The 2016 DOOM's rebellion is smaller than its predecessor, but still impressive: it is unabashedly itself. It's a game with confidence in the worth of revisiting its history and an earnest belief that doing so can result in much more than an empty exercise in nostalgia.
This War of Mine manages to convey an important message very well. By turning the player into an active participant in the cutthroat rationale of life as an ordinary person attempting to survive a warzone, it encourages a level of empathy only possible through interaction. Instead of simply hearing the stories of people who suffer unimaginable hardship as civilians during war, the audience is asked to inhabit these narratives. When our choices became their choices—as completely awful as they may be—we can better understand the ground-level tragedies taking place across the globe at this moment. 11 bit Studios' greatest success with This War of Mine, it turns out, is in creating a videogame that is profoundly unpleasant to experience.
Astral Chain is loud, brash, exciting, and, in the end, a warning about the dangers of unquestioned loyalty. Its hyperkinetic action sequences and colorful characters might make the game seem like it isn't interested in offering more than intricately designed fights and a straightforward genre story, but stick around for its entirety and its cast of 2070s police officers show themselves to be more than just cartoon cut-outs of sci-fi cops.