I like Hybrid, the new downloadable shooter for Xbox LIVE, but from the very beginning, something about it bothered me. The shooting mechanics were fine, the equipment was interesting, the various modes were all fun and different, but there was something about it, something at its very core that just nagged at the back of my mind and made it hard to play for an extended period of time. It was only after trying to explain this feeling to a friend that I was able to finally latch onto the issue: Hybrid combines the controls of a cover-based shooter with the pacing of a first-person shooter—an awkward combination since the two genres encourage conflicting behavior.
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This post contains spoilers for Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line is a pretty great game. The story challenges traditional shooter tropes, raising some disturbing moral questions in the process, and—most importantly—the ending doesn’t cop out. It follows through on the promise that it sets up and forces the player to confront issues of violence that we normally take for granted in games. It has been criticized for being generic, and there’s no denying that it plays like a typical shooter. However, that’s actually what makes it so effective at times. Its adherence to standard shooter tropes allows it to evoke memories of other shooters while casting those memories in a new, more disturbing light.
This post contains major spoilers for Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line is a military-themed, cover-based, third-person shooter. You’ve played this game before, many times over. However, it’s still a game worth playing. It offers a different kind of story than the one normally attached to such shooters. Rather than revel in the power fantasy of shooting guys, the characters in The Line are so disturbed by their own actions that they slowly unravel over time. Based on this description, there’s an assumed “payoff” that should come at the climax: these guys should go insane; they should cross that metaphorical line.
Dear Esther is an unsettling game. It’s not violent or disturbing but eerie in a very memorable way. The Lost Archive DLC for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is, to my surprise, similarly unsettling. The DLC continues that game’s odd first person puzzles with narration, but this time the narrated story isn’t Desmond’s story and that completely changes the tone. Both games revolve around the same concept: reliving someone else’s memories. And both games use similar tricks to create a sense of unease and tension even when there’s no danger of failure, since the entire story revolves around stuff that’s already happened.
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon was the first of the venerable point-and-click adventure series to make the leap to 3D. Playing it now evokes a weird kind of wonder. As a fan of the series, it’s undeniably awesome to see a 3D model of George Stobbart and Nico Collard, even though it’s a horribly dated game in terms of graphics. But what’s more interesting is how the new dimension impacts the gameplay and how those changes both lessen and heighten the sense of adventure in the game.
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"Mystery writer Arthur B. Reeve's influence in this film doesn't follow convention -- it follows his invention.READ the article