While Smoke and Mirrors is a little on the short side, The Wolf Among Us continues to impress with its story-driven gameplay that adapts to your previous decisions in unexpected ways. The story gets even more sinister and takes us to the darker parts of Fabletown, which is saying something, since episode one opens with The Woodsman beating up a prostitute in a run-down tenement building. Even if you've never heard of Fables before, if you're a fan of noir fiction and like a healthy dose of mysticism, you should be playing The Wolf Among Us.
If you're looking for a turn-based strategy game with brutal combat, and you're into managing resources for a team of characters, Blackguards is just what you're looking for. It's a gorgeous game with memorable battles. But because the game's focus is obviously on combat, no matter how pretty the towns are, they feel like backdrops for your character sheets and inventory.
The easiest way to summarize Luftrausers is to call it the Hotline Miami of dogfighting games. It's incredibly difficult, but it's really good at sinking it's claws into you to keep you launching your planes onto the battlefield. It's a game that's really easy to binge on, but since it naturally comes in bite-sized battles, you might get a bit more staying power if you get it on the Vita and play it a couple hours at a time.
Fabletown is in upheaval, and these characters that I've cared about for a long time are getting thrown into increasingly dark and tragic scenarios. And I love it. Telltale continues to be faithful to the source material while adding characters and plot twists that surprise you. Even though the controls threw a roadblock into my immersion in a couple places, I'm still heavily invested in The Wolf Among Us, and can't wait to see what happens to Sherif Bigby and Snow next.
Dark Souls II lives up to the series' reputation for being unrelentingly difficult- but it's worth digging in your heels and spending a lot of time with it. The PC port is just as good, if not better than it's console counterpart, but you're going to want to use a gamepad. Using a keyboard is possible, and there's even a few mods out there to make it more functional and ergonomic, but it's still clunky and unintuitive compared to using a controller.
While obviously being influenced by games like Limbo, Monochroma has a flavor and story all its own. Monochroma is a good game at heart, but it's hidden under technical errors and gameplay flaws that gave me no end of frustration. If you're on the fence about buying this game, you should play the Demo they released with their Kickstarter project to see what you think. But at the very least, you should definitely check out the OST by Gevende.
Overall, The Wolf Among Us has been an amazing experience. While the gameplay and layout are nearly identical to The Walking Dead; the tone, story, and artwork take The Wolf Among Us out of its predecessor's shadow and give it a permanent place at its side as a prime example of expert storytelling in gaming- with the side effect of the two games being cursed to forever being mentioned in tandem. I know I already said this up top, but if you haven't already started playing The Wolf Among Us (or The Walking Dead for that matter) you need to get on it ASAP.
This is a game that's three inches deep, but nine miles wide- and I mean that as a compliment. The gameplay and spellcrafting mechanics are easy to understand, and between of the sheer number of spells, races, and classes you can combine, you aren't going to run out of stuff to discover any time soon. And the good news is that there's a ton of enemies that will require you to find and master these spells as quickly as possible. If you're a completionist, Runers is a dream come true.
Even though it has a few annoying and erroneous elements and an uncompelling, cringeworthy story, Dead Rising 3 is still an incredibly fun game. If you're looking for something where you can turn your brain off and go ballistic- Dead Rising 3 is going to be a perfect fit for you.
Overall, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare lives up to the franchise's expectations. It looks, feels, and plays like a CoD game, and there's been quite a few additions to make Halo fans like me interested. They've done some work to make the game more welcoming to newcomers, and a lot of detail has gone into the single player campaign to make it as cinematic as a summer blockbuster. And despite a few hiccups, it plays a lot like one. If you already like Call of Duty, and you're a Halo fan to boot- you won't be disappointed by this installment in the series.