The 10 Best (and 5 Worst) Video Games of 2014

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2014 was the year of the failed AAA launch. Many games from major publishers turned out to be abysmally awful, completely unplayable, or totally overhyped on release – DriveClub, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and Destiny, to name a few. However, there were a number of gems too, and I’m going to list 10 of them. Included among them are a couple of AAA titles, a smattering of indie games, and at least one weird experiment in interactive fiction.

I’m also going to list the 5 worst games of the year, because it’s fun to mock terrible games. More

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DLC Review: BioShock Infinite – Burial at Sea, Episode 2

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As is the case with all game reviews on the blog, this review assumes that you’ve played the game in question. As such, it contains spoilers for both the main game and the DLC. You’ve been warned.

Episode 2 of Burial at Sea opens with Elizabeth enjoying a lazy afternoon in a fantasy version of Paris. Children frolic in the streets, while artists and shopkeepers joyfully hawk their wares. There’s a bright sun in the sky, and flowers line the windowsills. This fantasy not only represents an indulgence for Elizabeth, who has always wanted to visit Paris, but also for the player, who could spent a good half-hour just soaking in the sights and sounds.

Of course, this indulgence isn’t real, and the fantasy soon gives way to grim reality: Elizabeth is passed out, hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface, and she’s no closer to finding Sally than she was before. Thus, episode 2’s introduction serves as a recap of one of the messages of the main game: a constructed reality is nothing but a temporary indulgence; it can’t last.

Given the game’s warnings against indulgence, it’s ironic that episode 2 ends up feeling quite indulgent, as if it’s just as interested in amusing the devs as it is in entertaining players. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I think it holds the DLC back from its full potential. More

2013 in Video Gaming

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2013 was an interesting year in gaming. It saw the launch of two new consoles – three if you count the Ouya1. More and more independent titles came onto the market, many of them achieving a great deal of both critical and commercial success. There were more options than ever before for gamers, and there was no possible way I could play every single release I wanted to.

But I did manage to play enough games to compile a list of my 10 favourite games of 2013, along with some honourable and dishonourable mentions. Also, since I don’t currently own a console, all games on this list are PC games. Without further ado, let’s dive in. More

DLC Review: BioShock Infinite – Burial at Sea, Episode 1

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This review contains spoilers for both the main game and the DLC. You’ve been warned.

BioShock Infinite was a good game. Not a fantastic, generation-defining game, mind you, but a very good game. It featured engaging gameplay, gorgeous visuals, fantastic sound design, an engrossing narrative (at least for the first three quarters), and stellar acting from Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper as the game’s main characters, Booker and Elizabeth. Say what you will about Infinite – it was an undeniably well-made piece of interactive entertainment.

On the other hand, the first episode of BioShock Infinite’s Burial at Sea DLC is not a good game. In fact, it’s a bad game. An embarrassingly awful game, even. Burial at Sea combines the worst parts of the BioShock games in awkward ways and wraps them up in a buggy, unpolished package. More

What I’ve Been Reading: July 14, 2013

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Plane crashes, zombies, and…oral sex? Don’t worry; it’s all safe for work, and it’s here in this week’s What I’ve Been Reading. More

What I’ve Been Reading: July 7, 2013

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This week, in What I’ve Been Reading, I dive into the world of DLC, and then I meet a mermaid. Spoiler alert: I don’t actually meet a mermaid. More

DLC Review: The Walking Dead: 400 Days

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It’s exceedingly rare that I can review something on its release date. But in the case of a brief, two-hour downloadable addition to the first season of The Walking Dead, it’s actually possible. This collection of five intertwined short stories revolving around a truck stop manages to capture the essence of the main series while introducing some new, interesting twists. A full review with spoilers for both the main series and 400 Days follows after the jump. More