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Played in 2023
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Dopamine Dispenser 2K22 is a game that looks like it was released on the NES and plays like it stepped out of an 80’s arcade cabinet. Simple mechanics (all you do is move) and basic structure (survive as long as possible) make it seem like this game would amount to nothing. I was almost certain of that after my first session, but quickly became aware of the hidden depths waiting in the wings. A ridiculously addictive game that allows for interesting player expression through various builds and weapon/item combos. Vampire Survivors is a rare experience where you can truly witness yourself becoming more powerful as the hours tick away.
A bleak, dystopian sci-fi tale with humanity and hope shining through the cracks. Every character you meet has a story worth uncovering. Gameplay mainly revolves around an interesting dice-roll mechanic that forces players to make tough decisions about how they spend their time aboard the space station. Immersive, gripping, and melancholic in all the right ways, Citizen Sleeper’s ever-spinning setting and its inhabitants will stay with you far beyond the roll of the credits.
Arkane are the masters of level design and Deathloop is no exception. Multiple pathways leading to your destinations, secrets tucked away in various nooks and crannies; the areas are densely packed. Traversing the world of Blackreef is consistently satisfying and you never run out of new discoveries throughout the campaign.
The story doesn't fully deliver on the initial concept, but it's strong enough to pull you through to the end. Intriguing characters and mysterious worldbuilding get their hooks into you early in the game. Unfortunately, the narrative doesn’t quite wrap up in as interesting of a fashion as it begins.
Even so, navigating the environment is genuinely compelling enough that the story shortcomings don’t dampen the experience. Deathloop is yet another feather in the cap for Arkane.