That’s right, the whole point of summer is to catch up on the games you’ve been meaning to play and have never gotten around to. If you’re like me, last week’s Steam sale didn’t make it any easier for you, either. Regardless, here are the main games of my summer backlog and some thoughts on them. My goal here is to finish up this stuff before the middle of August when that No More Heroes port comes out. Hopefully, this will inspire you to take action on your backlog as well.
Gears of War 2
For some reason, I had never gotten around to playing this. Then again it took me somewhere around five years to finally play the first game (which also may be why I found it underwhelming). GoW2 is a good sequel, though. The game doesn’t feel as aesthetically black and white as the first one did. There’s color and varied environments, as well as some pretty interesting setpieces. The game made me frustrated much less than the first one and it was nice to see the “throw grenades in this infinite monster-spawning hole!” mechanic tuned down.
Status: Just beaten!
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
I was able to pick this up during the Steam sale and it has been scaring my pants off ever since. The biggest contributor to this is the outstanding sound design. You constantly hear noises that sound like someone is walking on the floor above you or right behind you. There’re also a couple creepy moments involving a piano. Deeper into the game, you get to actual monsters and I feel like it loses a bit of its scariness. It was smart of the developers to make looking at the monsters have a negative effect (drives your character insane) as it pretty much requires you to be afraid of them, but once you die once the effect dies as well. The game saves so well that when you die you pretty much lose nothing. Once you realize this, the monsters aren’t quite as scary. Still, outstanding horror game and I look forward to seeing how it ends.
Status: Nearly finished!
Alpha Protocol got a bad rap for its clunky combat mechanics and numerous bugs (not surprising, considering the developer). However, I found it to be a lot of fun when I first got it. Hell, I’d say the conversation system is the best in any game. The way you can use different tones to manipulate different people really adds to the spy-feel of the game. Sadly, when I first played it I got to a point that frustrated me to no end. I was a stealth character and there is a part where you have to protect an NPC from attacking mercenaries. Not being very combat-viable, I failed this part over and over. We’ll see if I can overcome this hurdle and finally finish the game.
Status: In queue…
I bought this game (and reviewed it) when it first came out, but then it kind of fell to the wayside with the other releases over the past six months. Civ 5 has turned into my in-between game for the summer months (a space previously occupied by Team Fortress 2) and it’s still a game that eats up your time. It’s totally worth it, though, because Civ 5 is still awesome. When it came out, I mostly played with mods (Simple Clock is a must) and the longest pace, but lately I’ve been trying shorter and more focused authentic games. I probably won’t stop playing this when the fall releases hit, or ever.
Status: Oh god, just one more turn…
That’s it for me. Everyone go out there and finish your damn games already.