Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a game I was eagerly looking forward to playing for no reason other than the flawed original’s immensely enjoyable gameplay; the first game offered something interesting and different, a first-person acrobatic platforming game which offered minimal combat. It was not perfect, and felt underdeveloped, but the sequel seemed to offer a fuller and more developed experience. I am thoroughly enjoying Catalyst as a game; its mechanics are more polished, it has a large amount of missions to complete and its aesthetics are excellent (and Solar Fields’ soundtrack, readily available to purchase online, is well worth buying for any fans of ambient music). But it is a game I am enjoying despite a lot of flaws; while there is a well-made game there, it is dressed up in a lot of superfluous and questionable design decisions.
Note: This review discusses in some detail the plot of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.
Having recently played both Dishonored games in succession, I have had the opportunity to compose my thoughts about the series; initially I was eager to discount it as not for me simply because stealth games are not my favourite type and the nonspecific steampunk-pseudo-British aesthetic of the first game, all whalers, fog and clunky technology, seemed overplayed and uninteresting. However, I came to quite enjoy the games as I played through them and even ended up playing the second in a mostly non-lethal fashion, with attempts at a much higher level of stealth and creativity than the first game (which ended up as a kind of farce as a masked assassin roamed the streets lobbing grenades and land-mines and shooting pistols at anything that moved).
Note: This review discusses a number of plot points from both Dishonored and Dishonored 2 and assumes some familiarity with the games’ stories.
The multiplayer component of Battlefield 4 is in many ways the natural endpoint of the steady increase in scale seen from the Bad Company games through Battlefield 3 – the maps are now immense yet populated, with far fewer massive grasslands or deserts to race across dully, the vehicles finally fully encompass the branches of the armed services in more detail, with motor-torpedo boats finally allowing proper naval battles within the confines of a FPS, and there is finally a fully functional commander mode, with UAVs and gunships and all the other paraphenalia of technologically advanced war. Yet the whole affair does not have the same buzz of excitement about it that past games brought – in its ambition, it loses some of the simplicity that made Bad Company 2 so compelling.
The announcement of Sony’s new home console to great fanfare in February 2013 is arguably the start of the “core gamers’” next generation; while the Wii U was the first true successor to a current generation console in terms of computing power it was not a significant step forward from the current top tier. The reveal, however, was not met with unequivocal support from potential buyers; notably, Sony’s lack of a physical product and instead reliance on feature lists and upcoming software seemed out of place in a world where new product announcement are generally accompanied by some physical proof of concept.