Played Stories Untold yesterday. It’s a horror text adventure anthology, where you play as a character interacting with terminals in a few different environments. The mood and atmosphere are perfectly realized, and the pacing of the segments is on point. Of the four sections, each of which last about 30 minutes (2 hours for a full playthrough), the first section was my favorite, though I enjoyed them all. The third section suffered from requiring that the player read a manual in the environment that is super difficult to read at the highest graphics settings, and so I recommend having a walkthrough at the ready for moments when you feel stuck. Lastly, I think the experience was made a little weaker by tying all of the segments together in the end. The true nature of the stories is tragic, but the game is at its strongest when it is trying to scare you, which it is very good at. I don’t think it needed to explain anything that was happening, and doing so undermines the horror of the unknown. Frankly, I’m also pretty tired of the storytelling device used to explain everything. Anyway, the moment-to-moment experience is great, so, highly recommended!
Also playing Mr. Shifty. It’s a cool, simple action game that, as the devs put it, plays like Hotline Miami if you were Nightcrawler, able to BAMF! around the environment at will. It’s tight, controls very predictably (a good thing in a twitchy game like this), and propulsive, clocking in at about 4 hours for a full playthrough. The difficulty curve is very well-realized, which is evidenced by my death/attempt count increasing with every mission. The game feels like a product of prioritizing function over form. It’s pretty ugly and spare, but the mechanics are very sound. It could stand to have a bit more polish on it.
I have two problems with it: the flamethrower enemies are very difficult, because unlike other enemies who ‘line up’ their shots allowing for you to react, the flamethrower dudes will spurt out a tiny puff of flame that can drift in just the wrong way, very unpredictably. Since you die in one hit in this game, this can be very frustrating when you warp up to a flamethrower guy and die before you can even see the flame that has killed you.
My other problem is that the game is unstable. It’s crashed three times in as many hours of play, and now that I’m on the second-to-last mission, I lost 45 minutes of play because of the most recent crash, putting me at the beginning of the level when I loaded the game back up. Pretty weak.
Whatever the case, this is also a good game, and I also recommend it!
I’ve changed my opinion. The last two levels are unbelievably punishing, and the rooms in the last level are fucking intolerable and extremely, overly long. After over a hundred attempts on one of the last rooms, I just uninstalled the game. It was extremely unpleasant. If not being able to complete the game is okay, then up until the end, it’s good, and I recommend that part.