Call of Duty: WWII wants to tell a harrowing tale of heroes and sacrifice by following the US Army’s 1st Infantry Division throughout the war. The game’s squad-building mechanics are supposed to have impact, but they mostly mean having a dude sometimes toss you a medkit.
Wolfenstein’s BJ Blazkowicz is one of the original first person shooter protagonists. He is a muscle bound action hero, the all-American army man. Through examining BJ’s body, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus paints a thin line between power fantasy and Aryan ideals.
Last night, I finished a playthrough of Binary Domain on Kotaku’s Twitch channel. The 2012 sci-fi shooter is rough around the edges but creates meaningful, intelligent interactions between players and their AI companions.
Even if we can’t see out character’s face and body, animation tells us a lot about characters in first person games. Heather takes a look in this critical video.
I’ve been playing through Deadly Premonition and Binary Domain on Kotaku’s Twitch channel. One is an offbeat crime thriller and the other is a clumsy shooter about robots. They’re pure pulp. They’re also two of the best games I’ve ever played.
Giant robots are awesome and Gundam Versus has some of the best. But can a game offer you too many options? Heather takes a look in this critical video.
Dujanah is a gorgeous and bizarre indie game full of glitch cats, existential spider-men, and death. With key narrative moments and a small arcade of games that focus on death and dying, it imparts an important lesson of acceptance. We take a look in this critical video.
I first played Half-Life in 1998 and played it again over the last month for a series of livestreams on Twitch. It’s been 19 years since the game was released, and what I experienced in 2017 made me reassess the game. It’s a chaotic, if sometimes sloppy, masterpiece.
Sephiroth, Liquid Snake, Ganondorf; video games have some wonderful villains. But making bad guy who is both frightening and sympathetic is a challenge. Yakuza nails it, creating what might be gaming’s best antagonist. We take a look how they pull it off in this critical video.
Focusing on themes of grief and trauma, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice employs a number of level design and mechanical tricks to help players empathize with the main character’s struggle. We take a closer look in this critical video.
Sonic Mania’s a lot of fun but one of its most exciting features is a dangerous string of bosses. Reshuffling and changing what Sonic can do adds a lot of danger to each encounter. We take a look at the boss design in this critical video.
Strong multiplayer maps in video games create stories. Their construction and design generate emotional reactions from frustrated defeat to jubilant victory. It is not enough to put players in a space and do battle; strong maps shift and contort in unexpected ways. They are not always fair and they are rarely…
Last night, we started a playthrough of Half-Life on Kotaku’s Twitch channel. Punchy shotguns and nasty aliens make for a fantastic shooter experience, but the game begins less dramatically, with a long train ride. It’s one of the most memorable openings in gaming history, but it’s the least Half-Life thing about …
In 2001, Hideo Kojima pissed off countless fans with a simple twist. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty did not star everyone’s favorite rugged action hero Solid Snake. Instead, players spent most of their time playing as Raiden, a whiny rookie who didn’t know his ass from his head. It was perfect and still is.…
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is amazingly fun and offers an exciting experience every time you play. But how is it so good? One little sentences from PlayerUnknown himself makes it clear. We take a look in this critical video.
Mario Kart has been around for 25 years and the fun has never let up. How has the beloved racing manage to stay so exciting over the years? We take a look in this critical video.
Planescape: Torment is a marvel of a game. One of the best stories in the medium, it packs a ton of emotional punch. Two moments, with smart design at their core, illustrate why it remains great to this day. We break it down in this critical video.
Yooka-Laylee recaptures some of the best aspects of platforming. You run, jump, and climb your way around dazzling levels. But it also tries too hard to recreate the past without building upon the lessons old games taught us. We take a closer look in this critical video.
Splatoon 2 is a great time. Fighting as a squid-kid is fun and the game takes steps to make sure many people can enjoy. From new players to those with disabilities, games can take actions to help everyone join in the action. We take a look how in this critical video.
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.