If you are looking for the next groundbreaking first-person shooter on PlayStation 4, Hawken is probably not going to live up to your expectations. The game does deliver an initial burst of exhilaration, but this is unfortunately unsustainable beyond a few outings. When the dust settles, what remains is a run-of-the-mill class based shooter, set in a series of drab environments. This is a genuine case of getting what you pay for.
It would be hard to say that Kill Strain isn’t at least ambitious. The game was a studio’s first outing in a relatively immature genre, which attempted to take a dramatically different approach to many of core mechanics that define MOBAs. Though carefully calculated, these risks fall flat in execution, resulting in a confusing and joyless experience. Too bad that infected class couldn’t contaminate the other factions with a little fun. Now that would be a character class worth paying for…
If you couldn’t tell, [email protected] is a game that warrants exploring. The dynamically generated world and character leveling systems help to emphasize its infinite replayability. After a few plunges into this violent abyss the repetitive grind will set in a bit, but the solid combat helps to take the sting out of infrequent bouts of déjà vu. Plus, the inclusion of couch coop and a fully featured level designer only further cements its value. Have no fear, adventurer. This is a quest that is well worth embarking upon.
At the risk of sounding too cliché, Madden 17 was the next necessary and logical progression that the series needed to make. The evolution of mechanics, both on and off the gridiron are a staple of what keeps fans coming back each season. With the offensive balance now restored, games will be more true to what the audience consumes weekly on television, while still keeping things at least moderately approachable. Additionally, spending the past nine months focusing on what the fans deemed to be most important is just one of many eye opening steps in the right direction. This may not be the best Madden title ever, but it is definitely the most promising entry this console generation.
On the surface it would appear that Livelock is trying to bring something new and interesting to the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, though perfectly competent as an action game, ends up falling flat on execution. The predictable storyline, inconsistent production values and lackluster variety mar what could have been a fun distraction during the summer’s AAA famine. If you are looking for a fairly decent brawler/shoot-a-thon, Livelock should fit the bill, but this is not going to be the kind of title that remains installed on your console after its completion.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst proves that without a shadow of a doubt, the series deserves a home on the console. The great depth, compelling combat and interesting enemies provide an fantastic counterpoint to the Monster Hunter brand, while also providing an exciting new sandbox for players to explore. Unfortunately, there are plenty of shortcoming associated with mediocre port work that prevent this iteration from fulfilling its full potential. While it may ultimately prove to be a bit of a stumble, this is an interesting first step into a much bigger world.
Clocking in at the cost of a full modern game, Dead Rising Triple Pack is still a fantastic value. Yes, each of the games have their own unique quirks, but that “je ne sais quoi,” is what helped endear the series to millions of fans, worldwide. The sheer volume of quality content being provided makes it an extremely generous offering, especially for those that don’t have these titles already in their collection. Finally, Capcom was able to put their brain-dead re-release strategy to good use!
While it is obvious that Rive was a well-crafted digital love letter to arcade classics of yesteryear, this is not a game that will be joining that pantheon of remarkable releases. Just because a game is hard, doesn’t mean it is gratifying. Though it certainly has moments of brilliance, these glimpses are few and far between. It also doesn’t help matters much when the borderline mean-natured presentation and combat mechanics continue to over-emphasize failures, instead of trumpeting successes. This will most likely find a small, loyal audience among the already converted and fairly neglected arcade shooter crowd. Ultimately, Rive lacks the approachability that would help it preach the shooter gospel to those not already singing in the choir.
Every game developer has to start somewhere. Dear Esther was a valiant first step into a much bigger world. It may have been something special back in 2008, but it is definitely showing its age — especially when compared to The Chinese Room’s later releases, Esther falls dramatically short of modern expectations. If you are looking to relive the first salvo in the walking simulator renaissance, then feel free to give this a try. However, if money is truly burning a hole in your pocket, you should probably just check out Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture instead.
It was nice to see EA Canada go back to the drawing board this season. The addition of The Journey, along with their already solid on-field simulation, really helps set FIFA 17 apart for the crowd. When you also throw a brand new game engine atop the growing pile of enhancements, you end up with a simulation that more than justifies its existence. They’ve really outdone themselves this year.