Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a perfect example of innovation in games. I was extremely impressed with how the developers crafted the gameplay to involve two characters at once. The fantasy world that you’re dropped in was also very well thought out and breathtaking to look at. I thought this game was interesting because understanding the story relied mostly on just human emotion alone. I didn’t understand the language, but at the same time I understood what had to be done and the love that these two brothers shared together. The bond that you form throughout the game makes for a really unique and unforgettable conclusion. I went in to this game not knowing what to expect - and came out pleasantly surprised and consider it one of the most unique experiences of the year.
THE STANLEY PARABLE - March 23rd, 2014
It’s not very often a game like The Stanley Parable comes along. Davey Wreden has created something special. I loved how the point of this game was to question the norm of typical narration and choice in video games. I was amazed at how brilliant the (story?) was crafted and how witty and humorous the narrator of the game was. I don’t think I’ve laughed out loud so much while playing a game. What’s even more brilliant about The Stanley Parable is that the end really is never the end. I restarted the game several times and it was extremely funny how your actions throughout your time with the game generate new lines and actions from the narrator. If you want a mind boggling, funny, and unique take on the narrative driven video game, play this. But make sure you play it lots of times. Because the end is never really the end is never really the end is never really the end is nev..
RESISTANCE: FALL OF MAN - March 22nd, 2014
I think what I’ll remember most about this game is the environments and overall storyline. There’s not much dialogue and I didn’t think the characters were particularly memorable, but the situation and world you’re placed in is incredible. The Chimera were very well done and added plenty of variety to the encounters you have and overall gameplay. Even though this was released way back in 2006, I still stopped several times to admire the amazing art direction and graphics. I did get a little frustrated at the difficulty of some particular parts, but I guess every game isn’t a walk in the park. Overall, intriguing world and great gameplay - I’m looking forward to playing the rest in the series.
JOURNEY - March 12th, 2014
Journey is a game that makes me realize even more why I appreciate video games so much. It might be a short experience, but it’s one that I won’t forget. I think the magic of Journey is that it makes you feel something with mystery and the outstanding musical score alone. There’s no dialogue throughout the whole game, no real explanation for what you’re doing - there’s just you and a journey towards a distant place. That’s all it takes for this experience to work. I can’t remember the last time I played through something so intriguing and unique. It’s hard to explain what this game is - the reality is you just have to experience it yourself to understand.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION - March 8th, 2014
Rockstar are clearly experts at creating open world video games. I can’t imagine a Western themed open world game being any better than this. The environmental detail was extremely well done and I felt like I really was in that particular time period. The scope of the world was huge and I felt like there was always something new to experience or discover. The main character, John Marston, was a very likeable character and had plenty of humorous moments as well. The storyline was intriguing and there was plenty of variety in the missions you had to complete. I felt like most of the characters you interacted with throughout the story were unique and had great voice actors that accurately portrayed the setting and time period. The horseback mechanics and overall combat system was fantastic in my opinion. I can’t wait to go back and explore this game more - as well as try out the Undead Nightmare downloadable content.
UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION - February 13th, 2014
The Uncharted series is one of the best of last generation. Naughty Dog is by far one of the best game developers that mixes exciting and cinematic gameplay with excellent storytelling. I lost track of the number of times my mouth just dropped open in awe at how awesome this game really is. When a game consumes all the free time you have and you can’t stop thinking about it, you know the developers did something special. The outstanding motion capture and voice recordings that the actors did over the past three games really made these characters feel real. When a game makes you care about the characters and develop an emotional connection to them - that’s what I think is special. Uncharted is more than just mind blowing action and explosions. It’s also got heart - and that’s what drove me forward through the series and made me that much more immersed in the story. I’m beyond excited about Uncharted 4.
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES - February 6th, 2014
It’s obvious that the Naughty Dog team are extremely talented at what they do. Everything about this sequel surpasses the original by a long shot. Naughty Dog expertly crafted this game to make sure you’re fully immersed and engaged in what’s happening at all times - there’s not a dull moment. The cinematics and gameplay blur together in a way that make for an extremely fun and addictive adventure. It’d be impossible for me to find any flaws with this game. The gameplay is incredibly polished and most importantly - fun. The way you interact with the environments is very natural and fluid. The motion capture and voice acting is blockbuster film quality. The characters are all unique and memorable in their own ways. The witty humor made me laugh out loud numerous times. The art direction, environments, and graphics make you stop and stare. Basically, much like with The Last of Us, Naughty Dog has created what I consider to be a perfect video game experience.
UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE - February 1st, 2014
It’s hard to believe I’m 7 years late to this series. After playing through The Last of Us, it was impossible to not want to play through the other games Naughty Dog has made. This first game in the Uncharted series might be 7 years old now - but I couldn’t tell. Naughty Dog are extremely good at creating epic adventures that are not only fun, but also tell a good story. Nolan North, Emily Rose, and Richard McGonagle give great performances that keep you invested in the story. Something I wasn’t really expecting (after playing The Last of Us) was how funny this was at times - thanks mostly to Nolan North and his delivery of Nathan Drake’s lines. I’m a huge fan of Tomb Raider, so that made this game even more appealing to me. Everything that the Naughty Dog team created came together in a way that made this a memorable and very polished experience for me. During its time of release, I would imagine adventure games couldn’t get much better than this on the Playstation 3.
HEAVY RAIN - January 26th, 2014
I think Quantic Dream does an amazing job of creating a genre that is unique to the industry. I loved Beyond: Two Souls, so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed this as well. The ability of the developers to fuse cinematic adventure and interactivity by the player is flawless. I actually really enjoyed how they incorporated the quick time events because it makes you that much more immersed into the game and what the characters are going through. I can’t remember the last time I played a game where I was so conflicted with the choices I had to make as a character. At one point, I had to pause the game and actually sit and think for a while about what I wanted to do. Much like Beyond: Two Souls, Quantic Dream created a memorable experience with Heavy Rain that consisted of interesting and empathetic characters with great voice actors, amazing music that really draws you in, and an intriguing and original story that won’t soon be forgotten.
BEYOND: TWO SOULS - January 16th, 2014
Beyond: Two Souls is the perfect blend of cinematic adventure and interactive storytelling. I loved it from the very beginning all the way to the thrilling end. I always love coming across something that is unique. Although the actual gameplay may be limited, it is always engaging and a very original concept. The lack of gameplay is more than made up for in the excellent storytelling and emotionally charged journey through Jodie’s life. I’m realizing more and more with every game I play that voice acting has a huge impact on the quality of the story and authenticity of the characters. Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe gave great performances that really made the characters come alive with a wide variety of emotions. I really liked that you always had to be on your toes to make split second decisions that could have drastic consequences. Beyond: Two Souls was basically like watching a dramatic and thrilling movie about a young girls life - except you get to make the decisions and decide how it ultimately plays out. I loved it and the experience will definitely stick with me. I can’t wait to play Quantic Dreams next game.