Gabriel Knight is a game best thought of in the past tense. It works the second the game is finished and becomes a highlight reel. The pulp plot briskness, with the seared-in mood acquired from wandering in circles. The moment-to-moment frustrations fade. That's why playing the 20th Anniversary remake of Gabriel Knight broke that spell again.
Ground Zeroes is an assured, above-average stealth shooter, something there are an abundance of. For years there has been a vocal group of people who have sought to temper the excesses and eccentricities of Hideo Kojima. In Ground Zeroes, Kojima has finally found an editor.
Like any other element in a game, score contributes to its meter, its feel, its momentum. Luftrausers is still a good game, but there is something missing here. It is a symphony with the wrong conductor. A football game with no referee. Luftrausers is an arcade game that is not in the present tense.
Doki-Doki Universe wants to be a Pixar film. You know: artful, sentimental, tapping into a core of childlike earnestness that was buried beneath years of front-page tragedies and daily grind. But it wants to play it safe; it avoids getting too weird and abstract, as Noby Noby Boy, another storybook toy-game, did. No, Doki-Doki Universe is a Dreamworks film. It teeters between juvenilia for the kids and knowing winks for the adults, never committing to, or satisfying, either.
These are all the worst bits, of myself and of Facebook: the push towards less privacy, towards superficial relationships and walls of meaningless birthday greetings. Redshirt is a version of social media without, you know, the social part. It is the ultimate form of solipsism. If most life sims are imperfect reflections of life, Redshirt is, instead, an imperfect reflection of Facebook, itself an imperfect reflection of life. I am in a hall of mirrors and all I see is myself.