Gaming Retrospective: Deus Ex

In 2000, video-game storytelling was still largely in its infancy. The plots in most titles, if there were any plots at all, tended to be thin threads connecting each action sequence, offering the barest context necessary to push your character from level to level. There were exceptions – the likes of Final Fantasy VII and Planescape: Torment, released in 1997 and 1998 respectively, were light-years ahead of anything else released at the time. But if Deus Ex wasn’t the first title to offer a complex, thought-provoking storyline with well-developed characters, the way it told that story was revolutionary. Continue reading “Gaming Retrospective: Deus Ex”

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – review

In a crowded field, 2012’s Resident Evil 6 nonetheless stands out as one of the worst big-budget games of the last few years. A bloated, awkward, embarrassingly self-serious title, it threw out everything that made the series great in favour of a series of utterly tedious action sequences. The backlash from critics and fans was swift. Stung by the criticism, developers Capcom went back to the drawing board. The result is a stunning return to form – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the best entry in the series in over a decade. Continue reading “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – review”

No Man’s Sky – review

So here it is.

After years of development, after all the hype, delays and fevered speculation, indie space-adventure No Man’s Sky has finally arrived. Lured by developer Hello Games’ promises of the largest ever game-world, hundreds of hours of playtime, and untold discoveries to be made, gamers have flocked to pick up a copy in numbers usually reserved for big-budget franchise sequels. Continue reading “No Man’s Sky – review”

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – review

2000’s Deus Ex, a dark and twisty dystopian tale of conspiracies and cyberpunk, remains one of the greatest games ever made, and 2011’s imperfect yet highly enjoyable prequel Human Revolution maintained the series’ strong reputation. Now comes Mankind Divided, which puts you back in the mechanically augmented skin of agent Adam Jensen. Continue reading “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – review”

Resident Evil games – the best (and the worst)

Resident Evil 7, the latest in one of gaming’s most venerable and venerated series, has been released to critical acclaim. It’s another high point for a series that has gone through some serious ups and downs over the course of its twenty-one year existence. Here’s my countdown to the very best Resident Evil game…beginning with the very worst.  Continue reading “Resident Evil games – the best (and the worst)”

The Best Games of 2016

(8)

Pokemon Go
Niantic, Inc
iOS, Android
No list of the top games of the year would be complete without this genuine phenomenon. To those living under a rock, Pokemon Go saw players using their phone’s GPS system in an attempt to track and catch Pokemon in real-world locations.  Downloaded half a billion times worldwide, the game became an undeniable cross-over hit, played by millions of people well outside gaming’s usual demographic. All this was despite the fact that the game itself could be a little awkward to play – it was notoriously buggy and once the novelty wore off there wasn’t a whole lot to do. Nonetheless, Pokemon Go was an addictive experience, and a highly social one. And hey – any game which encourages people to go out and get some exercise can only be a good thing. Continue reading “The Best Games of 2016”

Uncharted 4 – review

It might be considered heretical in video game circles, where Naughty Dog’s Uncharted games are treated with little short of reverence by most commentators, but I’ve never really been able to get into the series. It’s not that I found nothing to like about the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake. The series has always possessed a fine atmosphere of exploration and wonder, but previous installments were badly let down by some irritating characterisation and utterly dire combat.  Continue reading “Uncharted 4 – review”

Fallout 4 – review

‘War never changes’, goes the famous strapline for the post-apocalyptic Fallout series, but that didn’t stop the franchise itself from undergoing a fairly massive transformation back in 2008, when new publishers Bethesda took the top-down role-playing game of old and turned it into an action-packed open world first-person shooter in the form of Fallout 3. The inclusion of a few RPG elements failed to placate some old-school fans, but for the most part Fallout 3 was a massive success, retaining the visual style and dark but irreverent humour of the original games while opening the series up to a whole new generation of gamers. How ironic then that Fallout 4‘s greatest problem is its over-familiarity, as it struggles to recreate the impact of previous titles.  Continue reading “Fallout 4 – review”