The past few years has seen a rise in “walking simulator” exploration games. Personally, I haven’t minded them much, a handful of them conveying meaningful stories without doing all that much in the way of gameplay. KHOLAT changes that formula up a bit, but not enough.
It may have been Rock Paper Shotgun that recently posted an article along the lines of “Why Isn’t There More Surrealism In Gaming?”. I certainly didn’t read it, but the title posed an interesting question. Surrealism is something I admire, Dante’s Inferno being one of my favorite games visually, and though the style sees some success in smaller titles, “mainstream adoption” isn’t exactly in its vocabulary.
Maybe it’s for the best, as a plague of mainstream games that are even more troubling and confusing than they already are isn’t something I’m clamoring for, but it’s still something I appreciate seeing when it comes along.
Tormentum – Dark Sorrow is a game that revels in its boundlessly dark imagery and compelling surrealism. It’s the same sort of thing Dante’s Inferno was going for. Where Dante’s Inferno was a deliberately and shockingly twisted depiction of hell, Tormentum takes that same mission statement and applies it to a point-and-click adventure game set in an oppressive, nightmarish wasteland.
Back when the Gauntlet reboot was coming out, I didn’t understand why everyone was getting riled up calling it a Diablo clone, as if a game that was actually like Gauntlet could work even a little bit nowadays. My thought back then was that the next pure Gauntlet experience wasn’t going to come from the franchise itself, but from somewhere smaller than fucking Warner Bros.
Excave is really only interesting for one reason: it shows us what a “true Gauntlet game” is like in 2015, warts and all.
Some kinds of games I enjoy, some I don’t, and some just make me sad. Not sad because of a tragic ending, plot twist, or circumstance, just sad for the game itself. Destiny made me sad because of its wasted potential (and budget), Hohokum made me sad because its heart of gold was in the right place all along, and Gauntlet made me sad because it was doomed for mediocrity at the most.
A Druid’s Duel makes me sad because it’s a perfect talking point for what belongs on a PC and what doesn’t, and it doesn’t deserve to be.
In this age of so many throwback arena shooters coming out of the woodwork that no one really wants them anymore, Wickland stands apart by calling back to Hexen. Or… looking like it. It sets itself apart with unique fantasy-textured maps and an at least thought-provoking central mechanic, but doesn’t do the most important thing it could do to differentiate itself from the flood: it isn’t a very good game. Continue reading Wickland Review
We all know Ubisoft isn’t exactly on a winning streak lately, so it’s barely even worth the apophasis. Despite the reliability with which they’ve been churning out garbage these days, I doubt any of us were expecting they would drop the ball this hard on fucking Tetris. Before I played Tetris Ultimate, I heard people make the same remark, and thought “yeah, yeah, but it’s probably good enough to just crank out a few rounds of Tetris now and then”. It isn’t. This game is as broken as some of the classics. Think Action 52, think E.T.
Critics are gushing over how “weird” Hohokum is. That’s a word that’s getting thrown around a lot lately whenever a project is even vaguely off the rails – it’s “weird”, and then people quiver in their seats with anticipation at the thought of being seen playing a “weird” game. Hohokum is certainly a weird game, but I would save your quivering for something a bit more worthy.
Verde Station is the first game I’ve played in recent memory that has made me dread the thought of ever moving.
I don’t make a habit of playing horror games, so obviously I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I asked for a Verde Station code. It’s not a horror game. But it has something that any horror game should make its priority: a tense as shit atmosphere.
The Talos Principle fills a surprisingly sizable void in the market: the void of quality first-person puzzlers. One would have expected that in the wake of Portal’s success there would have been at least a few real gems, but outside of the occasional copycat of questionable quality and the occasional acid trip, the genre has been quite sparse. The Talos Principle, however, stands out as some of the best the genre has to offer, and one of the best games of 2014.
My entire time playing this, only one thought ran through my head: Why, oh why, did Telltale choose to stealth-release this game? I mean, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the game. Sure there are some hiccups (which I’ll discuss later) but overall, this was a fairly engaging experience.