Hello again! This is the second of my monthly recap of games I've finished. This month was two long ones and two shorter ones. Just a heads up, these are more impressions and thoughts than a review but they also might contain spoilers so if that's something you're sensitive to, consider yourself warned.
The Witness - Completed 2/13
This game is all about teaching the player, it continues to teach new ideas through the end of the game and beyond. By limiting the mechanics to the pretty straightforward drawing of lines, the complexity of the rules can ramp up well beyond what would normally be asked of a player.
I think the ending sequence of the game was pretty weak but the areas that can be explored beyond the ending are fantastic, including the secret credits area and the mines. Most of my dissatisfaction comes from either the lack of story or my misunderstanding of how the philosophical audio logs and videos tie together into any narrative whatsoever. That being said I did enjoy listening to some of them, namely the astronaut's viewing of earth audio.
Sometimes while playing The Witness I had to either walk away for a while because I was just missing what the game was asking of me, like a couple times with the environmental clues, or maybe my brain fuel had just run out for the moment. I feel great and pretty smart for finishing the game and after I have had some time to recharge, I have a feeling I will go back and try more of the end game content. I haven't yet completed the timed challenge dealie.
Firewatch - Completed 2/13
A narrative game with a lot more adventure than other recent "walking simulators." The map in Firewatch is big enough and has enough different paths that more than once in the game I worried I was missing things, like I took a path that I knew would get to somewhere somewhat directly, kind of a short cut, because it made sense to save time but I worried that I was missing audio that would be triggered had I taken another path.
I enjoyed the game's story overall, especially the conspiracy theory kinda stuff. The ending kind of left me lukewarm because considering how I played as Henry and the interactions with Delilah, I figured it would be a lot happier of an ending. I'd be curious to run through this game again while taking some more extreme conversation options, my play through was pretty sensible.
Oxenfree - Completed 2/14
This was another short, story focused game. It follows a small cast of characters for a night while they solve light puzzles and interact on a haunted island. I really loved the visual style of the game, the mix of 2D painterly backgrounds with 3D characters, and the video effects that would happen when the ghosts were around.
I'm also not super happy with how this one played out story wise in some ways because I feel like my choices during the game should have panned out differently but overall it was worth the time to play through. Additionally, late in the game I feel like there was a puzzle aspect to these mirror sections that I just didn't get, but it didn't seem to really make any difference. I kind of wonder how much any of the "tests" in the game would have made a difference had I completely failed them.
Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void - Completed 2/22
This one took me a while to get through. I took it pretty slow. I basically just played a mission a night for about a month. There is a lot of game here, at least it felt like it. It's something like 25 missions long.
I feel like Blizzard really went out of their way to make every mission feel unique in this expansion. They were on their way there with Heart of the Swarm but with this one, I feel like they did a really good job to keep it feeling fresh throughout. I played through the game on normal difficulty because I mostly just wanted to have fun with it and I'm not some sort of uber gamer lord or something. It wasn't especially challenging until the end but I was definitely engaged the whole time.
I mentioned this in last month's post too, but I also played a fair amount of the game's new co-op mode. It's a 2vAI objectives on specific maps. I think at this point I've seen all of the maps. It's pretty fun but I don't know how much love it's going to get from Blizzard going forward. It seems like the long term focus for the game is competitive but I guess the pre-order-able single player Nova mission pack says otherwise...
I'm actually really curious to know where Starcraft goes from here, if anywhere. I love RTS campaigns and know a few other people that do but I can't see many of the Minecraft generation getting into it, at least without a couple steps in between. I think MOBA style games might be a good transition to RTS but I think that's more the competitive side, where I just really like campaign. Competitive RTS stresses me the hell out.
I think in March I'm going to play through Grey Goo just to keep the RTS kick going. I had a really good time playing through Legacy of the Void even though Brotoss are probably my least favorite race to play in SC. I hope we see more of the series going forward.
Allright, that's about it for this last month. I'm thinking Grey Goo for March and I've been playing some Crashlands on iOS. Pretty fantastic game but I don't know if I'll see it all the way through. You'll have to wait until next month to find out, unless of course you're creeping on my Game Center or whatever. <3