In the end, The Suicide of Rachel Foster feels like the quintessential first draft of a horror/drama flick latched to a graceless gameplay template. The excitement and deliberate pacing early on suggest learning from the industry’s best exemplars. Ominous warnings suggest ghosts are roaming The Timberline’s halls. As it progresses, however, uncoordinated game design and tonally-tangled storytelling turns that engagement frozen stiff. Like walking through a grand hotel with years of decay, you can’t help but wonder how it could fare under new management.
STONE arrives at an uncomfortable middle more akin to a pile-up than a tightrope balancing act. The anthropomorphized backdrop feigns a more peculiar and memorable adventure, but the story is mostly lifeless and forgetful. It’s another third-person walking sim that’s not bothered to utilize our protagonist’s skills in any interesting or tangible way. Add on a fifteen-dollar retail price and you’re left considering a few rounds at the pub has more value, and I doubt our marsupial lead would protest to that.
Whether it’s in respect to the repetitive gameplay structure, unsatisfying flight controls, or deflating brevity, there’s really no reason to see what the buzz is about. Bee Simulator is a well-meaning edutainment game but its honeymoon period is gone at breakneck speed. You’ve bee-n warned, and I’ve run out of puns.
Patient gamers waiting for a new installment of MechWarrior will be pleased to find a graphically modern version of a classic franchise, but also a game that struggles to compete with the story, pacing and characters of recent action games that have learned to balance complexity and momentum with a little more panache.
Shovel Knight: King of Cards is a successful union of its disparate halves, existing as both a platformer with consistently inventive level design and an engaging collectible card game. Joustus and the platforming offer a well-choreographed sequence of challenges that deliver constant variation.
Unfortunately, it is all but marred by bugs, especially the way the save system currently works… or doesn’t. If you’re in the market for a new sniping shooter, I cannot in good conscious recommend Contracts, it’s simply too frustrating to play in its current state.
You don’t have to dig too deeply to find that Golem, for all its inane faults, has some really interesting mechanical ideas for VR gaming. It’s one of the very few adventures that give you a sword to swing around in real-time and makes a concerted effort to make melee duels look and feel meaningful.