Where Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart took an old formula and brought it into the modern era, Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ approach was more adherent to the old ways. The technical aspects are phenomenal and thoroughly current, but the game itself relies heavily on the old way of doing things. Limited paths. Contrived situational limitations. Collectables galore. You likely already know if that’s something you’re interested in playing, and I personally believe they’ve done an admirable job here. Especially for a first crack.
Hideo Kojima is the physical manifestation of the Director’s Cut. Often times his idea of a nice neat package is like having a 6 hour version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I’m ever so grateful for his presence in our industry. He’s not scared to take chances and make something people don’t like, and more often than not, he makes things I like or can at least appreciate. Death Stranding is some combination of all those things. I appreciate it, enjoy playing it, and on this third playthrough became more convinced than ever that there’s something really special here for those willing to take the time to stare at their boots.
Set in an idyllic town, amongst the harmony of nature, Life is Strange: True Colors might appear to be an escapist fantasy. But it has something to say. Subtly, and most importantly effectively, it reflects its characters and themes onto the player. It’s a timely reminder of the importance of empathy, and an adventure that ultimately kept me glued to it from start to finish.
While I was intrigued by the narrative, and enjoyed the performances, Twelve Minutes was an experience I’d had enough of by the time I completed it. There are just enough seams, jank, and clunk around that the act of playing the game felt like a task at times. I absolutely applaud the effort though. Twelve Minutes is an audacious first crack at a unique narrative structure, and one that will certainly lead to more refined and robust takes on this style of experience.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart has something for almost everyone. Fast and satisfying combat and gameplay, absolutely jaw-dropping good looks, a fantastic score, and narrative design, writing, and acting that could be plugged right in as the next Pixar film.
The story of Commander Shepard as told through Mass Effect Legendary Edition is excellent. It was groundbreaking a decade ago, and it’s still a powerful tale open to interpretation. Veterans of the franchise need not hesitate: this is a faithful polishing of the original games, with thoughtful changes that modernize the experience. If you’ve never taken a trip with the crew of the Normandy, there’s no better time than now. There’s a mammoth amount of quality content in the Mass Effect trilogy, and it’s all well worth the time investment.
It Takes Two is a dazzling adventure filled with more mechanics than you can shake a stick at. Working together throughout the mesmerizing set of levels is compelling and full of hearty chuckles, but sadly the story falls short of that bar with inconsistent tone and a lack of perceptible character growth along the way. It’s still well worth your time and energy, just don’t expect to be as emotionally invested in the journey as you might have been with Hazelight’s past work.
As a whole package The Medium is very much a story of compromise. For all its successes in visual storytelling and interesting setting, it’s collared by poor pacing and dated game design. Still, it’s well worth a look for history buffs and those fascinated by the unknown. So what lies beyond? It’s still up for debate. In the present, The Medium offers an intriguing possibility to puzzle on.