- What Remains of Edith Finch
- Life is Strange
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Joanna Nelius's Reviews
Hob is a rare gem. It has mass appeal, regardless of preferred genre or style.
EMPYRE: Lords of the Sea Gates is an easy entry into the isometric RPG genre for newcomers, but has enough interesting features for those familiar with the genre to consider checking it out.
Tarahumara mythology is fascinating—just the break I needed away from the Skyrims and World of Warcrafts of the fantasy genre. I might never have learned about the Tarahumara and listened to an indigenous language for the first time. But, Mulaka stretches a bit too long for my taste.
Without a central idea to fall back on, Past Cure is just an unorganized mess.
The Red Strings Club uses every cybyerpunk trope—implants, sentient androids, all-powerful corporations—in ways that are meaningful.
Ultimately, for those who prefer story to collecting better weapons, there isn’t a big enough incentive to keep progressing through the challenges.
Hell is Empty was satisfying in the sense that it delivered something out of the pages of a crime drama, but as far as keeping continuity with itself and with the original game, the episode left much to be desired. These first two episodes leave such a strong emotional resonance that stick around long after they end and, unfortunately, episode three isn't on par.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm delivers another emotionally-charged episode in its second installment, Brave New World, hitting all the right narrative beats to set up players for a grueling journey in episode three—even if it's saving many key elements that tie into the original game for the final episode.
In all, Planet of the Eyes is by all accounts a carefully crafted game. It’s clear that the developers put a lot of time and thought into everything from the art, to the narration, to the gameplay. But its greatest shortcoming is that it’s not a longer game. The game provides a satisfying experience overall, but not the emotional resonance. At the same time, however, there is beauty in its subtle narrative. How you feel about the game will come down to this: if you are a novel-person or a short story-person.
Chloe is me. She’s you. She’s so many other teens of today and throughout time. She is one of the most fully-realized characters in modern video games, and I can’t wait to see what the next episode has in store for her and Rachel.
But your immediate problem is not an angry client who did not receive his plasma cutter on time; a ship crash lands on your property. Inside is one broken robot and two surprises that throw your entire view of the world into chaos. Police immediately surround the area and close in to disintegrate you — you have seen too much. An EVP grenade falls from… you’re not sure where, overloading the circuits of the police and yourself. What follows is a surprising turn of events that sends you on an impromptu investigation to explore different parts of the city to help a small band of rebel robots whose primary function is to discover “the truth.”
The overzealous difficulty of Fallout 4′s DLCs is no exception this time around; the Nuka World radio signal won’t auto-trigger until you are at least level 30. Don’t start at level 30. Just don’t. If you haven’t hit at least level 50 by now, take the time to get there; the unbalanced level-scaling that gave Automatron and Far Harbor their “quirks” is back to kill your stash of stimpacks and ammo. Combine that with a narrative that lacks depth and meaningful decisions, Nuka World might fall below your expectations, but still provides many hours of game play to unlock a plethora of secrets and rewards.
For a 2D puzzle-platformer, the levels are naturally integrated into the environment – and one of the most naturally integrated that I have ever seen in any game of the same genre. Utilizing the changing seasons to its advantage, Seasons After Fall feels less like a traditional platformer and more like an innovation, jumping from tree branch to vine, frozen geyser to snowball, all the while bending the seasons to your command. The narrative and setting aren’t built around the level design, but rather the design enhances the narrative and setting, allowing for a gorgeous and immersive experience.
You’ll navigate your way through twisted hallways of heavy machinery, elevators, and a few monsters and monstrosities. What little glimpses you get of the world above, they are nothing more than big teases. You want out? Nope, sorry. You’re stuck in a quarry. Oh, you really want out? We’re going to lock every single exit to the surface. It would be appropriate to place a placard at the entrance to the mine that read “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
One of the most amazing moments is coming around a bend or emerging through a tunnel into a large open area with buildings and more sea life as far as the eye can see. The music swells to an apex, climbing from a happy urgency to a grand revelation.
35MM might start off at a slow pace – a really slow pace – but under-the-radar character and story development, and unsettling action sequences build to a climactic revelation that will make you feel sorry for even thinking about not finishing the game.
The radioactive fog gives Far Harbor a different feel from the Commonwealth. The mood is too sinister to just call it gloomy. While the island is infested with new mutants, there is no need for one to hide in every dark shadow when the fog will slowly poison you to death.
I’m not the most strategically-minded person, but a shoot-first-ask-questions-later kind of gal. I just want to run in, guns blazing, and figure it out from there. Tutorials? Who has time for that? Offworld Trading Company said I did, and they not only sat me down and made me pay attention, but they did it in a way that didn’t leave me confused at the end.
P.O.L.L.E.N makes use of its subtle, narrative details masterfully, seamlessly integrating them into the alternate, sci-fi world. It’s not enough to find a couple of cassette tapes and charge through to the end. From post-it notes on white boards, to TIME Magazines, to personal drawings tucked away in a character’s closet, every detail is carefully selected to bring depth to the characters and do some world-building in the process
It was my mistake; I followed a path that I was sure would help the rebellion's cause by abandoning my friend Lapino and, instead, going on a quest to find the ultimate weapon to defeat the Empire. Things didn't go as planned, and I accidentally destroyed the entire world. But then I was alive again.