Firewatch Promises, but Doesn’t Follow Through

I bought Firewatch a few months ago when it went on sale. I’d been really looking forward to the game before it came out because I loved all of the promotional art, and I was hoping that it might deliver a gaming experience that matched that obviously high level of design.

However, the initial reviews were a bit lukewarm, so I didn’t pick it up immediately when it came out. When I did finally buy it, it sat on my PS4 unplayed for a few months because I have more games than I have time to play them. (This is also true about books, movies and TV shows, much to my annoyance; if I could freeze time, I’d use my powers to catch up on pop culture.)

I finally played through the game a few weeks ago, and I can definitely see why the reactions were so mixed. It’s gorgeous to look at, and it’s am ambitious hybrid of storytelling and interaction, but unfortunately all of that good work is undermined by flawed storytelling. I’m going to go into nitty-gritty spoilers here, so if you care about such things, now is the time to stop reading. Continue reading Firewatch Promises, but Doesn’t Follow Through

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a Great PC Port if You Have the Rig for It

A mere three months after its exclusive Xbox One release, Rise of the Tomb Raider has arrived on the PC bringing the rebooted Lara Croft’s mass-murdering rampages to PC players everywhere.

On the scale of PC ports from Arkham Knight to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Rise of the Tomb Raider falls closer to the latter, but it still requires a beefy rig to get the most out of it. The minimum requirements are pretty forgiving (i3 or equivilant, 2GB GPU) aside from the 6GB of RAM, which is quite the ask for most builds. For reference, I’m running an i7-2770k, 16GB of RAM and a 4GB GTX 980. Despite the taxing nature of the game I ran it on the highest quality with nary a dip below 60 fps aside from a couple areas at the end when everything was popping off – fire, lighting, multiple enemies, collapsing geometry, you name it. Continue reading Rise of the Tomb Raider is a Great PC Port if You Have the Rig for It

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a Great Return to Form

Assassin’s Creed is the gaming world’s whipping boy for the case against annualized releases. While Call of Duty pulls this trick as well, the sheer scale of an Assassin’s Creed game means that the stress fractures brought on by a quick turn-around are more readily apparent.

Last year’s Unity could be seen as the tipping point in the series. With a buggy launch and a poor reception, despite its decent co-op mode, Unity left the series balancing more closely to irrelevance than ever. Ubisoft needed to right the ship with the follow-up title, and thankfully Syndicate was the shot in the arm Assassin’s Creed needed. Continue reading Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a Great Return to Form

Rise of the Tomb Raider Coming to PC on January 28

Rejoice, PC owners waiting to undertake Lara Croft’s new Crystal Dynamics developed adventure! According to a press release, Rise of the Tomb Raider will release for PC on Steam and Windows 10 (don’t worry it will still work on Windows 7) on January 28.

The Witcher 3 and Other Games That Didn’t Grab You

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is, by many people’s reckoning, the greatest game that was put out in 2015. It has won hundreds of Game of the Year awards and is hailed as a technical achievement and the exemplary model of how to handle post-release content and patching. But even with all of its clout it just couldn’t grab me.

This is the first Witcher game I’ve played in earnest, having not played the original game and putting just a token effort into two. I’d clock my Witcher 3 playtime at around 15 hours but that’s just an estimate.

I hunted monsters, flirted with Geralt’s past lovers and met the Bloody Baron and the Crones, both of whom were engrossing for different reasons. I love the world that CD Projekt Redhas realized with the Witcher but I could tell even early on that the story was going to do some major wheel spinning and the combat wasn’t varied enough to grab me. Continue reading The Witcher 3 and Other Games That Didn’t Grab You

A Whole New World: Destiny Alpha Impressions

destiny

I’ve had this weird sort of fascination with Destiny ever since Bungie first released news about it. There’s one part of me that feels a tinge of regret whenever I see it in motion, knowing that I could have been involved with it in some way (a job opportunity that ultimately didn’t pan out for me). Another part of me has moved on from multiplayer games almost entirely—other priorities have taken precedence in my life, including family, writing and friends. And even though videos of the game in motion never quite thrilled me, there was something about the game that I found intriguing.

And the Alpha won me over completely. Continue reading A Whole New World: Destiny Alpha Impressions

Valiant Hearts Trailer Brings 2D Adventure to World War One

Built on the same UbiArt engine as the recently released Child of Light, Valiant Hearts is an upcoming 2D adventure game by Ubisoft Montpellier where you control four different characters and their faithful dog through several puzzles set during the first World War.

World War One is not a setting that gets explored a lot in video games, but Valiant Hearts looks like it will use that dark time in history to tell some pretty heart-breaking stories about love and sacrifice. Take a look at the trailer below:

How does this look to you guys? Are you on board? Did you try Child of Light? Valiant Heart releases on June 25 via the PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE and various PC digital distribution platforms.