As much as the awkwardness, the wobbly writing and the ghastly attitudes often pushed me away from Risen, I'd still take its offbeat ambition and clumsy ambition over a slick, impersonal Diablo or a focus grouped Bioware effort. At the same time, sharper, caveman-free writing and a big spend on more accomplished voice-acting would be redempetive – would transform Risen from appealingly odd and into truly impressive. But maybe what's special about this would be lost if it were able to pursue norms. Perhaps it needs to be as weird and awkward and unpleasant as it is. Perhaps that's why I like it so much, even when I hate it.
In other words, despite its combat being such a chore, take that on the chin and Costume Quest 2 just about finds its way to being the sort of game we want Double Fine to make – a puzzle-adventure with gags and fun characters silly ideas. Only just about, though. Is it a children's game? Yeah, but so what?
Given it's much broader of content than the original and still packed with surprises I've yet to uncover, let alone master, Rebirth very much lives up to its name. I do feel it makes some stylistic misfires that let the side down, but perhaps that doesn't matter. Just one more go. Damned forever.
Whether This War of Mine truly succeeds in saying anything more than 'war is hell' I don't know. Equally, I'm not at all sure it needs to. We play a lot of wars, and it is surely only fair to sometimes be reminded that war is not really about a muscle-bound American man saving the day. It makes its point very well, in that it is harrowing, it is careful, and its increasingly deadly Groundhog day approach supports rather than disrupts the atmosphere of extreme strife. It's without doubt effective and impressive at what it does.
All told though, no previous Telltale game has made me feel this tense and this wary. It's dangerous. Its pacing is nothing at all like the show's, but its ever-looming dread very much is. I only hope the rest of the series similarly refuses to pull punches.
The Remastered edition might not be quite as modernised as we'd hoped, and it's sorely in need of a little more PC-specific TLC, but it is such a pleasure to have it back, so much happier on a modern monitor and good speakers than the original edition, and with non-crazy controls too.
I'm sticking with Game of Thrones, but I'd definitely appreciate some changes to the pacing. I.e. calm down! Sure, feel free to maim and kill anyone anywhen, but give me a chance to look around a little first, won't you?
Look, Sunless Sea isn't for everyone. It requires patience, and it requires no small amount of imagination. For those who have those qualities, or are prepared to try and acquire them, I would say that Sunless Sea is an uncommonly rewarding roleplaying game, and an essential one.
I'm not sure the Homeworld games were first built with the expectation that they'd stand the test of time like this, but because there was so much care, because there's been nothing quite like them since, and because the remastering has been sensitive, this package comes across as beautifully timeless, and as essential as real-time strategy gets. Welcome home.
If it's playing I can close my eyes and feel what HLM made me feel. Because my associations for HLM2 are confusion and frustration more than exhilaration and escapism, the second doesn't seem to have power. But there are some lovely pieces in there for sure.
It’s just numbers getting bigger. It’s the cynical serpent curled aroundthe heart of every social game, every action RPG, every MMO, every gambling machine, but at least it makes no pretence that it’s about anything more than that. There’s this thin veneer of Monopoylisms with a touch of sardonic Fallout nonchalance and lazy references to famous figures, but it’s just set-dressing and it knows it. This is an experiment in how venal we can be.
No numbers, no inventory to speak of, but so much to do, so many ways it can play out and plenty of snowballing consequences. Its superficially simple 2D art occasionally flares into high prettiness too. We might not have Red Dead Redemption, but Westerado is an enormously satisfying consolation prize.
I'm frustrated that there's a great game here, laid a little low by grind, by sub-racing game insta-death factors and irritating, quote-drenched dialogue. This is, at heart, a small and simple game which tries to make itself bigger with unnecessary frippery rather than expanding its worthy core. It's perfectly serviceable as a land-based remix of FTL, but your next great, chaotic adventure Convoy is not. Yet.