Duality is at the heart of A Way Out. It’s a game about two people, designed to be played by two players. It also feels like two games in one. It’s a narrative exploration adventure that’s also an action game. It’s a standard machismo-laden romp that works its socks off to find emotional depth. It is also, somehow, both a game and a movie; a really long movie, interspersed with puzzles and challenges. A Way Out’s duality extends to its own success as a work of entertainment and art. It is both really good, and maddeningly humdrum. When I played with my partner, there were moments when we were transfixed, bound together by the characters’ travails, the tasks at hand or high points in the narrative. But there were also moments — usually during long cutscenes — when one of us might drift away to check phone messages or to make a sandwich. We begin in prison. Players take on the roles of Vincent and Leo, who work together to escape the big … [Read more...] about A Way Out has a lot of flaws and a lot of heart
Break out room
Zack Johnson, designer of open world comedy RPG West of Loathing, detailed the difference between a comedy game and a game with just some comedy in it during two talks he gave at GDC 2018 on Tuesday and Wednesday."Instead of a game with jokes in it, which happens all the time," Johnson said of West of Loathing, "this was sort of a game made out of jokes."With humor being the primary focus of West of Loathing, and funny text appearing in everything from item descriptions to conversations to menu options, Johnson didn't want to throw roadblocks in the path of players who were bent on discovering every last bit of humor. Combat, therefore, which some reviewers criticized as being too easy, was easy by design.As Johnson put it during his talk: "A joke is better than a good thing that's harder to make than a joke." You may have to read that a few times before it makes sense, but Johnson cited two of the gambling minigames in West of Loathing as example. The first game, poker, was something … [Read more...] about West of Loathing wasn’t just a game with jokes in it, it was ‘a game made out of jokes’
Locking snooty butlers inside freezers. Appreciating some seriously decadent architecture. Putting antique garden ornaments in peril while running an athletic obstacle course. Down the years, Lara and I have been involved in all sorts of hijinks while exploring her opulent English mansion, but we’ve never teamed up to take on anything quite like this. Rise Of The Tomb Raider’s 20th anniversary celebration DLC sheds an entirely different light on Croft Manor, and this time things are personal... and, y’know, a teensy bit dead. I recently dove into the £7.99 expansion after enjoying the hell out of Crofty’s Siberian adventure when it launched in 2015. So it may have been a while since I dropped in on Lara and her grizzly bear chums, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t have quite so many problems with the undead when our paths last crossed. Yes, this DLC has a vaguely derivative zombie mode – enter Lara’s Nightmare. Stop rolling your eyes, … [Read more...] about Breaking out the party hats and cake for Rise Of The Tomb Raider’s undead birthday celebration
Oh snap, it's our weekend feature, the PCG Q&A. We ask a question to our PC Gamer writers, then you can answer the same question in the comments. This week, a nice, negative one: when was the exact moment you fell out of love with a game? Austin Wood: The Talos Principle I can't remember exactly which level of The Talos Principle it was—though if I booted it up now I'm sure I'd still be on it—but it got me to drop the game in no seconds flat. It was shortly after you unlock the time clone ability which seems mandatory for puzzle games nowadays. And it wasn't that I was stumped. Quite the opposite: I solved the levers and boxes and clones, but when I made it to the exit and looked back on the level, I realized I hadn't thought about a single thing. I didn't need to. All I had to do was pull levers and place boxes in a very clearly indicated order to access new levers and boxes. At any point in the level, I could only do one thing. There was no room or reason to consider … [Read more...] about When was the exact moment you fell out of love with a game?
The Godfather and Breaking Bad are two of the most acclaimed crime dramas of all time, both telling the stories of men who become ruthless criminals and the effects their decisions have on their families. Two new board games, CMON's The Godfather: Corleone's Empire and Asmodee's Breaking Bad, are letting players step into those worlds, showing off the differences in the works that inspire them even as they both provide the thrills of being a villain. The Godfather: Corleone's Empire Publisher: CMON Designer: Eric M. Lang Price: $79.99 or less on Amazon Francis Ford Coppola famously insisted that his film be shot on location in New York. CMON also wanted to immerse players of its board game in that setting, so at this year’s Gen Con the company ran demos in a large space made up to look like an Italian restaurant run by costumed staff. The game itself is just as stylish, its rulebook filled with full-page pictures of New York and portraits of characters from the film. The … [Read more...] about Breaking Bad and The Godfather both get their own board games