It is unusual to see me play through a game that doesn’t grab me immediately. It is even more rare I finish a game that at points actively discourages me from playing, and yet this is exactly what Silent Hill: Shattered Memories does.
I am not that familiar with the third person fighting genre. It may be my own fault, a lack of commitment to learn the complex mechanics. But even with that caveat Bayonetta depressed me; proving mashing buttons was enough to reach the finale, offering no incentive to hone my skills.
Torchlight appeals to so many of my idiosyncrasies that I am bemused as to why its spiritual predecessor Diablo never appealed to me. Both offer lush fantasy settings and the draw of improved equipment with every vanquished foe that fuels my obsessive tendencies. Maybe I have simply matured as a gamer, or perhaps it is Torchlight’s refinements to the point-and-click, loot hording, action RPG gameplay that have me enamored.
There is some magic woven in to Alan Wake’s fabric. Every other game I have played that has attempted blend horror and action has invariably ended up skewed in favour of action. By giving the player the ability and recourses to fight, the tension is removed. Yet despite Alan Wake’s focus on combat it manages to provide constant anxiety though it’s narrative and atmosphere.
Sometimes you need to reset the bar. As an informed gamer I find more and more that my definition of what constitutes average is slowly creeping upwards. Then Capcom’s Dark Void was thrust into my lap, and I found my equilibrium.
Gaming news and talk of what we have been playing sits as ever at the front of the show, but this time the feature topping our metaphorical cake is whether playing online games could make us better people. This is an idea put forward by Jane McGonigal, a designer at the Institute for the Future, during her talk at TED in February. While it may seem like a bizarre idea, much of what she said got me thinking that there maybe something to it, as did looking at her online games that have been designed to harness the power of the game playing public for good.
A labour of love for developer Bioware, Dragon Age: Origins offers classic D&D gameplay. With an emphasis on character interaction, the game makes interesting use of a simple morality system to form some unique party politics.
‘The Asylum’ is a company that piggybacks on the popularity of theatrical blockbusters, producing movies with similar titles at a fraction of the cost. Yet somehow they are always entertaining. Deadly Premonition is what would happen if ‘The Asylum’ made a game.
Metro 2033 reminds me of my first car. An old Ford Escort that by the end of its time with me it had hit a skip, gone through a fence and crashed twice. But like a faithful dog it kept trying to please right up to the end, and I loved it. You see despite the front bumper hanging off, the buckled boot and shattered indicator light, my Escort still worked and despite its many problems so does Metro 2033.