Video Games

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

Escape from Tarkov Is Stress Inducing in the Best Way Possible

I really didn’t like Escape from Tarkov when I first started. I’d load into a map and be dead in less than five minutes. Rinse and repeat. To put it bluntly, I was miserable. Then, I had my first big score. I had some middling loot—just some ammo and other junk, but I was alive. Nearing the extraction point in a sprawling building complex, I spotted another player skulking around outside. He turned the corner and—bang bang—it was over...

For Better or Worse, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Is More of What We’ve Seen Before

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a very strange game to try to pin down. Among of all the Assassin’s Creed games—and there are 12 of them in total—it is the only one to not feature any actual assassins. In fact, it is basically a reskin of 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins with a few extra bells and whistles added on. Origins was a prequel to the entire franchise and gave an origin story to the Assassin Order. Odyssey, which takes place 400...

Soulcalibur VI Welcomes Players Back to the Stage of History

I spent the second half of October diving into Soulcalibur VI, and as a fan of the popular fighting-game series, so far I feel this installment stacks up to the standard set by its predecessors. It’s also a convenient entry point for players new to Soulcalibur, as instead of advancing the already elaborate story forward like previous games have done, Soulcalibur VI goes back in time in order to revisit the events that form the backdrop of those games. It opens...

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...
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