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Resident Evil Revelations 2 Review: Between Horror and Horrible

Resident Evil Revelations 2 Wallpaper

Full article available here.

It seems a customary tradition to lament the release of a new Resident Evilgame by simultaneously roasting it’s flaws and referencing the greatness of previous games in the franchise. The criticisms of the Resident Evil franchise have been measured by fans complaints of how far the once mighty series has fallen. Aside from the outstanding HD Remake of the original game last January, the Resident Evilseries is in desperate need of some good news. Resident Evil Revelations 2, much like its predecessor, is a small step in the right direction. It’s the closest any Resident Evil game has come to matching the greatness of previous titles but that’s not exactly saying much.

Battlefield Hardline Beta Impressions: Inconsistently Underwhelming

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I was bored after nine hours.

There’s a lot of potential in mashing the Battlefield series with the “Hollywood heist” film genre. Hasn’t every little boy played cops & robbers at some point during their childhood? That dream has supposedly graduated from playgrounds and backyards and found its way into the video game industry. Games such as Payday: The Heist and its sequel successfully capitalized on the lack of a true heist video game.

Evolve Beta Impressions

Full article available here.

In a previous article about the Evolve Alpha, I said that this game was worth playing. After playing 7 hours of the Evolve Beta, I can safely say that I will be buying this game when it releases. The difference in those statements was made up by all the improvements that Turtle Rock Studios has applied to their newest creation.

Best of 2014: The Walking Dead Season Two

This post contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Season Two. You have been warned.

Something happened to me after completing The Walking Dead: Season Two for the first time. I had patiently waited for the episodes to be released on disc. When it finally arrived I got home from work and played all five episodes in succession. When I finished the last episode, I was a different man. With every game that came out this year, no game was better written. No game stuck with me more than this one; no game ever has. The Walking Dead: Season Two isn’t the best-designed game of the year, but it’s by far the best story. In my opinion, it’s the best game of 2014; here’s why. Read the rest of this entry

Best of 2014: Alien Isolation

In space, no one can hear you poop yourself.

I learned very quickly that there’s nowhere to hide in Alien: Isolation and there are so many ways to get yourself killed. If you run too fast, you’re dead. If the Alien sees you, you’re dead. Oh, you fired a gun at the enemy android? Guess what? The Alien heard that, you’re dead. You’re in the middle of saving? The Alien says “hello.” You stayed in the locker too long; silly human, you’re dead. Nothing inspires fear quicker than paranoia around the most mundane actions. Now, wrap this moment-to-moment gameplay around a strategic crafting system and an incredible atmosphere. The result is, in my mind, the best designed game of the year.

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Best of 2014: The Wolf Among Us

This post contains some minor spoilers for The Wolf Among Us.

For most of the year, The Wolf Among Us sat atop of this list. I can’t recall a game that hooked me as quickly as the first episode did and Telltale Games silenced everyone who doubted that lightning could strike twice. Throughout the first half of the year, Telltale Games delivered an enthralling murder mystery video game. The true test of narrative excellence is when a writer or designer is one step ahead of the audience and The Wolf Among Us is several steps ahead at all times. There are so many subtle hints in the early episodes that come up later in ways you don’t expect. It’s one thing to be a step ahead, it’s another to do so without the audience even being aware of it.

In a move surprises no one, The Wolf Among Us has made it to the Best of 2014.

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Story versus Gameplay

A good story is one of the biggest marketing point of almost every video game, second only to pretty graphics. Consider how the majority of video game commercials advertise graphics and story while avoiding showing actual gameplay. There’s even a trend among First-Person-Shooters such as Halo and Call of Duty to use live-action trailers. Gameplay is by far the most important aspect of any game, yet it was seldom shown in the massive marketing campaigns of Mass Effect 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV. There’s a number of video games in which the story and the gameplay are at odds with each other. I previously argued that the trend of video games becoming linear and cinematic undermined the interactivity of the medium; this is still true however the disconnect between story and gameplay occurs across several genres, even open-world games. Read the rest of this entry

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