155 Published Reviews

Jotun

PC
8.00
Justin ClarkOct 15, 2015
Jotun is a short game, and good players can probably plow through it in about 3 or 4 hours, but even with the ending behind me, I find myself dying to witness some images again and wanting to try different strategies. I want to hear Thora tell her tale again. Any good bedtime story that makes you want to hear it again right after it’s over is one for the ages.

Citizens of Earth

PC
7.00
Mitchell SaltzmanJan 20, 2015
If you can look past the technical issues, the lackluster story, and some of the frustrating design decisions, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get lost in Citizens of Earth’s beautifully bizarre world. During the first 10 hours or so, I definitely did. Unfortunately as the game went on, the charm started to wear off and the flaws started to stand out more than everything that I loved about the game.

Elite: Dangerous

PC
7.80
Marshall LemonDec 24, 2014
Multiplayer issues aside, Elite: Dangerous is a pretty slick single-player game. If you can look past the always-online connection, this game is the next-gen remastering that space sim fans have longed for since the 1990s. Any faults it does embody are countered by impressively unique features that make it well worth breaking out your joystick once more.

Destiny Expansion I: The Dark Below

PS4
6.50
Phil HornshawDec 22, 2014
For the $20 price of entry, The Dark Below provides some quality skirmishes and will keep players busy for hours, if that’s how you measure value. If you can fight your way up to Crota’s End, it might even be money well spent. Things are definitely getting better in Destiny. But dropping another third of the price of the full game for more opportunities to slowly slog through dull content feels like money is changing hands in the wrong direction.

Elegy for a Dead World

PC
7.00
Phil HornshawDec 16, 2014
Ultimately, that’s the point: Elegy isn’t about getting you to play games, but rather about getting you to be creative and explore your ability to express yourself. One has to assume the Dejobaan’s long-view goal is that eventually you stop playing, but keep writing. That’s a noble goal, and Elegy provides some fun, beautiful and interesting prodding in that direction. For the inspiration alone, it’s worth spending a little time on Dejobaan’s dead worlds.

Dead State

PC
7.00
Marshall LemonDec 10, 2014
I’m sure future patches will resolve these problems, and the majority of them tend not to be game-breaking. But it does prevent Dead State from feeling quite as polished as it could have been. That aside, Dead State remains a solid and engaging experience into which RPG and survival fans will sink hours. It may not have ended up being the first, but Doublebear has certainly earned its place among the zombie survival greats.

The Talos Principle

PC
9.00
Phil HornshawDec 09, 2014
It’s a game that aspires to be more than what we traditionally expect, and one that has an intangible quality that makes it more than the sum of its parts. It’ll stay with you after you’ve completed it and call you back to explore its hidden corners to see what else you’ll uncover there.

Far Cry 4

PC
7.50
Phil HornshawDec 03, 2014
There’s a lot about Far Cry 4 to like: it’s beautiful and huge, and little additions like elephants to ride and helicopters to fly can make it great. But it’s less than a sum of its parts, and often is bloated and confused. For as big a world as Kyrat is, it lacks life and cohesion; it’s fun as long as you don’t think too much about the wheel beneath your feet.

The Witcher Adventure Game

PC
7.50
Marshall LemonDec 02, 2014
This might have been easier if The Witcher Adventure Game had a save feature, but no such option exists; if you have to close the game for any reason there’s no way to resume your progress. ...Having a quick-save option, especially on mobile versions where you prefer playing for ten minute sessions, would be ideal for players who want to play longer games but can’t commit the full amount of time.

Game of Thrones: Episode One - Iron From Ice

PCPS4Xbox OnePS3Xbox 360
9.00
Phil HornshawDec 01, 2014
Players showing up for an authentic-feeling “Game of Thrones” experience won’t be disappointed, however. Telltale manages to drop strong characters and tense situations into an on-going, highly developed and highly beloved universe, to the developer’s credit. ...At least, there’s a ton of potential for the next five installments in this series, and no shortage of twists and intrigue to be found in this inaugural outing.

This War of Mine

PC
7.50
Phil HornshawNov 28, 2014
Still, This War of Mine is an impressive attempt to use a video game to engage with a terrible, trying real-life experience, and as a dark simulation of that horror, it can be very intriguing. It’s not exactly a “fun” game, but it is one that might bring players a perspective they might never have considered before. ...It’s dark, it’s sad, it’s often crushing and difficult. It might not be fun, but it’s definitely worth experiencing.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Wii U
9.50
Mitchell SaltzmanNov 22, 2014
All in all, Smash Brothers for the Wii-U is by far the most complete package in the series. Not only is it an incredible party fighting game to casually play with up to 8 players, but it’s also a fantastic 1-on-1 fighting game for those who put in the time and dedication to master its mechanics. ...The Wii-U absolutely needed Smash Brothers to be spectacular, and fortunately, it is. ...for everyone else, this is the best Smash Brothers has ever been.

Assassin's Creed Rogue

PS3
6.50
Phil HornshawNov 17, 2014
Rogue winds up feeling like a lazy retread, doing little to expand on the ideas of Assassin’s Creed 4, and with little to say on the game’s own lore or central ideas. ...Rogue doesn’t illuminate the series and its story foundations — it just comes off as another dull story with a slightly dim protagonist and a lot of meaningless stuff to do.

WWE 2K15

PS4
6.00
Mitchell SaltzmanNov 17, 2014
Graphics alone are not enough reason to recommend WWE 2K15, however. Ignoring the visuals, it is an inferior product in every way compared to last year’s WWE 2K14, and even WWE 13 from the year before that. WWE 2K15 ofers fewer wrestlers, match types and creative options, a weaker story mode, and the same core gameplay that, honestly, is starting to feel a little stale. If the WWE 2K series is looking to get back over with its fans, it might be time for a repackaging.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

PC
8.90
Ron WhitakerNov 13, 2014
In crafting a stellar RPG, it has shown those who thought the developer might be past its prime that it still has what it takes. ...It’s a great game from start to finish, one that lets you do just about whatever you want, and then rewards you for just about all of it. While it does have some minor problems, they don’t detract from the quality of the whole. The way the world responds to, and builds itself around, your character makes Inquisition a must-play for any RPG enthusiast.

Assassin's Creed Unity

Xbox One
6.50
Mitchell SaltzmanNov 12, 2014
Assassin’s Creed as a series needs an overhaul, and it needed it three games ago. Even ignoring my own personal fatigue of the franchise, Unity is still one of the weaker entries of the series. Co-op, while fun, feels half-baked; the game is ultimately meaningless in terms of the series canon because of the lack of focus on the present day story line; and many of the design decisions feel driven by the unwelcome addition of micro-transactions. Better luck next year, I guess.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

PC
7.80
Ron WhitakerNov 05, 2014
Nothing here is truly new, and in many cases, it’s all been done before in other titles. Still, that doesn’t mean that Advanced Warfare is a bad game. In fact, it’s a competent shooter that scratches exactly the itch that Call of Duty players want scratched — a new setting, some new abilities, and lots of new maps within which to shoot each other. Just don’t expect anything you haven’t already seen before.

The Evil Within

PS4
5.00
Phil HornshawNov 05, 2014
The result is that The Evil Within just winds up being a slog. It’s an atmospheric slog with some cool art direction, granted (although its anemic, somewhat confused mad science story doesn’t add much on that front). But it’s a slog nonetheless, constantly punishing the player for not reading its mind. Dying in a game isn’t scary — almost dying is. The Evil Within, however, never figures that out.

Lords of the Fallen

PC
7.50
Mitchell SaltzmanNov 04, 2014
Despite my negativity towards certain aspects of the game, I still had fun with Lords of the Fallen. It’s a solid action/RPG that stumbles on the execution of several of its fantastic ideas, but nevertheless provides a great entry point for those looking to get into the type of deep, challenging, and rewarding experiences that games like Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls provide.

Sunset Overdrive

Xbox One
9.20
Mitchell SaltzmanOct 27, 2014
But honestly, if having a resolution of 900p, a framerate of 30 FPS, and some slight framerate hiccups in rare moments of multiplayer are Sunset Overdrive’s biggest flaws, I think that’s pretty damn good. ...You can tell that Insomniac had a blast making this game, and that joy transferred directly into me as I bounced on balloons in an amusement park, on to the rails of a rollercoaster, and then rained down explosive hairspray bombs to result in a brilliant orange explosion of goo.

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

PC
8.00
Janelle BonannoOct 23, 2014
Every game found me exploring new options and expanding my horizons. ...It’s a testament to the robust and complex systems vying for your attention, allowing each game to feel fresh and new, but also confusing and hard to grasp when the crux of all strategy is knowing your options and predicting where they will lead. Ultimately, Beyond Earth is an exceedingly polished 4x experience, taking you and humanity through space exploration, frustrations and all.

The Legend of Korra

PS4
6.50
Mitchell SaltzmanOct 23, 2014
Ultimately, The Legend of Korra: The Game is not much different from your typical licensed game cash in, with the very huge exception of being developed by one of the best action game developers around. It feels cheap, it feels rushed, and it is also very short. ...If you’re like me — an action game nut — and you jump at the opportunity to become absorbed in a great new combat system set in the world of one of your favorite cartoons, then give Legend of Korra a try. Others need not apply.

Legend of Grimrock 2

PC
8.00
Marshall LemonOct 15, 2014
There’s also lots of variety in puzzles, whether activating pressure plates and switches, dodging timed floor spikes, or throwing the right object at an unreachable target. It’s nice to see these elements can still hold up in a modern RPG release. ...From that context, they might as well be replaced with quick-time events, since you’ll have to replay with less surprise and immersion than you did before.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

PC
9.00
Ron WhitakerOct 13, 2014
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is exactly what fans of the series wanted in a new installment — more Borderlands. It keeps everything that made Borderlands 2 great, and adds a few new tricks of its own. It might not be innovative, but it’s damn fun to play. Honestly, isn’t that what really matters?

Alien: Isolation

PC
9.20
Phil HornshawOct 03, 2014
There’s something beautiful about Alien: Isolation’s intensity, about the way it ebbs and flows, about how you learn when you’re a modicum safer than you were just a minute ago, and you can and should move a little faster, or risk waiting too long. It’s amazing how much it looks and feels like a film, translated into another medium, using that medium to make something similar and yet differently powerful.

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