The first two parts of what I’d call the “Shadowrun Returns Trilogy” – Shadowrun: Dead Man’s Switch, and Shadowrun: Dragonfall, showed steady improvement over their earlier installments, reaching a zenith in Shadowrun: Hong Kong. Dead Man’s Switch re-introduced the game mechanics and the world of Shadowrun to video games after decades of absence, along with telling a story that adapted parts of the setting that hadn’t been adapted before.
Dragonfall, for the first time, took Shadowrun, in video game form, out of Seattle – and in the process gave some fanservice to the game’s very vocal German fan base. It also demonstrated elements of the evolution of PC RPGs that the first game lacked – regular party members each with their motivations and story, along with quests specific to those characters that helped to progress their story. However, both games had some mechanical hiccups that made them frustrating to play.
Shortly after watching Ubisoft’s E3 2019 Showcase, I finally beat Watch Dogs 2. Beating that game, in a lot of respects, made clear what my objections are with Watch Dogs Legion. In short, effectively all of those objections are related to the narrative – in particular, how the story will play out with procedurally generated characters.
Kirby games are generally conceived as kinder, gentler platformers. Not easy, but not punishingly hard either. Kirby Star Allies for the Nintendo Switch is no exception. While the narrative gets weirdly dark at times, the gameplay stays generally friendly.
In preparation for the 2019 release of Cyberpunk 2077, I decided to play through (and stream on my Twitch Channel) the last tabletop cyberpunk RPG to be adapted to video game form – Shadowrun Returns: all three of its campaigns. Here are my thoughts on the first campaign – Dead Man’s Switch. (more…)
The original Gears of War trilogy was a a game series that changed how players and designers approached the cover-based shooter. It popularized stop-and-pop shooter gameplay, something that ended up moving beyond the third person shooter, and over to some first person shooters as well. (more…)
Point and Click adventure games are interesting from a review standpoint. They are a lot more narrative focused than, say, shooters, because they rely so heavily on their story, and the puzzles, if executed well, feed into the narrative.
So, Beneath A Steel Sky is a point-and-click adventure game made using the SCUMM engine (at least the version that’s available on GOG), put out by Revolution Software in the UK (the same people who do the Broken Sword series). It’s a cyberpunk story that focuses on Foster, a part of a society of scavengers living in the Gap, outside of a cyberpunk dystopian city that Foster’s mother died trying to flee from with her son. Presumably this is set in Australia, as Foster is named after Foster’s Lager, but considering that brand of beer is now available all over the world (and considering a few other UK-isms in the game’s dialog), it could be in Australia or the UK. (more…)