Season 18, Episode 19

I enjoy games that want you to experience them. That’s a bit of a broad stroke so let me be a bit more specific about what I mean.

Hellblade 2 wants you to experience the game. Ninja Theory was so adamant about this that there’s even a setting to let the game automatically control combat. So, any time there’s a fight, it’ll take care of it for you. All you need to do is solve puzzles (that can also be tuned for the player) and keep moving through the world (it’s practically on rails so you’ll likely never get lost). Sort of makes it an experience first and a game second. And I’m okay with that.

With a lot of these big, triple A, story driven, single player games, I’d actually like more of that. God Of War doesn’t go to the same extremes, but there were settings within the game that made me enjoy it more and I think it’s something more games should strive for – player enjoyment.

That sort of goes without saying for the most part because if a game isn’t enjoyable it’ll get bad reviews, won’t sell, etc. But going one step beyond that and giving the player an enormous amount of options and tuning FOR the player so they can enjoy the experience – maybe not to the point of the game playing itself, perhaps, but enough that the player can find enjoyment in the game.

I think it’s something we might see more and more from the bigger studios and developers. And that isn’t to say they are the only ones who can do this, but the smaller studios provide smaller and more specific experiences, and already a lot of them give you that leeway in how you play their game.

While I did bring up Hellblade 2 and applaud the studios efforts on making sure the player enjoys their game, I should say – it’s an amazing game. It isn’t long, but it’s PACKED with story, character, emotion, and some of THE absolute most stunning visuals we’ve seen in a game so far. Play it.

It’s June, you can smell the new game trailers beginning to cook. Perhaps…just maybe…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,921 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.

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