Walk around in the Wyoming wilderness while talking to a woman on the walkie talkie.
The scenery and atmosphere of Firewatch are lovely, I really enjoyed taking it all in. If a VR version were ever to be released, I'd be all over it. What I enjoyed a lot less is the actual game.
You move through a linearly unfolding story. Many classic adventure games are linear, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing. You start out at A and then, through a series of actions and reactions, you eventually end up at B. But where Firewatch falls behind is that getting from A to B isn't very interesting.
Firewatch doesn't have much of a story, and the little it has isn't particularly compelling. There are no story or character arcs to speak of, and the little suspense that is built leads to a main "revelation" and ending that are disappointingly anticlimactic. My immediate thoughts after around 5 hours of gameplay: "What, that's it!?"
There are also some technical niggles that were frustrating. You can't run with the map in your hand, you have to put it away first. On the gamepad, that means pressing down on the the D-Pad. Which means if you're holding the map and you're walking, you first have to stop walking, use your left thumb to put away the map and then you can start walking again and press the left joystick to run. Given that you have to walk many long distances in Firewatch, I wanted to run a lot and this quickly became really annoying.
I also often had to get my bearings by looking at the map. Pressing LB zooms into the map, but it always zooms to the map center instead of your current location. So every time you zoom in, you have to pan to your current location again to see where you need to head. I assume they did this for the sake of realism, but c'mon.
What also quickly gets boring is climbing up and down ropes and rocks. It's the same process each and every time and there's zero challenge in it. You just press a button to initiate the movement, and then press the left joystick in the appropriate direction. The rest is automatic. The only thing all these ledges and rocks in your way achieve is make your journey from A to B take longer. This was probably also done for the sake of realism, but when realism turns into tedium, you've taken it too far.
This became especially apparent on the final day, where you have to finish a particularly lengthy hike and there's probably half a dozen ropes and rocks you have to climb. At that point I had already had more than enough and just wanted to be done with it.
Overall, it's a damn shame that the truly beautiful scenery is weighed down by such a bad story and game mechanics. I would love to spend more time in Firewatch's rendering of Wyoming's wilderness. Alas, apart from taking some screenshots with the in-game pocket camera, there's really no good reason to go back.
When he's released from jail after a 15-year sentence he got for stealing diamonds, a master thief seeks out his former partner and sweetheart, who has since settled into family life with another man in the small town of Banshee, PA. She's not happy to see him because she's hiding her former life from her family, he's not happy because she doesn't have the diamonds anymore. After some highly unlikely, yet highly entertaining and violent events, the thief finds himself in the position of Banshee's new sheriff and that's where the real story begins.
The first episode of this show left me a bit doubtful if I'd enjoy it. But episode for episode the show, its characters and the setting grew on me and now it's a cadidate for my all-time top 10.
The story has logical flaws and some parts of the plot seemed so ill-placed that I was a bit disoriented at times, and wondered if I was seeing a flashback (of which there are plenty), or if I had accidentally skipped an episode and was missing a part of the plot that would make the episode I was watching make more sense.
But that somehow didn't lessen the show's appeal. The interesting, colorful (especially Hoon Lee's Job. Oh. My. Lord.) and well-drawn characters keep things moving along and I found myself liking even the bad guys on some level.
Be warned, though, this show has lots of violence, some of it made me squirm, and I don't squirm easily. It fits the show well, though. It doesn't seem like it's just there for show.
All in all, this one's a keeper, one that I'll probably watch at least once a year.
An unlikely group of fans of a cult graphic novel band together to uncover the global conspiracy hidden in the novel's drawings.
I fell in love with this show right from the beginning. Just as the surreal, violent intro scene fades into the absolutely incredible title song, I knew I was going to be in for a hell of a ride. And boy did I ever not get disappointed.
The oversaturated colors, the quirky characters, the twisted plot, the sometimes ridiculously casual violence and the eerie soundtrack, it's nothing like I've ever seen before. Pair all that with a global conspiracy that, at first, seems entirely preposterous, but then, after you really think about it for a bit, starts to make more sense than most people are probably willing to admit, and you've got yourself the fucking unicorn of a show that Utopia is.
Kill lots of bad guys.
When I stilled played Call of Duty 3, I always chose to be a Sniper. Hiding out of sight, plotting my next kill, and then taking out a target with a single bullet appealed more to me than going on a rampage with a machine gun. Dealing out headshots was always particularly satisfying.
Hitman Sniper, as the name suggests, is all about sniping your marks. You lie on a hill that overlooks a mansion somewhere in Montenegro and fulfill missions using just your rifle. You zoom in using the rifle's scope and then try to kill the targets before time runs out or they flee.
Witnesses alert guards, who will raise an alarm, if you don't take them out first. If they manage to raise the alarm, your mark will start to flee and you'll have to try to kill them before they reach a car in the driveway.
Each mission consists of one or more goals and taking out a mark. You have to complete the goals before you take out the mark because once the mark is dead you will be extracted within 10 seconds. If you don't complete all goals, you still get points and money, but the mission is rated as "failed" and you have to give it another shot to advance to the next mission (although you can skip missions after several failures for a small amount of virtual cash).
The game's atmosphere is pretty cool and taking out bad guys (killing civilians is frowned upon) in multiple different ways is motivating. The biggest downside of the game is that every mission takes place in that same mansion. Even the people all have their default movement patterns, which only changes if the events triggered by your actions as the sniper prompt them to. So you're basically playing the same scenario over and over again, only that your goals change with each mission.
Despite this the game is still fun and motivating. Missions grow more difficult over time and special abilities and weapon upgrades like x-ray vision and exploding bullets keep things interesting.
Smart and beautiful puzzler with a level editor and an interesting pricing model.
Mekorama is a puzzler with mechanics similar to Monument Valley. Your goal is to guide a little robot from start to finish by altering the landscape so he can traverse gaps and climb structures. You do this by manipulating various widgets like wheels, elevators, bridges and the like.
The app includes a level editor that lets you design and share levels of your own. Each level you create is represented by a AR code which other players can scan with their device's camera to play your level. A pretty ingenious sharing solution that completely forgoes the need for a web service or any kind of server.
The app is free, but includes several, completely optional "pay what you want" IAPs. Purchasing these does not remove (non-existent) ads or add features to game, they're simply a way of paying the developer for his work.