Microsoft

Review: Dishonored - Blink, stab

I don't know if I actually enjoy stealth games. I find that whenever guards spot me trying to sneak from behind, I fall into an awkward limbo where I will either restart from my latest save, or stab everyone in the neck until I hear complete silence. Unfortunately, Dishonored doesn't change my mostly cynical opinion about the stealth genre. Dishonored's industrial, Victorian era setting fails to even compete with the highly detailed and futuristic world of Deus Ex, but it stays close to the crouch walking, throat stabbing and trap setting tactics found in the best stealth games.

Review: Borderlands 2 - A Vault not worth hunting

I believed if I collected enough junk shields and single shell shotguns that I eventually wouldn't be so bored with Borderlands 2. Only about an hour in, scepticism to whether I would even finish, let alone begin a second playthrough, already began to develop. All the positive and glowing feedback said up until and after the release, made me question whether or not I failed to see the brilliance. But I know of that brilliance - I dumped over 50 hours into the first Borderlands and all of its DLC. After 25 levels as a Siren, the unsettling familiarity and the unsatisfying reward for the patience the progression requires ruined any desire to ever play more Borderlands

Review: Fez - Plus minus

How could you not be immediately impressed with a game developed by 2 people? The time spent, money invested and sacrifices made in order to complete a video game, prove the difficulty in developing a successful one.

I often wonder about the indie development process and the reasoning for the implementation of certain mechanics, or the inclusion of a specific level. But once I stop thinking about the process, the size of the development team no longer matters - I am equally critical for each game. After playing through Fez twice already, the end game, the secrets accessible through the New Game + option, will only leave those who willingly invest their patience and time ultimately satisfied.

Review: The Walking Dead: Episode 1 & 2 - Tough decisions

When people first spoke of Telltale's The Walking Dead, I immediately dismissed it and whatever ties I thought it had with the television show. Telltale's latest adventure game is an episodic guided narrative surrounding the idea of a zombie outbreak, which seems like the worst combination that any developer can build a game around. The AMC series is carried by a lot of action and flesh eating zombies, but the game is carried by the ethical and moral situations that require your best judgement to make multiple, increasingly difficult decisions. An emphasis on cinematics has led to many ignorantly dismissing it as another "interactive movie" as it lacks the level grinding, loot collection and combo chaining that a more traditional game has. Aside from a few annoying bugs and limited variety of traditional video game mechanics, Telltale's The Walking Dead Episode 1 and 2, provide some of the most engaging survival stories in video game form. 

Review: Alan Wake's American Nightmare - Less frights, more fights

Remedy spent years developing Alan Wake; more than twice the length of the common development cycle of 2 years. Unfortunately however, their hard work was only recognized by few, selling poorly despite receiving praise from the media and the few who had played it. The price of this story focused horror game dropped quickly and significantly, allowing players to find a copy for a third of the full retail price. With the eventual release of the PC version, Remedy would finally find some success, reporting their satisfaction with the game's sales over the last few years. With no official reports of a sequel, Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a welcoming but brief departure from the main story of the series, made downloadable for players who yearn to see more Alan Wake.

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