Death shouldn't be something we don't talk about and the death business isn't something that should exist in the shadows. A Mortician's Tale provides an excellent way to join that conversation while shedding some light on a mysterious business that would prefer to stay cloaked in darkness. It's a short game, only an hour or so long, but it leaves an impact far beyond its runtime. Give it a chance, and it might just change the way you think about death.
At the end of the day, you probably already know if this game is right for you. If you couldn't get enough of Super Meat Boy and have spent the past seven years fiending for more punishing platformers, than The End of Nigh is something you should immediately inject into your veins. If you are usually iffy on super-challenging platformers, but curious if this is the one that will turn you around, keep on walking.
If you're new to the dungeon or it's been a long time since you ventured into its depths, do yourself a favor and get your sea legs ready before wading into the bloody pools of The Crimson Court. If you're an experienced delver looking for a new challenge, then by all means, step into the moonlight and find out what the night has in store for you.
At the same time, if you're an enthusiast fighter and want a competitively viable game with a lot of depth to explore, Injustice 2 makes a strong case for itself. It's the full package in a market filled with fighters that have come out half-cooked. I plan on savoring it for months to come.
Outlast 2 is harrowing. It is a horror game that will make you want to take a shower after you're done with it. It's a horror game that will make you want to hold your loved ones just a little tighter next time you embrace them. It's a horror game that will scare you in the moment with shock and gore, then haunt you in the middle of the night with its ideas. And isn't that what the best of horror strives for?
I feel so badly for this game in a way. It seems so close to being something special and wonderful, but is just undermined at every turn by baffling design choices, poor controls, and frustration. Maybe some of these issues will be addressed in a future patch and Rain World will become the game it feels like it should have been. Someone else will have to let me know. As far as I'm concerned, my days of being a slugcat are officially behind me and I won't be looking back.
And really, pleasant surprises are what we're talking about with Styx: Shards of Darkness. Don't let the reduced price tag or the fact that Styx's previous titles aren't exactly household names fool you. Once you get past the slightly budget look of the UI and occasional control jank, there is a solid core of a pretty damn good stealth game here. Give him a chance, and Styx might just steal your heart (only to pawn it at a fraction of its value, the little bastard).
One thing I will say for it though – when you drain your last ball and you're asked to input your initials for your score, Riz Ahmed's character wistfully says “they're asking for a callsign...” as the three-letter faux-LCD screen blinks.
There is so much heart and so many great ideas in Nefarious that I want to see it as a better game than it is. I want to be able to recommend it as a hidden gem in Steam’s massive collection of throwback indie titles. But I can’t. It’s a sloppy game that feels in many respects half-done. All the heart in the world can’t make up for something that just isn’t fun to play.
The Bethesda Pinball pack is an odd proposition. The tables are spectacular looking and all the little touches and gameplay twists are ambitious and creative in a way I really enjoy thinking about. But, both the Skyrim and Fallout tables are held back by small annoyances and wonky design choices that just make them less fun to play than they should be. Doom ended up being my favorite of the pack, which in a way is disappointing since it is also the most traditional of the tables offered. Maybe I'm just a pinball purist. Or maybe that pinball devil has a hold on me.
While I don’t love every change Respawn has made in Titanfall 2, at the end of the day the positives more than outweigh the negatives. It’s hard to sulk about the lack of A.I. grunts in most of the multiplayer matches when you’re unloading a red hot chest laser into a mech that is hovering 50 feet above ground pelting you with missiles. There isn’t a shooter on the market that can compare with Titanfall 2 when it comes to imagination, inventiveness, and flat out spectacle.
If you never got the chance to strap on a mask and make some dirty money, The Big Score might still be worth checking out. If you're a seasoned criminal wondering if it's time to get back into the life, you won't find much to pull you back in.
Strike Vector EX is a small game with a lot of heart. While the campaign is sub-par and it doesn't offer the depth or longevity or other titles, what's there is fun, fast, and wild. Released at a discount price, this is definitely a game to rope one or two friends into buying with you so you can always have a wingman (or nemesis) on call on and seed some multiplayer action.
Nuka-World is big and impressive and flashy, but just like any theme park, it’s all a facade. Peek behind the curtain and you can see the struts and wires that animate the mascots. In Nuka-World’s case, that’s a scaffolding made of bones and spent magazines. It’s up to you if that’s a park you feel like visiting.
Depending on your luck with the randomly placed key-cards and robot AI (whether you get the T-800 chasing after you or the Furby with one droopy eyelid that doesn't blink anymore) it will take somewhere in the neighborhood of an hour or two. And when it ends, it ends. As soon as you escape the police station it goes straight into a white dissolve and a logo splash screen. No epilogue, no wrap up, not even a voice over.