Nier: Automata and Breath of the Wild are amazing games with occasional technical problems. How do they manage to side step these issues and incorporate them into their structure? Heather takes a look in this critical video.
Breath of the Wild’s vast open world is full of discoveries. The most important discoveries we make come when the game’s systems interact to help us imbue the world with our own interpretations and meaning. We take a closer look in this video essay.
For Honor is bloody and hectic. Each exchange of blows helps you learn how to fight an opponent. Underneath a mess of micro-transactions, For Honor hides the soul of a true fighting game. We take a critical look at it in this video.
Roaming Yakuza 0's busy streets is wonderful. It’s full of neon lights and interesting characters. Open worlds can struggle to find the right balance of character and curiosity but Yakuza’s Kamurucho district has both. We take a closer look at how the setting grabs player interest in this critical video.
The Last Guardian is a story about a boy and his giant monster friend, Trico. Using space, the game communicates a growing bond. How close are the two characters? When are they allowed to enter personal space? We examine how this relationship is crated in this video.
The Dragon Age games have captured my imagination like few other series have ever managed. Every quest is a roller coaster full of tough choices. For Origins, the best quest involved dwarven politics and a magical anvil. We take a closer look in this video.
Nier Automata put out one hell of a demo. Even though it is only around half an hour, it has better design that most full length titles from last year. The combat is a highlight and a few simple design techniques keep it fresh throughout. We take a closer look in this video.
Final Fantasy XV has some wonderful boss fights. Aranea Highwind offers an memorable encounter thanks to an onslaught of smart design choices. We take a closer look in this video.
Dishonored 2 lives and dies by its level design. Tricky guard patrols and magical abilities don’t mean much without a good playground to sneak around in. Luckily, the game has one of the best levels in recent memory: the transforming Clockwork Mansion.
Video games send us to exotic locales, charging us to do countless tasks. Amidst what can feel like a jumbled mess of quests, goals, and waypoints, finding something consistent can be a treat. Let’s look at the ways in which finding something we can do repeatedly in a game can provide a welcome relief from day to day…
The Witcher 3 is an astounding RPG full of countless quests. It ranges from sweeping epic battles to smaller, more intimate tales. I started playing the “Hearts of Stone” DLC recently and experienced a quest so wonderful, I had to take a deeper dive.
Adam Jensen has a lot of work to do in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Side quests and smaller stories are where the game really shines. “The Harvester” questline has all the things required for a great experience. We take a closer look in this video.
From Overwatch to Attack on Titan and more, I’ve been playing games with intense action. These games maintain my interest and keep the excitement coming by doing some smart things with their pace and design. We’ll break it down in this video.
What does it take to be a game? Win states? Rules? The questions pop up again and again. And as expectations for games grow, we try to answer these questions with increasing confidence. Are games just code, or are they something more poetic?
Overwatch’s new hero Ana Amari is a badass support sniper who can shoot you with bullets to heal you or just shoot you to kill you. In this video, we’ll take a closer look at her mechanics and what they communicate. What does Ana tell us about Overwatch? What does she tell us about AAA game design? We’ll find out in…
Asemblance and Inside are wonderfully haunting games that love to confuse the player. While this might be annoying to some, I think it’s pretty great. In this video, we’ll take a look at how games can design for confusion and how that can radically change the experience.
Cliff Bleszinski and the team at Boss Key Productions are pulling out all the stop for Lawbreakers, a frantic first person shooter that’s currently in closed alpha. What’s it all about? I played a match and caused some mayhem. It turns out that breaking the law includes a ton of zero gravity action and sweet sword…
With Red Dead Redemption finally backwards compatible on the Xbox One, it’s time to look back at Rockstar’s Western masterpiece. A staggering example of AAA design gone horribly right, Red Dead is one hell of a game. Join me in this video for an adventure full of bounty hunters, sharpshooting, and shenanigans!
The BioShock Collection is on the way, promising to return us to Rapture and Columbia. But what about System Shock? It’s been over twenty years since we first met SHODAN and battled through Citadel Station. Night Dive Studios has taken up the cause of remastering the PC classic, but do they remember what made it so…
The new PC game Tick Tock Bang Bang serves up some of the best slo-mo action out there. It’s a colorful thriller full of giant robots and insane stunts. In this critical look, I’ll show you how a very simple design choice leads to spectacular results!