There is a well-known line in the Star Wars movies that applies perfectly here. “You were the Chosen One! You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them. You were supposed to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness.” Of course, it’s the scene in Revenge of the Sith where Obi-Wan Kenobi faces down his former Padawan and friend Anakin Skywalker, or as he now calls himself, Darth Vader. Still, it’s apt here. While last years Battlefront left a lot of people feeling let-down I still quite enjoyed it despite its issues. I had high hopes for a sequel, and yet EA managed to fall deeper into the Dark Side, taking the beloved Star Wars name with it.
It has been two years since we last had an Assassin’s Creed game, the previously yearly franchise taking a small break in order to go back to the drawing board for a sorely needed refresh. Except what we’ve gotten is more of a patchwork quilt made up of pieces from lots of other popular games, resulting in the best game in the franchise in years while also being a poor Assassin’s Creed game.
2015’s Hand of Fate from Defiant Entertainment was one of those genuinely wonderful surprises, a game that came out of nowhere with a small budget and a loving team who had a concept they wanted to turn into a reality. So over two years later we’ve got a sequel, and like the first game it has come out of nowhere. I didn’t even realize there was going to be a Hand of Fate 2 until the press release stating it was released landed in my inbox. Is this one a wonderful surprise, too?
God damn, Warner Bros., you couldn’t just release a game without finding a way to stuff microtransactions into it, could you? Before Shadow of War even hit stores shelves it was revealed that there would be purchasable loot crates, and understandably the Internet was not happy, especially since Warner Bros. had already announced different tiers of the game for you to buy on launch. Having played through the game I can at least confirm that they are optional, but at the same time they’ve clearly influenced the design as the end-game is a brutal slog in order to get a second ending that feels as though it was made with the sole intention of pushing players toward spending real cash. It’s a shame because these microtransactions cash a shadow (see what I did there, eh? EH!?) across what is otherwise a very fun title.
As I sat down to right this review I took a moment to gaze lovingly at my PC. It’s a beast I’ve slowly built up over time, adding better and better components so that it can run the latest games on the highest settings. The amount of money I’ve sunk into it is…probably stupid. With all of its processing grunt and graphical horsepower, though, what am I doing with it? Playing pinball. Yup. All this powerful tech, and I’m caught up playing pinball.
On paper, Raid: World War II sounds like a good idea: four players work together to attack German forces while snagging any Nazi gold they come across, their secret work sanctioned by the army who will quietly ignore any missing loot provided the squad does some serious damage along the way. Toss in comedic scenes FMV of Hitler in a rage and the legend that is John Cleese and you have something that shouldn’t fail. Right? Wrong.
Oh, adventure games! As a colossal part of my childhood, their modern resurgence has done my heart good. Suddenly we’re back to the days of witty dialogue, fun puzzles and mad stories complete with modern graphics. The downside of this comeback, though, is that it also shows how little adventure games have really come over the years. Darkestville Castle is a prime example of this, a point and click title that has the witty dialogue, fun puzzles and mad stories complete with modern graphics, but that doesn’t ultimately feel any different from something like Monkey Island released all those years ago.