The summer gaming drought is drawing to a close at long last. These past few months have felt very much like the ‘calm before the storm’ because while there were no new releases to get particularly excited about, this autumn is looking to be an unbelievably expensive time. The likes of Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Arkham City, Rage, Modern Warfare 3, the latest Assassin’s Creed game and of course Minecraft, are all due out between now and Christmas. I’ve no idea how I’m gonna find time to play them all. Kicking off the big releases last week was Paul and myself’s most anticipated game of the year and the prequel to one of the best games of all time – Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Is it any good? Well, we’re not willing to go into too much detail yet, but the short answer is a definitive ‘yes’. I also picked up the top-down indie adventure Bastion, and the visually stunning Alice: Madness Returns. Read on to find out what I think so far…
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
It is not a disappointment. After months of anticipation and drooling eagerly over the many, MANY trailers that preceded its launch, the wait was over and Deus Ex 3 has been unleashed upon the world. I’m approximately halfway through the game, taking my sweet time to explore every nook and cranny, hacking my way through as many secret doors as possible, completing every side mission, robbing every innocent shopkeeper of his credits…er yeah. It totally is living up to the original, and so far at least, is a more memorable experience than Invisible War. The graphics are unfortunately consolified, but the art style is lovely – the colour palette is full of soft yellows and oranges mixed with industrial greys and blacks which somehow complement each other. Its a unique visual design that I have never seen before in a game, and I love it. Paul is playing through the Xbox version too, so one of us should have a review of it soon enough.
I have only experienced the first hour or so of this charmingly made indie game. You are a young kid who has survived an event known only as The Calamity, which has apparently destroyed most of the world. As you make your way through the environments, the ground literally forms around your feet, flying in from nowhere and planting itself in front of you. It’s a nice visual touch showing off the game’s intricate artwork. The game has a fantastic soundtrack too, with music that sounds very reminiscent of the tv show Firefly with its western riffs and melodies. But the star of the show is the narrator. The omnipotent voice follows you and narrates everything as it goes along in a deep, husky style that feels like his sole existence is inside a cheesy B-movie trailer. But it absolutely works, and he is constantly funny and endearing with his endless quips. The story seems basic at first, but the further you play, the more everything gets explained and all the pieces slowly fit into place (both figuratively, and literally as you rebuild the Bastion itself). So far, so good, its the perfect relaxing game to enjoy after a tense bout of Deus Ex.
Alice: Madness Returns
I must admit, I have not gotten around to installing this yet. Reviews and write-ups seem to suggest the gameplay is rather repetitive and even tedious eventually, but I’m a sucker for pretty graphics, and the demented, crazy world of Wonderland was too much to resist, especially in game form. I’ll leave you with this deliciously dark trailer: