Videogames highlights – January 2017
The first time I played Half-Life 2 I was twelve, maybe thirteen years younger, and like many folks in the same condition (a not particularly powerful PC, a not exactly fast ADSL) I welcomed the package prepared by Valve with conflicting emotions: Steam was and still is an unbearable shit, HL2 is one of the most important gaming experiences of my life. We’re in 2017 now and they are still talking about a possible sequel to that experience, with Valve wasting all this time in unnatural experiments and Gabe Newell continuing to troll the entire world with his worthless “Yep”. I’m actually fed up, with all this talking about Half-Life 3. And now excuse me while I go and install HL2 again for the fifteenth time…
Alone With You
In a world where “purebred” graphic adventures have essentially become exclusive material for indie developers, it isn’t so rare to bump into titles experimenting with emotions and scenarios which don’t require an obligatory happy ending: the main character of Alone With You is the last survivor of a doomed space colony, by day he goes searching for cues and solving puzzles while by night he explores the colony’s story together with holograms that have to accept their sad fate. Available since February on PC and PS4/PS Vita.
Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game
That is not dead which can eternal lie, and even a Lovecraft-themed game project that seemed dead can return to a new life thanks to the work done by Cyanide: the French studio is currently busy developing Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game, a title inspired by the homonymous short story masterpiece from my favorite writer but more so by the role-playing game released in 1981. The protagonist, detective Edward Pierce, will have to deal with cultists and the tentacles of the Great Old Ones in an RPG setup with stealth elements. To be released during the forth quarter of 2017 on PC and consoles.
After putting aside the fame of the Trine series, Frozenbyte seems now interested in developing less demanding projects like Has-Been Heroes: the new work by the Finnish studio is an action game with roguelike elements, set in a fantasy world where the heroes come back from retirement to carry out one last mission full of blows, explosions and fights against packs and packs of foes to knock down with a mix of turn-based and real-time strategy. Available since March on PC Windows and consoles.
Husk‘s perspective is in first person, yet the developers of this new survival horror say they were explicitly inspired by third-person classics of the genre and by Silent Hill in particular. What stays the same is the need to face
monstrous beings and personal nightmares, going around in a nice American town with a silly name (Shivercliﬀ) in search of your beloved ones after a trainwreck. Available since February on PC.
Super Mario Odyssey
Every new Nintendo console needs a Super Mario, and Switch too will soon be equipped with this essential requirement thanks to Super Mario Odyssey: the latest adventure of the mustached plumber of dubious nationality (Italian-Japanese? Japanese-Italian?) returns to an “open world” experience like Super Mario 64, Nintendo said, and there will be landscapes inspired by the real world next to the usual fantasy worlds where mushrooms are either smoked or mercilessly crushed. To be release exclusively on Nintendo Switch in October.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Unlike Super Mario, the Link+Zelda saga was chosen by Nintendo to match the Switch console launch. Storage requirements aside, the launch has been successful and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has won over millions of players with its pastoral corners, the interaction possibilities within the open world setting and everything. One of the best video games of all times (according to critics) is available only for Switch and Wii U consoles since March 3.