Genesis Noir can often feel less like a video game and more like an interactive Experience, with a capital E. It’s an abstract journey through time and space presented as a brooding noir tale about a watch peddler who witnesses the murder of his beloved Miss Mass at the hands of a jealous third party. The gunshot that kills her is the Big Bang, and thus our humble seller of time desperately combs time and space in a bid to find a way to stop the Big Bang itself and save his lady love. It is at times evocative, striking, jaw-dropping, exciting, and at other times is awkward and dull and pretentious. Above all else is unique and creative, a passion project created by a dedicated team across years of their life. I’m just not sure that Genesis Noir is for me. Or for you.
On Kickstarter the folks behind the long-running web-comic Cyanide & Happiness managed to raise $575,000 for this three episode point and click adventure project over 3-years ago, proving in the process that people will gladly pay good money for dick jokes. “The game will be a new approach to point-and-click adventures, filled with dark comedy, drama, weirdness, and an apocalypse in the suburbs.” That’s some big, bold claims about a genre that’s been around since time began, so does does Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocolypse manage to live up these promises? Eh, not really.
The titular Sir Lovelot is on an epic quest to find the love of his life. To do that he’s going to venture from tower to tower, gifting the princesses that live within them a flower before climbing up their luxurious hair and getting down to…business. But each morning comes the same story of a broken heart. Perhaps they simply were not compatible, or perhaps Sir Lovelot can’t love good, I’m not judging. Regardless, Sir Lovelot heads out to once again seek the love of his life, and on the way to that love maybe find a few more princesses that need might be inclined to engage in a bit of casual rescuing. Ahem
IO Interactive are back with the final chapter in their World of Assassination trilogy that began back in 2016 as an experimental episodic game. While it’s a tad sad that IO Interactive are leaving Hitman behind, at least, for now, they’re moving on to create a 007 game which I can’t wait to see. So, with Hitman and Hitman 2 being some of my favourite games…well, ever, how does Hitman 3 stack up? Is this the big send-off myself and millions of people were hoping for? Or is a bit like those assassinations that go horribly wrong and end up with you cowering behind a wall?
With Cyberpunk 2077 having been delayed for the *checks the calendar* 124th time, there’s a bit of a gap in the market for some grungy sci-fi. Enter Ghostrunner, a first-person game that describes itself as a “hardcore FPP slasher.” I’d describe it as the bastard baby of Mirror’s Edge and Dishonored. It’s fast, frenetic, and frequently exhilarating. It’s the kind of game that can make you clutch your mouse like it owes you money.
Hades spent two years in Early Access before it finally launched proper around a month back. Those two years stand as an example of how Early Access should be done. Developer Supergiant used that time to to create a culmination of all their previous work on Bastion, Pyre and Transistor. They took their excellent combat design, unique visual style and their storytelling chops and decided to try a rogue-like, and the results are spectacular. During those two years, Supergiant constantly updated the game and talked to their players. As a result, Hades is absolutely outstanding. It’s one of the best games of the year. So grab a beer, maybe a snack and park your butt on the chair, because I’m going to tell you why Hades is awesome.
Massive tyres, 1,6000HP engines, insane jumps and incredible drivers who are willing to crash, bash and trash their vehicles in the name of competition and entertainment. Yup, monster trucks are all sorts of awesome, and playing Monster Truck Championship has made me add a new item to my wishlist: drive a monster truck. But for now Monster Truck Championship will have to do, so let’s see if this newest attempt at capturing the size and power of these awesome machines stacks up, shall?
It’s surprising and even arguably a touch disappointing that despite being a Minecraft spin-off, Minecraft Dungeons does not contain a single instance of building or digging. It does, however, look and sound exactly like Minecraft in every possible way, from whatever the hell that noise is when you eat something to the Creepers. And yet when you watch a couple of Creepers explode into a billion little Creeper pieces without altering the terrain it feels fundamentally wrong. In this sense the whole thing is like a very basic reskin of a standard ARPG. The actual Minecraft part of Minecraft Dungeons is missing. Despite this, there’s still a fun and accessible Diablo style isometric dungeon-crawler here.
We might be in a bit of a draught in terms of big games (at least until The Last of Us 2 arrives next month and is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever, according to the Internet) but we’ve been a nice stream of awesome smaller titles. It’s been even better if you’re a fan of classic genres with the likes of Streets of Rage 4, and now Huntdown, a pixelated shooter with an old-school attitude, a love of action and some seriously smooth gameplay.
Sometimes I miss the clarity of being on a mountain bike hurtling down a hill, swerving around trees, carving up berms and nailing jumps. I miss that beautiful clarity where your entire mind shrinks down to a single, overwhelming thought: this is going to really fucking hurt. And it does. It really, really does. I loved downhill mountain biking, but I hated going back up the hills and I was never all that good at it, so I gave up the sport before it forced me to give up on having all my bones intact. Happily I can live vicariously through videogames, so here I am reviewing Shred 2! Ft. Sam Pilgrim.