Video Games

Reviews of both new release and older video games and computer games.

The New Spider-Man Game Is a Great New York City Simulator that Also Lets You Beat Up Bad Guys

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Spider-Man? To swing through the iconic New York City skyline? To acrobatically dodge bullets as you take down a group of would be bank robbers? To be evicted from your apartment because you can’t keep a job thanks to your crime fighting? Well, good news! Marvel’s Spider-Man lets you live out all of those webhead fantasies and then some. But the real question is, is it worth your...

Graveyard Keeper Is a Macabre but Needlessly Complex Simulator

A bell rings at the main road, signaling another corpse has been dropped off. For some, it’s the ultimate fate of their earthly remains, but for you, it’s your livelihood. In Graveyard Keeper, the latest release from indie game developer Lazy Bear Games based out of St. Petersburg, Russia, it falls upon you as a graveyard keeper to tend to the dead. On your property is a church and the final resting place of the area’s dead, and as bodies get...

Observer Is a Visual Delight but Falls Short on Gameplay

Cyberpunk has been undergoing a renaissance for some time now across every medium, including some recent high-profile releases like Blade Runner 2049 and Detroit: Become Human. Bloober Team’s latest release, Observer, is yet one more title riding the cyberpunk wave. Observer (stylized as >observer_ in marketing material) is set in 2084 in the Fifth Polish Republic, a corporation-state formed by Chiron Incorporated following a “digital plague” called the nanophage and a resulting global war. The remaining population of humans, now...

Despite Its Flaws, Detroit: Become Human Delivers a Memorable Gaming Experience

Detroit: Become Human is the latest game from developer and Quantic Dream studio head David Cage, whose previous games include Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls. Its story centers around three androids—Kara, a recently repaired house android tasked with taking care of a young girl; Markus, the personal android of an aging artist; and Connor, an android investigator sent by CyberLife—and the roles they play in the growing concerns about what constitutes being human and whether or not...

Quake Champions Breathes Life Back into Arena Shooters

Quake has a special place in my memory. It’s one of the first video games I ever played; my dad had a PC with Quake and Doom installed. I was far too young to be playing either, but they got me hooked. Quake is one of the granddaddies of first-person shooters, popularizing old-school game terminology like “rocket jumping,” “telefrags,” and “strafe-jumping.” At its core, it is running and shooting—no time for frivolities such as sprint meters or reloading. You’ll find...

Dark Souls Remastered Is No Game Changer, but It’s a Great Reason to Revisit a Modern Classic

In October 2011, I was innocently minding my own business playing some Deus Ex on my Xbox 360 when I saw an advertisement for a new game I had never heard of called Dark Souls. The next day I stopped at my local video-game store and blindly set myself on a path that has lasted to this day: the never-ending quest to “git gud.” After a handful of sequels, spin-offs, DLC, and copycats, the original Dark Souls has come...

FAR: Lone Sails Is a Brief But Contemplative Journey

It’s a post-apocalypse world, but not one full of cannibals or warring tribes. It’s just you (a figure clad in red) and your landship, which you drive across the barren landscape. FAR: Lone Sails is the debut game from Swiss indie development studio Okomotive. FAR: Lone Sails begins with your character standing over a grave, the portrait of a man atop it. This is a wordless game; what storytelling there is comes through the visuals. Who was this person to...

Frostpunk Is a Struggle between Morality and Survival

“Alone in this world.” That’s how Victor Serche, one of my citizens, is described when I click on him. No spouse. No children. Such a grim, blunt way to put things. Such a phrase might also describe my city. Alone in this world, in a crater, surrounded by snow-swept wasteland on all sides. On the first night of my colony’s establishment, 20 people—that’s one-quarter of the population—die from exposure to the elements. Frostpunk, set in an alternate steam-powered world,...

Remember Kratos? He’s Back, in Dad Form

It’s been five long years since the last original God of War game was released (God of War: Ascension in 2013) and eight long years since the last numbered God of War game (God of War III in 2010), but Kratos has finally returned, and he has brought with him drastic changes in both gameplay and personality. Not to mention, he now has a plucky young sidekick: his son Atreus. This 2018 release serves as both a spiritual reboot...

Stardew Valley’s “Just One More Day” Mentality Keeps You Playing for Hours

From FarmVille to Rune Factory to Harvest Moon, the farming-simulation genre is one that many gamers have been familiar with at one time or another. But Stardew Valley manages to take this formula and run with it, making for one of the most charming and addicting gaming experiences I’ve had recently. The game starts out with a brief bit of customization, including designing your character, naming your soon-to-be farm (I named mine Chocobo Farm), and choosing whether or not...
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