After three games and a handful of titles borrowing its approach to combat and stealth, the “final” game in Rocksteady’s Arkham series is here. Batman: Arkham Knight follows the tradition of the previous games, seeking to expand the scope even more by giving you a handful of new abilities and way to traverse the gigantic city of Gotham.
Super Exploding Zoo, at first glance is a simple puzzle game with cute graphics. It looks like something you might find on Kongregate: fast, easy to explain and teeming with short enough levels to play four or five while waiting for something else to happen. The first few levels do nothing to dispel that notion. You’ll guide an animal through a simple level, collect some companion animals, blow some stuff up along the way, kill the monsters and win. READ MORE
Magicka 2 is at its best in cooperative play. It plays better with two than with one, it plays better with three than with two, and it plays better with four than with three. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really shine with any number. It never becomes that game that I want it to be. All through the campaign, my prevailing thought was “I hope that the next enemies are more fun to fight,” and the only difference was that when I had friends in the room or over PSN, those thoughts were said out loud instead of internalized. READ MORE
Despite not being as prolific or revered as Lord of the Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire, Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels have maintained a significant following in Europe since the early 1990s. Thanks to developer CD Projekt Red, The Witcher has begun to rise in popularity in the past decade, and with the release of the third game in the series, Wild Hunt, its ever-expanding audience continues to grow. Thanks to a healthy mix of BioWare’s conversation choices and Bethesda’s open-world sensibilities, The Witcher games have always managed to feel both familiar and distinct. Thankfully, Wild Hunt upholds this tradition.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was refreshingly nostalgic. Everything looked amazing but acted like a classic shooter. It was up to me to pick up health packs and ammo, and I could carry every gun I found. There was absolutely no gray area: B.J. is the good guy, Nazis are the bad guys and you have to kill every one of them to win. Layered atop that were characters that I cared about and weapons that were all a joy to use. There’s nothing quite like swapping over to a double-barreled shotgun and laying waste to a room of pure, concentrated evil. The Old Blood falls short of its big brother in its characters and story, but the mechanics are sound and I had fun all the way through. READ MORE
China, as it turns out, is a perfect setting for an Assassin’s Creed game. While Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China plays quite unlike other titles in the franchise, the 2D spinoff retains the spirit and feel of the world. Gone are the open world and filler side content, and here to stay are the stealth kills, free form exploration and templar-assassin lore. I’ll admit, I’ve played enough Assassin’s Creed by now that I’m feeling quite burned out on the series, but even with the fatigue, there are enough new ideas present here to make it worth a play. READ MORE
Titan Souls began its life as a game created for a game jam, “Ludum Dare 28: You Only Get One.” These competitions challenge designers to build a game from start to finish centered around a given concept in only a single weekend. In many ways, “you only get one” is the ideal motto for Titan Souls, as you only get one hit before death, you only get one arrow with which to kill the many bosses and you only need one hit on each boss to kill it. Getting this one hit in on each of the many varied bosses of Titan Souls proves to be an intense, but also extremely gratifying, experience. After each narrow victory, I automatically found myself gritting my teeth, breathing heavily and pumping my fist in the air, and I wanted nothing more than to do it again. READ MORE
Not content to keep the Dynasty Warriors-style action games focused on the warfare of the Three Kingdoms in China, Tecmo Koei created Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War early in the last console generation, a game that instead focused on the clash between France and England. With Bladestorm: Nightmare, Koei Tecmo revisits the conflict on current consoles, adding an alternate fantasy storyline for you to play through. Unfortunately, it fixed none of the systemic problems plaguing the original, and the new story mode fails to really deliver. Still, though, it may appeal to its fans, who know what to expect at this point.
Let’s begin by stating the obvious: Bloodborne is a hard game. It is punishing, it is frustrating and it will cause you to angrily lash out at thin air. It will make you stare into a mirror for long periods of time, contemplating at exactly what point in your life you took a wrong turn. But the true brilliance of Bloodborne is that you will want to keep playing. You will get better, you will master its intricacies and, when things truly begin to click, you will be filled with a sense of pride and self-satisfaction that very few other games can match. Bloodborne boils down the essence of what made the previous Souls games great into a refined nugget of pure perfection. It is an experience that requires true commitment and devotion, but for those that put in the time and effort it is an experience that leaves a very long lasting and indeed a very powerful impact. READ MORE
Another week, another Metroid-inspired action-platformer. That’s not a complaint, mind you, but it does seem to be a more frequent occurrence as of late. Thankfully, many of these recent releases have been solid, with a few standing out among the rest as the best the genre has to offer. Enter Axiom Verge, a game which proudly flaunts its Super Metroid-inspiration for all to see. It won’t win over any new players, but those fans that have seen many of Samus’ adventures will find plenty to like about this fresh take on a well-worn formula.