Game Debate's Reviews
The fantasy genre is always one of nostalgia for a world long gone, the vague, wistful ancestral memory of weary travelers and simple taverns, of brooding castles and dark-blooded wars. But also nostalgia for a real-life youth spent whispering about orcs at the back of geography class. Somehow, Pillars of Eternity captures this personal emotion with flair and empathy.
It really is incredible what CDPR has achieved here, and I wouldn’t be totally averse to playing something of this size and quality each and every year. This is without doubt the greatest piece of DLC I have ever played, and I think plenty of other developers and publishers should rightly be embarrassed by their efforts after seeing this. Expansion of the year? Almost surely. Game of the year? A real possibility.
Red Dead Redemption 2 isn't just a great game. It's a game that sets an impossibly high new bar for how open-worlds can be handled. Its depiction of late 19th-century America feels both historically accurate yet abundantly open-ended, slow-paced and yet alive, grim and yet majestic. It makes the original Red Dead Redemption feel like a warm-up, the doodles on the page before the real thing has come to life.
There's so much to go into in terms of Dragon Age: Inquisition's world, characters and content that ultimately boggles the mind. It's a wonderful experience that deserves to be experienced as freshly as possible, so we won't spoil too much of what it entails. It's a grand adventure in the truest sense, and a great comeback for the blockbuster RPG, delivering upwards of 50 hours of content for the main campaign alone, and it feels like we've barely managed to scratch the surface of everything there is to offer in this world. Fans of BioWare and RPGs in general can do no wrong with this, one of the most outstanding games this year.
I'm still far from the end. I will check in with further thoughts as I progress, but at this point I can unhesitatingly recommend the Witcher III as yet another on the crammed top shelf of excellent RPGs we've seen in the past 18 months. Buy it, buy it, buy it.
Just as in the previous story, Dragonfall consumed my imagination for the whole time I was playing it. When it was done, I missed the characters and wanted it to continue. That is perhaps the ultimate sign of a well-told story. As a game, it's pretty good – balanced, challenging combat that calls for a variety of tactics to respond to different situations; viable paths for combat fans, mages and even charisma-junkies; plenty of relevant activities to keep the player engaged during non-combat 'downtime'. But as a story – a piece of interactive fiction that takes a substantial corpus of existing source material and spins an engrossing yarn about power, betrayal, revenge, duty, family and loyalty – it is a supreme work.
We highly recommend Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition to anyone with the slightest interest in point n' click adventures. Even if you just enjoy a dark supernatural storyline, there's enough here to keep you entertained.
I have little hesitation in suggesting Life is Strange will be a narrative adventure masterpiece when it concludes with part five - bar a horrific final episode. The way in which DONTNOD has blended teen drama with sci-fi craziness and more than a hint of Twin Peaks is to be commended. It's certainly not something I wholly expected after Episode 1, and it feels like a genuine journey. By the time the credits rolled on Dark Room I knew I'd just played something outstanding, and it only makes the wait for conclusion even harder.
It's one of those games that plays on my mind as soon as I step away from it. Thinking up new tactics, imagining potential scenarios. I'm not going to lie I even dreamt about Rainbow Six Siege last night, such is its hold on me right now. From a purely multiplayer point of view there's so much to love here, aided by impeccable level design and exquisite, meaty gunplay that makes it truly difficult to put down. To my mind Rainbow Six Siege is hands down the best multiplayer shooter of 2015. Nothing else comes close.
The things that upset me about the game stem from the exact reason I love it - I disagree with Paradox's description of the Centurion-class Battleships, for instance, but only because I'm a huge nerd, and therefore perfect for this game. It's definitely a "your mileage may vary", but I feel comfortable in saying, entrance to the grand strategy rabbit hole has never been easier. But be warned - it's still a deep rabbit hole.
Once you understand that, however, I've not got much bad to say. Time will tell if it hits the market with the impact that Planescape: Torment had. I would guess not, just due to the games industry being a different beast these days. But in quality of writing, and in its ability to make you care about characters and force you kicking and screaming to actually think about things like good and evil, and the value of life, Tides of Numenera is every bit on a par with its illustrious ancestor.
Steel Division: Normandy '44 really is my game of the year so far. As a realistic wargame based in a familiar setting with nods to all of the tactics and considerations a real-life battlefield commander needs to keep in mind, from supply to morale, it is second to none.
Rogue Islands, even though it looks disarmingly simple at first sight, is a challenging and immensely enjoyable game for those who love to play challenging titles. It's a simple take on the survival genre mixed with gung-ho FPS action makes it a really unique and memorable experience. I'm a relative newcomer to the rogue-like genre, yet I adored Rogue Islands, poised as it is perfectly between enjoyable and challenging.