The narrative flourishes of Backbone are wildly ambitious, and the tonal shifts will butt up hard against expectations set by the opening hours’ clear love for noir-narrative and tropes. It’s a game obsessed with change and transformation, and in a world as damned as this, perhaps that’s the best one can hope for.
Martha is Dead swings about as hard as one can in its depictions of violence in order to communicate the viciousness with which war is infiltrating the lives and psyche of Giulia and her family, but it walks an increasingly fraught and unjustified line as more and more pain is inflicted on the narrative’s key players
The stories in Citizen Sleeper are worth hearing, but the fairly sparse and restrictive mechanics underpinning the game begin to buckle under the demands of that storytelling. More complications resulting from task categories may have expanded the possibilities here, but despite this, Citizen Sleeper remains a great cyberpunk diorama, and it’s well worth uncovering all its little details.
The true goal of the game – raising the plight of the gibbon as one of the most endangered primate species in the world – is admirable and touching. If anything, the simplicity in the game’s design only serves to stop this key message from being crowded out.
It feels so exciting that after seven long years (and a collection of middling to decent entries in the Dark Anthology series), Supermassive has created something that surpasses the game that put them on the map all those years ago. The Quarry is a loveable achievement – whip-smart, beautiful, and more than willing to pull the rug out and blindside you in the way the great horror often does, all while paying tribute to icons of the genre.