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.
Last year’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown was amazing. It kept me enthralled for over 60 hours. I even managed to save humanity a few times, and while I was having fun each time, my campaigns always followed the same arc: tech up to laser weapons, tech up to carapace armor, capture and research plasma, research ghost armor, discover psionics and save the planet. Things didn’t always go according to plan, but when they did, that was the order of operations. XCOM: Enemy Within shakes things up quite a bit, and it makes every aspect of the game feel fresh again. READ MORE
Combining real-time ideas with turn-based mechanics, strategy title Battle Worlds: Kronos joins a growing list of projects using Kickstarter to find success. Does it meet the promise of its crowdfunding pitch? READ MORE
The Dark Knight has come a long way since the days of the first Batman games. It had gotten so bad that any fans of the character were thankful for even a mediocre game. Thankfully, 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum changed everything for both Batman and comic-based games in general. Both it and its follow-up, Arkham City, are considered by many to be two of the best superhero games around.
Now, with Batman: Arkham Origins, a new developer is brought on to tell a prequel story all about Batman’s first encounters with some of his most famous villains. After two stellar titles, expectations are high; unfortunately, the game fails to meet those expectations in many ways.
Humor is difficult to do in video games. Adventure games have an advantage as they lean more heavily on their story than their mechanics, but it’s still hard to make your audience laugh when you have no idea if they’ll get stuck on a puzzle between setting up the joke and delivering the punch line. Daedalic manages it, though. The whole experience is a joy, for both newcomers to the series and veterans of Rufus and Goal’s quest to save their junk planet from being destroyed by the citizens of Elysium above. READ MORE
Tt Games struck gold with Lego Star Wars in 2005, and the concept still works more than 10 games later. Lego Marvel Super Heroes, thankfully and unsurprisingly, takes its cues more from Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes than from Lego Lord of the Rings, which means that while the world is wide open, it feels a bit more contained. Normally in an open-world game you want more space instead of less, but packing the activities closer together for a dense experience works when the traversal is just a means to an end. As much as I love the Lord of the Rings universe, I was ready for a central hub and level select like the older games have, and I never felt that way while playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes. READ MORE
It’s no secret that Telltale knocked it out of the park with last year’s The Walking Dead. What is surprising is that the format works so well when Clementine, everybody’s favorite walking conscience, is removed from the equation. Just like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is based on a series of comic books. This time it’s Fables, and aside from the lovely comic book aesthetic, the two games are completely separate beasts. READ MORE
Bionic Dues has exactly what I want in a roguelike: direction. Most feature the absolute least amount of story possible: go to the bottom of the dungeon, get a thing, come back up and try not to die. Bionic Dues, like FTL before it, put just a little bit more into the story, and wormed itself that much deeper into me because of it. The scenario crafted by Arcen Games is an interesting one, and it means that there is a push to see the conclusion to the evolving story as well as the push of “just one more mission.” READ MORE
Marlow Briggs is the interactive version of the cheesy action movies I loved in the early ’90s, like Demolition Man. Things blow up, not because the plot calls for it, but because it sure would be fun to slow down the camera and watch a thing explode. There are guys with flamethrowers, not because they would be useful at an archaeological dig site, but because carrying a bunch of flamethrower fuel means they’ll blow up very nicely. These are the sorts of design choices ZootFly has made, and I love them for it. READ MORE
Final Fantasy XIV is a game with a short but rocky history. The original incarnation of this game, commonly referred to as 1.0 by players, was a mess. Compared to other titles on the market, it was a skeleton of a game, with little content and innumerable bugs. After about a year, Square Enix threw in the towel, and the development team was removed from the project. Ultimately, it decided to completely remake it from the ground up. The PS3 version was scrapped, and work began on what would become A Realm Reborn. READ MORE