Digitally Downloaded's Reviews
When Michael Foucault wrote about his philosophical concept of the "limit", he was talking about how we need art that push boundares - of good taste, of sexuality, of art itself - in order to define what the limit is and why we need to have it. Bayonetta 2 will challenge some people. It will make them uncomfortable. It's transgressive in numerous ways, and with that comes the potential to offend. But in causing offence, Bayonetta 2 encourages conversation, and that's the very definition of a good work of art.
I'd like to say that Beyond: Two Souls is for everyone. I honestly believe that anyone can enjoy it, but that there are many out there that would not approach it the right way simply because their expectations of a video game are not what this offers. I did not know a thing of Cage's work prior to reviewing Beyond: Two Souls, but the excellent storytelling, the spot-on acting and the technical prowess that explodes out of the PlayStation 4 has made me a huge fan instantly.
The game is deep, meaningful, and powerful. It's reflective, different, and beautiful. It may well end up being more divisive than Ueda's previous masterpieces, but that doesn't mean it's not a masterpiece, from one of the industry's true auteurs. Play this game. Even if you hate it, it's going to broaden your horizons around what games are truly capable of.
Last year, Divinity: Original Sin was one of my favourite video games when it released. The new Enhanced Edition reminds me why, but it it not content to simply sit back on prior success. Meaningful changes were made in thousands of large and subtle ways, and the result is one of the best RPG experiences that can be found on either PC or console.
That brings me to what is, more than anything else, ABZÛ's crowning achievement. It really captures the majesty of ocean—the beauty of it, but also the power of it. In that sense, maybe "diving simulator" is accurate, because as stylized and fantastical as it is, it expertly captures what it is that makes diving such a rewarding activity: exploring the wonders of the sea.
Samurai Warriors 4-II should appeal to fans of the original title and will certainly appeal to Warriors fans that missed the predecessor. While I was disappointed to see the excellent Chronicle Mode of Samurai Warriors 4 sacrificed for a more throwaway Survival one, this new mode is still quite entertaining. However, the real strength in this one is the way the various fascinating stories of fascinating heroes is retold, and as a result of that Samurai Warriors 4-II is one of the best games in the series for some time.
I cannot thank the developer enough for The Town of Light. Not only are we beginning to acknowledge the injustices our ancestors committed, we are exploring how to prevent it from happening again by telling these important stories instead of burying them.
There have been only a few strategy games on consoles in recent years, and none have had the depth conveyed by Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence. The unique historical setting only further cements this title as one of my favourite on the PlayStation 4 to date.
Planet Coaster is everything I could want in a simulation game of this type. Good management tools, good building tools, and most of all, it is extremely fun to play. It's the best amusement park simulation we've seen yet, and any complaints that you might have with the variety of rides that it offers are mitigated brilliantly by the use of Steam Workshop to allow the community to broaden the experience. In this way Planet Coaster feels both nostalgic and yet eminently modern.
The Park is an absolutely terrifying game, but what's continued to haunt me about it long after I've put the controller down isn't Chad the Chipmunk, or the Bogeyman, or the Witch – it's how distressing and real the game and its themes are once you peel back those monster story trappings.
What impressed me most about Submerged is that it never tries to be more than its concept. It set out to be a simple narrative-driven and emotional experience with a strong environmental message, and it achieves just that. With no unnecessary actions to distract those with limited attention spans it might be perceieved as "dull" by some, but in practice it's a reflective, mature, and artful work, and this here is where games should be going.
Blues and Bullets is without a doubt the most true, and also most effective, crime noir game we have to date, with a masterful understanding of the themes and visual motifs that comprise a noir tale, and an understanding on how to work within those without being clichéd or trite.