I love that CD Projekt Red's solution to getting more players on board with its free-to-play card game was to produce a massive standalone RPG with all the spellbinding storytelling that's become a signature of The Witcher brand. It's the sort of thoroughness and commitment to quality they've built a reputation on, and Thronebreaker now paves the way for an exciting new genre of card games that incorporate a similar design ethos.
Ultimately, the sum of Vampyr's emphasis on story, combat, and progression combine to produce a video gaming experience that will appeal to those outside the RPG and adventure genres that it seeks to combine. My hope is that it finds its audience so that we might yet again see Dr. Reid on an even grander scale in the future.
In the end, perhaps it isn't so hard to imagine that a studio whose expertise is mostly technical consulting feels slightly void of inspiration and direction. Extinction has some fine enough ideas, but every aspect of its execution, from the narrative to the combat, feels generic and half-baked.
Battle Chasers fans will be pleased to know that Joe Madureira's work has found a new home in the gaming industry that we'll certainly see more of. But perhaps more importantly, as someone who never knew about the source material before playing the game, I'll be keenly looking forward to its next entry too.
While gameplay might not break any new ground, puzzles and crime scenes provide enough interaction to keep you engaged beyond just watching the story unfold. The way in which the Observer uses implants as a means to explore memories is inventive, giving the narrative a grander sense of scale without technically leaving the building.
Echoes of Aetheria does what any good story driven role playing game should do; it tells an epic fantasy story with an array of characters from different backgrounds, and features a deep and engaging battle system. Though, the games narrative lacks any real innovation and is full of tropes typical of JRPG games of yesteryear, it's still a fun 15 hour adventure worth playing through.
PONCHO is a 2D side scrolling puzzle platform game by Delve Interactive, which combines a clever gameplay mechanic with detailed and beautifully rendered pixel art. The game uses both back and foreground layers to create complex puzzling challenges and platforming. The results on the whole are mixed, but once the player adjusts to timing the command to zap between layers whilst jumping, there are some moments of entertaining gameplay.
Atmospherically, ROOT does deliver the sort of intriguing digital dystopia so woefully underused as a genre for modern video games. Unfortunately, problems with some of the gameplay systems and AI spoil the experience and never quite allow the game to live up to its potential.
Escape the terrifying clutches of Ms. Song as she stalks you through the spooky hallways of Sehwa High School in The Coma: Cutting Class; A short but enjoyable 2D side scrolling stealth survival horror adventure with a strong focus on exploration and narrative. Despite some frustrating gameplay mechanics and level design, the visual presentation and mysterious story are well worth the 4 or so hours of gameplay. The captivating plot and spooky setting will grip most players through to its frightening conclusion.
Balls of Glory is a stellar addition to Zen Pinball 2. There are a few issues with each of the tables but for the most part they are very enjoyable to play and quite appropriate for players of all skill levels. Despite some of the PG censorship on two of the tables and some of the slightly repetitive sound effects this pack is well worth the purchase. There isn't much to dislike; Balls of Glory is inexpensive, a blast to play, visually stunning and feels totally connected to the franchises of which the table themes are based on.