Tacoma is boring. That is a shame because I really liked its predecessor Gone Home, which was the first walking simulator* I played and it opened my eyes to the great possibilities of the genre. Like most people my first thought was “I want this again, but on a space station.” Of course I had something dark and sinister in mind, not a display of an Utopian society, which is so colorful and diverse, that in its awkward political correctness an evil mega corporation seems out of place. Continue reading “Review: Tacoma”
Like most racing games, Assetto Corsa lets you drive cars in a circle very fast. Unlike most racing games Assetto Corsa makes it feel, as long as you own a racing wheel setup, which is a great way to test how strong your relationship with your significant other really is, pretty real. This of course is not true. Sitting in you living room holding an expensive toy that moves on its own has nothing to do with real world driving, but as far as immersion goes that toy in combination with Assetto Corsa make it a pretty great experience. Did you hear that? I called Assetto Corsa a game. Yes, as far as genres goes it’s a sim, but it’s still a game. It doesn’t matter how much time and money you spend on it, how much skill you build up, you keep playing a video game. Get over it, sim racer! It’s okay. Continue reading “Review: Assetto Corsa”
After the first Tomb Raider reboot surprised me by being an awkwardly violent and fun roller coaster ride, Rise of the Tomb Raider turned out to be Tomb Raider without the gore, but bloated to the brim with unnecessary, unfun stuff to do, as is custom these days. Continue reading “Review: Rise of the Tomb Raider”
I played through Tomb Raider by accident. It’s a game about killing, climbing and grabbing ledges in the last second. I was never a big fan of the original series, but the recent Uncharted-like reboot intrigued me and for some reason it became dirt cheap quick, which I don’t understand because I think the game is great (spoiler!). Naturally that meant it was doomed to live a life of sad abandon in my game collection, until recently a monthly subscription of a popular bundle provider, who shall remain unnamed, teased me with the second game in the series. Ten hours later, I am writing this. Continue reading “Review: Tomb Raider”
How did I end up playing Regency Solitaire? It was late at night. I was enjoying my new interest in Scotch and I was looking for a fitting yet unchallenging game, that wouldn’t distract me too much from my venture into kilt wearing malt spirits, but also keep me from feeling like a lonely drunk. Continue reading “Review: Regency Solitaire”
‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’ is an insane open-world stealth game and much more. It’s also incredible that despite its flaws it’s still such a great game. A weird combination of 80s action movie, bad writing and utter madness, enhanced by something that is either a great sense of humor or me being ignorant of Japanese culture. It’s also a very impractical game if you want to write a blog about video games because even by concentrating solely on the story missions it took me about 35 hours to finish it.
In ‘Metal Gear Solid V’ you play as Punished “Venom” Snake aka Big Boss. Most of the time you ride a horse called D-Horse through some versions of 1980s Afghanistan and Central Africa. You are the leader of the adorably named ‘Diamond Dogs’ band of mercenaries and besides managing your off-shore private army base, you mainly visit afore mentioned conflict zones and decide whether you sneakily sedate and extract or less sneakily shoot and kill everyone and anything you meet. Wild animals hate you. Continue reading “Review: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”
In ‘Arx Fatalis’ you play as a young man with a serious eating disorder (not the Pac-Man kind, the starving kind), who by the sound of it is wearing high heels all the time. This may sound very edgy and progressive, but ‘Arx Fatalis’ is a classic RPG, which plays in a fairly common fantasy world, that happens to be underground.
It’s clearly an homage to the mighty ‘Ultima Underworld I and II’ and to a certain extend ‘Arx Fatalis’ manages to evoke the eery feeling I had when I played those games. It certainly looks better than games from the early nineties, and it’s still okayish looking for a game from 2002. Especially when you use (and you should) Arx Libertatis, a launcher/mod that makes your life with the game so much easier. It does for example fit the resolution of the game to your futuristic widescreen monitor. Also it makes the game run in the first place. Always a good thing in my book. Continue reading “Review: Arx Fatalis”
‘Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands’ lets you play as your favorite American superhuman who brings peace and stability to a third world country by killing a lot of brown skinned young men. I like that it’s 80s action movie old school in making drugs the excuse for your mass murdering instead of terrorism.
Racist stereotypes in computer games are nothing new (look at every Call of Duty game for example) and a solid part of pop culture (look at every Hollywood movie for example), but Ubisoft really have outdone themselves with Bolivia. More than half of Ubisoft’s Bolivia’s population are made up by wife-beater wearing young men armed to their teeth. The rest are corrupt police men and some clichéd indigenous civilians who can cost you your mission if you kill them by accident. Ubisoft want to make clear that they only support mass murder on the people that deserve it. It doesn’t help that everyone has the tendency to jump in front of your car.
I promise I will be back to games I am surprised by and/or ashamed of owning, soon, but first let me tell you about ‘Prey’ (the new one). ‘Prey’ is another very recent game I threw upon the top of the mountain just to take it off again and I did so with great pleasure.
I bought the game on the following info: first person perspective, space station. People seemed to like it. As with ‘What Remains of Edith Finch‘ I read that the game is best experienced without knowing too much about it beforehand and I now agree with that advice. If you thinking about playing ‘Prey’ and you get triggered by the same words as I do, you should probably stop reading and buy the game.
After deciding to not really talk about a game, I am now talking about a new (yes, new as in ‘just released a few weeks ago’) game, and it doesn’t start with an ‘A’. ‘What’s going on?’ you moan. ‘I don’t like change!’ you lament, and I understand. Bear with me, because change, as scary as it might seem to us, can also bring new light into our lives – or at least give us great games like ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’.
What do you say if you really like a game? I don’t know because my collection is made entirely of horror and puzzle games I never asked for. I am a bit at loss for words, because ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ is more of a visual and emotional experience and can’t be described by the usual “very good multi-death killing mechanics, but the subpar severed limb physics left me disappointed”. Surprisingly enough, this pure walking simulator contains more death, than your average shooter tutorial.
Maybe it’s not even a good idea to describe the game in detail. It’s one of those games you will probably enjoy most if you know least about it. I certainly was grateful for that hint. If you like walking simulators, stop reading and buy the game, now! Yes, full price. If you like well written stories about tragic deaths with a streak of the darkest of humor, buy the game! At first it reminded me a lot of ‘Gone Home’ my much appreciated introduction to the genre. A girl returns to the empty family house and explores, but apart from the basic premise the similarities end. ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ shows how far walking simulators have developed in the last few years. The game tells multiple neatly strung together stories in a unique and creative way and everything looks and sounds fantastic. You will get more atmosphere than from your average early 90ies Black Metal record.
I finished the game in about two hours, which might not sound like much for a 20€ game, but it’s worth it. Like I said about the pig game, I prefer a short and tight game over whatever Ubisoft does these days. It’s great to not be bored for a second, start to finish. The game left me in a state of melancholic pondering and I’m grateful for such rare video game moments. I also laughed more than I probably should have.
Info: ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ was developed by Giant Sparrow and was released in April 2017. You should head over to Steam or a less evil alternative and buy it full price, so that the developers may provide me with more quality games.