If Ubisoft had embraced the game’s fundamental silliness instead of cutting its narrative off at the knees by spackling over it with morality, I can only imagine what kind of truly Mad Max-esque shenanigans would have been possible. Its enemies and I are both the villains, but they’re allowed to be comfortable with their morbid, violent fun.
It would be remiss of me not to point out the small but diverse roster of characters in Apex Legends. Out of the current band of eight Legends, the presence of four people of color and two LGBTQ characters is a heartening first step. In particular, the mysterious hunter Bloodhound is probably the most — if not the first — prominent example of a nonbinary character in a mainstream shooter. Yet Apex Legends also faces the same narrative challenges that the relatively progressive Overwatch had with inclusivity. In a genre that carries a greater emphasis on gameplay rather than storytelling, injecting meaningful representation can admittedly be a trying process.
Roguelites teach their lessons in often devastating ways, and Slay the Spire is no different. Each new run can feel punishing and, at times, unfair. It wasn’t until I learned how to trim the fat and come up with counterintuitive deck ideas that I really started falling in love with the game.
Capcom, on a far less dangerous scale, has not always known how to handle its own creation. After mutating from quaint horror to buffoonish action to back again, the Resident Evil series has been wildly inconsistent. But back-to-back Resident Evil games that showcase the very best of survival horror is evidence that Capcom may have its monster under control
When the writers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey decided to suddenly turn Kassandra into a housewife, they betrayed the person they’d spent so much time and care creating. They made her into a cutout for a hackneyed plot.
Given this game's artistry, the child is a surprisingly ugly thing. It moves like a mole through molasses. Traversal is a major part of the game's puzzle landscape, but the child never feels entirely connected to the ground, dragging its feet through rocks, or floating weirdly over perches.
For a short time, it threatens to say something vital about games, heroism and violence. I take this as a good sign for the future of this form of entertainment, and as a frustrating demonstration of its present limitations.