Reviews Are Different From Recommendations

Casually browsing game review websites reveals that most contemporary games seem to be considered “good” in the sense that they’re well-made and don’t have critical errors that render them broken. So if most games are “good”, how do you know if a game will be fun for you? That’s not something a review score can tell you.

RAGE

RAGE is the ultimate post-apocalyptic cowboy simulator. But instead of a Mysterious Cowboy Hero, you’re a nanotrite-infused superman who’s just woken up from a century-long cryogenic sleep. Instead of a trusty American Colt or other steed, you ride an off-road buggy with nitrous, dual machine-guns, and rocket launchers. And shootouts are very, very fun.

Virtual Hardware – Bryar Pistol

In most games that involve shooting, the gun you start out with is the one you can’t wait to get rid of. This lowly weapon seems to exist only in order to make you appreciate the weapons you’ll get later. Occasionally, a starting weapon will contain some characteristic that renders it useful throughout the entire game. Kyle Katarn’s Modified Bryar Pistol from the Dark Forces series contains just those characteristics.

Beneath a Steel Sky

Either Beneath a Steel Sky has some very obtuse puzzle design, or I’m just terrible at adventure games. Here I am in the game’s opening location, a factory, and I’m stuck. Perhaps the game wants me to feel out of my element. After all, my character, Foster, is certainly out of his element.

How to Run: Homeworld Cataclysm

While it never got the mainstream attention that it deserved, Cataclysm effectively combined a space-based strategy game with an organic B-movie horror plot. Though it sounds odd, it worked remarkably well and has stayed in my memory for the past sixteen years. It’s a game that I had lost all hope of playing again. Until a few weeks ago.

Becoming Vader

There’s no grace, no subtlety to using Vader’s powers. The slightest nudge of the controls results in a disproportionate explosion of force. Trees and wooden barriers shatter spectacularly. Cargo containers take flight and bounce as though nearly weightless. Enemies and allies alike are strewn about like rag dolls. Though the force powers respond to your commands, rarely will you feel completely in control. But in a sense it fits, because when is the rage of a Sith ever synonymous with precision?