SUPERHOT is an incredible game. It’s so confident in it’s aesthetic and core mechanic that it easily glides into my top 10 for the year. It is too easy to call this game a “John Wick Simulator” but I can understand why people may feel that way. Even out of the “game” the UI and text entry segments add a really great ARG-ish element to the narrative. It simply is one of the most innovative shooters I’ve played in years. Plus look at that art style, so much styyyyyylllleeeeeee.
- Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 was doomed for failure. As the last real remnant of the “EA Partners Program” , EA and Respawn’s Titanfall 2 was sandwiched between 2 monster FPS releases. Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. For a shooter fan like me, there is only so much time in the day to play games and even less time if I don’t want to be shooting guns all the time.
I had already heard the buzz for the game once I got around to playing it but let me tell you, it was all true. The addition of a campaign really fleshed out the value proposition of Titanfall 2, but beyond that the story is the highlight of the entire experience. Filled to the brim with fun, unique segments made it one of the most memorable FPS games I’ve played in years. It almost felt as if they thought of some cool ideas then decided to wrap a story around them. I certainly wasn’t complaining. The additions they made to the multiplayer were welcome, as one of the biggest criticisms of the first game was the limited arsenal at the player’s disposal. There are skins galore (I still have some extra Buffalo Wild Wings Skins if anybody needs em’) and the added player abilities are fun. Making the switch to micro transactions and giving away multiplayer content like maps for free seems to be the right move, especially with the dwindling player base.
Oozing with creepiness from beginning to end, the spiritual sequel to Limbo lives up to the Playdead pedigree. The puzzles are hard, but make sense once they are figured out and I never felt frustrated. The story, if you can call it that, is soul-less in the best was possible. You’re just a kid in this fucked up institution trying to get out. The way your character interacts with the environment is really cool, his hands glide from object to object in a really natural way. There is so much attention to detail. It’s a quick but really effecting play through. And don’t get me started on the last 15 minutes, holy shit.
It seems like modern-day Blizzard is a company that takes a popular sub-genre of videogames and decides to make their own version of them. But instead of stopping there and making their game look like just another X type of game in a long line of X type games, they go a step further and fix all the inherent problems within that genre. They did this with card games and Hearthstone and now with class-based FPS games and Overwatch. The game is so polished and every part of the user experience is meant to keep you wanting to play. (and to a lesser more nefarious extent, paying them money)
Simple things like not surfacing kill/death ratios and awarding players on both teams at the end of the match make the game so much more friendly for new and low level players. Instead of a couple of easy to learn characters, every character is welcoming yet at the same time deceptively deep. It’s an amazing first entry in the inevitable Overwatch series, but i’m excited to see where they go next.
p.s. I also really want to see what Project Titan looked like before they scrapped most of it and turned the remains into Overwatch. Imagine an FPS MMO made by Blizzard set in this universe? Amazing!
What is Firewatch? That’s a pretty good question. It’s no wonder people were confused once you see the final product. Firewatch teeters the line between game and interactive story. You play a person working in a national forest tasked with the job of watching out for fires on the horizon. This is a pretty lonely job, so most of the time you are interacting with a fellow fire-warden in another tower though branching dialogue choices. The game isn’t about catching fires, it’s about experiencing the story of people that would choose to drop their lives and work in such an isolated environment. The story is exceedingly moving and if not for it being a video game, it would be deemed “Oscar bait.” The world is bathed in amazing lighting and you walk through what feel like paintings. Olly Moss did a fantastic job on the artwork. Campo Santo knew it too because you can take Polaroid’s throughout the game and actually get them developed in real life. (Which I did) It is a must play for anyone that cares about getting more from their games than mindless violence. Go play it.