Friday, July 1, 2016

If only I could sleep less

Another busy week. Remember when you were a kid and summer meant not having anything to do? Yeah, that doesn't happen anymore.


Inside is the Fight Club of video games. I cannot talk much about Inside without spoiling it but I desperately want to talk about it. In the most general terms it is the spiritual follow up to Limbo, a game that has the distinct honor of me playing in through twice. Same company, same bleak, side scrolling physics based puzzle platformer, but somehow much, much more disturbing. That is saying something when Limbo was about the final moments of consciousness of a boy who is killed in a car crash.

Inside, as a game, is easier than Limbo was. That is not to say that the puzzles aren't interesting, it just means that when the player arrives at a solution it takes minimal finger gymnastics to get it done. Most are just a matter of pushing the right item in the right direction but there is just a little bit of Oddworld mixed in here and there. Only more disturbing and without flatulence to break the tension.

And the deaths. Good lord, when the dogs eat you. It was not a good time.

I finished Inside in one sitting of about two and a half hours. The last fifteen minutes (that I will not describe) was intensely bizarre. I think I know what is means, at least I have a theory, but no one else is spoiling it, so I won't either. At least not yet. Give me a few days and will spill the beans about my ridiculous idea.


Uncharted 4 is a little slow.

Of course it looks amazing and of course it is good to see Nathan again and of course it has some of the most normal, human interactions between characters to have ever graced a video game. I could have watched Nathan and Elena sitting on the couch, playing Crash Bandicoot forever (hearing the original Playstation boot sounds gave me chills).

But I played for around three hours last night and the game never got any momentum going. There was a very Bond-like cold open and then you are sneaking around an orphanage with little baby Nathan and his irresponsible brother. Then you are mashing your way through mediocre melee combat (admit it, hand to hand combat in Uncharted has never been that great) before some platforming and just as it gets exciting you jump forward fifteen years to Nathan slowly dying of boredom in his attic.

I get that it is trying to be cinematic and is telling its story out of chronological order for effect but I am still waiting for the excitement of the last games to arrive. It will, probably, but how much of the game will have been wasted getting there?

And I will not retreat from my statement that the hand to hand combat is not good. Just steal the Arkham combat and call it day. Everyone else has.

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