The Fractured Mask was a much needed step in the right direction after the previous fumble. It seemed to get back to the basics and had a much narrower focus. Not to mention the setup for the next episode has me all kinds of excited.
Unfortunately I was a little let down. I’m not sure how to describe it. In relation to all of the other Telltale games I’ve played this isn’t a terrible episode by any means. But it isn’t great either and more than usual it really felt like paint by numbers. Considering how much fun the movies were I expected that sort of tone to carry into this game. But it didn’t.
The episode is filled with interesting storylines and events wrapped around intricate and addictive dialogue. I really love how well the characters are brought to life in this series. Rachel and Chloe’s relationship still remains the highlight and is a joy to watch. It’s sweet and fragile yet bold and adventurous. The two compliment and contrast each other so well and the dialogue just flows when they are together.
For an independent game Firewatch is impressive. It's relatively small but it's weighty. The open world setting is beautiful and a joy to explore. Once the story shifts into the mystery and conspiracy the game's lethargic pace quickens and the intensity soars. Throughout it all Delilah is your anchor. Her voice is such a comfort even in the darkest of times. She tethers you to the world and it becomes disorienting when she too begins to panic in the final act
There are a half dozen or so other games it borrows from which are all better games. But Rime is still a beautiful game to explore. If you've already played Journey or The Last Guardian and enjoyed them, Rime might be worthy of your attention. As an indy title it's cheaper than a regular game and now that its several months old you can probably find it at a discount.
Honestly I was very disappointed with this episode. I'd feel bad recommending anyone to purchase the season pass at this point. In these episodic games the quality from episode to episode fluctuates understandably. This is why I refuse to give them a final rating until the whole season has been released. There was very little detective work in this episode and far too much time spent with a far too annoying Harley Quinn. The sheer number of villains on the go now is also overwhelming and guarantees most will barely get a word in edge wise.
This season of Telltales Batman starts off with a bang and it really never lets up. It's savage and unpredictable and I can't wait to see where it goes next. If you like Telltale games, Episodic games, Narrative Adventures or Batman you should buy this game.
Do yourself the favor and buy Inside and play it for yourself. As far as indy titles goes it's a masterpiece. It's on the same plateau as Journey for me in that regard. Both games are absolutely phenomenal and both will stick in your head. The only difference is at the end of Journey you'll feel pretty good about the adventure you took and have a good idea about what it all meant. You don't get that with Inside. Instead I have been scratching my head ever since and to this day I still can't piece it all together. All I know is it is one of the most memorable games I've played in the last few years.
Life is Strange is a special kind of video game. The story is so engrossing and the characters are so relatable. The whole package is so much better than the sum of its parts. As such I don't feel justified in ranking a single episode and will defer until the whole story unfolds. For now all I can say is this episode has the same magical quality as the first game.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is a good game. It’s not great and I’m not sure it’s worth the $49 CAD unless you are a fan of the franchise. To anyone who hasn’t really been following Dishonored I wouldn’t recommend this game. Instead I’d point them directly at Dishonored 2 which is not only a full game but a great game. At this point it’s probably cheaper too. For those who do enjoy the Dishonored games definitely pick this game up if it fits your budget.
This game is what Destiny should have been in 2014. This feels like a true first step in a great franchise. That it’s their second step isn’t completely lost on me. It’s not quite too little too late but its close. I’d like them to follow Blizzards release plan. You know a major expansion with a full game worth of content every 2 years and in between several free content expansions to keep the community alive.
Maybe it’s unfair that I had such high hopes for Destiny that it was bound to fail. When it was announced Bungie talked about their 10 year plan for the game. Well here we are three years later and Destiny is dead with the release of Destiny 2. I never stuck around long enough to play all of the expansion content but I shouldn’t have had to. The game that shipped just wasn’t what it could have or should have been. It felt rushed and devoid of content.
Journey is a unique, exhilarating and inspiring experience. I have been playing video games for over 30 years. In that time games have matured into a narrative medium capable of making you laugh, to cry, to fear to hate and maybe most impressive of all to mourn and to love. The medium when used effectively can inspire great emotion and spur great philosophical debate. Through active immersion games can easily enchant you in ways traditional passive media simply can’t. In a wonderful and impactful game such as Journey those memories and those experiences will haunt you long after the credits roll.
Trico is battered and bruised and bloody by the end of this story and he remains a faithful friend until the end. His sacrifice and the emotional weight it carries are incredible. Near the end there is a climactic battle and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a character I care about so much be so utterly brutalized. It’s haunting. He risks everything to protect you, everything. And it feels so good when you get to return the favour in one of the most bittersweet endings to any game I can remember.
Incredible freedom of choice for character talents as well as mission completion, you can butcher everyone in sight or you can complete the game without a single kill, you can pick from a host of magical abilities or you can go for the Flesh and Steel trophy by completing the game without a single magical ability, deliciously crafted steampunk locales, superbly fun trophy list, satisfying lethal kills, unique skills and locales.
Gravity Rush 2’s true strength is showcased when you aren’t actually doing any of the missions. Just about any time you aren’t in a mission there will be several available objectives on the minimap. As someone who always has a whack of games waiting to be played, I like to get right down to business and map out the most efficient way to clear out side missions. More often than not though I’ll notice an hour or more has slipped by and I haven’t even started the next mission. Nope instead I’ve been free falling around town looking for hidden gems, snapping pictures, taking selfies or responding to online treasure hunts and event challenges.
Bottom line, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is great. It’s certainly not perfect but well worth my 40$. The dozen or so hours I spent engrossed in this epic treasure hunting adventure were a blast. Naughty Dog stands out for its mastery of explosive action set pieces, beautiful level design and cinematic story telling.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a true mixed bag. It’s easily one of the most visually stunning games you can play and the sound design is exquisite. On the other hand there it’s no doubt fairly simple and at times boring. If you aren’t looking for an action packed game and instead looking for something a little more heady, Hellblade just might be the game for you. Even the slower sections of this game are mesmerizing and darkly beautiful.