Jag fortsätter att använda den här bloggen – möjligtvis i brist på bättre innehåll – för att arkivera mina korta spelrecensioner på engelska som jag skriver på andra plattformar, huvudsakligen Steam. Håll till godo.
Battlezone: Combat Commander
I played a frankly unhealthy amount of the original Battlezone when it came out in ’98 but somehow missed the sequel when it came out only the next year. Now that a refresh has dropped, I’m finally able to enjoy it – however, do note that this is not a reimagining but a “warts and all” refresh that retains a lot of the somewhat dated and crappy mechanics of the original. There is a storyline, but it’s not well-written by today’s standards and much of what happens in it makes no sense in hindsight. There are bugs that can break missions. The AI is terrible on both sides, which leads to a lot of “accidental” difficulty, or sometimes lack thereof. That said, the level of challenge steadily ramps up and some of the later missions are quite hard.
In summary, if you loved Battlezone or have a thing for 90’s FPS+RTS hybrids, definitely give this one a go. I do wish they eventually revive this type of gameplay for a Battlezone III, even if only in spirit.
Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale
Very cute shop management/dungeon crawler about working your way out of crippling debt – a story I believe many of us can empathize with. Actually “beating the game” by paying of Recette’s debt isn’t all that hard, and most people will probably manage it first or second try, since the mechanics are so simple. However, doing so is really only about half the game, as there is plenty of story past that point and – of course – many more dungeons to crawl if you’re into that.
Sadly the dungeons lost their fun for me after a while and the store management isn’t really necessary once you are out of debt and have enough money to buy anything you need, so I’m sure I missed out on some content. Still, not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
It’s almost impossible to believe that this game is almost ten years old at this point – with the free graphics refresh, a few mods and a modern PC, this looks and plays just as well as most current AAA games, and the fully voice acted and immersive questlines are as great as ever. The DLCs are a must, as the game is arguably not complete without them – especially Blood and Wine, which serves as a mini-sequel and bookends Geralt’s story in a satisfying way.
My one item of criticism is that you really do need to jump through the hoops of downloading and installing mods for this, as many graphical and quality-of-life improvements are waiting for you there, some of which seem obvious in hindsight. That said, definitely grab this game.
Fan remake of the legendary classic Half-Life that takes enough liberties with the original to come out on top and deserve a playthrough, even for those of us who still remember the story in detail. Despite this being a rather short game, parts of it feel unnecessarily drawn out and tedious, a lot of reviewers call out Xen in particular and it’s hard not to agree that it could have been cut down by 50% with practically nothing of value lost. And even with all the polish and quality of life improvements (no crouch jumping!), some elements of late 90’s game design that haven’t really aged well are still there, and so you do need to have a bit of tolerance for such things to enjoy this to the fullest.
VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
Bartending isn’t actually the point of this game; it’s a visual novel that briefly interrupts the story for an extremely simple minigame, which is very hard to fail. A few clients have cryptic requests and some are practically impossible to deduce by logic, so you might as well pull up the wiki – again, the bartending minigame isn’t the point, anyway. I still strongly recommend this game for the excellent writing, great characters and music – it’s not too long, and my greatest complaint is that there isn’t (yet) a part two.
Grand Theft Auto V
The fifth main entry in the GTA series is very much more of the same type of gameplay and story that we’re used to, now in a somewhat fresh setting. That said, my main complaint is that there isn’t more of it, as completing the main questline left me feeling I still had much to explore, but no incentive to actually do so. I suppose the idea is to play online but as someone with little patience for multiplayer outside my circle of friends, I would have liked more single player content, even if they were autogenerated missions. 60 hours is still a decent playtime though, especially for a game that goes on sale a lot, so pick this up if you haven’t already.
Excellently written, beautifully animated and extremely satisfying. I was worried that Supergiant had lost their touch after trying Pyre, but this is a very strong return to form and a fresh take on rouge-lites where dying doesn’t reset the story to zero, but actually advances it and often unlocks new possibilities for the next run. Once you beat the game, there’s really a ton of story left to enjoy, with increasing difficulty if you want it. This gets nothing less than an unqualified thumbs up from me.