Author Archives: Hentzau

Thoughts: Rage 2

rage2_shoot

Some of my friends have asked me why I even bought Rage 2, since I didn’t exactly enjoy the original and the sequel wasn’t looking like anything special from the previews. My answer to them was that I just wanted to blast things with a shotgun for a few hours, as that’s a genre that’s been somewhat underserved this year (so far), but the real reason is that I really, really wanted to open the review with a “You can’t spell average without Rage” joke.

Unfortunately this makes Rage 2 doubly disappointing, as it’s turned out to have fallen some considerable way short of even that rather dubious target.

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Thoughts: Heaven’s Vault

heavensvault_dust

If I’ve ended up being disappointed in Heaven’s Vault then, in fairness, that’s not exactly a fault of the game itself but rather its not living up to the quality demonstrated by its stellar choose-your-own-adventure predecessor 80 Days. Developers Inkle do interactive text adventures, and 80 Days was basically a text adventure with a nice interface over the top of it; it was Inkle working with tools and structures that they were already familiar with, and so 80 Days demonstrated what they could do at the peak of their powers. However, it’s also quite a difficult act to follow, both from the point of view of the people playing their games and the developers who actually make them. I do understand the motivations behind wanting to take a slightly different tack with Heaven’s Vault, making it much more of a traditional point-and-click adventure game. I also can’t help feeling that almost all of the problems Heaven’s Vault has (and there is a not inconsiderable list) stem from this leap from text to a 3D world, and that Inkle would have been able to do a much better execution on the idea if they’d stuck to what they knew.

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Thoughts: The Division 2

div2_elite

As predicted in my Anthem review, The Division 2 has ended up being a significant beneficiary of The Bad Game Effect.

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Thoughts: Devil May Cry 5

dmc5_knight

In which Capcom try to repeat Resident Evil 2’s success by resurrecting another console classic from ages past. Except this time, it doesn’t go anywhere nearly as well.

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Civilization Through The Ages: Civilization 4

civ4_berlin

And so we reach the arguable zenith of the Civilization series, the peak from which there is only a slow decline into senescence and eventual barbarism. Civilization 4 is actually the game that triggered this whole chain of posts, as I was looking for something relatively meaty to play over Christmas that would run on the Macbook I had with me while I was visiting family. It was meant to give me something to do in the evenings in between coding, reading and writing. Instead it ended up sucking me for two games in a row, like it was just released yesterday instead of almost fourteen years ago, and it’s the only one of the series where I barely notice the seams. Civilization 4 may well be ageless — Civilization 5 has aged far worse than 4 has, for god’s sake — and that’s entirely down to Firaxis’s drive to imbue the game with some of the character it had lost in Civilization 3’s relatively sterile treatment of the world, and an absolutely stellar piece of design work on the part of the game designers, especially lead designer Soren Johnson.

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