Splinter Cell: Blacklist reboots the series in more ways than one. Sam Fisher looks younger and more spry, and gone are gravelly tones of Michael Ironside complaining about how he’s too old for this shit. The rest of the game follows close behind, with a steady shift towards action kicked off by the divisive release of Conviction. Purists may have forsaken the fast pace of Blacklist, but the increased offensive options and gadgets help to keep the action going, if nothing else. Blacklist is a reflection of the times, for better or worse. Continue reading
When FUSE (formerly Overstrike) caught my attention, I was surprised that the project was seen through to completion. The ideas didn’t seem terribly unique: four player co-operative shooting with futuristic weapons and “deeply flawed” characters have been promised before, but I rarely turn down the opportunity for a shooter when I see one. Unfortunately, FUSE reminds me why shooters are getting a bit long in the tooth, and why “good enough” just can’t cut it any more.
Dead Space has changed over the years. Sure, you get the impression that it’s still about “survival” in the sense that you’re scrounging around for supplies and dealing with reanimated corpses bursting through air vents. However, Dead Space 3 is a game that is heavily focused on action (which is admittedly pretty damned fun), and so the thrill of trying to stay alive simply boils down to how well you can handle a firearm and how diligent you are with scavenging for supplies. If you want survival horror, Dead Space 3 is likely not what you’re looking for. Continue reading
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon knows its target audience: they were the ones who woke up early on Saturday mornings to get their dose of cartoons and messed with the tracking on their VCRs to play back taped TV shows. They’re the ones who grew up with low-budget action flicks set to campy power rock. They wouldn’t think twice about an action hero using shurikens against badly dressed foot soldiers while fending off cyber-dinosaurs (because why the fuck not). Blood Dragon is an unabashed homage to the action films of our childhood, and even though it’s a short-lived experience, Ubisoft gets it right. Continue reading
What would you do with pants that gave you the ability to scale buildings with a single bound and land without injury? In Gunpoint, you’d put them through their paces as you attempt to unravel the reasons behind the murder of a high profile weapons manufacturer, and clear your own name in the process. While the story has had plenty of thought put into it, Gunpoint’s strengths lie in its diverse mechanics and solid stealth-based gameplay. Be forewarned: this game won’t give you that bang-for-your-buck, but it’s definitely worth a look to see just how far $30 worth of game development can go. Continue reading
For every success that Rockstar achieves with Grand Theft Auto, the next title must feel like a hard act to follow; critical acclaim, while surely welcome, is a heavy burden to bear. GTA V builds upon the strengths of the previous titles, and while the leap in fidelity from GTA IV may not be so dramatic, the game is no less ambitious for it. The scope of the game’s world is bigger, more colourful and more detailed. Mechanics and controls are tight and refined, with plenty of inspiration taken from Rockstar’s other titles, all backed up with seamless presentation. And, as always, the tongue in cheek humour and insight into modern-day America is there, told from three different perspectives. Grand Theft Auto as as series is an exercise in evolution and progression, and the latest title is a solid step forward.