Batman - The Telltale Series - Episode 5: City of Light is boring and finishes off before it even gets good - leaving me fairly dissapointed at the outcome of the Season. On the other hand, I did like the new folds it brought to Bruce's relationships with the people who surround him - as Bruce or Batman. Those relationships aren't the key to this Season Finale unfortunately, but Telltale did do a pretty good job at making what you do get out of it entertaining. I hope Telltale gets a Season Two of Batman - The Telltale Series, because I'd sure like to see more.
Aside from Telltale's usual "I don't want to fight, but you're making me" scene, New World Order is light on the Bat-beatings, with subtle hints about what may happen to our Caped Crusader in Guardian of Gotham. It ends on one amazing cliffhanger with huge reveals that are sure to have you talking for weeks after finishing it. The twist was a grand one that I genuinely have to applaud Telltale for. Good job.
Batman: The Telltale Series — Episode Two: Children of Arkham is ultimately dispiriting, as a follow up to the amazing Season Premiere cliffhanger and fails at following that up with a sorry payoff to Episode One. A lot of the Episode feels rushed and underutilized, making it nigh impossible to dive back into the dichotomy of the mask of Bruce contrasting with the true face of Bruce, Batman. The vision for the Season does become quite clear after this Finale, but as a standalone, it fails to stand on its own two feet.
All things considered, I do think this is one of Telltale's better episodes, even if the illusion of choice quickly fades away with failed QTEs and a story we're no longer in control of.
Song of the Deep will keep you in the deep for about six hours, which gives it time to be bad, just not a total trainwreck, and there are many things I really enjoyed in this game. Merryn, the voice acting, and just how gorgeous the game looks are all a welcome change from these AAA games that rely on gameplay over graphics, and the sense of wonder that is present in 2 of the 3 narrative arcs is really wonderful, but it's hard to shake that the game doesn't know how to deliver on its' promises.
All this and what I'm saying is if you don't have this game already installed on your PC or Xbox One, you should, especially if you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber. After the final cutscene faded to black and I saw the game logo, I couldn't help but jump for absolute joy, as The Banner Saga 2 has achieved what many games have tried and failed time and time again to do: Provide true player choice, make them matter, and make you care about every single person in your caravan. I felt like I truly accomplished something great in a video game, a feat, almost, which is a feeling I haven't felt for years.
Paranautical Activity is a fast paced first person shooter with roguelike elements that feels like someone tried really hard to recreate Doom, but was really into Minecraft, and wanted to just make it over reliant on PC design. If you don’t like games that punish you, chances are you won’t like this game. If you do, you’ll find yourself playing this game multiple times through, trying to 100% the entire game. If none of these things interest you, just listen to the soundtrack. It’s pretty great.
The Old Blood was everything I wanted and hoped for in a Wolfenstein game. MachineGames made the weapons feel exactly as if you were holding them in your hands, made you move around in action scenes in meaningful ways, a robust map that encourages wanderlust, and so much more. I mean, they've done it. They really have.
Quantum Break is a game I have been waiting on for a very long time. 3 years, almost. Since the Xbox One reveal in May of 2013, that was the one game I wanted to buy right that second. The game that would make me go all-in on the Xbox One, $500 price point, DRM, Kinect inclusion and all. I mean, these were the same people who created my favorite video game of all time, Alan Wake. This had to be good, right? At the time, and even to this day, Quantum Break is way ahead of its time.
So, while the initial thrill of basically flying around Medici sounds fun, the story and the new mechanic of the Bavarium Wingsuit don’t really do much for me, given that most of the encounters I thought were really cool took place within very tight spaces, which isn’t very conducive to using a wingsuit in.
All things considered, I really wanted to enjoy Telltale's first outing into the comics with The Walking Dead: Michonne, but right now, given the tone deaf story, deadpan characters, lack of any choice and length, I feel comfortable in saying that you should hold off on playing this episode.
Firewatch was #6 on my Top Ten Most Wanted Games of 2016, so I don't think it will come as much of a surprise when I say that Firewatch was a game I truly couldn't wait for, and that's also why I am very pleased to tell you that the game is an utter delight.
The Witness is a very interesting game, when you first hear the premise for it. You're just a person going around an abandoned island, solving puzzles, and learning the story along the way. How that is portrayed is wonderful, but the execution is downright sloppy.
For every high concept, there's this underlying truth that grounds That Dragon, Cancer: the battle the Greens are facing is not the mere act of mourning, but how to mourn. Amy turns to God, while Ryan struggles with God. They get in fights, then reunite, then fight again. At the same time, you're coming in and out of the picture as the curious and helpless observer as they plead to God, each other, and Joel. When it came time for the credits to roll, I couldn't help but appreciate the game and the story the Greens want to tell the world.
Amplitude is a good time whether you are playing alone or with friends, since the game adjusts to whoever's playing. Single-player is about being precise and focused, asking that you use your power-ups wisely and mantain your streak. Harmonix has also included a little treat — FreQ mode. In this mode, it's basically like you're playing Frequency again. You can't play online, but the options in the local play are robust. Four-player free-for-all quickplay encourages competition, using your power-ups to attack other players. Cooperative and team-based play offer further options for enjoying Amplitude with your friends, and it's really fun to feel like you and your friends are making your own music.
Just Cause 3 is a goddamn fun game. Well, it's fun whenever you're just going around and liberating bases or towns. Everything else just falls on its face (as I have done many times in-flight). The problem, though, is that every other system you use in the game pulls you away from the craziness at hand. As I said in the opening, the game is a damn blast to play, but the way your skill trees unlock, ticking off bases and towns from a big checklist, and gunning down every bad dude you see.
Star Wars Battlefront is a game for the casual shooter fan. No one ever planned an attack, no one ever talked. So, if you're going into this game expecting a Star Wars skin on Battlefield, expect to be dissapointed, as there is no aspect of team play in this game. While I like a game I can just hop into every few months, I expected more from a franchise that I basically grew up with.