you for the first time.
It's times like that one, when Murdered actually feels like it is thinking about what the player wants, that it's possible to enjoy the game's elusive premise and nonviolent eeriness. But most of the time, it's an unfocused experience that breaks its own rules and serves up the barest of challenges. It's much easier to accept that Murdered isn't really thinking about what it's doing at all.
It is just a polished spy game that has something to say, but not too much and not for too long. It speaks well. But for those of us who spent years tuning ours ear to Metal Gear's strange language, this is the first small sign that it might soon be time to throw all that work away.
The completed Broken Age could well be an excellent game, and I'll be back when it's finished to review it in its entirety. But the better the game turns out to be, the more of a disservice it is to play the first act now. To play it now is to be a part of a process. To play it later is to, well, play it.