The Last of Us: Left Behind
Left Behind is a symbolic statement in as many ways as it is a physical one. It highlights Ellie Unsure and Ellie Triumphant, show us darkness while giving us hope with the smallest shafts of light. It is loss, heartbreak, harrowing sadness, but more then anything, it's a deeper look at a character that refuses to leave herself behind, no matter what hardships lie in front of her. Left Behind is how story DLC should be done.
Magrunner: Dark Pulse
Above niggles aside, this is a game definitely worth adding to your collection. Combining elements of 3D physics-based puzzle solving with a well-established gothic horror narrative, Magrunner presents unique and addictive challenges. As a crowd funded, budget title, this is a genuine contender for Indie Game of The Year; it really is that good.
With lackluster looks and a lame story serving as ballast, the combat would have to be spot on perfect to carry this game out of mediocrity. It's good, far and away the best part of the game, with the scoring system adding challenge, thought and tension to the proceedings, but it's not enough to push this into “must have” status. To end with an appropriate pun, this Final Exam passes... but just barely.
Batman: Arkham Origins
It's often said that the devil is in the details, and it's a real shame that red bastard was allowed to run roughshod all over this release. While still a good game, it remains overshadowed by those previous entries. Rocksteady got right all the little things that WB Montreal seemed to miss. The flaws won't stop me from trying to continue to enjoy the game as much as I have those other entries, but they do leave a lingering thought, one I can't even believe I am capable of having: we would have been better served waiting for another entry in the series.
Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion
For a $10 game Orc Attack is decent for the price. You get what you pay for in this case. Go in for a cheap game and you’ll get is a cheap game. It will hold you over for a few hours, maybe more if you have some friends you can bribe/guilt into joining you, but don’t expect to come back to it once you’re finished.
Do Not Fall
Do Not Fall was a bit of a pleasant surprise, offering some nice challenge with an interesting mechanic. It wears a bit thin towards the end, and there were many times when I felt the game, and not my actions, had cheated me, but I never felt like I was smashing my head against the wall. If you are looking for a good, solid platformer, and don't mind a cutesy aesthetic with almost no connecting narrative, this one is worth your time.
Dragon’s Crown is terrific fun, with the appropriate mindset. It may or may not be distasteful, depending on one’s tolerance for cliches and objectivity, and it may or may not be fun, depending on one’s tolerance for 2-D beat ‘em ups that put the onus of combat potential on the player. However, the strength it has in aesthetic character and gameplay is mighty indeed. Dragon’s Crown doesn’t offer any much needed enrichment of its various genres, but it makes up for this by committing to its visual identity and the frenetic, empowering possibilities of its game design.
Strength of the Sword 3
It's never bad to reach for the stars. It's the only way you succeed. And much like the lessons Ivent Games hopes you learn while playing their game, I hope subsequent projects from this team eliminate the small, yet serious issues presented. Strength of the Sword 3 shows incredible promise, and goes a long way towards meeting it. It's almost there.
God of War: Ascension
In a lot of ways Ascension feels like a test fire to see what they want to do on the next generation. And for that its hard to say it's as successful as its predecessors. The single player is solid but doesn't try a ton new, and the multiplayer is brand new but has plenty of room to grow. God of War: Ascension is a very well put together game and one made for fans of the series who want to keep their Kratos fix in while we wait for the next true successor in the franchise.
Despite stepping away from the tone and play style of its forbears, Tomb Raider is an entertaining adventure and a great jumping off point for the new direction Crystal Dynamics wants to take. Great combat and beautiful scenery help to balance out issues stemming from questionable storytelling, elementary puzzle design and an overabundance of secondary items to collect. At the end of the lengthy adventure, Lara’s resolve to travel on a new path has me very excited to see what is in store for the future now that a strong foundation has been laid.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Rising opens big and only intensifies from there. The action is amazing and the game is a pure toy box for the slicing mechanic and that is just fine for me. The story is relatively believable within the crazy world of MGS and that might really be it’s only downfall with Platinum Games feeling a little held back by the restrictions of the real world.
Even if you're like me and don't end up getting hooked on the online, Anarchy Reigns is a rock-solid action game with combo-based combat you can really chew on, rad boss encounters, and one of the more ludicrous stories to come along in games for some time. This is a hardcore Japanese action game, through and through. Its rigid, uncompromising mission structure can be less than accommodating but nonetheless charming.
Assassin's Creed III
While gamers were busy uncovering the Borgia conspiracy and seeking out Altair’s memories in Constantinople, a different team had been charged with crafting an entirely new Assassin’s Creed adventure just after the release of the second game. In many ways, Assassin’s Creed III feels as if it were made independently thanks to a welcome graphical facelift and new gameplay enhancements.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors
For not being a fan of manga/anime in general, I really, really enjoyed One Piece’s fiction. The characters are a blast, the animation is top notch, and the world is just way too crazy to even begin to describe. So much yelling, so much drama, and we’re unfortunately left with a DW clone to try it’s best to house it all. It’s a shame that the developers thought this was the way to go, but more power to them for at least trying to get these characters out there.
Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 is a strange thing. We're talking about a game where an out-of-control helicopter smashes buildings and grinds alongside a train before taking back to the air, where characters spout spry quips after untold horrors unfold on your screen, and where a corporation called Neo-Umbrella – yes, that's right, a duplicate resurrection of the biomed company that had wreaked havoc with viruses from the series' inception until the end of Resident Evil 5 – picks up the slack exactly where its predecessor left off to create more zombie baddies with yet another strain of a zombifying virus all around the world.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Transformers: War for Cybertron was not only one of 2010's best shooters, but also one of its best licensed games. While hardware limitations might have kept the concept unrealized until that point, Cybertron's basic, “stick to what's cool” approach to its source material made for an intuitive and raucous playground of vehicles cum robots destruction.
Way of the Samurai 4
The continuation of the Way of the Samurai franchise comes to us as Way of the Samurai 4 as a downloadable on the Playstation Network. While there are a lot of samurai games on the market (though still not enough for my taste) the Way of the Samurai franchise has always been my favorite.