Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon [official site] begins with a foreboding admonition. It’s a game about making the most of a bad situation, you’re told from the outset. Your actions are permanent, therefore the quests you embark upon will often end in failure. “Heroes will die,” it says. “And when they die they stay dead.”

These preeminent words of wisdom project an honest sentiment that’s not only a tone-setter for Darkest Dungeon, but also serves to define its makeup: through each stage of development – from its beginnings, its crowdfunding success, a year-long stint in Early Access, and now onto full release – developer Red Hook Studios envisioned a brutally difficult game that would offer little in the way of concession. But does the game make death and despair engaging? Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Pythagoria

Pythagoria [Steam page] is an awful lot more like maths homework than it is a regular puzzle game. But if you’re a giant weirdo like me, then you might secretly have rather enjoyed maths homework (the only homework I ever did). In fact, if you’re a colossal weirdo, you might have spent a good proportion of a sabbatical a couple of years ago sitting under a tree in a park with a pad and pen, re-learning algebra from a mobile app. So yes, Pythagoria does rather appeal, despite that. Except, oh dear, my brain. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think – Homeworld: Deserts Of Kharak

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak [official site] is a prequel to the legendary Homeworld space real-time strategy games, but this time – heresy! – set on land, as the Kushan race battle angry clans to reclaim ancient technologies found on the sandy planet they currently call home. While some of its developers (including studio boss and former Relic art lead Rob Cunningham) worked on the original games, this first began life as the unrelated ‘Hardware: Shipbreakers’, before morphing into the free to play multiplayer ‘Homeworld: Shipbreakers’ and then finally to the traditionally-sold, singleplayer and multiplayer package it is now. Deserts of Kharak has some bloody big boots to fill – can it possibly manage it?

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Wot I Think: Gemini – Heroes Reborn

A game based on one of the most consistently ridiculous and astonishingly dreadful TV shows ever made? How could I resist? Except, huh, something weird’s going on here. Gemini: Heroes Reborn [official site] isn’t… this isn’t entirely terrible. In fact, there are some really good ideas in here – far more than in the freshly cancelled series reboot after which it’s named and themed. What a confusing situation. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: The Westport Independent

The Westport Independent [official site], once a gamejam experiment, is now a full game. As it succinctly describes itself, it’s “a game about censorship, corruption and newspapers”. As the editor of a paper in a fictional post-war country in the mid-1940s, you must work out how you will approach your job under an increasingly fascist government. Does it successfully speak its mind, or might it need some heavy editing? Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Oxenfree

I came to play Oxenfree [official site] just after finishing a podcast series called The Message. The Message is essentially an eight-part radio play. Its central mystery involves a strange broadcast, possibly from outer space which seems to carry with it a curse. If you haven’t listened to it I’d recommend it.

The reason I’m bringing it up ahead of telling you anything about the game is that I feel like Oxenfree is actually closer to that kind of unnerving or slightly creepy radio play which is packed with subtle interpersonal stories than it is to other games I’ve played. I also think that part of why I enjoyed it so much was that I was treating it in that same way, letting the characters chatter and the story unfold where I might otherwise have become impatient.

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Wot I Think: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

Originally released on PS3/Xbox 360 back in 2012 and then updated to Dark Arisen in 2013, Dragon’s Dogma [official site] is a tough game to pigeon-hole. It’s a bit Dark Souls, a bit The Witcher, a bit Skyrim, and a bit Shadow of the Colossus. But is it a bit good, especially coming to us after a generational upgrade? Here’s Wot I Think.

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Wot I Think: Grim Dawn

Grim Dawn [official site] is a hacky-slashy action RPG set in a fantasy world ravaged by monstrous invasion, in which you play a wandering hero seeking to stem the chaos with blade, bullets, sorcery or all of the above. It’s been in Steam Early Access for a while, following a successful Kickstarter, but is now designated ‘content complete’ and will see full release next month – though you’ll get essentially everything if you buy it right now. Here’s whether you should or shouldn’t.

I hesitate to make quite so blanket a statement as “this is the Diablo III that many Diablo II fans wanted”, both because there are key ways in which it’s not and because I can’t speak for people who’ve spent years memorising loot tables and now expect very specific things. However…
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Wot I Think: That Dragon, Cancer

You want to meet That Dragon, Cancer [official site] more than half way. It’s a game made about Joel Green, a young boy who at twelve-months-old was diagnosed with cancer, and it was created by his parents to memorialise his life. The story – which tells of his treatment, his parent’s struggles with hope, despair and faith, and his eventual death aged five – is communicated through a series of vignettes. Each one is an explorable 3D environment containing audio taken from home videos, short poetry, and limited moments of interaction. To praise That Dragon, Cancer feels important: as an affirmation of the power of games to tell real, human stories; as an act of support towards his parents in recognition of the terrible ordeal they had to endure; as an acknowledgement that real life is far more important than videogames, anyway, lest you think I feel otherwise and dislike me.

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