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

Review: Watch Dogs

watch dogs review

Nothing screamed “the next gen is here” more than Ubisoft’s E3 2012 stage reveal of Watch Dogs. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One weren’t even revealed yet, but everyone knew what Watch Dogs was heralding when Ubisoft showed it off for the first time.

Two years and one delay later, we finally get to hack the mean streets of Chicago. Is Watch Dogs a next gen standard bearer or does it barely straddle the line between the last generation and this one? Continue reading Review: Watch Dogs

Review: Titanfall

titanfall review

The tumultuous fracturing of Call of Duty creators Infinity Ward in 2010 represented a significant shift in the first person shooter landscape. Free from Activision, IW founders Jason West and Vincent Zampella and a team of former employees founded Respawn Entertainment and joined forces with EA to create a new franchise.

The result of that union is Titanfall, a multiplayer-only FPS where players can control either the agile Pilots or utilize one of three giant robot suits, called Titans, to duke it out. With a massive groundswell of anticipation surging it to the forefront of the collective gamer consciousness, is Titanfall the new king of first person shooters? Continue reading Review: Titanfall

Review: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

assassins creed 4 black flag review

After 2012’s less-than-stellar entry, the Assassin’s Creed series seemed poised to spend the last few years of its life cycle fighting irrelevancy. While Assassin’s Creed 3 might have sold well, it turned off a lot of people, myself (an admittedly hardcore fan of the franchise) included. Half-baked mechanics, buggy presentation and a bland protagonist were all parts of the gumbo of disappointment that was AC3.

Not long after that game released, Ubisoft announced a follow-up that would take place in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. The new protagonist would be Edward Kenway, father and grandfather to the Assassin’s Creed 3 playable characters Haytham and Connor, respectively. With a game poised to take advantage of the naval combat introduced in AC3, could Black Flag right the ship? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Review: Batman: Arkham Origins

Batman Arkham Origins

When Warner Bros announced the next game in the acclaimed Arkham franchise would be a preequel, the reaction was mixed. When they announced that Rocksteady would not be returning for the prequel, instead handing the reins to Warner Bros Games Montreal, the reaction was negative. It felt like a cash-grab, a stop-gap while Rocksteady worked on whatever would follow the brilliant Arkham City. Was this reaction premature or right on the money? Read on to find out. Continue reading Review: Batman: Arkham Origins

Review: Battlefield 4

battlefield 4 review

While the notion of destructible environments and the real-time evolution of a map has been around since 2008’s Bad Company, Battlefield 4 takes this concept and makes it grandiose in its execution, giving us the type of destruction that was taken out of Battlefield 3 and adding in “Levolution”, events that change the way a given map plays and feels.

Running on a new version of the Frostbite engine and having an increased number of moving parts, does Battlefield 4 stride proudly across the gaming landscape or does it collapse under its own weight? Continue reading Review: Battlefield 4

Review: Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond Jody

Is it a game? Is it interactive fiction? These are the questions that inevitably surround a David Cage release. It happened with Heavy Rain and again with Beyond: Two Souls. It’s clearly a game, but is it fun and worth your time? That’s the question and the purpose of this review.

Continue reading Review: Beyond: Two Souls