Past Cure isn't going to be for everyone. It's a budget title from a group of first-time game developers and that's prevalent throughout the game. From odd mechanic changes and tone shifts between Ian's nightmares and reality, to the often confusing story, it feels like Phantom-8 had a lot of different ideas for how they wanted the game to shake out. It just didn't quite weave them together as seamlessly as they had hoped. On the flip side, they definitely have the potential to crank out an amazing horror game as their blend of puzzle-based gameplay and environmental work made for some both satisfying and eerie moments. Navigating through Ian’s nightmares were some of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had with a horror game since Resident Evil 5. There’s a delicate balance of tension that many horror games can't seem to find, but Past Cure felt just right in this regard to me. I just wish there were more of this aspect throughout the game. If you don't come in expecting The Evil Within or Resident Evil and keep your expectations in check, you’ll likely find something about this budget psychological action flick that you'll like.
The Fall Part 2 carries on many of the strengths we saw in the first game, including an interesting story, likable characters, and thought-provoking puzzles. Unfortunately, along with Unbound’s expanded scope comes growing pains, several of which detracted from my overall enjoyment of ARID's latest outing.
The Surge is an impressive package overall. Souls fans, or players seeking out a challenging endeavor, will likely be pleased with what Deck13 has brought to the table here. This game builds a strong case for itself as a worthy entry in the brutally challenging third-person action sub-genre popularized by Dark Souls and the like. Although the story isn't quite as memorable as I would have hoped, I came away feeling this game was more about the journey than the destination. Even if the story was great, the addictive gameplay would still be the thing bringing me back for more. With a fun combat loop, huge and dangerous areas to explore that are filled with secrets and precious loot to uncover, and some adrenaline pumping boss fights, The Surge is more than worthy of your time (and patience).
From the intriguing story to the rewarding fun of exploring the mansion and discovering its many secrets, it's not hard to recommend The Sexy Brutale to everyone. It can be tough to ignore a few of the technical mishaps currently present in the game, but I felt it was even tougher to ignore the gorgeous environments players are given to explore. Solving each murder puzzle and learning more about the various guests and the mystery behind the host of the ball, Lucas, is quite possibly one of the best experiences I've had with a game this year.