Red Dead Redemption 2’s excessively detailed world tries to suggest reality. Fall and you get covered in mud; while covered in mud someone might make a coy comment about how they hope it’s not shit. The world is full of little flourishes and behaviors that suggest its NPCs are real people with genuine reactions. But…
Far Cry 2 was released on this day 10 years ago, so we thought it was appropriate to revisit what makes that game so special. This piece originally ran on April 9, 2018.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey packs a lot of activities into its massive world, letting players wander to their heart’s content hunting down cultists or doing side-quests. As a result, the game’s main story is split into multiple branches. Frustratingly, this structure makes some of the game’s best quests and most…
Spider-Man has taken on his share of street thugs and supervillains, sometimes teaming up with the police to face down foes and rescue the people of New York. While Spider-Man on PS4 undoubtedly shows Spidey’s allegiance to his community, it also casts him as a big fan of police and their tactics that sometimes…
Fallout 76 will have nukes. Provided players find the keys, they will be able to fire these nukes off whenever they please. This gameplay feature, announced at last night’s Bethesda press conference, is presumably meant to encourage player-created drama in the upcoming online survival game. It’s also the clearest…
David Cage’s Detroit: Become Human wants to talk about difficult questions. The game from Cage’s studio Quantic Dream, is a story of android prejudice and rebellion touches upon questions of the soul and the nature of being. But Detroit is also a bloated action movie romp. One sequence, a series in a pattern for Cage,…
Call of Duty: Black Ops III mixes the series’ familiar first-person shooting with a wild cyberpunk storyline. The narrative breaks apart the further the player progress unless it finally explodes in a level that mixes World War II, zombies, and dying dreams. That level, Demon Within, is both the high point of the…
The Shadow of the Colossus remake brings the PS2 classic to a new group of players, boosting up the graphics and changing the controls to make things a little less clumsy. For some, those changes will improve the experience but even small changes can have unexpected consequences.
The enemies in Echo copy any action that you perform until they’re highly dangerous walking death machines. Level design and smart enemy placement turn Echo’s stealth gameplay into something really special. I take 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.
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.