Wednesday, April 5, 2023


The sexy brutale combines two excellent starting points: The "groundhog day" (you relive the same day over and over, meaning you can do anything you want knowing the world will be eventually reset) and the Abbey of crime (the NPCs are driven by a timeline, and they roam the world according to their schedules, independently from the player's decisions). Both are interesting enough - even separately - to lay the foundations of a great game

And for some reason, The sexy brutale is not. Certainly not bad, but it didn´t reach the fun state for me. My main issue was that I didn´t have enough info about what was happening in distant rooms, and also I wasn´t clear on what my goal was at any given time. You do get the name of who you`re supposed to watch over, but it wasn´t clear what they were doing, where and what should I do

Also, the story is a bit over the top. It combines a murder mystery night - much like any Agatha Christie novel - with fantasy, superpowers and ghosts. And it´s not that easy to follow, specially if you consider that players that want to avoid internet walkthroughs will likely wander around for long periods of time, making them forget of the overall plot. I ended up enjoying it because I did use a walkthrough, and so I kinda grasped the story better

On the plus side, the art direction is cute and distinctive. Chasing photo-realism is not the ultimate challenge for an artist in my opinion. Creating a new style is. The sexy brutale is not the first cartoony game around, but it stood up for me in its visual approach. And I respect the risk they took, not so many companies try to do something different nowadays

Do I recommend it? Sure, but only for players that don´t mind feeling lost, and are actually encouraged by that. Or you enjoy whodunits, cartoon games or indies that felt a bit short on their ambitions

Sunday, April 2, 2023


Released initially in 2013 as a Far Cry 3 DLC, it was credited to be a highly unusual follow-up from the original IP: Not only the 80s setting but also a strong tongue-in-cheek type of humor. It was always on my radar, either for an impulse purchase or being on sale... which was recently the case

Aside from the 80s skinning, the game is fundamentally a Far Cry game. It is remarkable how little that IP has evolved in the last 10 years, to be honest. In terms of gameplay/features is basically the same than FC5, the last one I played. I even reused the same tactic for liberating garrisons: Drive a weaponized jeep inside, and shoot everything on sight. Only the dragons are new, and sometimes they behaved strangely, specially against some collisions/pathfinding

Still, the game is fun. I liked the B-series parody, and the humor style connected with me. It becomes repetitive after the first 2 hours, but I am generally ok with some farming. The story doesn´t make any sense, and it intends hard to not to. I enjoyed that, as well as the slideshow cutscenes (I believe that is 90s, actually)

Anyway, if you are into 80s nostalgia, comedy games and/or generic shooters I highly recommend FC Blood dragon. I miss when Ubisoft took weird risks like this

Tuesday, March 28, 2023



I am a fan of interactive storytelling. I went to work for Quantic Dream because of that after all (although it didn´t go well at all). Still, I think there is a lot of space for new experiences and innovation on that genre

Similar to Until Dawn - another Supermassive game - The Quarry takes you to another teenage slasher experience, this time I assume inspired by Friday 13th. You take control alternatively of different summer camp counselors in their last night before going back to their lives, and all the horrible things that happen to them

The game follows the same patterns that other previous games of the company, and largely works. It is interesting how graphic fidelity is important for the genre, it gives you that "movie feeling" that makes it not only authentic, but also gore is more impactful. I replayed some scenes and it´s insane the amount of branching there is, depending on the smallest decisions you make

On the minus side it's not particularly friendly with collectible hunting, you essentially have to replay the whole game if you missed some. House of Ashes - another Supermassive game - didn´t link them to a specific savegame. Pity

Anyway, a nice experience either if you like storytelling, slashers or solid games. I was gonna also say 80s nostalgia but I'm not sure now: There are VHS tapes, old cars and weapons, but also modern mobile phones. Maybe they made a mix of references, like Control?

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

BLADE RUNNER Enhanced edition (PS4)

Flashback to 1999. I am working at Dinamic multimedia as a beta tester. One of the (not so many) perks was to get free games. The company not only produced but also distributed for others, so actually you could get a decent amount of titles. One of them was Bladerunner, the videogame. However, the graphic adventure bubble had exploded some years earlier, and at that point they´ve become a niche segment. I didn´t care for the game, and forgot it on a shelf

Fastforward to 2018. During those years the game gained some sort of cult status (it might be the first adventure with different endings according to your decisions). Then I read some news about Bladerunner getting a console version. I now identify as a neo-noir aficionado in all its variations (movies, TV, videogames), I am sometimes taken by nostalgia and definitively a Bladerunner fan, so I started tracking this enhanced edition project via internet

Another fastforward, this time to 2022. Apparently the project was problematic, the team lost the original data and had to reverse-engineer everything, took longer than expected and so on. But eventually they released it, so I got myself a digital copy

Well, it´s definitively a half-cooked game. It is plagued by bugs - sometimes minor, but also many majors - and overall it doesn´t feel like the new features (graphic improvements in particular) add much to the experience. Menus and controls are still very much 90s and mouse-based, and the game has the typical issues of old-school graphic adventures: Pixel searching and lack of leading, meaning you are often forced to re-visit all locations and re-talk to all NPCs to find what is the next step you´re missing

On the plus side, if you either like Bladerunner or neo-noir in general it still retains the charm of playing in that Sci-Fi setting, it´s a brand new story (takes place simultaneously with the events of the 1982 movie) and if you use an online walkthrough as a support tool it can be reasonably entertaining

So in summary, only for real fans either of Bladerunner of the genre. But if you are, it´s pretty much a must

Friday, March 17, 2023


I heard about Kentucky Route Zero (KRZ) from videogame outlets, presented as an indie darling. It was praised by its storytelling and general uniqueness. At some point it was on sale in the PS4 store and I said to myself "why not?", without knowing much of the premise or gameplay

Now, having finished it, I have mixed feelings. On one side I like the constant paradigm changes: Controlling different characters, bespoke cameras per situation, no discernable plot as a whole but instead a compilation of mini-stories, the weirdness of most of the scenes much like David Lynch's askew vision... It is good there are games like this in the market, that try to do something different. Well done

On the other hand, I didn´t have fun playing. The game relies A LOT on text, and not really interesting. I suspect the creators wanted to provide everyday dialogues to convey authenticity. They probably achieve that, but paying the price of being terribly boring. It´s like a 12 hour David Lynch movie, minus the interesting events

It´s a relatively easy platinum trophy, so I went for it. But overall I don´t think it´s a game for all audiences. You need to be on a specific niche segment to enjoy it: You´re looking for fresh videogame blood, you enjoy stylized basic art and you REALLY like reading. If that´s the case KRZ is your game. Otherwise check some gameplay videos before purchasing, just to be sure

Friday, January 13, 2023



Remedy games are definitively different from any others. However, they are more or less similar compared to other Remedy games: They normally have a male protagonist, living in a realistic world where paranormal elements quickly take over. At the end, the barrier between what is real and not is blurs (reminds me of some of Philip K. Dick´s novels?)

Well, Control has a female protagonist, although it doesn´t matter much: Her role is the usual on Remedy, dive into a weird world that players won´t fully understand – Even if you complete the story. Intentional, of course, they´re working on the sequel now :D

On the plus side, I haven´t played Quantum Break but I understand Control is Remedy´s first “open world” game and for the most part it works. It retains the company's DNA of unique storytelling, visual impact and engaging gameplay. The 3Cs work very well, and that´s not a little feat since the player character has a nice set of “magical” actions at his disposal. I also liked some of the design high level decisions – like the repeatable hotel sections – adding gameplay time at little cost

However, “open world” is a rather grandiose term for a big building with loading screens between floors. You can walk freely across your current storey, but it´s often difficult to know where you´re going, the maze-like layout makes very easy to get lost. Check/Savepoints are not as common as you´d like (Darksouls style, I think), and they´re only available at specific locations. It´s common to have to backtrack on sections you already completed. UI menus were stylized but could have some navigation improvements in my opinion. Also, the use of both live footage and rendered CGI was a weird mix to me. I don´t think we´re quite there tech-wise

Anyway, it was an interesting playtime, a proposal that stands out from others and a nice story attempt to make sci-fi using innovative parameters. I hope the industry generates more games like this

Saturday, December 3, 2022


I’ve always enjoyed interactive storytelling. I see it as an evolution from the 90s graphic adventures. That was one of the major reasons why I accepted a job at Quantic Dream some years ago (it didn´t go so well). Aside from the visual values or cinematic values, I like seeing a story unraveling along with your choices

I recently finished The Dark pictures anthology: House of Ashes. It´s the same company that gave us Until Dawn, and it shares some elements with it: A host character setting the mood, premonition collectibles, a tracking page for choices made and the usual structure of gameplay + cinematics of the genre

Looks like Supermassive is trying to evolve within the genre. Maybe using the Dark pictures anthology series as a test case for new possibilities? In House of Ashes, you can try a semi-coop mode where players take turns on characters. Aside from that, I found the setting refreshing: It takes place at Iraq right after the occupation from US forces. The characters are soldiers dragged into what they believe is a subterranean storage of weapons of mass destruction, but turns out to be a Sumerian temple populated by ancient demos. You don´t see recent history events being integrated into games so often

On the minus side interactive stories commonly let me down when I make choices: The game awaits your decision but won´t give you much info on what the consequences will be. As such, you come up with your own background logic that might not align with the game´s ultimate goals. In this case, one of the first cutscenes gives you some clues regarding the character´s personality, and I largely tried to match that during gameplay. Not only that approach doesn´t impact on the endings I aimed for, but also there were some trophies that promoted different patterns, like finishing the game only taking logical choices (normally there are 2 options, heart/logic decisions)

The decision tracking page helps you remember what you did in the past, but doesn´t help you during gameplay since your character goals are basically made up along the way. I wonder if the genre could use something like “internal quests” challenging players to achieve certain goals, to help you refine your choices. And not rely on checking trophy websites to find out what type of decisions have rewards

But I digress. Good game, especially if you like interactive storytelling, unique setting, some thrills and innovations in the genre. Can you ask for more?