The original Doom that was released back in 1993 was an extremely important landmark title in gaming. While not necessarily the first first-person-shooter to hit the market, it was definitely the game that popularized the genre. I have fond memories of playing Doom sometime back in the mid-90s on PC when I was less than the age of 10, with its gameplay and (at the time) mature content being unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Although the version I had only contained the first episode, I played through it multiple times, and it is still a game that I find myself going back to even today. After the Wolfenstein series got a great new entry with MachineGames' excellent Wolfenstein: The New Order, I was confident that id's other classic franchise would receive the same treatment when a new game in the Doom series, simply titled Doom, was shown at E3 2015. I was not disappointed. In fact, even after playing other highly acclaimed games from 2016 such as Uncharted 4 and Final Fantasy XV, I still feel like I enjoyed Doom enough to call it my Game of the Year for 2016.
Continue reading My GOTY 2016: DOOM
Many modern, first person adventure games are labelled as "walking simulators," particularly the ones with a narrative focus. This term refers to a game in which players walk throughout the in-game environment without doing much else like engaging in combat or finding collectibles. It's a label that, while superficially accurate, is often applied to a game because players can't decipher much more beyond the surface characters or stories. However, more often than not that couldn't be further from the truth of what these games offer. Take, for example, Dear Esther; it features the final fleeting thoughts of its narrator as his life fades away. It's true that the gameplay only involves walking from one set piece to the next, but what makes the game substantial is the emotions and memories the narrator presents. The walking simulator is the most effective at allowing players to really get into the head of a game's character.
Firewatch, the first game from Campo Santo, is the latest inclusion in the walking simulator category. The fact is that this game offers much depth of character, narrative interactivity, and even some role-playing which can only be achieved by utilizing this unconventional and divisive genre.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR FIREWATCH CONTINUE
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Continue reading Firewatch: Not Just a Walking Simulator
Continue reading Unloved #20: Shining the Holy Ark