Posts tagged something special
Well, what can I say about the much-needed breath of fresh air that is Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag? Finally, Ubisoft has released the next installment that gives the series a fresh new feel. Black Flag sees new protagonist Edward Kenway on a journey to become the most feared pirate on the Caribbean seas in this highly entertaining adventure.
You will see Captain Kenway accepted into the Assassins Guild, and trained along the way by the likes of the feisty, yet mysterious James Kidd, AKA Mary Read. There are so many fantastic elements to this game, both great and small. One of the best is having the ability to commandeer your own ship, The Jackdaw. Edward’s ship is crucial to explore the vast open-sea and to plunder the countless amounts of enemy ships (Which is, may I add, the reason as to why I keep getting distracted from the main storyline).
Speaking of the main storyline missions, this is for me, what lets the game down ever so slightly. This is only because they seem difficult, especially some of them should be so simple to complete. It’s probably because I’m not a good enough assassin but on most of the missions, I’ve had to play them over again. Although the missions are hard, it’s not made any harder with the mechanics, which make the free running almost flawless.
All this being said, one thing that cannot and will not be overlooked is the sheer beauty of Black Flag. The gorgeousness is just never ending, which is of course a good thing. The thing I’m in awe at the most is when I am sailing the seas with my crew and a whale or a dolphin does a flip out of the water.
There is so much substance to this game, it is nigh on impossible to cover everything. One thing I do love though: being able to pet all of the cats to my heart’s contempt.
A game that could be described as Limbo and Super Meat Boy’s lovechild, it is all at once very hard and visually stunning. A Walk in the Dark has you playing mostly as Bast, a cat, who for reasons not quite explained must run through stages of increasing difficulty avoiding spikes, traps and the myriad of creatures seeking to do him harm, Bast’s gameplay is that of a pretty standard platformer, you can run left or right, jump and even perform a wall to wall jump. You know the drill.
However as Bast you also must complete Cave levels in which you are constantly moving right, the jump button now instead changes gravity making Bast stick to the roof or the floor, these stages are easily the most difficult and caused the most frustration.
The other playable character in a Walk in the Dark is Emily, Bast’s owner who, in the opening seconds, is taken by some rat-demon-thing who’s origins or motives are not really explained. Emily’s levels behave much the same as Bast’s Cave stages, however instead of being stuck constantly running forward you have control over left and right again making them slightly easier than the Cave levels.
The game is artistically amazing, with the opaque characters in the foreground complimenting the beautiful backgrounds all the while soft piano music adds to the sense of mystery the game creates. It can at times feel very long due to its 100 levels many of which seem quite similar but also because the harder stages in the game seem to make it drag out even further.
While a Walk in the Dark is definitely difficult it starts off pretty easy but quickly ramps up until a certain point where it seems to almost plateau for quite a while and the only thing the game does to make it more difficult is to add more and more spikes to each level.
If the regular levels are not quite hard enough for you then there are challenge levels to sate your thirst for difficulty, by collecting the ‘shinies’ found in each level you can unlock challenge stages which seem at first glance impossible, then at second glance just very, very, very hard. These levels are extremely challenging but also really rewarding once you manage to complete them, even if you tear out most of your hair getting there.
A Walk in the Dark is a fun game with a distinct art style and lots of levels. Definitely worth a try!
Once upon a time, there was a studio called TellTale that made great games. They had received accolades in the past for an adaptation of a popular zombie story, but this new adventure that they were tackling was much different. The concept is easy: all of the fairy-tale creatures and people that you grew up reading about as a child were exiled from their homelands, and now reside in upstate New York, getting by day to day in our mostly mundane world.
You take on the role of Bigby Wolf, (The Big Bad Wolf of ‘3 Little Pigs’ and ‘Red Riding Hood’ fame). He was once the most feared of all the fictional fables, but now he lives and works as the sheriff of ‘Fabletown’, attempting to keep order in whatever fashion the player chooses.
Visually, this game is gorgeous. The aesthetically pleasing cel-shaded graphics are not to be missed. It looks like a living, breathing version of the comic book that it is based upon.
Voice acting is absolutely five star quality. The voices match the characters perfectly, with special recognition going to Bigby and Snow White.
The gameplay is interesting, as it gives you freedom to choose Bigby’s responses in conversation, which is the main proponent of forwarding the storyline of the game. The choices you make directly affect the outcome of future incidents, and how other characters will act towards you. This makes for some fun replayability, especially if you are going after all of the achievements. What makes this game extra-special would be the fun little connections fans of the comic book series will find.
The fighting in The Wolf Among Us takes place mostly through quick time events, but the tactic doesn’t feel overused, and the battles are fast and frantic, with many a button to be mashed. The only flaws with this game were a few technical hiccups involving frame-rate issues, but they honestly did not impede my enjoyment of the game.
I played it through in a single session, but I only paid $4.99 for it. I can’t even get a good latte for that price, so a couple of hours of superb storytelling and excellent gameplay had me satisfied for the price of the game…And I CANNOT wait until the next instalment is available. And if you like the game, then definitely check out the comic!
The Stanley Parable tells us the story of a man of no importance. He is the typical office worker no one notices, pushing buttons randomly on a computer in his office. However, one day Stanley realizes something is not right. He isn’t getting any orders from his superiors and his co-workers have mysteriously vanished. This is where you take control in this strange FPS-adventure game.
Released as a Half Life 2 mod at first, it has become a game on its own by now. There’s no shooting bad guys or buying upgrades here, heck, you can’t even jump! This game is about exploration and telling a story (many stories, actually) in a unique way. Right away, you are introduced to the narrator who keeps commenting on your every move and also tries to force you in the direction of the perfect story. You may do things exactly the way he’s describing them and you will see the ending right away.
Well, that’s one ending to be honest and the game restarts immediately, playing with your curiosity. “OK, let’s begin again! What if I go through the other door, or just simply stand here for a while?”- You might wonder. And yes, almost every little decision changes the outcome of events and, despite his efforts to keep you on track you can do the exact opposite what the narrator wants you to do.
Endings can be funny, sad, surreal, some of them are chaotic, others philosophical or outright creepy. You will explore basements, unfinished levels, a destroyed story falling to pieces, also a little slice of Minecraft and Portal and much more. Starting over again is the only way to find out more about Stanley, the narrator and the strange events taking place in the building but there is no “ultimate explanation”, only possibilities.
The Stanley Parable is far from beautiful but it uses graphics as a very powerful tool of expression and that is more than enough in the case of an indie game. Kevan Brighting provides an excellent voice for the narrator and also the pieces of music used in the game are very well chosen.
Being one of the most unique games I have ever played, The Stanley Parable makes you think about decisions and their consequences and has some important messages for the audience while also being a parody of video games as well.
Let’s cut to the chase. Outlast is the scariest game I have ever played. While something like Silent Hill or Amnesia tries to scare you with paranormal occurrences, Outlast knows the more realistic, the more human, the enemy is, the more we’ll be scared. And does this masterfully.
You play as Miles Upshur, a journalist investigating the Mount Massive Asylum in Colorado. There he enters the building and finds himself locked in. The only way out is in. It doesn’t take long for Miles to realize that he made a mistake coming here. The place is filled with insane patients, some of which are longing to rip your torso from your head (literally).
As the game tells you early on, you have three options: run, hide, or die. Your only asset is a camera. While it has a regular mode, you’ll spend most of your time using it’s night vision mode which turns the darkness into a creepy shade of green which, by the way, just adds to the atmosphere. Unfortunately for you, the camera runs on batteries hidden in the environment, so sometimes you would have to reload a save file and try again.
Mount Massive Asylum is filled with tons of enemies and also tons of places to hide. If you can outsmart the psychos chasing you down a hall, you might have enough time to hide in a locker or under a bed which may or may not, depending on if he saw you, trick him into thinking you’re gone.
Now, this is a horror game and Outlast delivers in that regard spectacularly. There’s a great mix of scripted jumpscares and moments of terror and adrenaline as you get chased by big mutants with a club. There is a story to Outlast, if you take the time to explore it. Documents are hidden around the environment that provide info about what happened in this dreadful place.
Outlast is amazing, but it is also scary as all hell. It’s one of those games that I simultaneously love and hate. If you want horror, Outlast is where it’s at.