Even if Playgrounds' single-player mode lacks the unbridled merriment that makes multiplayer so enjoyable, finally getting the upper hand in a tournament is rewarding and exciting in its own way. But even at its best, Playgrounds doesn't offer enough variety to keep you engaged for long.
Shadow Blade Reload is a fun game, but it’s not an interesting game. It has several things going for it, like the striking visuals, quick gameplay, and the level editor. But mostly it falters as the distracting voice acting and low-level difficulty hold the game back enough that it can’t be considered all that impressive of a title.
Neverending Nightmares is a very personal look at what it's like to feel trapped by mental illnesses, a look that is gruesome and scary. Though the game excels with great sound and art design, creating truly scary moments, its boring gameplay loop makes it a hard to sit through.
Hitman’s second episode leaves me far more optimistic for the game than its first episode did. A large, sprawling level ripe with exploration opportunities, Sapienza is a far better destination than Paris. That being said, technical issues still hinder the game from being something better.
There is a lot to love in Ratchet and Clank, but it also comes with its fair share of headaches. Levels are short and linear, and leave little desire to stay on them any longer than you have to. While weapons are interesting and unique, they often come with the added weight of being hard to aim. It's beautiful, funny and fun, but also, short and stale.
Hitman tries an interesting balance of stuffing a lot into a little, but doesn't exactly pull it off with elegance. While levels are large sandboxes containing numerous death-fulfilling opportunities, they come with the extra baggage of lackluster technical performance. Without the option of going to different locations of an equal size, Hitman currently feels like a product that lacks in its offering once enemy patterns and building layouts have been memorized.
The first episode of Blues and Bullets has built up enough interest to keep players curious in a second installment. The game's story, confident art style, and engaging crime scene investigation puzzles give the game enough intrigue to stay around. Unfortunately, in its current state, hiccups such as long load times, empty environments, and weak shooting sections hold it back from being something great.