Two for two, Orwell continues to be an engrossing voyeuristic experience. While Keeping an Eye On You had this belief that 'the end justified the means', Ignorance is Strength has a far more venomous bite resulting in a frenzied finale. It cleverly spins a new perspective using the same tools as before, while always reminding you that the system, no matter how cold and callous, is still made up of regular folks like you and me.
Distrust is a refreshingly unique take on a familiar horror setting, where both players and survivors alike are gradually worn down by a lack of respite, and victory is a hard-fought push to the finish line. Though it's not quite The Thing as billed, Distrust manages to carve out its own fascinating niche with a devious cycle of madness and decay.
Even if it wasn't a gross misuse of a license, Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is a boring, buggy game with a universal selling point that's nowhere as fun, or as smart, as it thinks it is. And just like Joe Cabot, I'm so goddamn mad hollering at you guys, I can hardly talk.
Kona is a wonderful and lovingly crafted accomplishment. It's charming, magical, and smart enough to instill real motivation in its players and layer its cast in realist ways. Kona might be the first of four planned games, but it also happens to be a great standalone adventure that'll have you reaching for the thermostat in no time.
The Descendant is a wildly inconsistent adventure; reflective of the reasons why Telltale Games is seen in high regard, even on its worst days. At at the same time, it's one of the better pretenders out there, thanks to the morally grey protagonists, daunting set-pieces, and odd gameplay subversions. Much like the sci-fi oddities found deep in Netflix, The Descendant has this rough B-movie charm going for it; flawed, but perfectly passable.
Overall, even without the talent involved or a love of their previous work elsewhere, Chase is a muted experience for those willing to support it. What should be a confident return to form feels more like treading water. As a two-hour-long downloadable adventure, it's a solid if unremarkable adventure. Long-time fans will find a warm familiarity in its cast and dialogue, but for anybody else, they might see it as nothing more than a breezy cop show experience.
As a game, it might bring all this goodwill down a peg, but it never once feels like you’ve wasted your time. At worst, it's like you’ve watched a great horror/thriller with a faulty remote by your side. And if you get over that, you’ll enjoy The Bunker. Well, as enjoyable as a post-nuclear holocaust story allows, anyway.
Overall, The Final Station is a contemplative slice of sci-fi horror. It might not be utterly original - spot the shades of Snowpiercer, Evangelion, and That Insidious Beast if you get the chance - and it can be ever so slight, but it rattles along at steady pace, taking you on a reflective journey, all the way to a gut-punching end.
TASTEE: Lethal Tactics is an uncompromising game to get into, never once changing gears from its difficult plateau. It’s firm but mostly fair, where your failures are usually based around that one lapse into laziness. But when you play back your success, and see this 20-minute incremental strategy turn into 40 seconds of ferocious B-movie action, it’s a violent ballet that even John Woo would be proud of. And it's also why you might just keep coming back to TASTEE, despite tearing your hair out in the process.
Of course, that’s something up for debate. Another time, perhaps. As it stands, and as a review of a product, Back in 1995 is a gimmicky curiosity, not unlike its graphical approach; flat and askew, with some semblance of structure if you squint between the lines.
No hyperbole, Kathy Rain is yet another milestone in this resurgence of old-school point-and-click adventures. It’s a fantastic thriller, a remarkably deep and adult story about grief, transition, religion, and the personal decisions that make or break us, while being an engrossing adventure game for veterans and newcomers alike.
For the most part, The Masterplan feels incredibly slight. In the last third, where tactics shift from bull rushes to planning longer routes, the need for tactical complexity becomes too apparent. Though not exactly fast-paced, it works best when decisions are made on-the-fly and risks are taken for monetary distractions. Overall, The Masterplan is not a bad game, just one that misses some tricks because of scaled back designs.