If there’s one word to describe a Lara Croft video game it’s thrilling, and Crystal Dynamics’s 2015 action-adventure, a sequel to their 2013 game, Rise of the Tomb Raider has all that and more. Sometimes at an even grander scale than the first one.
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Part of the allure of narrative, choice-based video games is the chance to steer the story towards a particular outcome. Whether it’s a good one or not depends on the big and small decisions a player makes. Developer Interior/Night’s newest game As Dusk Falls takes the best of the narrative choice-based genre to create a sophisticated and surprising storytelling experience.
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Ever since French studio Dontnod Entertainment released Life is Strange in 2015, the decision-based, story driven adventure game about a teenager who has the power to rewind time, it went on to become one of the best interactive video games of the year. By combining the supernatural with the highs and lows of being a teenager, Dontnod created a compelling episodic narrative full of characters with nuance, unexpected twists, and a hella good soundtrack of indie artists to set the mood and tone of the entire game.
Developer Deck Nine continues the legacy Dontnod Entertainment started with the new game Life is Strange: True Colors.
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Whether you’re a gamer or not Lara Croft has been one of the most recognizable video game characters since her first introduction to gamers in 1996’s Tomb Raider, and movies based on the games, starring Angelina Jolie, followed in 2001. Crystal Dynamics’s 2013 game Tomb Raider, and published by Square Enix, sought to refresh the series by giving Lara an origin story, and serves as a wonderful entry point for those who may not have ever played a Tomb Raider game before.
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Sometimes you’ll go into a video game not knowing what to expect, but give it time, and you may find the hidden jewel underneath. The 2018 game Gris by Spanish developer Nomada Studio, and published by Devolver Digital, is one of those games that will stand out in your mind as a uniquely crafted game full of beauty and emotional depth.
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The feeling you get when you reach the end of a video game can be exciting and satisfying. Or unsatisfying if the ending wasn’t what you expected. After spending seven long months on Cyberpunk 2077, I witnessed one of many possible endings the story could have. While the ending I got had some really good moments, it wasn’t the emotional payoff I had hoped it would be. I’ll try to keep my discussion of the game as spoiler free as possible.
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Interactive, point and click narrative video games are one of my favorite types to play, especially when key decisions in a game will shape how your story unfolds and ends. One of the developers who have been doing an impressive job of creating memorable stories and characters is Dontnod Entertainment. When Twin Mirror came out on December 1st I was eager to check out what new adventure the studio behind Life Is Strange and the recent Tell Me Why will be taking players on this time.
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What has made riding out a global pandemic tolerable these last few months are the various streaming services with thousands of movies and TV shows available to entertain us. If you pay for more than one service, like I do, it has become a growing dilemma to decide what to watch on any given day or week. I’m not usually an indecisive person, but even I have succumbed to endless scrolling or browsing syndrome when I’m in the mood to watch something. After finishing an older TV series on Amazon Prime not too long ago (Downton Abbey), I was in the market for a newer TV series to binge watch. With a passionate recommendation from my sister it eventually led me to dedicating the next few weeks to Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor.
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Some stories are just too good you don’t want them to ever end. You’ll want to spend as much time with the characters you have come to care about, or the world is just too amazing not to stay in it a little bit longer.
This is how I felt about the video game Final Fantasy XV. It’s one of the few games that stuck with me after I finished it and I welcomed the new content they kept adding onto it. When Square Enix announced the cancellation of their planned DLCs for episodes Aranea, Lunafreya, and Noctis, I was disappointed. I was really looking forward to playing them. When a book was later announced to finish up the story of the main game, I was quick to buy it as soon as it came out.
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If someone were to ask you to describe a show you’re currently watching in a few words or less, depending on what it is, it might be extremely easy or difficult. When I watched the final season of 13 Reasons Why, there were two words that stuck out in my mind—disjointed and hallow. The fourth season of this oftentimes controversial teen drama finally came to an end, and the supposed closure this finale should have offered to the story and characters was terribly lacking, frustrating, and pointless. Warning: Some spoilers ahead about the last season.
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