39 reviews liked by drought

ooooogh. miyazaki, sir.... what if we took dark souls and stretched it out for so long its boring... oooooogh im meeeelting oooh ahhhhh im sure a 20 hour experience stretched out to 100 hours wont feel artificially long or overstaying its welcome

John Fallout will you use this nuke or will you use these smaller nukes please submit your answers below

FULL DISCLOSURE: I haven’t played this game since it came out.

“I landed on this emotional idea of, can we, over the course of the game, make you feel this intense hate that is universal in the same way that unconditional love is universal? [...] This hate that people feel has the same kind of universality. You hate someone so much that you want them to suffer in the way they’ve made someone you love suffer.”

Even setting aside Neil Druckmann’s politics, there’s something I find deeply ugly about this quote, about the notion that seething hatred is a universal human experience on the level of unconditional love. This misanthropic mindset really does explain a lot about the tone and direction of The Last of Us: Part II. There’s a lot you could say about this game, and even more that has been said, but I will add this: Part II is mad edgy.

It’s a masterwork of simulated violence that wants you to feel bad about playing it. The tight encounter design and the new movement options make every room a dynamic, deadly puzzle box that inevitably turns into an adrenaline-fueled killing spree. By design, these situations quickly spiral out of the player’s control, forcing them to resort to messy, cruel, costly means to save their own life. And yet, combat and cutscenes are peppered with transparent, heavy-handed attempts to make the player feel guilty for the violence unfolding in-game. Human enemies scream in agony and their friends call for them by name; at one point, Ellie is required to shoot a dog to progress and later Abby is shown playing with that same dog.

This is a cocktail that goes down much smoother when you reconceptualize it as a work of exploitation fiction rather than a “story-driven game” with “themes'' about the “human condition.” Its overwrought, contrived revenge plot would be a major flaw in a “story-driven game” but now it becomes merely an engine to pull the player from one messy, desperate firefight to another. The countless brutal murders Ellie and Abby commit, the gory excess, it becomes part of the fun. I don’t know, maybe I’m sick in the head. Maybe I missed the point of this game. Maybe there isn’t a point worth engaging with. Either way, I’m just here for the combat.

(I actually wanted to elaborate on my thoughts on Skyrim, but my brain wanted to do this instead. I’m sorry.)

This won best writing at the GDC Awards if you want to understand how dire video game writing and what's considered good writing has been. Emil Pagliarulo is the enemy of the written word, there is no clumsy piece of dialogue or ham-fisted theme he can't make worse beyond your wildest imagination.

The morality and gameplay have been completely gutted of previous Fallout complexity, and in its place the Bethesda formula has been injected. For what it's worth, it's not a bad formula. Exploration guarantees you finding something weird and interesting. Once you abandon the hope of finding something meaningful and thought-provoking and accept it as a series of vignettes of bizarre stuff it goes down cleaner.

It does abandon the Monty Python jokes of Fallout 2 though, which is a net improvement. Very much a mixed bag.

if you have adhd you will not put this game down even if someone is blowing you while you play

though i am also of the mind that Evangelion would be better with lesbians, in order to make Evangelion With Lesbians one has to make, well, Evangelion, and having played this game, I now know that task is much easier said than done.

If you're a transfem who uses twitter to flirt with other girls and you reply with ASDJDKFJAKLFSA or "ohh you're so mad i bet you wanna kiss me right now" when arguing with someone online, I think you'll get a huge kick out of this

HWBM isn't a bad Visual Novel by any means, but it has a very specific audience in mind - probably one that has watched all of NGE - and I'm just not part of that, and therefore found it aggressively impenetrable. I get what HWMB is going for. It wants to create a world that existed before you got here, with pre-established character relationships and world building, and there's nothing wrong with that! But you've also got all these huge paragraphs full of vague science fiction terms, so I ended up feeling incredibly overwhelmed while struggling to follow along. I really felt like I was missing something, like I'd started reading a book half way through. And again, this isn't an objectively bad way to tell a story but it's not personally for me

It's a bit of a shame because towards my first ending (which itself was honestly extremely cool!!), I actually started getting kinda into it - when the writing is good, IT IS SO GOOD. However, when I then started my second playthrough as another character, with a more positive open mind this time, I soon found myself hitting the same issues

The visuals, UI and audio are really cool as well, creating a great atmosphere though

This game plays like an even worse fallout game except it's written by assholes and the main character is also an asshole and all of your friends are assholes and the people you're shooting at are assholes and your gun's an asshole and keanu reeves is an asshole

so it's pretty good, but then the main character says "not all cops are bastards" and then you have to stop playing because this game doesn't understand why it's called "Cyberpunk"

neurodivergence can only take me so far