In two days, I will be on a plane for 36 hours. I am going to be very sad. Shortly after that, I will be doing my first exhibition at PAX East. Which is alternately both terrifying and kind of amazing. (I think.) So, just a short column this week because my brain is steaming like the air vents in Alien: Isolation. But I will see all of you soon. Not next week, unfortunately. But the week after that. (Apologies for the week before. Chinese New Year is murderous.) This week’s repost plushie is from dosbox!
(Wish me luck surviving the next week.)
Ah, Alien Isolation. You give me hope that the next Predator game might not make me want to weep bitter, bitter tears over the corpse of my action-packed childhood. Of course, I’m also sometimes hopelessly optimistic. (Which is bad, guys. Terrible.) Anyway, moving on. Alien: Isolation is a fantastic beast, in case you didn’t know. Like its title implies, this is Alien not Aliens. In isolation. And it is this nefariously astute character that will stalk you through the bowels of a ship, ever prepared to deal a slithering insta-kill. The game drags a bit after a while, and it can sometimes be too hard. But that doesn’t change the fact it’s madly, astoundingly good.
Life is Strange
I reviewed Life is Strange for another outlet recently, and I can safely say I like it better than its predecessor. Remember Me was heartbreakingly beautiful without being terribly interesting, with a tepid plot and some frustrating action sequences. I remember complaining to people that Dontnod should have just dropped the action sequences. Which they actually did with Life is Strange. The result is a beautiful, painterly voyage into the life of young, time-travelling teenagers. I’ll admit, some of it was a bit silly, but most of the first episode hit the mark. You’ll probably benefit from waiting a bit longer to pick it up, but where’s the fun in that?
You know what’s cute? Kids. Charming, bright-eyed teenagers who are still bristling with hope for the future. Obviously, they’re also the perfect people to recruit for war. Valkyria Chronicles is a fabulous tactical role-playing game which has you directing a charming cast of characters through what what appears to be a speculative version of World War II. Though largely military in tone, there’s shades of more speculative material littering the narrative. Despite its age, Valkyria Chronicles actually survived its long-anticipated transition to the PC with most of its splendour intact. (P.S: Don’t forget the voucher: B1CYB0-CLSSD1-ARAAGM)
Humble Square Enix
Tier 2: $15/£9.72/€13.40
Well, here’s a delicious Humble Bundle. True, we all probably own these Square Enix games already. That’s just how the cookie crumbles. But, in case you don’t already own these games. In case you want to, I don’t know, give it as a gift to someone? This is a pretty good opportunity to cash in on a pretty good deal. (Insert obligatory ‘Deus Ex: Human revolution’-related woo here!)
Dungeons of Dredmor
Dungeons of Dredmor is a roguelike. Not a roguelike-like. But an actual roguelike. (I think.) Except there’s a chance that it might be far, far more humorous in tone. Gaslamp Games might be busy with Clockwork Empires these days, but Dungeons of Dredmor is where it’s all started. Thrash with Thrusties, dance with Diggles, and use Lutefisk to devastating effect. There’s plenty to do here, and even more ways to die in horrible ways. Watch the eyebrows. They’re lovely.
A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build
Do I like this? I don’t know. It’s cute. The graphics are well done, the animations spot-on despite their simplicity, and it works within the context of what it’s trying to accomplish. It’s not really the kind of game that excites my wallet, but I can definitely appreciate the humour in the sales pitch. Pricing your game so that it riffs on the world’s current issues in a charming, inoffensive way? I’m okay with this.