January has already started off right with a wealth of great games. I’ll admit, we’re seeing a lot of re-released old games (Resident Evil, Grim Fandango) already this year, but at least they’re good ones. February is looking good with (hopefully!!!) Titan Souls almost upon us, and maybe I can wrap up my new love affair with 3D Dot Game Heroes, because somehow I’ve never played it and it’s great. Like the previous “Games of the Month” series, I’ll be picking three favorites, and recommending a few others that are still worth mentioning. These aren’t in any real order, because ordering lists like these is silly.
The “Interactive Drama” genre has become a favorite of mine since the first season of The Walking Dead. I love playing through a narrative without unnecessary fluff, like simple combat or lackluster online multiplayer. Life Is Strange is just a story about a girl, and how her life unfolds during her senior year of high school. It’s cute and charming, and I’m already invested in the characters after just one episode. There’s a surprising amount of detail, with every corner hiding something new to learn about the game’s world and the people in it. I hope the game doesn’t go off the rails with its sci-fi conceit by the end, and remembers to focus on what it does best.
After playing Resident Evil 4, I called myself a Resident Evil fan. I had very little experience outside of that game, but it was so good I didn’t think the older ones would be worth returning to. After playing through the original game’s remake on PS4, I realized I should have done this a long time ago. I’m still working my way through it, but so far Resident Evil is fantastic. Every room feels unique, with secrets to discover and beautiful art to see. For a dark, decade year-old game, it’s still gorgeous. I love the camera angles, as every room forces you to feel like a director is setting up the perfect shot to terrify you with. The limited perspective makes for bigger scares, when you can’t see something that’s literally right in front of your character’s face. As if you haven’t heard this enough, this should be required playing for any fan of the genre.
In the style of Gone Home, The Static Speaks My Name puts you in the role of a resident home-wanderer. As you crawl out of bed, your character sets off on a mission to check off his or her to-do list. The list gets more…interesting…as you continue the day. The game, like most of the ones I enjoy these days, has detail everywhere. You’ll learn about this person’s hang-ups, likes and dislikes, and more, just by walking through the house. It’s another great example of environmental storytelling done right, and I can’t wait to see what elsewe’ll see this year.
A heartfelt look at all of our most personal feelings, that culminates in a surprisingly touching ending.
A great little puzzle game about learning rules and bending around them. Great use of music!
A fun zombie parkour-em-up that feels a lot like Mirror’s Edge + Dead Island.