You’re never more than ten feet away from a rat. This is a well known aphorism about city life. God I wish the rats in A Plague Tale Innocence were ten feet away. Instead they’re clustering around, seemingly mere inches from my character. I can hear their chittering and squeaking as they wait for my meagre torch to go out. I could move out of the shadows to the safety of a brazier, but then I’d be seen by the guard. Instead I time my movement wrong, step too close to the and as the music swells, I am devoured by clambering rats in a verminous maelstrom of teeth and claws. A Plague Tale Innocence is wonderfully unpleasant and exhilaratingly tense.
The best games in the city building genre are time machines. A player should be able to run the game, begin building their metropolis and suddenly realise that they’ve lost an evening and gained an urban sprawl. Islanders manages to do this in a way most city builders don’t. It turns the whole process of building your city into a puzzle in and of itself.
Life is Strange 2 had a tough act to follow. The first season was an adventure game based around time travel and decision making with “intensely” loved female teen characters. This is a road trip story starring two Hispanic brothers where the main draw is that the younger of the two must be looked after and taught by the older of the two. For the most part in Episode 1, it’s impressive how well the transition goes.
Stellaris is a deeply engrossing experience. It’s a member of the 4X genre (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit,eXterminate) of strategy games from Paradox Interactive but with a real focus on story telling through the strategic gameplay and emerging narratives.
Microsoft are definitely in the underdog position for this generation. They’ve had multiple big titles being cancelled or delayed or just not well received enough. Weirdly, in spite of how they started this generation, their backwards compatibility and console features have turned into their saving grace. But what do we expect them to be focussing on for the E3 2018 Conference? What are our Microsoft E3 Predictions?
EA now has a huge uphill battle in the minds of the general audience and media following the Battlefront 2 Microtransaction Brouhaha. What do we expect for them to bring to the Table for E3 2018? What are our E3 EA Predictions?
On a boat, off the coast of Dubrovnik, there is an alien. First contact for humanity is beginning. It’s up to the player to decide what happens next. The newest game from Bithell Games is a more complex and interesting Text Adventure than you initially might think.
Frostpunk is a narratively driven city simulator from 11 Bit Studios, previously best known for This War of Mine. It’s set in a steampunk universe where the world has suffered a snow and ice based apocalypse. It requires a player to manage resource gathering, advancing the story by exploring the frozen world and balancing the discontent or hope of their society through laws and policies as they try to survive in a frozen wasteland.
Four Heroes. Around a thousand enemies. One of the most satisfying co-operative experiences of the year. Vermintide 2 is a blast of a game.
What Remains of Edith Finch is now the bar set for all Interactive Dramas going forwards. It’s a compelling anthology of little narratives that build up to much more than the sum of it’s parts.