For a while I was into mountain biking, specifically the downhill side of it because actually having to peddle is just the worst. I say I was into mountain biking, but mostly what happened was that I pin balled from tree to tree in a generally downward direction. But the point is I’ve always wanted more games focused around mountain biking, and while Descenders might not be the more simulation focused game I was hoping for it sure is a whole lot of fun its own right.
Fighting games are like some sort of detox. After playing game after game where I’m living a power fantasy playing a fighting game can be a slap to the face, a reminder that I’m not as good as I think. One on one there are no excuses. Failure needs to be owned. Lessons must be learned. Inventive swear words must fill the air like so many angry, foul-mouthed bees. And my favourite fighting game series in history is Mortal Kombat. I’ve been playing them since Mortal Kombat 2, and now we’re up to the 11th numbered game in the series. For a while things were rough, but then NetherRealm made an epic comeback in 2011. Since then, Mortal Kombat has been better than ever. But Mortal Kombat 11…well, it’s a little trickier.
Close to the Sun likes to label each of its chapters based on Greek mythology, mentioning characters like Icarus. So let me get a bit posh here and chat about Icarus, too. You’ve probably heard the story: Icarus is the son of Daedalus, the designer of the famous Labyrinth where the Minotaur dwelt. The tale goes that Minos imprisoned Daedalus and Icarus in a tower to keep the secret of the maze safe. The two prisoners used feathers and wax to create wings, and leapt from the tower. Daedalus told his son not to fly too high or else the sun would melt the wax holding his wings together, and not to fly too low which would wet the feathers. But because Icarus was a fucking moron he flew too Close to the Sun (HA!) and his wings melted, thus he fell into the sea and drowned. The end. Close to the Sun tries to fly up to the narrative heights of brilliance but its wings start to melt. So it tries to fly down to the cold depths of horror and nearly drowns. And so Close to the Sun never does find its balance. It never soars high in the sky, nor skims the waves. Jesus, this has turned too philosophical. I need a beer or something. Let’s just review this thing, yeah?
Considering that World War Z, the film starring Brad Pitt based on the book that didn’t star Brad Pitt, came out waaaaay back in 2013 it seems a tad odd to release an official World War Z videogame some six years later. And yet here we are. But despite being based upon the movie World War Z is much more like a sequel to Left 4 Dead 2 in spirit, if not in name. Also, this doesn’t star Brad Pitt, either.
I failed to post a Patch Notes last week, but I’m back now! And man was there some big news over the past few weeks to talk about. I’ve picked a few topics to quickly chat about, from the PS5 being announced in surprising fashion to new Star Wars games so let’s delve into this!
It’s pretty crazy that both Anthem and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 launched in the same month, both offering stacks of loot and lots of shooting. On paper, at least, Anthem sounded like such a cool prospect versus the more grounded reality of The Division 2. Mechanized suits, an alien world, potentially awesome types of loot to hunt down. Yet here we are: Anthem was a disappointment and The Division 2 has wound up improving on the first game in nearly every area. Even with the constraints on loot that a realistic setting imposes the people at Massive have crafted a more interesting loot system than Bioware could manage with their creative freedom. So let’s delve in and review Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.
11-years have passed since the last true Devil May Cry game was launched. In the span of time since 2008 we got a reboot of the franchise in the form of the oddly named DmC: Devil May Cry, a game that I actually quite liked but that did not go down well with fans. Finally, though, we have a true sequel in the form of Devil May Cry 5. Nero and Dante are back and ready to kick some demonic buttocks. It’s time to welcome back Devil May Cry and watch as it retakes its throne.
Sometimes it feels like you can’t walk a few steps without accidentally tripping over another Warhammer game. They are absolutely everywhere and their quality tends to vary dramatically thanks to Games Workshop handing out the license to anyone that pays them a few Jelly Beans. Thankfully we’ve gotten some pretty good Warhammer games of late, and Warhammer: Chaosbane is looking to continue that trend. Due to launch in June, I got some time in with Warhammer: Chaosbane during its closed beta. So let’s talk about that.
BioWare’s career has been filled with incredible games, from Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic to the Mass Effect trilogy and Dragon Age. For many, myself included, the company has a special place in our hearts. Yet things have been rough for BioWare of late, with Mass Effect: Andromeda falling flat on its oddly animated face. Now, we have Anthem, a new live-service, co-op looter-shooter in the vein of Destiny and The Division that has been in development for nearly seven years. After spending dozens and dozens of hours in Anthem, though, I can’t help but wonder what the hell happened in those seven years.
Reflecting on yet another failed attempt at an extreme track in Trials Rising at some ungodly hour in the morning, I come to the conclusion that this series has probably evoked more emotional responses out of me than the majority of story-driven games. This is literally a game about riding a bike from one end of a track to the end without falling off too many times. Somehow, though, it can make me laugh, smile, yell, get angry and threaten to murder my friends. I didn’t murder them, though. Honest. It was just heat of the moment. Now hand me a shovel, would you?