The Council Episode One Trailer and Impressions

Mystery and Detective style games are hard to get right. Give too much information and it’ll feel like the player is being patronized, but throw out too many red herring and the experience simple becomes frustrating. However, it is a challenge i’m glad to see devs taking. I mean, i had my issues with LA Noir, but it was enjoyable enough in my opinion. How will The Council handle this? It’s way too early to tell, and this trailer gave us nothing to really go on. That’s certainly disappointing, but so far the presentation has me interested. The game has a strong visual resemblance to Dishonored and the voice acting is pretty good….although i am kind of worried that we never see anyone talking. We hear plenty of it, but we never see any one talking. That might sound like a dumb complaint, but hear me out: the voice actors might be selling the shit out of their roles, but if the facial animations are crap or not fitting with the delivery, that’s going to make the game as a hole look bad. This is the kind of thing i normally wouldn’t think about unless it was super obvious, but the way they went out of their way to cut the trailer so we don’t see it draws attention to it. That’s not to say this will be an issue, just that it comes to mind.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this, but for right now i’m just hoping for a trailer that has something i can really talk about.

Witchfire Trailer and Impressions

The makers of “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter” are making a retro style FPS in the vain of 2004’s “Painkiller”…that’s one of those sentences that i never expected to have to write. But it turns out that this isn’t exactly as crazy as it first seems. Three of The Astronauts co-owners were also co-owners of People Can Fly, the team that made Painkiller, which makes this scenario make a whole lot more sense. It also makes it make more sense out of just how damn good this looks. I mean, Painkiller is exactly as good as Yahtzee made it sound like it was, and even with out knowing the pedigree behind the game it’s hard not to see the resemblance.

The only real complaint i have with this as of right now is that, as it always is with reveal trailers, is that i very much doubt this will be representative of the final game. So long as the end game keeps to the spirit of this trailer i’m sure it’ll end up pretty damn good, but it’s hard to get too excited just yet when you know we’re not looking at in game footage. I’m keeping an eye on this, for sure, but i hope we get something with a little more substance soon.

Tower 57 Trailer and Impressions

Question: why don’t more video games involve dinosaurs? I mean for real, i was sold on this the second i saw you fight raptors around the 30 second mark. That’s how easy it is to sell a game once you add in dinosaurs, so why don’t more games do it?

Okay, for real though, this looks really good. It reminds me a lot of Enter the Gungeon, and I. Fucking. LOVED.  Enter the Gungeon. So right out of the gate the game has a leg up on it’s competition.  While that may have more to say with how early i play twin stick shooters more than anything, but that’s the comparison i drew, so it’s the one i’m going with.

Anyways, this looks fantastic. The verity of enemy times (FUCKING DINOSAURS), locations and weapons make this look like it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun and i am very much looking forward to giving this one a try.

Anamorphine Trailer and Impressions

I don’t mind that “walking sims” exist, but very few really do anything for me. I love the hell out of Gone Home, watched an LP of Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture and found it tedious even with the running commentary. I found  What Remains of Edith Finch beautiful, but i’m glad i watched someone else play it instead of doing so myself. In the end, this just isn’t my genre even though i do appreciate what it tries to do.

That said, Anamorphine looks like it might be one might be one of the ones that breaks through the barrier for me. You are playing through the memories of a character who has undergone some kind of major trauma, and that leads to some surreal moments. At least in the trailer. I can’t lie, that set up has me interested. But again the question is: will i want to set down and actually play this one? And that i’m not sure of yet. I guess no one can really know that until a game is released after all, but nothing in this trailer really made me say “yes, this one i want in my hands”. Either way, i’m going to be keeping an eye one this title for sure.

 

Bear With Me Episode 3 Trailer and Impressions

I have a certain fondness for Bear With Me. It was the first game i got a review code for with out having to namedrop my best friend IndieGamerChick, plus it was the first game a developer reached out to me for coverage for. And…well, it was freaking adorable. On top of that, it was also a really well written and fun little point and click. This was the first game that proved i was heading in the right direction with this whole “game journalism” thing and unlike a lot of people i know, i got to enjoy the game that proved that to me.

So, naturally i’m excited to see what it’s all been building up to. What happened to Amber’s brother? Who is the Man in Red? Why is he burning Paper City down? I want answers, god damn it! And on October 5th, i’ll get them.

In my reviews for the first two episodes I’ve made a point of noting that i don’t think this game works too well as an episodic adventure. Each episode continued the overarching narrative, but didn’t really offer unique stories of their own. Meaning each episode felt like it ended as soon as it was getting good. If the team at Exordium Games can stick the landing, this final episode should make that a non-issue as it will be possible to get some closure without having to wait for months on end.

So yeah, i’m stoked. I highly recommend the first two episodes, and am as excited for this last chapter as i possibly can be.

My Reviews for EPISODE 1 and EPISODE 2.

Hot Lava Gameplay and Impressions

A while ago i reviewed the first person platformer ClusterTruck, and i rather loved it. One of the main reasons that game worked is becuase it compensated for the inherent weaknesses of first person platforming. You were often asked to make a lot of tricky jumps, but the semi-trucks you were using as platforms weren’t exactly calling for a whole lot of precision. You weren’t asked to land on a dime, and with each truck being the same size you grew to get a feel for how much space you had and would need.

If anything, i think that might just kill Hot Lava here. There’s a pretty long section here where the person has to keep doing the same bit over again becuase becuase the platforms are really small and first person platforming is still kind of shit. I can easily see that becoming a major point of frustration if it persists though out the game.

I’m interested to see how this one turns out, but i’d be lying if i didn’t say my expectations are on the low end as of right now.

Mulaka Trailer and Impressions

This. Looks. Fantastic. The game is apparently built around mexico’s indigenous Tarahumara peoples, and as one of those “representation in media matter” type hippies, that instantly made me interested. What made me excited for this was…well, pretty much everything else.

While there isn’t a whole lot in this trailer, it easily made me want to see more. The hack and slash gameplay looks pretty solid and the ability to turn into animals is one more games should use…if we can find a ways to not let the furrys know about it. Looks guys, do what you do, just do it somewhere else.

My only real complaint is the games look, and even there i’m torn on how i feel about it. I’ve always been a proponent that a strong art direction is more important that sheer graphical power. And you can’t say  Mulaka here doesn’t have a strong art direction. But on the other hand…it looks like someone just forgot to add textures. And that does kind of bother me. Plus, i don’t prematurely like the look of the human character. There’s just something about how angular the character is that rubs me the wrong way. I hope this gets some more work, and as the game isn’t coming out until next year i’m sure that it will.

In the end though, i’ll take interesting but kind of ugly over a boring game any day. and this looks really damn interesting.