By many accounts, Never Alone is a risky title. Setting records as the very first of its kind, the market for a commercial game about indigenous people was untested. There was also the fact that Never Alone has been made to both pass on the stories and educate the world about the Iñupiaq people and so we could have gotten an uncomfortable experience not dissimilar to a Sunday school teaching you’ve tried to sneak out of. Could have. With the greatest risks comes the greatest rewards and so successfully living up to the potential, hype and hopes for it, Never Alone is a unique slice of video game brilliance.
Like Levi’s and denim, Nike and sportswear and the past year of gaming and laughably bad game launches, Nancy’s Drew name is synonymous with sleuthing. Her latest point and click adventure title, Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy takes the famed detective to Scotland, the place of her mother’s death. But was Kate Drew’s demise an accident or was it cold-blooded murder? That’s what Nancy is set to find out, facing puzzles, mystery and one God awful Scottish accent on the way. Find out more in our Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy review.
There’s something quite unfortunate about dying in a permadeath game. It’s like a blow to the head, a jab to the stomach and your father calling you “a disappointment” all at once. Yet Devil’s Dare, the arcade beat ‘em up from Secret Base, encourages it. The point to this (and yes there is a point to the game seeing its users ground into pixellated meat paste time and time again) is that overcoming its remarkably high level of risk offers a suitable reward in response, namely more bits of level for Devil’s Dare to kick your ass with. It’s a novel concept but does it pay off? Find out in our Devil’s Dare review.
A rhythm action title from Harmonix, the makers of Rock Band, A City Sleeps is meant to be the devs’ fresh take on a genre that was once flooded with lots of the same – with a plethora of plastic peripherals to boot. But, in many ways, their new PC-only title has much more in common with the franchise that made them famous than you would expect. It has a steep difficulty curve, it’s addictive, takes a lot of practice to get good at and, most importantly, it has a killer soundtrack. These are not bad things and they are actually the precursors for a very good music game. But does it shrug off the problems of the rhythm games that came before it or does it carry them within its bloodline? Read our A City Sleeps review to find out.
While graphics, platforms and the games industry as a whole may have changed, three core principles remain true. One, shooting waves of enemies in the face remains awesome. Two, getting out of a pinch when said enemies become threatening will make you feel like a god. And three, you never stop loving the way your heart beats in your chest when you almost died but you just about lived on to complete the level instead. When a game can do this to perfection then you know you’re onto a winner and lucky for us that twin-stick shooter Iron Fisticle is a very good example of this indeed.
I am not very good at MMOs but through the eyes of Anda I learn what it feels like to be an MMO god. Where I forget to log in regularly or give up on the daily grind, In Real Life‘s young protagonist exceeds, slashing, dashing and powering her way through enemies to hoover up XP, gold and respect from her peers, becoming one of the greatest players that the fictional MMO of Coarsegold Online has ever seen. But while Coarsegold Online may not really exist, the problems within the game are taken from the MMOs of our own world. It’s realistic without being too hard hitting but it’s jovial without being too jolly, which is perhaps why I like In Real Life so much.
So Many Me is exactly the type of game you love to root for. A quirky underdog, the game’s clone gameplay, in which spawned characters follow you and put their various abilities to use, is a bit like Lemmings without the peril of death being quite so funny. The fact it also combines that with physics-based puzzles and a blobby, green protagonist that’s as cute as can be, probably makes So Many Me seem like the Frankenstein’s creature of games on paper (which is likely why the game’s crowdfunding efforts didn’t go so well). But in action there’s a spark and a bright one at that. Read our So Many Me review after the break.
A quick skim of the ‘controversies’ section of The Vatican Bank (less conspicuously ‘The Institute for the Works of Religion’ in official terms)’s Wiki page and you’ll very soon understand that not only does The Vatican make a good, holy chunk of money each year, but that there’s also a reasonable amount of people questioning where that money comes from (mostly from Catholic follower donations and sales of stamps) and how it’s been spent over the years (anti-communist governments and also militias, maybe? Allegedly? I don’t want to go to jail). Common sense tells us that there are aspects of Papal business that are shadier than a 7 kilometre squared gazebo in the Sahara desert and The Da Vinci Code by Robert Langdon is a good, camp-y (if not slightly over the top) yet well-researched fiction book that covers it too, if that’s your bag of chips. Similarly, Shadows on the Vatican – Act 1: Greed is an excellently made point and click mystery and it’s the first episode in a series that points a few accusatory fingers in The Vatican’s direction. But it’s fictional! (Sorta.) And it’s backed up by a book of legitimate Vatican Bank facts, an unavoidable legal disclaimer and some shoddy voice acting. So onwards with the review to find out what else Shadows on the Vatican – Act 1: Greed is all about!
There’s no need to ask ‘does it matter if Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition only boasts better graphics and hair effects that make Lara look like an extra from a Pantene Pro 10 advert?’ Of course it matters. The real question is, how much? I reviewed Tomb Raider Definitive Edition on PS4 to find out for myself and you can read my thoughts after the break.
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition isn’t a superhero video game, it’s the superhero video game. While those who’ve focussed on the choice of the word ‘Ultimate’ that this game claims to be (thanks to all of the DLC crammed into the newer edition’s package) may chastise for stating the obvious, Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition is exactly that superlative not because of the extra offerings but because at a base level, it just fundamentally works.