Limbo, when I reviewed it all those years ago, was one of the few games that compelled me to reward it a perfect score. Inside isn’t just a marked improvement on Playdead’s formula, it smashes through the benchmark Limbo set tenfold, leaving me to ponder how a team so small can produce an experience so damn grand.
In another triumph for the humble indie game, Hyper Light Drifter delivers the year’s best action-adventure hybrid so far. It’s best in class on all fronts that count, offering up razor sharp gameplay, an ultra-stylish coat of paint that, when served with a smashing synth, drips an unforgettable atmosphere.
I consider myself a pretty big fan of those Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. It was everything to me when I was a kid and it does sadden my inner child to have played this game. It'll appeal to some that are new to the franchise who may want to tune out and just wallop on endless, nameless clay men for a few hours but, as a long-time fan, I found only disappointment with rare sprinklings of flair.
Halo Wars 2 is familiar but different in all of the right ways. A short, robust campaign, rich with genuinely effective character performances and a compelling (though far too absent) villain is complemented by a multiplayer facet that is far better off on the back of a daring deck-building venture.
I seriously can't speak highly enough of the world this game presents. I found value in every corner I poked my nose into. Its people, its creatures and its oddball take on what society could be like in a billion years places Torment among the best of its kind. Torment's world has a lasting appeal. Much like a good book you've closed for the last time, you're left with a sort of bitter understanding that you'll never experience it for the first time again. So, you settle for seconds.
I'm sure one day I'm going to finally be able to sit down and say that the well has run dry for Telltale, that their stories can't carry them through anymore. But today isn't that day.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 has to be partially excused for some of its shortcomings, given CI's inexperience at producing larger scale, bigger budget games. It does have a pleasing core experience that is sadly let down by, more or less, every other facet of the game. Come for the poor load times, the dreadful writing and the painted-on, wooden expressions the game's cast has, but stay for the sniping. Because the sniping is great.
I know Hellblade won't be the catalyst to us understanding mental illness overnight, but, again, it needs to be stressed that Ninja Theory took a bold risk here and their art is going to change perceptions somewhere down the line. It's a game where the difficulty of its subject matter trumps its combat, which is unfortunate. How a group of twenty people can make one of the most affecting games of the year, when teams of hundreds routinely fail to do so, is beyond me.