Blade Runner 2049 [REPORT & FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

This report features no plot details.

I wrote about Blade Runner 2049‘s first trailer here. Because the original film still stands as my favourite of all time (and has since I was fourteen-years-old), I was vitriolic in my ensuing cynicism. I thought a sequel would be ineffective in a number of ways. Firstly, Blade Runner itself is an enigma of spiralling complexity; all anchored by a simple central premise. Expanding on it, even faithfully, seemed a vacuous exercise in contrivance. More importantly, and of great concern, was the potential for a follow-up to dilute its parent. Trailers, and other promotional material, did nothing to quell my worries.…   [continue reading]

LEGO Worlds [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

LEGO Worlds
First Impressions

Concept
7/10

Admittedly, the mere concept of LEGO Worlds is what draws me in.  Melding the sensibilities of Minecraft and LEGO itself, its subtle step forward is very exciting.  Of course, much of its concept relies on established tropes and mechanics.  While it’s not building a brand new concept afresh, the ideas and potential it brings to the table seem to be what I wanted from Minecraft in the first place.  However, I can’t deny that the inclusion of greatly varied brick sizes is the main allure in that package.  It makes for much more detailed, enjoyable and artful landscapes, the creation of which is at your beck and call in a variety of interesting ways.  …   [continue reading]

The Last Guardian [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

The Last Guardian
First Impressions

Concept
7/10

From its opening notes, it’s tough to discern exactly what the designers’ intentions were.  However, the game is clearly about teamwork and forming bonds.  Its unique approach of interacting with a very independent beast is compelling in the extreme.  Beyond that, it seems a slow and contemplative puzzle-platformer.  Under that lens, The Last Guardian is far from unique – even from the creators who made it.  While the ideas at play here are interesting and engaging, it’s admittedly a little thin on the ground.  Its minimalism sometimes undermines it, while also being a credit to its approach.  …   [continue reading]

The Deadly Tower of Monsters [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

The Deadly Tower of Monsters
First Impressions

Concept
7/10

This is a game full of little innovative ideas in both its gameplay and approach to storytelling.  They mostly keep its more pedestrian elements afloat, which are generally well implemented anyway.  It lulls you into thinking it’s less original than it actually is, before smashing you with a surprising number of inventive twists.  Quite an old-school approach throughout is lent a nostalgic feel rather than a stale one.

Gameplay
7/10

Quickly building on elements we’ve seen numerous times before, the bare bones of this game are fundamentals we are all well aware of.  …   [continue reading]

Journey [FIRST&FINAL IMPRESSIONS]

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

Journey
First Impressions

(all ratings are out of 10)

Concept
8

Video games as art is nothing new, but thatgamecompany‘s concept of building games around the emotions they want the player to feel is fascinating and unique.  The idea behind Journey and what it brings to the table represents a genuine step forward that too many young designers seem frightened of.  There are many more steps to take, but without Journey the whole process would surely have been slower.

British fellow consumes media and regurgitates back what you should think about it.
…   [continue reading]