games

Yakuza Kiwami (2016)

So this is the third time I’ve played this game. It’s not the same as the game I played the first two times – this is a remake of that game, and I haven’t had to fire up the PS2 to give this a whirl – but it’s so close to the original that it still counts. So what’s it all about?

Honour.
Betrayal.
Revenge.
Beatdowns.
Babysitting. (more…)

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Dead Island Definitive Collection (2016)

I decided I needed a palate-cleanser after the whole God of War thing, so I chose something not an entire world away: the zombie-slaying double-pack of Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide, both gussied up for the PS4.

Were they good? Oh, heavens no. I got caught on scenery, had pitiful frame rates and found some design clunky and odd. The quests were repetitive and kinda lame.

BUT.

It let me put a circular saw blade on a spade and hit dead holidaymakers with it. It let me electrify a katana and cut up unholy mutations. And it let me indulge in some molitov crowd control while a buddy yelled in a terrible Aussie accent about how we should “give these fuckers a floggin’.”

So it was worthwhile, all told.  (more…)

God of War (2018)

You know, I was a bit dubious when I heard that God of War was going to be resurrected. My leeriness increased when I heard it was going to be a beardy Norse father-son adventure.

Kratos has a big vocab, folks.

Thankfully, my doubts were misplaced. Because the 2018 game has proven to be one of the best – if not the best – in the series. I absolutely loved it.

Well, mostly.  But we’ll get to that.

(There’ll likely be some spoilers in here too, so be mindful if you’ve not played it yet.)

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Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (2016)

So you already know that I’m a fan of Mirror’s Edge despite the game’s own attempts to cut itself off at the knees. I’ve replayed it and when I found there was going to be another game in the series, I was very excited, given that games like this aren’t really made very often. It was one of the reasons (not the reason, I admit) I bought a PS4. And now, I’ve had a chance to play it.

So I guess I’ve played it, if nothing else.

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Mirror’s Edge (2008)

Time to revisit something I’ve played a couple of times that involves bike couriers, only with cleaner duds, more tattoos, and a shitload more parkour than pedalling.

It’s got animated cutscenes! It’s got a megalopolis that’s keen on brushing undesirables under the rug! And it’s got some curiously disinterested acting across the board. It’s Mirror’s Edge, perhaps one of the best examples of a game I love even though so much of what it does is cack-handed or busted.

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Darksiders (2010) and The Order: 1886 (2015)

A twofer, this post. I’ve recently finished playing both the games mentioned here – a trip to a hellish future and a dip into alternate-history London, respectively – and I figured I didn’t have enough to say about ’em individually. So I’ve lumped them together here, in some kind of ungodly union.

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Your humble author.

So, I hope you’re prepared for some half-arsed critique, because I’ve got that in spades.

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Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015)

I spent some time back in London over the past week or so. It’s been 20 years since I’d been in the Great Wen, but I visited its 1860s facsimile to carry out a bit of neck-stabbing along with the sightseeing.

It’s been a reasonable break since I last visited the Assassin’s Creed universe. Last time I played an AC game, I was kind of underwhelmed with the experience. This time, though? A different story.

Well, mostly.  (more…)

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017)

While Kingdom Come: Deliverance was downloading 27-odd gigs of first-day patch, I was stuck for something to play. So I figured I might get into the backlog and blow through the somewhat short Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, a game I’d heard good things about, largely for its approach to mental health.

(That sounds like a ball-tearer of a reason to play something, right? Right.) (more…)

Lollipop Chainsaw (2012)

So.

I had just finished playing the three Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games on PS3 in an attempt to catch up with a franchise I’m about 200 entries behind in – TLDR: surprisingly short, still look good even on last-gen hardware, still kind of shocking and completely popcorn in a large set-piece YEAH MAN kind of way that I’m vaguely embarrassed about – and I figured I needed something short and sweet to break up the testosterone. Something completely different.

So of course I picked the Japanese-designed game where you’re a cheerleader who fights zombies with the aid of her boyfriend’s decapitated head.

Pretty standard, I guess.

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Conquistadors and comrades

I’ve recently finished two games that seem very different, but I seem to have linked together because of their oddity, and the sense that they were both passion projects. Both are kind of broken, and were frustrating in places, but I keep thinking about how much I enjoyed them, despite these irritations.

So, here’s some loose thoughts about Singularity and Betrayer. We’ll go with the latter first because it’s the one I finished most recently.

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