This is just a very brief post about two very different games - one horribly generic, one cleverly inventive. And a third that I ironically don’t remember. (A new entry on my ongoing battle with my gaming backlog).
Warhammer 40K: Space Marine may be the most utterly bored I’ve been with a video game in a long time. I played it for nearly an hour, ending about 3 hours ago, and I’d had enough at that point. The game is shite. It’s not so bad that it’s amusing, but it’s also not good enough to be engaging. It’s that horrible line of mediocrity that gives you zero incentive to go on. All I remember of this game, literally, is a mangled blur of green/brown earth tones and a game that plays like Baby’s First Gears of War Clone, only without everything that made Gears fun and unique compared to the competition. You play as comically overacted British dudebros dressed in washing machines and kill a bunch of Orcs. Why? Doesn’t matter, apparently. There’s a super-weapon on this planet... Or something. None of the characters were interesting, and the story that I experienced was nothing more than a vague premise. For all the hype I’ve heard about how great the Warhammer 40K universe is, I have yet to see any proof. This game has certainly made me skeptical of the whole brand, given how utterly dull and uninteresting it is.
Killer Is Dead, on the other hand, is one of the best games I’ve played in the last couple of months. It’s great. I’ll go more in-depth once I’ve actually beat it, but of what I’ve seen so far, I love every bit of it. While it similarly lacks in a coherent story or fleshed-out characters, it’s set in a nonsensical world that doesn’t need those elements to succeed. It’s equal parts stylish and depraved, as one might expect from a SUDA51 game, but unlike his past works, this game’s unashamed sense of style does not get in the way of quality gameplay and an engaging narrative. I’m really hesitant to say more, because I’ve only played the first few missions, but it’s definitely giving me that, “Nothing makes sense, and it’s fucking great,” vibe that I, as a fan of David Lynch and David Cronenberg, usually get from some of my favourite movies. I can’t wait to see how this one unfolds. Polar opposite to the emotionless sludge I’d played earlier in the night.
I also traded in a game called Remember Me today. And you know what? For having a 60% game completion thing on the Load Data page, I am hard-pressed to remember a single fucking thing about Remember Me. It has a great premise, and some really cool ideas, but it seems to have no idea how to make those ideas work well in a video game. It’s definitely something that starts strong enough to hook you for a while, but it loses its edge really damned fast. The gameplay can be described as, “sort-of Uncharted meets inferior version of Arkham Asylum.” The exploration is fine, but the combat is just a miserable experience. Also, the one thing I DO remember is a boss fight midway through the game that features a sequence of QTEs where the final button prompt inexplicably does not exist. I had to look up a walkthrough to know that, after a sequence of timed button presses, I was supposed to mash the X button while falling off a cliff. Like, what, did they forget to program that in? Did they think they were being meta and cute? I have no idea. It’s utterly baffling to me. I feel like there’s a great game in there somewhere, but it’s like a jigsaw puzzle of great ideas that’s been dumped on the floor, only to be “assembled” by a vacuum cleaner. It’s a shame, but it’s really nothing more than a fascinating case study in, “I wonder what this could have been if it was made by more talented and creative people?”
I don’t really have a conclusion. Killer Is Dead is great, Warhammer 40K is really fucking boring, and Remember Me is forgettable but interesting. Make words go write; spend money go game store make game to hand then system. *falls asleep on the keyboard*