Although not the breakthrough that was Limboback in 2010, Inside is nonetheless a beautifully-crafted refinement of that experience. The art direction is just as haunting, but in a way that's entirely its own. The amazing musical score can be transporting while at the same time oppressive. And the big finale is open to interpretation in the best way possible. I can't wait to discuss every aspect of this experience with others. I'm still thinking about being inside one of the year's most memorable games.
Only two episodes remain for Telltale’s extended first season. If you’re still playing, you’ve most likely grown attached to the members of The Order of the Stone. These stand-alone stories work; I still laugh at Ivor’s fiendish enthusiasm or Petra’s deadpan humor. I’m hoping the title of Episode 7, Access Denied, means that the episode will be a science fiction-themed tale. And maybe, just maybe, the final episode will be a love story. Whatever Telltale Games has in store, I’m on board.
Having more missions like that to look forward to ever since finishing the story and those frustrating 13 hours is a reward of sorts, right? If you're a fan of the original Mirrors' Edge, this will probably be a no-brainer, but Catalyst would be an easier recommend even with the clunky controls if it had been sold cheaper, perhaps as episodic content. As it stands, this is mostly for fans, and even then, I caution the inevitable frustration that will surely come from running through a city literally made of glass.
While the score below is very much based on my experience (duh), you can knock this grade up a half point if you love games that revel in challenge and restarts. Lots and lots of restarts. Regardless, this is a well-priced indie with a lengthy, ten-hour campaign. I also suspect that there are players out there who might end up loving the idea of Lumo more than the execution. That said, if the controls could be made less frustrating I would love to see a sequel.
By the time the campaign ended, I can't imagine any fan of the series will be let down. Throughout the twenty-two chapters and a wonderful final level that you won't want to miss, Nathan Drake's story is finally complete. Whatever a future developer chooses—Naughty Dog has said this is their last Uncharted—they have mighty big shoes to fill. Muddy, worn out, hilarious shoes…
Before that though, What We Deserve is a solid finale as a standalone Walking Dead adventure. I loved getting to spend more time with Michonne and the supporting cast left an impression too. The art style and gameplay mechanics fit nicely into the Telltale world. The closing song “To the Bone” is so good I wanted to find out where I could purchase it. Will this experiment mean we get The Glen Chronicles? Or Andrea’s Sights? I’m up for it.
Only one episode remains. The last few minutes of episode two work terrifically, putting all the pieces in place. Without giving too much away, a showdown is on the horizon. Here’s hoping Michonne’s short time with Sam and her family delivers a memorable finale.
With three episodes left, Telltale is considering Episode 5 a sort of bridge between the end of the Witherstorm finale and post-season tales. While I’m looking forward to Episode 6 more than I was before, Order Up! greatly benefits from being self-contained. Aiden makes for a solid adversary and The Founder is a terrific character I hope to see more of. There’s not really a lot of new depth to cast regulars like Lukas, Elizabeth, or Axel, but Ivor really comes into his own. His enthusiasm to obtain The Eversource is infectious. (Petra has a nice moment of faux memory, a fun callback to Episode 4.) This is the first Telltale episode in ages that I look forward to replaying.
Despite some quite good late-in-the-story character beats, Quantum Break is still just another cautionary tale about time travel. It seems the one thing that never gets an alternate universe path is the notion that time is something that we should never mess with, which is kind of obvious by now. Perhaps this story could have bucked that trend. What saves Quantum Break, though, is the abundance of content and its integration of time-based abilities in combat. I might not have like the live-action episodes, but someone might especially when compared to narratives in other games. And there are all those narrative collectibles. This a game with something for everyone. None of it is exemplary, but as a weekend rental, it's not a bad way to spend your, well, you know…