Somehow it seems fitting that the biggest-selling game of the last month anchors its fiction in the deadly aftermath of a pandemic. Certainly, Sony's blockbuster hit The Last of Us 2 was always destined to fly off the shelves - coming from a studio with an impeccable pedigree, built on a budget north of €100m and taking more than five years to produce.
Lady Macbeth was tormented by her complicity to murder, driven mad by all the blood on her hands spilled during her husband’s rise to the throne. You too shall know such anguish while experiencing The Last of Us 2, which spares nothing in this post-apocalyptic sequel’s savage cycle of violence.
Murderous instinct defines Keanu Reeves' role as a taciturn uber-assassin in the John Wick flicks. Beneath the artifice of the fiction, however, the hyper-violence is heavily choreographed by the directors, down to the last fraction of a second. That's where this confounding tie-in veers, a stylish strategic shooter in which time stands still until you move.
Ideally, If Found... deserves a home in a new section of this website somewhere between TV and books. It's not a game in the conventional sense but rather a remarkable piece of Irish-made interactive fiction, gorgeously illustrated and animated.
For reasons too tedious to explore, Disco Elysium passed me by on its debut last October. This eccentric RPG went on to be anointed many critics' game of the year for its meticulous world-building, oddball characters and a swaggering deconstruction of role-playing tropes.
You already know the old chicken-and-egg conundrum but have you ever looked at your favourite game and wondered which came first – the unique gameplay mechanic or the narrative that exploits it? Think Metroidvania, roguelikes, point’n’click, or, um, Flappy Bird.
'Any time, any place, any where" went the provocative 1970s slogan for cocktail slinger Martini. It's also the mantra for modern cloud-gaming outfits, theoretically offering entertainment at your fingertips - on your mobile, TV or computer.
If we shot David Attenborough far into space to an alien planet and dramatised his script for a documentary about its undersea mysteries, this might be the result. So far, so weird, right? But In Other Waters gets stranger and more absorbing the deeper you dive.
An evil corporation. Immoral experiments. A lethal bioweapon. A killer epidemic. This isn't the WhatsApp rumour mill of how coronavirus originated. This is RE3, Capcom's curiously topical remake of the 1999 schlocky survival horror sequel.
Right now, with our own four walls closing in on us during lockdown, what we need is some escapism. And who better to provide it than Fireproof, producer of the popular iOS escape-room series The Room which was co-founded by Dubliner Barry Meade.
The tumult thrown up by the coronavirus makes decamping to a deserted island suddenly seem awfully attractive. With fine timing, New Horizons relocates the Animal Crossing franchise to a small, near-empty parish of fertile ground surrounded by ocean.
The world and his wife know the health system is a basket case, and that's even before Covid-19 hit. Many of us might figure we could run it better, given the chance. Well, here's your opportunity, though it's doubtful the HSE has ever had to deal with such absurd conditions as Inflated Ego and Heart Throb.
People forget Fortnite was first a failure. The pop-culture phenomenon began life as a zombie survival game before jumping on the battle royale bandwagon when PUBG swept the world. Hunt: Showdown went through similar pivots in its six-year gestation and it's now all the better for its macabre twist on the last-man-standing genre.
In the corner of the screen sits the logo Made In Dreams. You're playing, in rapid sequence, a bewildering array of genres - platformer, bullet-hell shooter, point'n'click adventure, music performance, and more - in a dazzling series of art styles.
Sometimes it's not the destination, it's the journey. It's doubtful you'll be much wiser what happens in KRZ by the end than you were in the outset. But along the way in this slow-burn, episodic point'n'click mystery, you'll meet an intriguing cast of misfits, explore a bizarre slice of Americana and be constantly wrong-footed by its narrative diversions.
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