Category Archives: Video Game Reviews

The Division 2 Review

“Division 2” is the worst of ‘stand your ground’ laws and ‘good guy with a gun’ beliefs. Enemies wander the streets, guns outstretched sideways as they blindly fire like Hollywood’s abysmal thug stereotypes. There’s no narrative context for their actions, or why all of them willingly die for their cause – or what their cause actually is. They just hate innocents. That makes them easy villains to conservative eyes. They’re bad guys, the lot of them, and that’s all anyone needs to know. “The Division 2” may as well be Carlson’s primetime lead.”

Read my full review of The Division 2 at Variety

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Crackdown 3 Review

““Crackdown 3” makes The Agency a righteous hero. Before, they took on an anti-hero performance, a conventional spin on “Judge Dredd.” It’s an interesting transformation for “Crackdown,” dealt with a heavy-handed, anti-corporate mindset. That’s derivative in contemporary media. It seems implausible anyone chose to live in New Providence, poisoned water and blatant propaganda blaring over loudspeakers (which can be hacked to push Agency propaganda so no one wins). Then again, someone in real-world power does indeed want a wall to keep out refugees and people show support, so who knows.”

Read my full review of Crackdown 3 at Variety

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NBA 2K18 Review

“There’s an authenticity in rotating courtside banners and between-play chatter by the announcers, changing as the year moves on with new sponsors cycling in. The insistence on using Virtual Currency (VC) for everything compounds the issue, though. NBA 2K18 wants you to drink Gatorade, but it’s also interested in getting you to spend more real money in the game.”

Read my full review of NBA 2K18 at Polygon

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NHL 18 Review

“EA’s NHL remains the best of the publisher’s sports franchises in terms of its simulation, even as its slow pace of growth becomes increasingly hard to ignore. FIFA’s authenticity fluctuates, Madden plays safe, and NBA Live comes and goes. NHL stays consistent. Frustrating as off-the-puck AI can be (players too frequently seem blind when the puck is loose), in motion, it’s hockey bliss. It’s also apparent that a lack of updates and changes year-over-year is beginning to stagnate things.”

Read my full review of NHL 18 at Polygon

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Yonder Review

“Yonder comes from Australian studio Prideful Sloth games. For the developer of Yonder, there’s no better name to represent their output. Yonder won’t pressure anyone when wandering the landscapes of Gemea. Without leveling, without health, without time restrictions, everything you do is free of confinement. Yonder is, plainly, a game of almost nothing where you need do nothing.”

Read my full review of Yonder at Polygon.

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Sniper Elite 4 Review

“The main hook, that perverse, commercialized violence (particularly in such numbers), can’t sustain Sniper Elite 4 either. Seeing a skull rupture, brain jiggle, and fragments of each scatter with bullet impact rapidly turns repetitive. Larger scaled stage design only means more enemies and more of this one-off gimmick.”

Read my full Sniper Elite 4 review at Polygon

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NBA 2K17 Review

nba2k17

“As great as MyPark and Pro-Am are in theory, both modes’ leaderboards are too full of players that appear to have paid their way upward. Regardless of where MyCareer gameplay happens, the slog of leveling eases with NBA 2K17’s Virtual Currency, which can be bought in amounts that range from $2 to $100. While gameplay skill factors in, high player ratings carry obvious and substantial impact, with less urgency to improve for higher VC payouts. Never mind how this comes at odds with the hard work and success theme of Aaron Covington’s story.”

Read my full NBA 2K17 review at Polygon

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