Sure, Man of Medan has a few rough edges, but it’s a confident first step in a new series of games. It keeps the core of what made people love Until Dawn and breathes fresh life into it by adding more depth to the branching narrative system, and including an excellent multiplayer side. A little more polish and a bit more bite to the game’s finale would be nice, but this is still a hugely entertaining slice of interactive horror that brings the thrilling uncertainty of other people’s decisions to the murder party.
Even with the restrictions Illfonic has had to endure regarding the license, it has still made great use of it. The core game may be a tad clunky at times, and not much of a looker, but the love for Friday the 13th can be felt from the title screen onwards.
A heavily uneven story, with generally fine performances, and a perfectly serviceable set of mechanics to go with some pretty damn fine visuals. Beyond is often meandering and lunk-headed, but it has moments of magic that make it an enjoyable enough way to spend a few hours if you can persevere through its failings.
The story and characters and shooting that make Wolfenstein shine are still all here. But, the structure has shifted those elements around, producing something that just doesn’t feel like Wolfenstein anymore. If you like loot-shooters and would like to play one with a Nazi-killing coat of paint, Wolfenstein Youngblood is basically that. But, if you come to Wolfenstein for well-realized characters and pulpy stories, Youngblood is defined by their absence.
Complaining about Outer Wilds inscrutability is a little like criticizing Rome because you don’t know which sights to see. Do a measly Google search. Mobius Digital has, at times, erred on the side of giving players too little information. But, as a result, they have created a world that casts you as Isaac Newton. They are eagerly waiting for you to discover its gravity.
Even with the thin gameplay mechanics and small bits of narrative logic that felt off, its world, characters, and story grew on me. It is truly heartwarming when a piece of media, especially video games for all their interactivity, embrace subjects such as loneliness and mental illness. Our society still deals with problems of stigma, which in turn creates barriers for those who want to reach out for help but are afraid to ask. Video games, and art as a whole, have the remarkable power to move and inspire one another, to encourage inner strength and find our voice; Sea of Solitude is one of those hopeful experiences.
Frogwares has created an interesting and absorbing world of horror, and it’s deliciously rich in story and world-building. The sanity system works well, throwing some horrific visions at you, and capturing a feeling of nightmarish helplessness. Yes, it comes with some signature flaws too, but The Sinking City is a fine horror game and an engrossing detective RPG.
Four years ago in 2015 when Koji Igarashi took to Kickstarter, he wanted to prove to the suits of the games industry that people still loved Castlevania. If they wouldn’t give him the series name, he and the fans would make sure it lived on in spirit. Now, in 2019, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is finally here, and it’s everything we hoped it to be. I might be late to the Igavania party, but it made me nostalgic for a bygone era of gaming all the same. As it turns out, the notion that this kind of game is antiquated turned out to be just a strange illusion.
Samurai Shodown is a brutal experience. While some unfortunate decisions can alienate newer players, and the appropriate functioning of online features is yet to be seen, everyone with an important amount of patience will find one of the most demanding and funniest fighting game in recent memory.
The great shame here is that there are a lot of good ideas in DayZ, it’s just that they are poorly executed. The immense open world and survival mechanics all read really cool on paper, and at the start of one’s journey come off intriguing. As one dives deeper into DayZ, however, the realization washes over them regarding just how empty the experience feels. What could change this is if the developer decides to add more to DayZ, opening up the accessibility of the game. For now, DayZ is more of a disappointment in what could have been a great survival title.
Chaosbane does, however, just about work well enough. If you’re looking for something to plow through with a friend or two, then it’s perfectly serviceable. It just doesn’t have that hook to keep you coming back beyond the endgame. That could change of course with updates, but in the here and now, it’s a dry, if enjoyable, imitation of a superior title.
Void Bastards, unfortunately, stifles creativity at times. No matter how you approach the game, much of your time will be spent rifling through drawers. It succeeds at evoking the best of comic book art, but will need some work before its emergent narratives approach the heights of explosive comic book storytelling.
Even with countless VR horror games coming before it and effectively siphoning the effective scare juice the series created, Five Nights at Freddy’s VR maintains the series’ identity and utilizes the headset to great effect. Any further attempt at delving into the virtual reality space should try to push new boundaries, but as an opening gambit? It’s an interesting and unsettling success with a few rough edges.