Backlog Project: Middle-Earth – Shadow of Mordor

Don’t you just love the feeling of having your expectations blown out of the water? When you experience something that completely blindsides you, and surprises you with how enjoyable it is? It makes something that’s just “good” feel so much better, and that essentially increases the entertainment value of the product. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor surprised me with how fun it was, and I know I wasn’t the only one – this game was certainly what I’d call a “sleeper hit”.

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Backlog Project: The Elder Scrolls V – Skyrim

Some games in my backlog are ones that I have actually played quite a bit, but it wasn’t until later that I started to care about Trophies and felt like going back to some of them. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is not a new game to me, as I got it the day of release and played it extensively, and even got it again later on PC, which is where I really got my money’s worth by utilizing the vast selection of mods available. I went back to it on PlayStation 3 after realizing I was pretty far along in Trophy progression, and decided to tackle it one last time, after years away from the game.

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Backlog Project: Gravity Rush

I love the flexibility of playing games on the PlayStation Vita, which is why I often end up sampling a heap of random games on that handheld wonder. However, it also sometimes means some games that should be instant must-plays can fly under my radar, and it can take me a while to get around to playing them. Gravity Rush is one of those games, and it was a stroke of good luck that I decided to go back and play it later.

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Backlog Project: Far Cry 3

I’m by no means a specialist in first-person shooters, and only once in a great while I even find interest in playing those kinds of games. My aversion is alleviated by mixing the gameplay with something else, making it feel less like a war simulation and more like a different video game altogether, that just happens to play like a war simulation. I also enjoy single-player games more than multiplayers, and as many FPS games lean towards the multiplayer culture, I often feel like those games aren’t meant for me. That’s why shooters with clear emphasis on the single-player experience are much more interesting to me.

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Agoraphobia: The Decline of Open World Games

Over the past decade or so, the Open World format has steadily increased its penetration of the video game scene; starting with role-playing games whose nature included such vastness and openness in the game world like The Elder Scrolls series, eventually the number of new games with Open World sensibilities increased noticeably, and existing series began to adopt those features as well.

More linear games like Metal GearFar Cry and the Arkham series of Batman games developed from being fairly straightforward, guided experiences into what we saw in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainFar Cry 3 and 4, and Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Knight. The reason should hardly surprise anyone – it’s the supply to the audience’s demand. My argument, however, is that the tide is well on its way to turning around, changing the landscape of Triple-A games in the next few years. Continue reading