The game is ambitious for its translation mechanics and its big-picture look at the evolution of culture through the ages.
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Though it's abundant in hyper-realistic visuals, that isn't enough to disguise its lack of polish in almost every other way.
What hurts the game the most isn't the lack of follow through on its initial critical gumption, but rather a lack of compelling drama in its later levels.
To enjoy the game is to believe that there can be purpose or joy in peeking around the most distant corners of our world.
Its boss fights highlight the contrived lengths that FromSoftware has gone to in order to satisfy players' thirst for difficulty.
The game doesn't rely on narrative reasons to entice the player, leaning instead on endorphin-releasing gameplay hooks.
The game masterfully uses its microcosm of the internet circa 1999 to examine the way society functions when it's extremely online.
The game is a near-endless buffet of innovative options for turning enemies into mincemeat.
Throughout, you may be gripped by the feeling that you've seen all that there is to see in the fighting game genre.
The Occupation's fierce commitment to immersing the player in its credible world is also the game's undoing.
The game's bland mélange of competence feels like the deliberate, calculated, focus-tested murder of ideas.
The game not only gets you to behave like a rampaging gorilla, it forces you to adapt like one.
There's a certain sneering satisfaction to defeating everything the game throws at you on a particular track.
As you watch Talma's existence fade, you grasp the importance that every moment can have on a mortal plane.
By the time New Dawn reaches its rushed third act, it's broken down entirely.
At the very least, the game's epic trials will make you respect the practitioners of this most insane of sports.
The game ultimately seems less interested in the process of how humanity breaks down than its grisly end results.
The little that's good here isn't enough for one to shake off the faulty nature of the game's narrative and thematic machinery.
The game assures that the malicious ideas that guided Resident Evil 7 may become the governing principles of the series moving forward.
The world the game shares with its predecessors is detailed and bizarre in equal measure.