It seems like only yesterday that Bloodborne came out. Indeed, it’s actually only been a little bit over a year since its initial launch and its last DLC came in late November 2015. Nonetheless, here we are at Dark Souls III, and despite that alarmingly short timeframe, this game doesn’t feel rushed in the least. In fact, it feels like a culmination of all of From Software’s experience brought in at the highest level. However, where Dark Souls II felt like a continuation and natural evolution of the original Dark Souls, Dark Souls III feels more like an extension of Dark Souls II mixed with a few fresh lessons learned from Bloodborne to create a richer and more powerful overall experience.
9.5 out of 10 Review
We know a mature game by the things that rating systems tell us. Mature, PEGI 18, etc. These are labels defined by mostly surface things: blood and gore, suggestive themes, language and the like. But any child can see blood. Any child can hear bad language. Conversely, That Dragon, Cancer doesn’t have any of those things. Yet it may be the most mature thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s an invite to walk beside a family through the deepest waters of hope, despair, faith, humanity, loneliness, togetherness, joy, and sadness. You can’t give this to a child. You can’t expect someone to grasp this episode without the strength, patience and awareness to see, hear and feel what is meant to be conveyed. For my experience, it was almost perfect.
War never changes, but the console and gaming landscape has dramatically over the last seven years. In the time since Fallout 3's release, open-world games have evolved quite a bit thanks to that game's success. New platforms have also emerged, giving developers the resources to make larger, more detailed worlds for players to explore, while adding in the additional graphical benefits new hardware provides. While the rest of the world was moving on at an incredible pace, Bethesda was taking its time with Fallout 4. A proper fourth entry in the series needed to be bigger and better than before, but the wait was excruciating for fans. Though the franchise hasn't come quite as far in the last seven years as we'd hoped, but Fallout 4 is still an impressive piece of work that's not to be missed.
Nintendo is no stranger to cooperative multiplayer in its games. Recently, games like Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Bros. U have integrated four-player co-op in their main story modes. However because those games were designed with only one player in mind, the resulting multiplayer experience was chaotic to say the least. Nintendo has also given us great multiplayer experiences with games like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes falls right in the middle of those two gameplay experiences.
The Halo series has long been the benchmark by which all other Xbox games are judged. There have been some stumbles in the great lineage of Master Chief as of late, in particular last year's Master Chief Collection falling prey to launch woes that would have crippled any chance for success a true sequel could have had. Now one year later, 343 Industries has returned with the first true Xbox One Halo game, Halo 5. There are a lot of new aspects 343's thrown on top of the existing architecture that's become so familiar to fans over the past decade plus, and most of them work quite well to help bring the Halo franchise into a new generation. There just must be something about second entries in Master Chief's life.
After 17 years and numerous times when he said he was finished with the series, legendary game maker Hideo Kojima has released his true swansong to the Metal Gear Solid franchise in what is likely going to be his magnum opus, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Both controversy and a high level of expectations surround The Phantom Pain, as Kojima is expected to be leaving Konami after three decades of working there. Fortunately, The Phantom Pain shatters these expectations and transcends its circumstances through sheer gameplay alone. If Hideo Kojima really is leaving and never planning to revisit the Metal Gear series he started on the MSX2 back in 1987, then consider this the perfect way to say goodbye to the fans and the franchise.
Double Fine promised a classic point-and-click title when it launched its crowd-funding campaign three long years ago, but the developer didn’t just rely on nostalgia. Instead, it made a game that captures the humor of the games Tim Schafer worked on at LucasArts while creating a modern aesthetic that totally suits the story.
In Bloodborne, things are going to be tough, you're going to die, and, most importantly, you're going to have one hell of a good time.
The Talos Principles manages to be both a great game and a contemplative piece of art, and the world is a richer place for it.
If you own a Wii U, you absolutely owe it to yourself to pick up Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker.