A super-intense, oppressive, and rewarding experience.
I remember playing the demo a couple of years ago and being both excited and scared from it - by the end of the demo I was conflicted; the gameplay had a heft to it that felt great, and the survival mechanics were engaging. But it was just too intense and stressing, so I decided to postpone playing it then.
Having now finished both Leon and Claire's campaigns, I am so glad I went back to the full game. I absolutely loved it. The police station felt like a big puzzle on itself. The overall pacing is simply excellent. The environments are filled with objects and details that make them worthwhile to explore and appreciate. The inventory management and equipment progression adds a layer of strategy and challenge that's fun and rewarding on its own.
And then Mr. X shows up.
I felt like the stakes and the intensity skyrocketed once Mr. X was thrown into the mix. Hearing his steps nearby (with headphones it was so cool how you could estimate his location based on the source of the sound of his walk), the music escalating as he approached you. Terrifying and blood-pumping.
The story and characters are intriguing and charismatic enough to keep everything entertaining, although the dynamics of both Leon/Ada and Claire/Sherry felt a tad contrived or cliche at points, but also campy in a fun way.
REmake 2 is just on another level. Thanks to this game I am now obsessed with the series. Can't wait to bite deeper into it.
Everything about this detective adventure felt unique and fresh: the visuals, the use of music and sound effects, and most importantly the mechanics and game loop.
The story is interesting and mysterious enough to keep us engaged and willing to solve it all.
It all feels meticulously designed to fit together perfectly.
At some times it felt overwhelming with the amount of things to solve at once, but that ended up changing to satisfaction once we managed to figure each clue out.
Having said that, by the end it felt like we weren’t solving the cases by following clues as much as trying a few combinations that happened to work.
Ultimately, Return Of Obra Dinn is a super rewarding experience. All encompassing uniqueness.
It nails the charming and chill vibes right from the start. It’s inviting and kind.
I really liked the storytelling, which is mostly implied or deducted with the hints provided by the stuff that you have to unpack on each house move.
Mechanically however, it was not easy to stay engaged after a handful of chapters. There’s no new gameplay aspects introduced later on or anything, so it feels repetitive after a few chapters and all the way to the end. And halfway through this it became tedious to have to organise some parts of the house that just weren’t fun for me. This led me to play it less frequently until I stopped playing it for months. Only today I felt like going back to it and finished it.
Overall it’s a well-polished and cutely designed experience that I’m glad I had, but it became repetitive and tedious after a while and was carried by the wonderful pixel art and chilled atmosphere of it all.
Although initially off putting, the art style quickly won me over and immediately felt just right for the story it was telling.
Mechanically, I don’t think I’ve played anything like this; perhaps Outer Wilds - which I loved - comes the closest but it’s a whole different tangent of this (and Obra Dinn is already on my queue, btw!). I was totally engrossed by it from the start.
The story was intriguing enough that I was thinking about it and coming up with theories even between play sessions across days.
This was a blast to play with my wife, who loves mysteries in general - which I guess made the whole experience just take around 4 days, and without need for hints whatsoever.
Although I was able to predict some of the twists in the story, in the end it was still a super rewarding experience.
If this team releases new mysteries with the same mechanics, I’ll happily support their efforts.
Surprised at all the less-than-favourable reviews about this one!
Obviously the main hook here is how you play as the monster that has to ravage through various facilities. It’s a great concept and it’s executed excellently.
I loved the feeling of movement - it was satisfying to move around so freely.
It has a clear metroidvania-lite style, where some paths are blocked until you gain the abilities to overcome them. I thought the lack of a genre-typical map in favour of an “echolocation“ system made the (shallow-level) exploration more involved and interesting.
Halfway through the game you get to play as other people and fire some weapons and use some armour (trying to keep it spoiler-free here) that’s very satisfying.
Finally, you get some light-puzzles here and there which keep things engaging and varied.
There’s very little story or plot here and it’s very simplistic. It’s a game clearly focused on the mechanics where the story was a nice extra to glue things together thematically.
It took me 6.5 hours to finish it and overall I’m satisfied. A visually great game with great music and atmosphere.
Played on SteamDeck.
Played on SteamDeck.
played it on the Steam Deck
totally crazy plot but fun characters that i wish were more fleshed out
the gameplay clicked with me right from the start and felt very rewarding all the way through
the set pieces are wildly fun and visually fantastic
there were only a couple of occasions where the camera positioned in a way that was frustrating because the timing was critical - they were a minor nuisance, however and the only issue i found in the game
a very straightforward, super fun game
Right from the start, I was captivated by the writing. The characters, the setting, the world-building – it all feels unique and textured masterfully.
One of the very few games where I knew I wanted to replay it after I would finish it the first time.
Also, Kim is king.
As a fan of the original PS One Crash Bandicoot trilogy, I was super excited when this was announced. Then it was offered as part of PlayStation Plus monthly games so I happily started playing it.
The game has an insane amount of content; if you really enjoy what it has to offer, you can spend a long, long time on it. There's lots of creativity and variations on each level and they feel big in scale. On top of Crash and Coco's regular levels - which are the required ones to finish the game - you have a handful of levels where you play as 3 other characters, each with a different set of movements and skills.
Each regular level can also be replayed in "reverse" or "mirrored" with a few differences from the original and a distinct visual "filter" applied to it.
All in all, you get a big amount of different ways to enjoy the game.
But the more I continued playing the more frustrated I got with the game. By the time I reached around the last 5 levels I was just rushing to finish it to get it over with.
Every level is just. too. looooong - frustratingly so, and there are too few checkpoints in them. So you spend a long time on each section of a level and when you die, you're set back a huge distance, and given that the game is very challenging overall, this happens a lot. By the time you finish a level, any sense of accomplishment has been drained by the frustration of the lack of checkpoints and the ridiculous lengths.
Now I honestly want to replay Crash 3 to verify that those levels were not as difficult, frustrating or long as these ones. Maybe they were I just don't have the time and patience for it anymore.
But I do think Crash 4 is unfortunately just too much.
This really is a proper continuation of 2018’s God Of War and - given that GOW ‘18 might be my favourite game ever - this is a good thing.
It’s also a production that very much feels rushed as it reaches its conclusion. It does feel like it was meant to be the middle chapter of a trilogy but that halfway through it was decided it would be the conclusion, and that conclusion was then tacked-in - with less care, polish, and attention to details than what was put at the previous 80% of the game.
A technical quirk that bothered me was that showing/hiding the HUD by swiping would randomly stop working, so the HUD would stay visible or hidden without being able to swap. Given that I love the immersion of hiding all the HUD most of the time while being able to show it on demand, having this feature break regularly was a tad frustrating. It’s still a minor thing, however, and surely will be fixed sooner than later.
Mechanically, the game is very much a continuation of 2018’s - so much so that I think if you put GOW ’18 and Ragnarok next to each other and show it to someone without context they wouldn’t be able to tell which one is which. Of course, Ragnarok does add new mechanics on top of the previous ones, and they’re all truly welcome.
One truly annoying thing that carries over from the previous game is how close the gameplay camera is to Kratos! I wish there was an option to set the camera a bit further away from the character; both because it’d be nicer to see the whole character all the time and also because it’d be easier to see attacks coming from behind.
There were also a few sections that felt way too long and overstayed their welcome, therefore harming the overall pacing a bit.
But none of these things manage to sour the overall experience, however.
This is a powerful and wonderful story, driven by the characters and their personal struggles and the tensions between them, and yet full of spectacle and stunning set-pieces. A much larger cast filled with engaging and charming characters, all well-developed as the story progresses. It’s ultimately a rewarding journey.
There’s a lot of love put into the details as well. Kratos and his companions having lots of meaningful and important conversations while traversing the world always makes the moment-to-moment fun and engaging. The codex, which includes sections written by Kratos is a very nice way to get into his mind and the way he writes about other people around him is just fun and funny. The post-game is also surprisingly full of great moments.
In the end I’m happy with what I got; from the moment this sequel was announced I realised it would be very difficult for this game to surpass the magic and accomplishments achieved in 2018, so I had my expectations accordingly set, and Ragnarok met them for the most part.
It’s a complete package: a great foundation from the previous game, expanded and improved. Added mechanics - better and more fun gameplay; an already wonderful setting - expanded and evolved; a fantastic story - exciting and intriguing although clearly rushed at the end; more enemy variety, way more boss-fights, and most importantly a great cast of memorable characters all wonderfully developed.
One of the greats.
This is the first game I bought after getting my Steam Deck; it seemed like a good one to play portably (feels weird marking Platform as Windows PC in this review, since there's no Steam Deck option).
In short, Tunic is an isometric 2D-Zelda-meets-Fez, with a nostalgia-inspired twist.
I spent 3 quarters of the game totally in love; the art style is gorgeous and impressive and the fantastic music creates a unique atmosphere. Gameplay-wise, I loved the world and the focus on exploration. The combat was fine; I mostly enjoyed it during the Overworld and dungeons explorations, but it bordered on frustrating during the Boss fights.
Most importantly, the instructions manual. The unequivocal core mechanic of the game and center of its story. It's brilliant. Having to figure out the game's mechanics, skills, locations, and secrets, all by finding pages of this booklet that looks and /feels/ like the instruction manuals from the old-school games was both nostalgic and wonderful. Finding each page - all of them scattered throughout the world - is a reward on its own, and they each will reveal something that you will make you understand the game, its mechanics and story more and more.
Yet, there's a lot of mysteries and secrets. A lot of them. And the explanations on the manual are not always straightforward and are a puzzle on themselves. You might either find fun in that or feel frustrated by the seeming obscurity of it. This was the last quarter of the game that I enjoyed less.
The game's average length is perfect. I came out around 12 hours and I took my time on some of the puzzles and one very rage-inducing boss. If you have the patience and openness to enjoy carefully reading and analysing the clues in the manual, you'll probably spend more time. For me, after a long while, it started to feel overwhelming, and ended up searching for hints online.
Overall, Tunic is a very memorable piece of work. I will definitely go back to the soundtrack, and would love to have a real, physical version of the instructions manual.
From the moment it started, with its mysterious presentation and aesthetics, I was hooked.
The mechanics feel super fresh and fun. It really is a puzzle game disguised as a shooter.
It’s so rewarding to finish a level and then see it replayed in normal speed - looks so badass.
The “story”s length is great - short and sweet. If you want more game, lots of modes are unlocked after you finish the story.
I was expecting the game to explore and play a bit more with verticality in the levels. Having a more fleshed-out story would have been nice, too - but it’s still interesting as it attempts to break the 4th wall.
Overall, an awesome experience. The most innovative shooter I’ve played in years.
my game of the year, so far
perfect atmosphere and a wonderful combination of cats shenanigans in a post-apocalyptic cyber-world
the locations are incredibly detailed and it was a delight to explore every reachable corner of them
the cherry on top is the game’s length; it’s perfect - just perfect