After a short unannounced break of several months I am back again to tell you how to be a better person and what video games to play. Recently I spent about 80 (true) to 300 (false) hours with the Witcher 3. It’s a gigantic open world rpg carved out of the bones and draped in the blood of overworked Polish game developers or so the legend goes. ‘Was their sacrifice worth it?’ you ask. To which I say ‘Yes.’ But let me complain anyway. Continue reading “Review: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”
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”
I’ve done it. I’ve played the last Assassin’s Creed of my collection long enough (about 8 hours) for it to feel like a chore (again) and after I write these words I hope I’m done with the series for good. Hurray! Who would have thought that writing on a regular basis could feel like actual work? Continue reading “Impression: Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag”
Hey, remember how good ‘Portal’ was and how you always wanted a game that’s inferior to it in any extent? Me neither. Nine years later ‘Attractio: The Reality Show Begins”, a game with a really silly name, provides you with just that. While clearly aimed at the Portal fan base, it offers less of anything that made Portal so dear to me. Continue reading “Impression: Attractio”
To build your mountain of shame you cannot solely rely on bundle purchases and the forgetfulness of the elderly. You have to use any means necessary to pile up that shameful heap of untouched games. Let me introduce you to another effective way to add to your suffering, to increase the soul crushing guilt, to have your hopes and dreams violently ripped from your tiny game loving heart: free giveaways! To celebrate its 30th birthday and the 300th iteration of the same open-world game since 1947, Ubisoft gave away a bunch of games. Guess who showed up just in time like a fat monkey demanding its banana. It’s a game you don’t care for, you wouldn’t buy it on a 99% Steam sale, but yet as soon as they dangle that banana in front of your face, your monkey brain goes tilt and you click that download button like the entitled feeling primate that you are.
‘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”
I never really understood the appeal of the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ series. The third person stick ’em all looked great at its release and the climbing animations in combination with the resulting view were astonishing. Then I realized that that’s basically all there is to it so I very soon tossed it onto the mountain of shame (it was actually just a very big pile back then) and because it happened in the dark ages I sold the disc, which saves me from having to talk about the first entry of the series any further. I can’t sell any of the other ‘Ass Creeds’ I bought. Damn you, digital distribution!
The series stayed very popular among the masses so I was wondering whether I might have misjudged it back then (because you can always trust the masses), or whether it just became a better game through it’s many incarnations. I read that ‘Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood’ was supposed to be among the better entries of the series so when I had the chance to grab it for cheap, I did. Damn you, curiosity! Continue reading “Impression: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood”
‘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.
Not just an American nightmare
Unfortunately, playing games in alphabetical order means that ‘Alan Wake’s American Nightmare’ was next, trying its best to undo the semi-good impression that ‘Alan Wake’ had left me with. The spinoff to the original game was released in 2012 and supposed to tell a more action oriented and less serious episode.
As I already stated in my review of the original, the action part of ‘Alan Wake’, while solid, grew boring fast on me and it was the same with the spinoff. Yes, they expanded the weapon arsenal, but that didn’t change the point-flashlight-then-shoot mechanic. Very much like in the real world, fighting gets much easier if you are handed a machine gun, which is either a good or a bad thing – the fights are boring, but they are over fast.
No more madness
I was hoping they’d go for all out weirdness story wise, but there isn’t much story to begin with. Everything feels much cheaper compared to the original. Instead of an insane Heavy Metal shootout, we only get a regular shootout with some Heavy Metal playing in the background. The game looks worse. It has a lot less cinematic cut scenes. The writing is bad and the voice acting bland. The only thing that made me happy, was that they kept the guy who did the puzzles – they are still so insultingly easy, that it feels like the one good joke in the game.
I did a lot of running from A to B and back, only to find out that they used the cheapest trick in game writing to not only reuse all of their three locations, but also had me basically do the same stuff I had already done there, again – and again. At that point I decided I didn’t want to spend another minute with this game, but I had to return and make a screenshot and finished it anyway. It’s probably not as bad as I make it sound. It’s just that you shouldn’t play this right after the far superior original game.
We might not have become the best of friends, but you deserved better Alan Wake.