If there’s any actual fans of this site, apologies are due. I’ve been in a rut, without any drive or care for writing articles. It’s probably the lack of passion I have in general, since at times I’m not even sure I have anything to say or any desire to talk about video games.
In short, I’m tired and more than a little bored with the whole enterprise.
However, I’m going to work through this – maybe I’m still a journalist, or maybe I just ramble about video games, but either way you’re listening and I’m speaking. There’s some games I’ve been eyeing for a while, games I know would make great fodder for a review. Be they good or bad, small-scale or big-budgeted, I will take them on. So, in honour of our new five-star review system – oh, by the way, we now have a five-star review system – I’m going to just rundown what games you can expect my final word on.
And yes, these are games that’ve been out for a while, some even going back a decade. We review what we wish, because we can. Don’t read if you don’t agree.
Assassin’s Creed 2
Review Release Date: About July 19th
I’ve been bugged by a close companion to play this damn game, so I figure the best thing would be to just get the review out of the way. For those uninitiated, I was mildly critical of the original game, having given it an average score of 6/10 for being tedious and lacking in narrative drive. Assassin’s Creed had the promise of historical accuracy in one hand and the sheer joy of stabby-stabby fun time in the other, but it couldn’t overcome its sameness to other open-world or platforming games. It just felt boring and unrewarding in my eyes.
However, its setup for the next game – at the time feeling like sequel bait – definitely seems to have paid off in the form of a f**king better game. Nicer graphics, likeable lead character, interesting new setting, and smoother combat to boot. Plus, it boasts one of gaming’s best orchestrated tunes courtesy of freelance composer, and series regular, Jesper Kyd. Assassin’s Creed II has its issues, but I’m looking forward to delivering a largely positive verdict.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Review Release Date: July 19th to 21st
This game has tested my will to review, in some ways. I originally came back to this – after playing it on PC about two years ago – in a fool-hardy attempt to earn all of the associated Trophies; personal pride and all that. A month later, and I’m still 10 Trophies away from completion.
Modern Warfare was certainly a tough act to follow, and I certainly don’t envy Infinity Ward for being the one to try a direct sequel. I’m still conflicted as to how well Modern Warfare 2 actually pans out, and I definitely have some scores to settle concerning the story, but overall I don’t think the series has lost too much favour with me. Hopefully, this attitude holds up when I inevitably tackle part 3.
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Review Release Date: July 22nd to 24th
Another game I’ve been conflicted about reviewing but felt intrigued by, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men is something of a tough call. On the one hand, I gather what I want to say’s already been mentioned by far more experienced and talented reviewers. It’s six years old, that was going to be a given.
However, getting my hands on the game that cost Jeff Gerstmann his job at GameSpot is something of an intriguing opportunity – especially when the game doesn’t seem worth defending as much as Eidos ultimately did. Given its reputation among media professionals and the love-it-or-hate-it vibe I’ve been getting, I look forward to making an official statement on the matter. Just for the sake of closure, mind you – I’m feeling kind of mixed about the game.
Review Release Date: About August 5th
No, this isn’t an alphabetical order list. Yes, I’m thinking about reviewing a fairly recent game. And yes, I’m aware critics have basically panned it across the board. I’m occasionally a glutton for punishment.
Conceptually, the idea of an IP focused on blending stealth action with role-playing elements sounds like a match made in whatever heaven is co-managed by Deus Ex and Thief. Adding to this potential goodness is the fact that Dark was developed and published by small-scale, almost indie-level companies. Whether or not the game pays off is irrelevant; it’s an underdog in an industry of copycats tiptoeing around new ideas or fresh re-interpretations. Which is to say, I’ll play Dark and give the developer a fair shot to impress me.
Resident Evil 5
Review Release Date: August 8th to 10th
I’m not looking forward to my return to Resident Evil 5; there’s a reason I gave up after the first few levels. There’s other games I’d rather play, with better action, production values, environmental effects and design, controls… eh, the list goes on.
But, I concede that variety is the spice of life, and overcoming this means I’ll have another reason to try out Dead Space – to properly cleanse my palate after experiencing 5’s s**tstorm of bad design choices. I mean, I get why the fans, and some specific critics, kind of hate on this game for “killing the franchise”; there’s nothing much of value beyond fodder for ironic “love” in the same vein as “loving” The Expendables. Still, there’ll be an entire review to get into the nitty-gritty, so I’ll be patient.
I’m no more of a fan of the Abrams “mystery box” conceit than anyone else, but occasionally a dash of mystery and suspense can help more than hinder. To that effect, I have purposefully kept a few key titles I plan to review off this list, the reason for which comes down to appeal.
Let me explain: I want people to actually read, and think about, my articles for once. Yes, I ramble and babble into obscurity at times, but occasionally I have some genuinely wise observations that generally go unnoticed or are basically ignored. I don’t want to write for an empty room, so I’m forced to try a new tactic.
First, I’m going to tease you with a few clues as to what games I’ll be reviewing. Then, I’ll let you all mull over my meaning until A) you figure out what I’m doing, or B) the reviews come out. That way, I get to write like the clever bastard I am on occasion, and you get some mental exercise in addition to entertainment and enlightenment.
Ready? Great. Okay, here we go:
- I hate digging up the past, especially when there’s a storm involved… such ionic power, and yet so little to show for it.
- Then again, as someone once said, “God is in the works”… or in the machine…
- Dragons are so bloody f**king popular these days, aren’t they? It’s a far cry from the days of zombies and starships, I’ll say that.
- You know where I can get a nuclear-powered bi-pedal platform within the vicinity of Canada, preferably with a dinosaur name? Alaska, eh? Great.
- Fill in the blank: “THIS. IS. _ _ _ _ _ _ !” No seeking vengeance if this makes your head hurt, okay? I have to deal with that kind of bulls**t from certain ghosts.
- “Space. The final frontier.” Too bad this particular frontier kind of sucks. Then again, it’s Orci and Kurtzman here – no childhood memory is safe.
- One little note to wannabe Internet pirates: DON’T. F**K. WITH GREENHEART.
- Well, I’m on my way to find good ol’ Liberty. Yes sir, Liberty – in the “land of opportunity”.
What About the Rest of the Writers?
Short answer: I don’t know and I’m indifferent. We’re friendly but not that friendly, so the rate at which they write reviews depends more on personal preference. Summer’s been a good time to play catch-up, though, so expect a steadier stream of reviews among other work.
I gather The Opinionator’s up to something of his own, likely those video reviews or retrospectives he’s being saying are upcoming for a while now. He’ll still provide his own specially-branded articles, but I would expect a dry spell here and there.
Our own Ben Voss is temporarily unavailable, furthering his own education in preparation for the future. The writer you know as “technikitty” is, well, probably working on a review. She’s a newer addition to the site, so I’ve yet to grasp a particular work pattern.
So basically, I’m working on stuff, they’re probably working on stuff, and expect to see some of that stuff in the coming weeks. Nothing more to say on the matter, except look forward to more reviews soon.
Oh, and to those searching for more cryptic clues – La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo!