What We’re Playing – August 10th
As the summer lull comes to its end, we have a few short weeks to catch up before the fall rush. Here’s what we’re playing:
You can take Max Payne out of New York City, but trouble still manages to follow him wherever he goes. From Jersey to Sao Paulo, everybody is trying to kill gaming’s most famous pill-popper and Bullet-Time master even after a near decade long hiatus. After so many games ripped-off Bullet Time, it’s actually now a refreshing change of pace in a market glutted with cover-based shooters.
There’s nothing more satisfying than making a dramatic slo-mo dive into the thick of enemy gunfire with two automatic weapons spitting shells and tearing up bad guys. The change in developers from Remedy to Rockstar has brought about a few stylistic changes as well with Max Payne 3 taking cues more from gritty Michael Mann crime dramas rather than comic books and film noir. It’s a top-notch Rockstar production and the excellent James McCaffrey thankfully returns to voice the introspective anti-hero.
I’ve made it a recent habit of playing stressful games, and following Silent Hill: Downpour, Catherine and Lone Survivor, Wizorb curiously is the worst offender. Yes it’s a somewhat cuddly looking retro brick breaker, but it’s an exercise in precision and will power. Two nights ago I played for well over two hours and accumulated absolutely no progress whatsoever. I did learn a few things during my world five struggles, namely a few effective angles and the manner in which you damage the boss, but there were several moments where I could have just as easily been playing Dark Souls.
I left Wizorb alone yesterday, not wanting to subject my already fragile psyche to any more immediate trauma. That doesn’t mean I’m done rebuilding my tattered kingdom, but even this battle-hardened wizard needs his day off; saving the world is hard, thankless work.
A drab existence. This isn’t in reference to the few survivors of yet another poorly constructed zombie outbreak, but the limping life of this soulless game. An introduction that does nothing to heighten any sense of tension or trap you within the story’s world, a typical gruff voiceover we’re sick of hearing, ledges, boxes, and absolutely anything of worth highlighted and pointed at as if we’re all incredibly unintelligent and require assistance breathing, and a man who’s survived a global outbreak but is too overweight to swim. Ye gods. Five minutes into the trial and I was close to having a seizure from pure irritation. The right decision was made: I got off this video game conveyor belt of clichés and didn’t look back.