Assassin’s Creed Origins is a greatest hits of modern action-adventure game design. In seeking to update the series’ ageing core mechanics and design, Origins looks to its genre stablemates to see what they’re doing and where it can’t subtly imitate them, it copies them brazenly instead. What surprised me the most about this smash-and-grab design philosophy is how cohesive the end result is. Continue reading Games Review [PROVISIONAL]: Assassin’s Creed Origins (PS4, 2017): Something borrowed, something new
Three things are certain in life: death, taxes and WWE 2K games. As each year rolls around, gamers are presented with yet another WWE game with a fresh lick of paint, a new set of moves and a couple of newer wrestlers here and there. Given the trend, you’d expect 2K would pull out all the stops to present players with a new and inviting experience that’s bound to drag them away from last year’s offering. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for any kind of vast improvement, 2K18 presents little of the sort, and in many cases, is content to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors. Continue reading Games Review: WWE 2K18: (PS4, 2017) throws a folding chair in the face of good design
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a game suffering an identity crisis. It knows what it wants to be and makes genuinely big strides in that direction, but it’s hampered by what seems to be publisher interference. Even at the surface level, it feels like a case study for the growing divide in AAA between developer vision and publisher demands. Continue reading Games Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Xbox One, 2017) is a good idea pulled in too many different directions
Given that it was built from the ground up to be a showcase for the Xbox One X console launching in November, it feels a bit weird to be reviewing Forza Motorsport 7 on my Day One launch edition Xbox One. Racing games have been enlisted as gorgeous tech demo for fresh hardware, don’t go in thinking the game is going to look like pants on your older hardware because it doesn’t. Continue reading Games Review: Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One, 2017) changes the formula, but still finishes first
By now you’ve almost certainly heard about Cuphead and its pronounced level of difficulty so let’s begin this review with a declaration: Cuphead is hard. But it’s also way less hard than you might think it is. Having just spent the weekend with the SNES Mini and being reminded of what true old school game design was like, it put a spotlight on the ways Cuphead emulates that school of thought but stops just short of totally committing to it in order to keep the player hooked in.
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I know I’m not the only one. I loved (and continue to love) The Land Before Time and Jurassic Park, I read every book on them I could find, I inhaled the Dinotopia novels, I spent more time on DinoPark Tycoon in the primary school’s computer room than I did in class. ARK: Survival Evolved would have been the kind of game I’d have lost my mind over as a younger person, regardless of its many obvious shortcomings. As an adult, sadly, its a far harder sell. Continue reading Video Games Review: ARK: Survival Evolved (Xbox One, 2017) combines wonder with next-level grind