The long-dormant Thief franchise is considered by many to be a pioneer of the stealth genre. Eidos Montreal, the team behind the successful revival of the Deus Ex series, is back with their take on this classic. This new game, simply titled Thief, brings the genre back to its roots by attempting to focus on what made the original games so compelling, while also making it more approachable for newcomers.
Capcom’s Strider series began its life as an arcade action-platformer before slowly making its way to home consoles. Soon enough, however, Strider simply disappeared, relegating its lead character, Hiryu, to guest appearances in crossover titles such as the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Rumors of the return of this iconic franchise circled for years before a new game, developed by Double Helix, was announced. While this new Strider may not be a perfect recreation of the earlier titles, it differentiates itself by adding a new twist to a well-worn formula.
Some games rely on compelling stories to drive your way through challenges and adventures. Others let you make interesting decisions, be them strategic or narrative, and let that process shape the surrounding elements. There’s a third group, though: games that pile all their hopes and dreams onto one fresh element, one mechanical hook. Games that live and die by the assumption that you’ll like that one thing as much as the developers thought you would.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch may be the most distilled version of that third type of game, and that’s okay, because it’s the best kind of silly. READ MORE
Gaming trends have fluctuated rapidly throughout the history of the medium, but some tend to stick around longer than others. Thanks to the continued success of Minecraft, we have seen a dramatic increase in survival games over the past few years, and it hasn’t let up. Some are directly inspired by Minecraft, but there have been a fair few games that buck the trend. Klei Entertainment’s take on the survival game, Don’t Starve, is one of those games, combining the basics of the genre with some exciting changes. READ MORE
Contrast is an interesting game. I wish it were a better game, because the setting is great, the characters are interesting and the soundtrack did something that few others do: it caused me to stop playing, so that I could better appreciate the music. It’s held down, though, by what all games need to be successful: gameplay. READ MORE
Knack, from Sony’s Japan Studio, is the company’s attempt to bring a colorful, family-friendly action game to the PlayStation 4′s launch. Built around a character that can change size, its visual effects are made to show off the hardware’s ability to process lots of little parts at once. Whether it makes for a compelling game is, of course, another matter entirely. READ MORE
Resogun is this generation’s shooter with lots of colors and particles and other fun tech demo-y bells and whistles. It’s a follow-up to the Super Stardust games from developer Housemarque, but holds more of a comparison to Geometry Wars mostly because of timing and placement. While Resogun really exists to make PlayStation Plus viable at launch and show off the PS4’s tech, it’s actually also a great shooter with a unique hodgepodge of genre hooks that work together as a cohesive whole providing aesthetic thrills, challenge and ample depth. READ MORE
Few franchises approach the same level of destructibility and gunfire as the Battlefield games. This primarily PC-centric series has been one of the highlights of multiplayer gaming every year a new title is released, although those limited to consoles haven’t been able to enjoy the full Battlefield experience until now. Thanks to the release of two new, powerful consoles, Battlefield 4 is finally as fully-featured as it has been on PC for years, complete with some pleasant and unexpected improvements.
It’s crazy to think about how far the Killzone franchise has come. The original game, released on PS2 back in 2004, was touted as a “Halo killer,” meaning it was essentially Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s monolithic series. There was very little in common between the two, yet Sony pushed it that way and, for the most part, it succeeded. The original game was far from perfect, yet it led to two brilliant sequels. The launch of Sony’s next big console brings the release of the fourth Killzone, subtitled Shadow Fall. It may not impress as much as Killzone 2 did on the PS3, but it demonstrates a lot of potential.
Filling the family-friendly action-adventure role in the PlayStation 4′s launch is Knack, from Mark Cerny and Sony’s first-party Japan Studio. It shows off the tech of the new hardware in ways that may not be immediately apparent to those who aren’t particularly technical, but that’s not the important part: it’s like an interactive CG-animated movie! That’s the pitch, anyway. READ MORE