Tokyo Dark is so bizarre and mangled that it is difficult to pin down where it falls off the rails. It can be both deftly thoughtful and entirely distasteful within the same scene, as if two different games were stapled together and forced to fight to the death.Tokyo Dark is so bizarre and mangled that it is difficult to pin down where it falls off the rails. It can be both deftly thoughtful and entirely distasteful within the same scene, as if two different games were stapled together and forced to fight to the death.
My early generosity has been worn away by Subdivision’s relentlessly bland mission design. I am torn between my dislike of each mission’s flavorless grind and the small respite brought on by each taking less than 10-minutes to complete. It’s the video game campaign equivalent to a dinner of plain rice cakes: all fluff, no substance, but at least the exercise is over as quick as it began.
Prey hasn’t been able to pick and choose its points of inspiration. While the games it lifts from are mechanically engaging, their thematic tensions have not held up as well, leaving Prey an inconsistent jumble of competing philosophies and narrative styles as it tries to recontextualize plot points which in hindsight were not as clever as we made them out to be.
With Tacoma, it begins to feel like this optimism might be getting in the way of the message that actually needs to be heard. Unions and activists groups can change the world, it is not just a matter of working together that is needed for these systems to change. To borrow from father Marx, “there are no happy endings under capitalism.”
THOTH is neither bloated nor even comfortably full. It is an exercise in restraint in every possible way, from its visual design to its length of less than a movie, to its soundtrack which dips in and out as if just checking in on how you’re doing. What THOTH is not is hollow.
Part of me felt I should enjoy The Witness, that solving it would be its own reward, or that I could not truly say I disliked it until I had unraveled it thoroughly. These are all ridiculous justifications for playing a game I knew early on I disliked. It is such a strong compulsion within the videogame community to compel yourself forward with critically acclaimed games that even your own opinion stops mattering as much for whether you play a game or not. It isn’t about what you think, or what other people think, it’s what you think other people will think.
Gears 4’s achievements are in its intimacy and understanding of its history. Much of the game finds you in cramped, isolated corridors, fighting things you don’t understand for reasons you haven’t had time to process. It’s not a war so much as an attempt to crawl out of an abyss, alive for one more day. Gears has never felt as hopeless and frightening as Gears 4, nor has it ever recognized its characters’ mortality as effectively.