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My Favorite Games: A Decade Long Retrospective Pt. 6

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This may be the quickest I’ve actually managed to churn out another entry in my month-spanning blog series. It’s only been a little over a week if memory serves correctly, but you can take the easy way out and find my previous entry here as well. In that particular entry I spoke of my favorite games from 2013 and 2014 so it only logically follows that this entry covers 2015 and 2016- bringing us both remarkably up to date and setting the stage for me to wrap the blog series up for the foreseeable future until there’s more content to develop.

I’ve not forgotten several of my other blog series which require further exposition or outright finishing and I still have several fresh ideas up my sleeve as always. Expect to see more of these projects in the future but in no particular order or at any particular time of course. I’m sure I’ll always essentially be behind on reviews but you may get the chance to see my ‘Games I didn’t Review In X Year’ posts morph into games from even older years as well. Without further ado, let’s get to the matter at hand. Feel free to comment on my choices as you see fit, as always.

2015: Dying Light, Pillars of Eternity, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Undertale, Soma, Fallout 4, Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Dying Light is Techland realizing the full potentially of what Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide oftentimes failed to recognize. It offers essentially the best zombie experience in that vein that we’ve yet to see and it’s still being supported quite well even now. It’s always truly impressive to me when a developer so adamantly supports their project even well after its release and when they prove their love for the title even more so than fans might. The mechanics and the world and the creativity which they allow for is part of what makes Dying Light one of my favorite titles of recent note.

Pillars of Eternity is Obsidian doing what they do best- making a brilliant game as an homage to games of renown in the past and making it both fresh and exciting as well as a thrilling tie-in. What’s perhaps more impressive is that the role-playing game started as a crowdfunded and kickstarted effort and is perhaps one of the best examples of success from that particular platform as well. It’s every bit as much its own game as it is a successor to Planescape, Baldur’s Gate, and all of the most popular and widely recognized RPGs of old out there today. It has a pretty simple interface and premise but don’t let that fool you as far as enriching story and atmosphere are concerned. I’m a sucker for stuff like this.

By now if you know anything about me it’s that you’ll probably never get me to shut up about The Witcher 3, which I still stand by as possibly the greatest game I’ve ever played in my entire lifetime and may as of yet ever play at all. I’ve written blog post after blog post about the merits of the game and the many references to other great works within it whether intentional or not, however now let me boil things down to just a few extra notes. The combat and the story are easily the best in the series and also in terms of how easily they are able to be handled and understood by both newcomers and series veterans. It’s equal parts an accessible package and one that can curdle the blood of even the hardiest adventurers on the highest of difficulties. Wild Hunt is phenomenal in many ways but probably more so for the ways in which it lays itself bare while also hiding secrets under the surface that we are only just now discovering or perhaps may never discover at all.

So far on this particular list all of the games have deep replayability and untold value as a complete package. The buck doesn’t stop here as the next in line is Batman: Arkham Knight, the as of now thrilling conclusion to the Arkham storyline and perhaps the most ambitious Batman (and superhero) game in history. I thought things couldn’t get better after Asylum and then came City. I thought we couldn’t possibly see a better project than City and then came Origins- which wasn’t a better thing than City so I was correct at least as of then. But then we got Arkham Knight and boy were even my high expectations met pretty well. I theorized villains and characters that could be in the title and many were much to my surprise and pleasure. I dreamed about seeing Knightfall come to life and boy was it (sort of; also sort of TDKR vibes as well). Rocksteady forever has my appreciation for this series.

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2015 saw many huge video game releases but one thing it had remarkably in common beyond even those blockbusters was that it was most definitely the year of the beard. Geralt of Rivia’s ever-growing scruff and Venom Snake/Big Boss’s remarkably visage are two of the best we may ever see. I considered the fact that The Phantom Pain would and could be the next Metal Gear game and boy was I on the mark. But it was never what any of us expected and I say that in the best of ways. What an amazing epic and what an experience. It either intentionally or unintentionally tied together so many years of Metal Gear history and work and it actually made (sort of) sense. It gave us an experience that was as much entertainment as it was a total red herring and we loved it. Just wow.

Undertale is probably one of the most well-known independently developed projects of late besides Amnesia or Limbo. And that’s good company to be in for a perfectly clear reason: Undertale is an amazing role-playing game and has quirks that will also make it undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had with a game as well. When you include little details like the ability to either befriend or murder all of the potential bosses faced in an adventure then you’re doing something most people would never even think of and more importantly you’re doing something right. Undertale is much more than a game in that it is the sum of an experience as well.

By now Frictional Games is somewhat of a household name in the gaming industry thanks to the success of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and the still ever-interesting and horrifying Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. Despite having mixed success with their last major project, it’s Soma that really has recaptured my attention and shows me that not only is horror very much alive but it can also sometimes be a veritable journey of self discovery. Without ruining the best of the twists, let me just say that Soma not only has the as of now expected twists but that you’re more than likely genuinely not going to see them coming until they hit you point blank. In a world of derelict stations, underwater facilities, and space-age vibes you’re going to encounter horrific experiments and plenty of terrifying robot models. And you’ll love it.

Fallout 3 is one of the best games of all time despite the plethora of flaws that accompany any major Bethesda title being present as well. Fallout New Vegas is a worthwhile sequel and pushes the potential of the series ever further despite being technically hindered at times and being an experience that proves divisive to the audience as well. Fallout 4 has beautiful graphics but may be the most divisive title to date in the history of the renewed and reinvigorated modern take on Fallout. A lot was promised with the title and it failed to deliver some of that but also showcased plenty more than was expected. It doesn’t have much in the way of additional content when compared to the plethora of content available in New Vegas and Fallout 3, and yet for what it does offer in Far Harbor it more than improves the already entertaining experience. If you’re willing to accept the fact that you’re pretty much shoehorned into portraying a good guy by the narrative, then Fallout 4 is truly astounding in what it does offer by design. It has more within it than any wasteland to date and I’m still discovering new things day by day.

I thought that 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot would be alright but that it was treading dangerous water with the semi-dead series. Then I played the game and was utterly blown away and loved it. Likewise I was skeptical that lightning could or would strike twice successfully for the proposed 2015 sequel. Then I played it and loved every aspect of it that had been crafted bigger and better than before. There are still the moments of survival and horror as in the origin story and yet it also allowed Lara Croft to come into her own as a tomb raider and adventurer, providing more action than the origin reboot and treading the fine line between mysticism and realism that characterizes the new and old series. I cannot wait for what comes next in this series but I am utterly satisfied by what we’ve seen thus far as well and particularly the support the game has gotten in the wake of the anniversary as well.

2016: Hyper Light Drifter, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Stardew Valley, Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, The Witness, Chronos

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Hyper Light Drifter is every bit the homage to SNES games and times past as well as an admirable story that doesn’t need dialogue to convey the feelings it wishes to convey. Even if the art style or the hardcore elements of the role-playing adventure may not be for you personally, I would still infinitely recommend the title because of the emotions it handles and the soundtrack and gameplay that accompany that. I’ve only since gained a deeper understanding of the true inspirations behind the game by following up and doing my own research of sorts and that honestly just blows me away as much as the experience itself does. If science fiction is as much your thing as it is mine, you’ll love this memorable indie title.

Uncharted 4 isn’t the last that we are going to see of Nathan Drake’s world but it is potentially and fittingly the last we will see of Nathan Drake and some of the other beloved characters we’ve come to know thanks to the talented folks at Naughty Dog. Although we are getting a standalone expansion at some point in the near future with The Lost Legacy, Nate Drake’s final appearance is as much his final appearance as it is a flashback to his early days as well. Naughty Dog and this series have come such a long way in their storytelling and set piece moments and this may be the best we’ve yet to see for the likeable thief/adventurer. I won’t spoil the best of the story but let me just say that if you’ve played the rest of the series then this is the pinnacle of that experience and you’d best believe I’ll be thinking about the memorable moments for years to come.

Stardew Valley is yet another example of the meaningful resurgence of indie gaming lately and also a testament to hard work paying off. It has sold pretty well for an independently developed title and that’s probably largely in part thanks to the fact that it has been ported to virtually every console out there now. 2016 was sort of a retro re-appreciation and as such sims were ‘in’ yet again- something I wasn’t entirely sure would ever happen but that I’m glad did. It’s odd when you can put a farming game and a juggernaut such as Uncharted 4 on a level playing field but both stuck out to me and are equally memorable for differing reasons entirely in the sense of matters for this particular year. Stardew Valley functions quite well and is an enjoyable experience because it is so vastly different from the other titles released in 2016.

Titanfall 2 may be the best and my favorite shooter I’ve played in quite some time and it’s not too early to recognize that whatsoever. The campaign may have followed in the footsteps of the typical multiplayer shooter in that it is fairly short, especially if you’ve played it previously and have the fundamentals down, however it also draws some of the most creative inspirations from other games since the original Darksiders did from a multitude of sources. The multiplayer is where you’ll live or die by the Titan sword and I fundamentally love how it has evolved over time from a great experience into an even better one, free downloadable content siphoned in along the way as well. Sure, you can pay for some cosmetic upgrades and whatnot and I haven’t minded shelling out the few extra dollars here and there just because that stuff is genuinely cool, but all of the base extra content and maps and such are completely free and I love that about Respawn’s work ethic. They love what they do and want to share it with as many people as possible. Too bad most opted for Battlefield 1 merely for the name rather than Titanfall 2 for the better game…

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It saddens me like nothing else that both Titanfall 2 and Dishonored 2- two phenomenal games by anyone’s standards, didn’t sell as well as they should’ve when compared to other titles selling solely for a name brand. Dishonored 2 is the continuation of an excellent free form experience and will also soon feature a story expansion akin to Uncharted having an expansion to tie up loose ends in the current narrative and add background to previously sidelined characters. We may be seeing the end of the Corvo Attano/Emily Kaldwin era however we may not be seeing the end of the Dishonored universe or the gameplay elements we’ve come to love and appreciate. I once speculated that the original Dishonored could very well be a better game than Skyrim in many aspects and I was not wrong. With the sequel, like Titanfall 2 virtually everything has improved and while some things have been maintained it’s both a thrillingly fresh and familiar experience.

Jonathan Blow is not only an unique individual and creative mind but also a fairly commonplace name in the gaming industry thanks in large part to the success of the indie-explosive kickoff game Braid. It should come as no surprise that The Witness, being another of his projects, is both expressive and enjoyable as well as unique and creative. The Witness channels every bit of the classic Myst vibes that I love in games such as the Myst series and more recently Obduction. However there is one notable difference and that would be the fact that The Witness features some of the most devious and delightful puzzles I’ve yet to play in any game, puzzle centric or otherwise. The Witness gives Portal an easy run for its money in terms of gripping puzzle aspects because the entire island habitat of The Witness is one large interactive puzzle and it’s all divided up into sections that range from lightly impossible to ‘you’ll never guess what this deviously difficult path leads to.’ Sometimes it’s an exercise in frustration but I love it.

I’ve already done my part in talking about Gunfire Games’ Chronos in a post that was equally parts praise and review, however I must still maintain that this is likely the best VR focused game we have yet to see and may yet see for the foreseeable future. Chronos is so enjoyable and works as well as it does because it does not approach VR as most VR games do- it instead operates as an experience that could just as easily work in any other role-playing game and that is where it achieves its main strengths and success. Because it does not focus on presenting itself entirely as a gimmick heavy VR experience, Chronos can instead showcase its brilliant concepts of time and player management as well as a loosely laced in narrative as well. I’ve yet to purchase many VR titles because most of them are largely gimmicks and one trick ponies, however if I had to pick one experience to recommend this (as well as the interesting Adr1ft) would be that solid choice.

And there you have it folks, the conclusion (for now) to my lengthy blog series spanning several long years and plenty of memorable titles. I cannot tell you how many times I considered a game merely because I’ve played it entirely too much only to decide that it wasn’t actually a favorite, merely a time consuming activity. I do hope you’ll comment with some of your own thoughts and also enjoy hearing mine. Cheers.

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Three Interesting Takes from Comic Con

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Although I’m not entirely sure to what degree we will ever again see the unique talents of the great Sir Anthony Hopkins within the realm of the surreal and bloody terrific West World HBO reboot-ish show that he helped to establish, I must say I am excited to see telltale trailers of a second season. That wasn’t the only pleasant surprise to come out of Comic Con thus far as there were plenty of other panels and trailers that piqued my interest to observe. I’ve since narrowed my perspective to three- Jigsaw, West World Season Two, and The Shape of Water.

However, let it also be known that Netflix made a great showing for themselves- featuring everything from a fairytale meets gritty cop drama action flick to additional series and shows. There were some cliche yet refreshingly interesting ideas on hand in terms of horror- I’m going to be talking about effectively Saw 9 or 10 or whatever Jigsaw is canonically just because it looks utterly ridiculous and entertaining if grisly and horrible as well. Michael Fassbender seemingly met his end in grisly fashion in The Snowman- featuring a unique and interesting and surely full of twists serial killing story.

Bryan Singer is bringing his talents to The Gifted- a show set in the world of the X-Men yet pertaining to newly discovered mutants in the shadows of the public eye, and I’m more excited about this than the new seasons of Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Arrow, or even perhaps Supergirl. I will say that the Superman/Girl prequel-ish show Krypton seems interesting enough as well. The 100 and Vikings have long been a source of entertainment and solace for me so those two shows definitely look to be shaking series tradition up and are likely going to break our hearts all over again.And as far as I can tell, Ready Player One looks like it will be given justifiable treatment by Spielberg and crew, so that’s only a good thing.

But let’s talk about my three main topic sources here now that I’ve covered the plethora of other great trailers and shows that were catered around.

The only reason that Jigsaw really stood out to me was that it seems to be bringing back a lot of classic Saw accoutrements but also adding an influx of not only action apparently but new machinations and twists and turns to the already thoroughly convoluted series. Saw has certainly had its moments- from its indie ish low budget beginnings to the colossal 3D flop of an ‘ending’ of sorts. However Jigsaw has piqued my interest because it brings up new questions about old tricks and also seems to at least as far as in the trailer shows, prove an old dog still has some unseen tricks to show off.

Is Jigsaw really alive and kicking? Is this all the devious devilish work of some protege or copycat killer? Is all of this just some sick and twisted playground already set up in the past and ready to be carried out by unseen henchmen? Will we actually get a steady stream of plot to go with the sure to be there gore and difficult decisions and dumb choices? All of these questions and more may or may not be answered in the movie itself but one thing is certain: hide your kids and hide your saw  blades or else both are liable to be either abducted or sunk into the head of some poor schmuck.

My second topic of interest is none other than the second series or season of HBO’s popular West World. Season One offered many twists and turns and we quite literally aren’t out of the woods (er, park) yet. Dolores seems to be adapting to the role of villain laid out before her by one-time instigator and writer Robert Ford, we still have the beloved Bernard to sort of follow behind and see what happens as he picks up the pieces of undoubtedly a greater scheme at work, and we have yet to really see Teddy or Elsie come back on screen but hopefully we won’t have to wait long. Many of us were left with burning questions after the end of the previous season and I think some are due to be answered as well as new ones added to the mix. I don’t want to know everything, just the most integral details in regard to key plot aspects.

And then of course there’s the Man in Black who is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and ambiguous characters in the show for many obvious reasons if you’ve watched the first season. I can’t wait to see how things continue to play out for him now that he’s realized his dream of a perfectly aware robotic/AI filled park and that everyone is on an essentially level playing field. It’s a dog eat dog world and survival of the fittest is the only course of action that’s viable anymore. I’m intrigued by the prospect of both new characters as well as continued revelations for previously existing ones or even a continued exploration of depth and adaptation to new roles as well. Now that most technicians are likely dead or less likely to want to create more advanced AI or repair existing ones, our beloved characters are nearer and dearer to our hearts as the dangers become more apparent.

Last but surely not least, Guillermo del Toro as is often the case pretty much boggled my mind and piqued my interest all in one fell swoop. I’ve always enjoyed del Toro’s work in the past and he provides either perfectly paced action and excitement with interesting settings or characters, or he provides truly enveloping and emotional plots with slightly chilling aspects and unique qualities. Sometimes he tosses all of that into the blender and gives us a bit of everything if we’re talking about Crimson Peak in particular (RIP Tom Hiddleston’s face). The Shape of Water in typical del Toro fashion seems to have a star studded cast as well as an intriguing plot revolving around a mute woman who only feels appreciated and whole when conversing with what I can only best describe as a mer-man.

If that wasn’t interesting enough on its own, throw into the mix blatant disregard for life, the exploits of what seems to be a 1940s or 1950s scientific establishment complete with borderline barbaric ideas and practices, and the dramatic entanglement of this woman, this creature, and everyone in between them. It’s seemingly a love story as much as it is a lowkey chilling tale about modern medicine, appreciating people for all of their unique flaws and/or capabilities, and also a gripping dramatic tale. In essence, I’m uniquely interested in the potential for a story here and although I already see where there could be plenty of pitfalls or pandering and catering to particular audiences, I’m somewhat okay with all of that because Guillermo already owns half of my heart and mind as is.

And those are just some of my thoughts stemming in particular from the interesting trailers that have been showcased around Comic Con. If you’re currently attending Comic Con- SDCC or anywhere else you might currently be or already have been, feel free to comment with your own takes or your own most interesting and intriguing new films, games, or other entertainment. Cheers.

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Games I Didn’t Review In 2016: Infinite Warfare

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My history with the Call of Duty series is an interesting one: I’m one of the few people who actually plays the series for its story as well as the frenetic multiplayer mayhem. I do enjoy a good if cliched tale from time to time and the Call of Duty series provides that as well as over the top thrills about one in every three titles or so. Although the series trend of pushing into the future is coming to at least a temporary halt with Sledgehammer Games’ turning back of the clock to World War II, I for one enjoyed the campaigns of both Advanced Warfare and Infinite Warfare immensely as well as the multiplayer of Black Ops III.

While the series has been largely hit or miss in terms of quality since 2011’s Modern Warfare 3- a game I immensely enjoyed yet recognized its handy amount of faults, it’s still a series I enjoy even if it has largely done the majority of things all shooters nowadays do. Black Ops II had a thrilling story and admittedly good multiplayer. Ghosts was a mess through and through and likely the lowest we’ve seen the series come thus far. Advanced Warfare was a brave and bold and satisfying push into the future. Black Ops III was a mess in terms of story but brought the fun factor back. And here we are, set to talk about Infinite Warfare- a game that received near standing ovations when the initial trailer was shown, only to be dissed and booed unceremoniously once it was revealed to be the next Call of Duty.

The fanbase constantly ceases to amaze or to let down whenever news is shown about upcoming games- often deriding the game all the way until release and then purchasing the title anyway. Despite my confusion over the antics of a fanbase largely comprised of prepubescent teens and then of shooter fans everywhere of every age, I can understand the mixed feeling over the most recent Call of Duty release. Infinite Warfare is the furthest from the series initial start that we’ve come and that we’re likely to see anytime soon but that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, I’d say that the game is best when it tries the least to be like any Call of Duty title we’ve yet experienced. The single player campaign is challenging and fantastic in its authorial intent- at its best when showcasing the horrors even of a future war, at its most sluggish when attempting to needlessly tie in old concepts or series staple gimmicks. The free-form-ish exploration and level design is in the vein of Black Ops III and some of the broadest and most open we’ve yet to see.

I cannot express my satisfaction for the single player campaign any more than I already have but the downsides to the game come in the other modes. While I will say that it is a fair assessment of Infinite Warfare to call it perhaps one of the most complete Call of Duty titles to date- offering Zombies, classic multiplayer, and a unique story mode, that does not say anything about the quality of each game mode. The multiplayer is largely what you would expect from the series with the added aspects largely present to some degree in this particular universe and story. It frustratingly places an emphasis on speed and mobility while restraining your movement and mobility at the same time, settling somewhere between Ghosts/Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III on the spectrum of such abilities. Infinity Ward obviously took notes from previous games in the aftermath of Ghosts and yet they still failed to hit the mark and honestly for one reason or another this has been the least satisfying multiplayer component outside of Ghosts to date.

On the subject of Zombies it’s much of the same story but things work a tad bit better than in the rest of the online component. The age old formula remains largely unchanged and the graphics and gimmicks are all well and good however the gameplay just falls a little flat at times and I never felt quite as into it as I have in the first two Black Ops titles. Over the past few titles (essentially since Advanced Warfare) I’ve found myself increasingly dissatisfied with the Zombies offering for one reason or another and I think I’ve finally pinned down as to why that is: I simply don’t enjoy future zombies or overused ideas anymore than I particularly enjoyed facing the Flood or The Library in Halo.

If I had to justify my commentary with a score of some sort and apply that to the game then I may sound harsher than the actual numerical value I’m likely to assign the title. In my mind even despite its flaws, Infinite Warfare should be no less than an eighty percent or 8/10 and no more than a ninety percent or 9/10. Anywhere in between there could be arguably applicable depending largely on what aspects you’re likely to focus on. The campaign, while replayable for sure is still possible to complete on higher difficulties at one hundred percent and then never be returned to. It’s more rewarding and more challenging than in the past which in turn makes it much more worthwhile and engaging however in its messages and character building. As for the rest of the package, there are some solid foundations and ideas but it’s been done much better before in the series and as such isn’t the most compelling example of Call of Duty heritage.

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My Favorite Games: A Decade Long Retrospective Pt. 5

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It’s been some time since the last iteration of this blog series, however here I am bringing you the next post in succession- as well as more on both my Pokemon and Borderlands 2 retrospectives in the near future. For those of you who either do not remember or have yet to read this particular series of blogs, I’ve been focusing on my favorite games of the last decade from roughly 2005 to the present year. There are plenty more excellent titles than the ones I will be and have been listing, however those that do get selected are oftentimes the games I’ve mastered and sunk a ridiculous amount of time into completing to one hundred percent. This particular post may be the penultimate one as I will be focusing on the years 2013 and 2014. Feel free to comment as you please.

2013: Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Injustice Gods Among Us, Metro Last Light, The Last of Us, Outlast, Grand Theft Auto V, The Wolf Among Us, Killzone Shadow Fall.

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I have a strange history with many games that are the third in a series- particularly Dead Space 3 and Assassin’s Creed 3 in recent years. The main thing these two titles have in common is that they’ve been polarizing in the mixed reviews they’ve received and yet despite it all I’ve awarded both of them a whopping 9.75 upon release and completed them to 100% and poured numerous hours into the experiences. Whatever you may think of Dead Space 3 in particular and it’s faults- too many human enemies, not enough horror, too much action, etc etc, I’ve still undoubtedly enjoyed the evolution of Isaac Clarke’s journey. Am I disappointed that we haven’t seen a new Dead Space game in years and likely won’t outside of a potential reboot? Yes, yes I am. Am I glad they aren’t continuing to ruin the series by milking it? Without a doubt.

Crysis 3 is the culmination of one of the most beautiful yet confusing series I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Crysis continually offers excellent gameplay and has some really innovative ideas. 2013 was jokingly the year of the bow and Crysis 3 is one of the largest proponents of that whole deal- Tomb Raider being the other major player there. Crysis 2 is one of my favorite games of all time and features the best story in the series and yet Crysis 3 manages to step things up in every single way whereas action and adventure are concerned. You truly take things to a global scale even if the story gets completely muddled in the process. There’s some weird thing I also seem to have with the second game in a trilogy being my favorite (hell, it even extends to film a la Empire Strikes Back)- look no further than other notorious mentions such as FEAR 2: Project Origin. Crysis 3 will always look beautiful in terms of graphics and run smoother than many games can manage now.

I was super skeptical and yet super stoked when the Tomb Raider reboot was announced and eventually released. The end result is a game and a series that I have renewed my love affair with and so long as the quality holds up as it has in both 2013 and the sequel, I’m going to remember for a long time. I’ve been playing the Tomb Raider games since their inception and have loved the series even at its lower points, however it’s very easy to see that this new direction has pushed the series to its limits and in an interesting new direction. It was great to see the survival and even horror aspects of 2013’s adventure and then to see the survival and action hero aspects of the sequel. I’m looking forward to more of the gritty world traveling and bloody, up close violence in whatever sequel may come next.

Bioshock Infinite is an interesting species, that’s for sure. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the memories created by the series as a whole and yet the first and third entries take the cake mainly for the emotions that they’ve elicited. It’s weird to admit a game that eventually turns into a shooter mostly devoid of physical attachment can make me feel so strongly and yet that’s exactly what Bioshock Infinite managed to do when it truly melded the stories in the series together with Burial at Sea and showcased the descent of Rapture and Elizabeth’s part in larger things. Betrayal, blood, and baths- three things you should really watch out for if you’re Booker DeWitt or Elizabeth apparently. And twists, twists, twists. Good times…

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Ever since anybody would listen, I’ve been harping on the merits of first Injustice: Gods Among Us and now Injustice 2. They are rich and plentiful and the sequel has truly proven that if the base formula is correct you can still refine things and create something three times better. I thought the first superhero fighter was one of Netherrealm’s best titles yet, topping even Mortal Kombat and then Mortal Kombat X in terms of story and depth. And now I’ve been wowed even more so by the complexity and yet simple substance that Injustice 2 has to offer. Nothing will beat my jaw hitting the floor when Superman slammed a fist through the Joker’s black heart within the opening moments of the first game however.

Metro 2033 is a very interesting experience packaged in a game that does some things right while battling against both bugs and flaws. I thoroughly enjoyed the game but appreciate the sequel a lot more for fixing most of the problems relevant to the first one’s woes. Last Light doesn’t change too much up so much as it makes the experience both more accessible and more enjoyable. And for that I can only appreciate the efforts of both 4A and Deep Silver in their partnership together. I truly hope I get to see more of Artyom’s journey and get to make more tough decisions in such a memorable post-apocalyptic Russia snowscape. It’s one of the best series based off of actual novels aside from the epic saga that is The Witcher.

The Last of Us is probably the game that speaks to me the most on this particular list and I don’t really think I need to go into too much detail as to why that exactly is. I feel like I’ve shared an experience with so many people who’ve played the game and I will continue to share that journey with all of the people who are surely going to play The Last of Us Pt. II when it finally releases. In truth, it’s about tense action, emotional gravity, and a world that’s both vibrant and morally grey. It’s about the journey more so than the destination and that has never been more apparent to me in a game before this, except perhaps something along the lines of Shadow of the Colossus. And if we’re comparing the two then that should go to show how much affection I feel for Joel and Ellie and their trials and tribulations in particular.

Outlast recently got a bloodier, more graphically impressive sequel but that won’t stop me from appreciating the torturous adventure that was the first and more indie centric game. Something about not being able to defend yourself is apparently attractive to us masochistic horror and survival fans who continue to play games like Amnesia and Outlast. The settings, the characters, the trials and trying times that those characters get put through- you could grind it all up and the experience would still be blood curdling and rich. Outlast might not be the most graphically impressive horror game I’ve seen and yet it elicits reactions that many others have failed to do. In a year where a sequel to one of the most classic horror titles of all time was released (Resident Evil 6), I chose to play Outlast instead because it was thoroughly more enjoyable and a better experience.

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Truly, hail to the king. I’m continually impressed day by day that Rockstar and by extension GTAV is still kicking as hard as it does. It’s been several years since the next generation versions of the game released, much less the last generation version’s initial release. And here they are still releasing a plethora of online content to keep the game going and the following growing. As much as I enjoyed previous GTA games I will never be able to dispute the fact that the legacy has so far been defined entirely by the fifth entry at least since its release. Innovation was the name of the game and Rockstar made that work to the tune of three controllable characters and atypical and asymmetrical online multiplayer. GTAV is like a monument to gaming gods and I’m not surprised that we aren’t going to see another sequel for probably five more years considering they’ve made one game last for almost five already.

The Wolf Among Us has lowkey been one of my favorite Telltale Games episodic releases since I recognized some of the most intriguing and interesting characters from the Fables comic series in it. The fact that it remains one of the more popular Telltale series and yet has yet to spawn the sequel it deserves is a little disappointing and disheartening but doesn’t in any way diminish the experience. Yes, as with the other episodes it has its moments for both good and bad reasons and yet the narrative is one of the best and the action sequences are both unique and thoroughly entertaining. Where else can you rip off the monstrous foe of Beowulf’s arm or throw your adversary into a literal wishing well after all?

Killzone Shadow Fall is a game I couldn’t resist playing and one I couldn’t help but spout love for. I’ve reviewed the game just as much as I’ve thoroughly spoiled it in a blog series designed specifically for that reason alone. It’s still the most recent release in Guerrilla Games Killzone series (also of Horizon Zero Dawn fame) and I truly hope we see Shadow Fall 2 or a true Killzone 4 by the end of the decade. The level of polish and the graphical depth in combination with an original ‘Cold War’ story just blows my mind. I wish the multiplayer had truly held up but then that’s always the problem associated with series such as this that aren’t Battlefield or Halo or Call of Duty essentially. And yet the game still shines even a few years later.

2014: Dark Souls 2, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Destiny, Wasteland 2, Alien Isolation, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Dragon Age Inquisition, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

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This was basically the first year my workload really started to step up and I found myself less and less able to be as active in gaming or communities such as the GIO one I often find myself in. As a result I was a bit pickier about the experiences I allowed myself the time to get thoroughly invested in. To nobody’s great surprise and certainly not to my own, Dark Souls 2 wrenched me in and I haven’t been particularly disappointed since. I played and enjoyed the first game so I figured the second couldn’t do much worse- newsflash: it turned out to be a tougher and yet somehow more enjoyable experience than even I could’ve imagined. So kudos to From Software for equal parts good times and rage inducing boss battles.

In the wake of news and updates for The New Colossus, it seems only fair to mention The New Order. Before ID brought back retro rampages with Doom they tested the waters a bit with another attempt at a popular reboot or sequel of sorts and it took off to massive amounts of success. The New Order remains one of the best initial offerings on the current generation of hardware and is one of the most interesting and entertaining stories I’ve experienced in video gaming to date. There’s plenty of exploration, action, and even a dab of romance if that’s your thing I suppose. And all of this is packaged in not only a game that revolves around bashing in mecha-Nazi faces but surviving the established New World Order of an occult worshiping Nazi regime in a post-WWII atmosphere. Who could’ve guessed?

Destiny was a mixed bag at best when it released so perhaps it’s fairer to place this particular entry under 2015 since that’s roughly when The Taken King expansion released and largely revitalized the game and fixed the majority of its launch issues. However, I’ll leave this here because from the start I was excited about the project as much as I am skeptical now about Destiny 2 and all things that I want to be amazing and knock your socks off great. I can afford to be skeptical because I am in love with the project and want to see its full potential realized like the first game’s largely wasn’t despite the end result still being intriguing, satisfying, and enjoyable overall. There’s so much potential for Bungie’s new universe and I want to see the series realize ever gamer’s fondest dreams and science fiction nerd’s greatest odyssey- even if that is unrealistic in terms of expectations.

Wasteland has been an iconic series for sometime and the fact that a second and third entry have seen the light of day largely thanks to Kickstarted fundraisers is spectacular for anyone who enjoys classic titles like Fallout. I could probably best compare the game itself to something along the lines of The Walking Dead (comic) in a post apocalyptic wasteland that doesn’t at least prominently feature zombies. The choices and dynamics and isometric style of the game is what makes it a winner in my heart and the overall attention to detail and the experience as a whole makes it largely replayable as well as enjoyable.

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Alien Isolation is without a doubt the best Alien game we’re likely to play in our lifetime short of a much appreciated sequel to Isolation, or at least a game also created by The Creative Assembly and set in the same narrative universe. It was a refreshing blend of modern and retro as well as a refreshing horror experience that is still necessary and needed even today. It reminds me in many ways of Resident Evil 7 and as such I feel like the new direction of Resident Evil was definitely inspired by the dynamics and gameplay of Isolation. In the wake of watching Alien Covenant I can definitely say that Isolation kept my love and admiration for the slightly butchered legacy of the series alive and I’m glad it’s still out there, screaming silently in the far reaches of space.

Assassin’s Creed Unity is probably the biggest offender of any sort on this list and possibly the most controversial pick I could’ve even chosen. However, as with Assassin’s Creed 3 and Dead Space 3, I’ll stand by it. For much the same reason as Destiny, Unity is still one of the most interesting games I’ve played and despite it still having some issues and quality concerns at times I’ve enjoyed the experience thoroughly since its release. Admittedly, it’s one of those games where I enjoy the experience when it actually wishes to present itself as playable and thoroughly enjoyable, however the narrative and the world itself largely got me back into the increasingly annoying Assassin’s Creed series. Yes, I feel the franchise fatigue even now and as such have resolved not to deal too much with Origins despite its promise of being new and bold and blah blah blah. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Assassin’s Creed series and yet I’m still largely over it at times. Ubisoft could take the elements that make the series popular and put them into plenty of other titles.

I’m still playing Dragon Age Inquisition as we speak. Not literally right now of course but I continually start new adventures and sink at least fifty hours into developing this new storyline or redoing my entire Dragon Age World State or playing through Dragon Age 1 and 2 with a new build. Possibly more so than even Mass Effect or Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age is potentially my favorite BioWare series of all time. I know they’ve got their hands full working on other projects and yet so much more than Andromeda I was hoping to see the continuation of the Dragon Age world and what larger threat could loom on the horizon.

My last item on the list is one of the most interesting games dealing with one of the most beloved mythos of all time in literature and film and gaming. Lords of the Rings and by extension Middle-earth, is no joking matter. Doing right by a series and an established fanbase is no simple task and yet Shadow of Mordor and now Shadow of War either look like they will continue to do so or already have done so. It’s a bloody and interesting and unique tale crafted between events that already canonically exist and events that we have yet to experience. And for better or worse I utterly enjoy it all.

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Discussing TWD: A New Frontier

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It’s only been five years since gamers everywhere were first introduced to Lee Everett and Clementine. Since then we’ve been rocked by revelation after revelation and brutal death after brutal death in first Lee’s and since Clementine’s journey through the world of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. Of course by now you’ve no doubt heard of Telltale Games’ episodic properties as they’ve exploded in popularity since The Walking Dead in particular. You might’ve even played a few episodes or perhaps entire series such as Tales from the Borderlands or The Wolf Among Us or Game of Thrones. While some of the more popular properties have already garnered sequel seasons others have yet to see the light of day despite their popularity and success.

I was initially going to do a group review of the newest season of The Walking Dead and the next semi-segment of Clementine’s adventure, as I’ve done in the past with both the first season and bits and pieces of the second season. However I think it would be best to instead simply discuss the merits of the entire season as a whole and hopefully not spoil too much for those of you who have yet to play it for yourself or perhaps even to play through and experience the adventure series at all yet. So this is your last warning- once you go past this there’s no going back in terms of potential spoilers and discussion about all things The Walking Dead (in terms of the shared universe as well as Telltale’s slice of the pie).

To date we have seen several episodic incarnations of The Walking Dead universe- Season One, 400 Days, Season Two, Michonne, and A New Frontier. A New Frontier is something a little different than we’ve come to expect as it fully features two interactive characters- even more so than Season One did with the interesting parent/child dynamic between Lee and Clementine. Now we actually play the majority of the time as Javier (Javi) instead of our young femme fatale herself, who is an integral part in the story but who only influences events and helps build a larger picture as opposed to outright commandeering the story. Once more, Telltale has proven that at any given time they can shift the point of view from even the most beloved of their characters and still keep the plot exciting and fresh and worthwhile. That’s some potent stuff. It also scares me because that means Clementine might not be the Rick Grimes we are looking for- meaning her stay in the universe may not last forever.

Daunting notions and fears aside, A New Frontier is a thrilling adventure and although at times it falls into many of the same pitfalls as previous episodes and seasons, it is the first time since Season One that I’ve truly enjoyed myself completely and been satisfied if a bit horrified by both my actions and their consequences. Although it wouldn’t be The Walking Dead without meaningful and meaningless deaths and destruction at times, I actually found myself quite satisfied by the ending I received upon completion of the season’s story- even though it cost Javi a brother and nearly an adopted son. I must really be a piece of work if I’m okay with being family first one moment but then screw over my admittedly unlikable brother and take his wife and surviving family members. But hey, it’s Telltale and we can’t always be as roguish and likable as Tales from the Borderlands or Batman.

Telltale’s biggest critique in terms of this whole episodic content delivery thing has always been the degree to which your choices matter in each episode and particularly season to season. I’ve enjoyed the little ways in which they bridge the gaps season to season and the ways in which they retrospectively go back to things that happened in the first season as opposed to simply the last episode, however I still see the glaring problem on hand. Admittedly, A New Frontier has some fan service available for those of you who still remember each and every gritty choice you made in the last two seasons of The Walking Dead as well as in some of the other downloaded segments and bonuses. However that’s not to say that there aren’t still plot points that I’d love to see addressed or be more visibly memorable to Clem and her companions than seem to be at least on the surface. A New Frontier does a wonderful job of mixing in meaningful flashbacks so what if in future seasons we could even go so far a to flash back to previously made and saved decisions at integral plot moments? Instead of a little cog and a ‘[blank] will remember that’ actually show us that moment when Clem shoots Lee or Kenny or Jane or something like that as she battles herself internally over what to do.

A New Frontier is very much the story of Javi and Javi’s family, however once you go beyond the themes of companionship and blood being thicker than water you’ll also find that it’s very much an important part of Clementine’s tale as well. A New Frontier shouldn’t so much be considered a full fledged season three as it should be essentially season two point five. It makes strides in terms of believable conversation and emotion and narrative pacing, but it also falls prey to some of the same mistakes that the first two seasons did in retrospect despite being a much smoother and more aesthetically pleasing experience. What I’m perhaps most excited about is the way in which the ending itself showcases Clementine’s development and how that is going to play into what will more than likely be her own adventure and own outing again in the next offering or next expansion or season or whatever. Through her shared experiences with Javier you get to see Clem grow into an even more adult and sure-footed version of herself and strengthen her beliefs as well as double down on her values. In a world about survival that’s something pleasant to see.

Season One holds a lot of nostalgic memories of characters and moments for me but Season Two didn’t always click and I rightfully never became too attached to characters outside of perhaps Kenny (again) and Luke. Everyone had even more visible and glaring flaws in that season than they even did in the first one but it seemed more forced and by the end of it I didn’t particularly care who lost as every decision felt like a bad one or a forced situation. Thankfully even in its darkest moments A New Frontier lightens up a little bit and provides the tensest situations with some redeemable learning points or even the no-win situations with a potentially less harsh and even less fatal factor. Yes, some of your favorite characters will develop ugly flaws or mean untimely ends but then such is the way of Kirkman’s world as is the way of many fictional worlds (I see you George R.R. Martin).

Whereas Season Two left me out in the cold quite literally, A New Frontier genuinely pleased me and I enjoyed the experience even if Javi’s family found it a hard one throughout and Clementine left with an uncertain road ahead. Despite losing David to the horde of walkers he foolishly drove into, I managed to save Gabe and Kate. I managed to rescue the majority of Richmond’s population despite angrily putting a bullet into Joan’s conniving head and ushering in a huge herd of walkers unwittingly. I managed to forge a lasting relationship with people when I needed to most, earning the respect of Jesus and the trust of Clementine and my fellow comrades in arms. Above all else, I paid for the sins of the father, mother, and brother throughout my adventure. A New Frontier pushes past the first few weeks and year of the zombie outbreak and into territory familiar to those up to date and current with the comic series. I really like the way we’ve seen little cameos from characters such as Glenn before he discovered Rick Grimes in Atlanta and Jesus as he’s out and about checking the status of his people away from the Saviors and Whisperers and other dangers.

It’ll be most intriguing to me now to see if we ever get an appearance from Clementine or other beloved and popular characters in the comics or show or vice versa. I know it’s a foolhardy dream perhaps to have and yet it’s one that would wow me anyway so long as it be faithfully done. Those are just some of my thoughts on The Walking Dead and A New Frontier in general but seeing as I am a huge fan of the property (comics in particular), I’ll always be willing to discuss details and other crazy theories and spoilers with anybody interested. Cheers.

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Manifest Questiny

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Isaac Asimov was Deus Ex long before (the video game series) Deus Ex was anything remotely popular. However, the blog that follows won’t necessarily touch on this point or even remotely resemble that statement. I simply felt that it was important to point out and that probably tells you a little bit more about me than other intricate details might spare.

I’ve always been something of a world traveler and travel junkie or jockey, if you will. The whole deal is somewhat cliche at best and downright atrocious as far as lifestyles go at worst, yet it’s unashamedly and irreverently me. It’s my thing. Exploration of tastes and facades and literature and culture is my jam and my own thoughts and sporadic hobbies are the peanut butter holding that classless metaphor together.

So it’s been some little amount of time since I last posted anything of significance here or anywhere else for that matter and although time is relevant I feel I have an onus that needs abating. Namely as such I shall deliver some kind details of the previous month and what the potential future may hold in terms of everything from my fair lifestyle to my writing and cautious works here and there.

Video games, like science fiction writing and fiction in general have always been a world that appeals to me and an offering that seems to remedy some of the less than jovial experiences and moments throughout life. Whether you’re an adult paying bills and handling the day to day meddling and toilsome work of a job/career/niche, a minor handling the day to day worries of school/life/jobs/stress, or perhaps nothing or everything in between- gaming and literature are two of the nigh infinite potential methods of release and escape.

Of course there are other stimulants and arcane methods of reaching such an escape or revision of reality but for the past month of toilsome work and shutaway, closeted hours spent meddling in the affairs of the mortals I’ve written into existence, I’ve been rewarding myself largely these past two weeks in a multitude of ways. The first is simply to be able to breathe deeply, drink richly, and enjoy the calmer moments of an otherwise frantic and frenetic life- traveling, enjoying family time, and soaking up a few literary classics side by side with otherwise trashy crime dramas and popular fiction.

The second has been somewhat more stressful but to engage in the double edged sword that is video gaming and communicating with other people around the world, each of us seeking to engage directly while remaining blissfully unaware of any of the problems being pushed to the rear of our brains in the heat of the moment. That means multiplayer and cooperative action are the goal and sometimes this will undoubtedly prove as stressful as watching your favorite team lose a key match (or perhaps as watching your country’s aspiring world cup goals sink further from the picture at times).

I’ve dived deeper still into experiences that I previously (and naively) assumed I was content to be finished with. Further exploration into the rich worlds of Dragon Age, The Witcher, and The Division have been made lately and look to turn promising times and tidings for the future. To make a note and a bit of an aside: I’ve completed all of the content of each of the games in those series, as well as the expansion content, and so I had rightfully perhaps thought there couldn’t be much more to witness and enjoy. I was wrong, thanks to the talent at development studios such as BioWare, CD Projekt, and those cunning Ubisoft minds. *cough (Now bring me Cyberpunk 2077) *cough

The previous month- ranging from roughly the twentieth of May until the twenty-fifth of June was a blur of equal parts motion and stagnant thought. I’ve attempted as much as possible to battle through the writer’s block that has followed and for that reason as well as some therapeutic vacation time afterwards, I haven’t written nearly as much or as avidly online. I apologize for the coming and going and the loss of certain trains of thought at times in my online presence such as here and Game Informer, but I am sure most of you understand how it is as well.

I’ll do my best to record my continued musings and whatnot despite losing out on a lot of time for the previous month and missing some of the cultural excitement such as expos and exhibits through which I could’ve otherwise talked about and subsequently blogged about my own upcoming interests and projects of note. I’ll probably branch out a bit here and there and just do some informal stuff like this- marketing my own thoughts much more than usual and musing on the grand scheme of things or perhaps the littlest details of all. It’s in my blood to do that kind of stuff and do that kind of stuff I undoubtedly shall.

I will however also be leaving in the near future- roughly two months from now, off on another jaunt around the world and more for business than for pleasure. As with some of the other things I’ve done in the past, coverage may be spotty as I am trekking over seven thousand miles around the world for this particular trip- one which is going to also be lasting several months. All I ask as usual and as seems to forever be my legacy is that you all keep me in your thoughts and try not to forget the cynical, witty, soul that somehow inhabits my slouchy self. I’ll do my best to check in here and there but the regions I’ll be in aren’t known for internet capabilities or free domain for that matter when it is available.

Naturally, if you have any questions about my travels and exploits I’d be more than happy to share some of them as well, however I’ll spare the gory details for the time being. Sadly it’s never anything so interesting as secret agent or gun for hire…well, as far as you all know of course. Cheers.

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Pre-Review: The Surge and Injustice 2

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I’m going to do something I’m not normally wont to do today because I’m feeling overly tired but also overly excited about sharing my experience with both The Surge and Injustice 2 with other people. I’m going to talk about some of the non-spoiler yet intriguing elements of both recently released titles with you all and give you a taste of what I’ve experienced thus far, having had the games for thirty-six hours and played each for roughly twelve. Yes, I’ve had a rough and time consuming time of it and yet somehow I’ve survived to tell the tale.

I’ll start with The Surge, which has strangely enough been one of my most anticipated titles of 2017 ever since I heard about Deck13’s newest project. I was a fan of Lords of the Fallen in all of its Dark Souls glory and although Deck13 has been around for sometime that was probably their most successful and most quality-driven title to date. I mean, if you’ve played it then you can agree Venetica hardly takes the cake so prior to The Surge there weren’t really any real contenders anyway.

The Surge is everything you’ve heard it to be including a science fiction, exo-suit wearing, machine fighting Souls-style role-playing game. It sports some truly gorgeous visuals that fit right in with the rest of the realistic visuals depicting a dystopian industrial setting in a video game in the year 2017. But where it stands heads and shoulders above the competition in the Souls-game lookalike market is the combat system which is intuitive and fresh although still bears a resemblance to Lords of the Fallen.

In fact, for Deck13’s next project they could very well do something akin to Lords of the Fallen 2 if they wished and I’m sure it would be incredibly well received and also well done now that they have two triple-A caliber titles under their belt.

The combat system is dynamic and fluid in its ability to shift focus from each individual enemy limb and even different targets on the fly. It focuses on many of the same elements that Lords of the Fallen did but it also introduces a new and already critically appreciated dismemberment system like some role-playing version of Dead Space come alive again. Not only can you strategically maim foes and slice and dice your way through their exo-suits but you can also keep choice equipment and gear that you hack off if you time your strikes right.

It’s far more than a gimmick as this is pretty much the main way to grind and progress your way through the game and also it keeps the combat perpetually entertaining as you perform finisher after finisher like nothing we’ve seen since Darksiders II. Things can get a little repetitive at times but the combat keeps the otherwise same encounters fresh and constantly interesting throughout the experience when you aren’t exploring the deadly industrial setting. In some ways The Surge’s world reminds me of a smaller version of the expansive canvas that is Nier Automata. Both certainly have a lot of the same decaying urban vibe going as well as the whole mechanized foes shindig down.

So far my biggest takeaways for The Surge are that it looks and handles smoothly and beautifully, the combat is brutal and effective and entertaining, and the sheer amount of loot and cosmetic upgrades is astonishing. If any of that sounds intriguing to you and you don’t mind a little grind as you play through what will probably be at least a 40 hour experience that is already highly replayable, then I think The Surge may be a game for you to consider.

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As much as I miss some of the cast of the original Injustice: Gods Among Us who don’t return in the sequel for reasons ranging from death (in the story mode) to irrelevance in this particular universe, the updated roster is better than ever. We may have traded Ares and additions like Lobo and Scorpion but now we have Ragey Rage Monster (Atrocitus) and Swamp Thing for example.

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve moved on from The Surge to Injustice 2 and I do hope you’ll stick around if you’re only reading this particular post for one of the two games mentioned. I’ve taken the liberty of playing through and also watching (courtesy of YouTube) every ending and cutscene in the story mode in order to be sure that I’ve missed absolutely nothing in terms of narrative prior to playing multiverse and multiplayer modes. As such, I can now officially call myself an even bigger DC nerd and Injustice fan- Injustice 2 not only builds upon the structure of the previous game but it adds in more depth than really seen outside of the Mortal Kombat series (also currently held by Ed Boon and NetherRealm).

Side note: Both Deck13 and NetherRealm Studios have some of the classiest and coolest studio logos among developers, I mean let’s just take a look here. Obviously NetherRealm wins but hey points for simplicity as well.

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“Classics never die…”

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“Alert Captain Kenway immediately!”

Returning to the matter at hand and continuing my already hazy stream of consciousness (or ramble or whatever) here… Injustice 2 does everything correctly in terms of following in the footsteps of its predecessor and it also adds carefully to the cultivated mix of gameplay and story in decisive fashion. Some of the new character models look a bit strange but that’s easily remedied by unlocking new skins and animations. The setting for each stage and the rich roster more than make up for any minuscule beef I may have over character designs such as the Joker or Superman.

Injustice 1 offered a high level of replayability and it’s easy to see that Injustice 2 also offers that in the newly minted multiverse gameplay mode as well as the variety of online offerings and challenges. The mobile app seems to even be better integrated this time around and although quality wise it is a lot lesser than its peers it is still an interesting use of a mobile app for once in gaming history aside from shameless marketing plugs and Smart Glass actions.

I won’t spill the beans on the best moments although you’re welcome to watch the nearly three hours of story cutscenes and endings. However, I will say that you should definitely play the narrative if only to serve as a good tutorial for what’s to come in other modes and an introduction to the world of Injustice if you’re unused to it. You may think you know DC characters but this is an entirely different ballgame and it’s a lot more difficult to discern friends from foes. Things are significantly less confusing concerning alternate universes this time around but that’s still a thing too.

Oh and in case you wanted to know, there are some sweet cameos and moments where characters that aren’t currently on the available roster make appearances within the story mode or otherwise are referenced. So be on the lookout for the slew of interesting DLC content to surely follow as well. And thanks you NetherRealm for making me not absolutely abhor Barry Allen anymore (as much).

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Milly Schmidt

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