With games such as The Stanley Parable, Gone Home and Dear Esther finding their way into mainstream gaming, a new genre has begun to emerge. Some argue that perhaps interactive story would be a better label than ‘game’ for these titles, while others file them under the broad adventure game heading. Whatever you wish to call them, they have a new member among their ranks: Orthogonal Games’ The Novelist, a tale about a family living by the coast and the hardships they must overcome to keep their relationship in one piece.
The beta for Titanfall appeared a couple of weeks ago, and accompanying this upcoming addition to the well-flooded online FPS market are high hopes for Respawn Entertainment to initiate the much-needed ground-breaking innovation to the market. For that reason, the beta was a bit of a big deal; a pre-release taste test could have easily dissuaded some from making a full-price purchase if it underperformed. It is fortunate then that the beta proved to be the most entertaining first-person experience of recent years. Let’s just hope that entertainment may fester for longer than a weekend.
It may surprise you to learn that during the rare moments when I’m not gaming and/or getting deeply emotionally invested in the lives of fictional characters, I’m a psychology student. Apart from leading to many “hilarious” jokes about me psychoanalysing my friends one day, my interest in psychology means that when I saw that Daedalic’s 2011 title Edna & Harvey: The Breakout was set in an asylum, I was cautiously optimistic. It’s not often that mental illness plays a role in games (explicitly, anyway), and when it does it’s usually used as an offensive way of explaining why a bunch of goons are flailing wildly at your face, so I hoped that this might be a fun change that I could really get behind. When I actually started playing, however, I became a little glad that the optimism had only been cautious.
If you’d have talked to me a month ago, I would’ve passionately defended gaming’s whipping boy Call of Duty. While the series seemed to trip up a bit with Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3, last year’s sequel to the former by Treyarch was a true return to form, both in the incredibly popular multiplayer game mode and the once-popular-now-oft-forgotten single-player campaign. Additionally, a couple of years ago, I would have condemned Treyarch in favour of the all-powerful Infinity Ward, the company behind some of the greatest PC games of all time.
Forced is a very interesting and innovative take on what would initially appear to be an isometric dungeon-crawler. Instead, it is an adventuring puzzle game with a focus on dynamic gameplay, accommodating for 1-4 players. Each level can be completed solo or with a team, though an inconsistent difficulty level and technical issues taint the experience in either avenue. Damned if you do…
Matt’s note: I tried something that most review sites didn’t do for PES, and that is give the review to someone who’s not much of a football fan. So much so that’s he’s calling it “soccer”. Pleb. I wanted to see how much fun it’d be for a non-football fan and, of course, I played it myself to see how it’d be for a serious fan and long-time football gamer. For that reason, I’m going to write a paragraph or two of my own thoughts as a hardcore football fan with my own score, and then average the scores out for a fair analysis of the game.
Early last year, I heard about an iOS puzzle-platformer with an impossible to pronounce yet attractively mysterious name and my interest was instantly piqued. As you might assume given the title of this post, that game was Nihilumbra and as often happens, it ended up being one of those games that I was always curious about but never got around to playing. Needless to say, when I found out it was being ported to PC and I’d be reviewing it I got interested all over again, and I will confess to walking around telling everyone I know that I was reviewing it, just so that I could say the name in a slightly wistful voice. Trust me, it added to my enjoyment of the whole thing. Not that the game didn’t do a fine job of that by itself.