Game results of 2019: strong middle peasants

GameGuru is finishing to take stock of the outgoing year. While everyone is together choosing the best games of 2019, we will recall the “strong middle peasants” – the games that marked the big league but didn’t get a couple of points to it. However, skipping them would be a crime.

Metro: Exodus became the largest game in the series. The development took the whole six years of life from the studio staff 4A gamesand the main characters and fans of the franchise finally saw post-nuclear Russia in all its glory. The protagonist got out of the tight tunnels of the Moscow metro and rushed with the team on his engine to the other end of the country. But despite the abundance of spacious scenery, Metro exodus remained a small, chamber game, which can be completed in some 8 hours, never to return to it again.

The Metro series is not only good single-player shooters with a cool history, but also a kind of Stalker Substitutes. After all, while the general public from the countries of the former CIS is eager to go back to the territory of post-apocalyptic Pripyat, the whole world is happy to ride an armored train through post-apocalyptic Russia. Most pleasantly, this is not just an attempt to parasitize on the popularity of books Glukhovsky and domestic themes, but also very good games on their own. “Exodus” was no exception and raised the already high bar even higher.

The game finally made it possible to get out of the ruins of the Moscow Metro and take a look at what was happening in that notorious ZAMKADye. The expansion of geography went only to the benefit of the series. It allowed to significantly increase the fascinating ENT of the universe and tell a lot of cool stories. Here you will find the gloomy consequences of a nuclear winter, and the incredible atmosphere of the pioneer camp, and the real “Mad Max“With” loaves “and other attributes of the former USSR. And the plot itself is a high-quality road movie with the disclosure of the characters of the main characters, an incredibly epic armored train and various adventures along the way. Unless the introduction of open spaces and turned out to be quite empty locations slightly spoiled the overall impression.

In a word – it was cool, and the passage is remembered with warmth in these cold winter days. Something like this does not happen so often, so if you suddenly missed a game for some reason, then New Year’s discounts and upcoming vacations are a great opportunity to catch up.

First two parts Metro I walked more than five times each. These are games with a unique atmosphere, where the main character is not the silent Artem, but the underground corridors, stations and their inhabitants, in the end, the stiff corpse of the once majestic city. Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light expertly juggling situations, rolling the player on a roller coaster. The narration was continuous, intense, not bored. IN Exodus the developers quite naturally decided to raise rates, but it seems that not everything went according to plan.

Metro exodus makes an incredible impression when you play it for the first time. This is a road movie whose heroes travel across dead Russia in search of a better life. Each stop is an amazing event, shined by the rays of the RTX. It is beautiful, it is beautiful, it is interesting. However, recently I decided to go through Metro exodus once again on the updated hardware – a year after the release. The disadvantages of the game sharply came to the fore: its mechanics are primitive, the locations are empty and tightened. Yes, she is still beautiful, but she takes trump cards from the sleeve immediately, on the Volga. Further to the picture there is nothing to surprise. What is sadder – the game does not surprise with anything other than a picture. This is an extremely one-time adventure.

It seems that in the next part, developers should work hard. The game needs a new breath of air – spacious locations and beautiful post-apocalyptic Russia give you a breath only once. It’s not the narrow corridors that are strangling, but the gameplay formula itself.

Obsidian entertainment not strong in modern three-dimensional games: over the past decade, the studio has been producing exclusively isometric or two-dimensional RPGs. However, the label “game from the authors Fallout“Did his job: against the backdrop of the failure of the cosmic scale of the team Todd Howard with her Fallout 76, The outer worlds they waited and fell in love in absentia. After the release, critics caressed the game from all sides, and its total score exceeds the score, which at one time put the cult spin-off Fallout 3. But whatever one may say, The outer worlds – This is a strong middling. In other words, a chamber game and squeezed into a strict budget framework.

So much trash comes out every year. Bad shooters, indistinct penny indies, bland blockbusters, the flaws of which can be devoted to an article or two. The industry provides dozens of reasons to spoil your mood … but, oddly enough, it is not trash that disappoints most – but games like The outer worlds.

A year ago, her announcement struck like a bolt from the blue. “Satirical RPG from the creators Fallout and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines“,” Spiritual heiress New vegas“. Imagination painted a worthy role, able to become on a par with other masterpieces Tim Kane and Leonard Boyarsky; hands themselves reached into a pocket for a purse. The reality turned out to be much sadder.

The outer worlds like a bad late episodeFuturama“- a pompous comedy, the authors of which for some reason are sure that their banal jokes are witty, and the primitive reflections on the topic of corporations and bureaucracy are terribly interesting. Only if the episode of the animated series lasts half an hour, the sai-fi adventure stretches, stretches and stretches, killing brain cells with a boring action and extremely mournful quests, the primitiveness of which even the blockhead would envy Fallout 3. There is nothing more offensive than mediocrity – but Obsidian it turned out she. Better bad than nothing.

After the demonstration of the first gameplay videos The outer worlds I abruptly stopped waiting for her to leave. Even despite the “spiritual heritage” of my beloved Fallout: New Vegas. This is such a tricky trick that I advise you to learn: if you are not sure, just stop waiting. Then the subject of non-expectation will not be able to disappoint you, because there will be no excessive requirements on your part. Why did I even decide to do this? Everything is simple: The outer worlds was not like Fallout: New Vegasbut on Borderlands and Fallout 4. And so it turned out in reality.

The outer worlds much more reminiscent of “fallouts” Todd Howardrather than their supposedly “spiritual predecessor.” Luthing-shooting, bright color palette, distinctly traced atmosphere of madness … On the other hand, a new game Obsidian much stronger than their narrative. The characters are not spelled out deeply, but they can be dug. Leveling really affects the options for passing, giving the player the feeling that his choice was important. Finally, the artistic style is controversial, but even it gives a narrative of points, creating a sense of presence on alien, hostile and terribly terraformed planets. And all this is done for sheer pennies.

Perhaps the main problem of the game lies in its very foundation – this is the choice of the authors of the narrative style. Comical, frivolous, bordering on pure absurdity. This gives rise to several problems at once: it imposes on the scriptwriters the need to squeeze out strained jokes (it is difficult to write a good comedy in general) and seriously affects the perception of the local universe. It is impossible to believe in it, and therefore not particularly interesting to study. For me The outer worlds never surpass Fallout: New Vegasbut the main thing that this game shows is Obsidian can create cool three-dimensional universes. Let’s see how the company manages to turn on budgets Microsoft.

Control Is a phenomenon. Like The outer worlds, the game was made in a short time and in a strictly limited budget. When creating it, assets from Quantum breakbut in the end Control attracted more attention than the previous and very ambitious project Remedy. This is almost an old-school action gameplay whose emphasis is shifted to a furious combat system with the active use of the paranormal abilities of the main character. It has a stunning artistic style and a compelling narrative, the bulk of which is hidden in notes, audio diaries and video files. At the same time, the game evokes completely opposite opinions in different gamers: someone is delighted with it, and someone does not stand it. Control not a masterpiece, but before us is clearly an extraordinary project from a niche of a strong middle peasant.

After the secondary sequel Max payne and long-suffering long-suffering Alan wake doubt author’s handwriting Remedy it was no longer necessary, namely, in the maximum emphasis on the plot component and the gameplay built around one chip. And if in the first Max payne it worked due to a successful combination of factors (innovative slow-mo, unusual presentation of the plot, technological engine), then there were questions to the rest of the creations.

Unfortunately in Control the developers not only could not get away from the old traditions, they still fell below their own bar. Apparently Sam Lake I’m not used to working in such a short time and instead of an exciting story I gave out graphomania, which I would envy David cage. Hundreds of notes and dozens of dialogs are nothing more than a filler. And in a situation where the main storyline is monstrously short, and even foresees chapters ahead, it is depressing. Only stylish design and dynamic battles, from which you can enjoy at least the first third, can save you from a complete fiasco. And then everything slides into a routine and self-repetitions.

Bad games are being scared by screaming about forest witches and skinny men with a milk face and a beautiful tie, good games are crushing concrete with suspense and fueling distrust of coffee mugs, disk retro phones and rubber duck tubs. New metro diving from Sam Lake This year was an example of narrative power and a model of style. Power was forged within the tight budget, average ratings from the press and players, as well as a difficult public outing with a new title and a niche genre. Add to this nondescript presentations and trailers that are definitely not called selling ones. Ideal conditions for a commercial failure and a red mark on Metacriticbut the hottest Finns from Remedy not only set fire to the hearts of fans around the world, but also designed eight nominations for themselves The game awards, as well as one very important victory – for achievements in visual design.

Despite criticism of the gaming community due to annual exclusivity in the marketplace Epic Games Storeusers have forgiven Control and stupid bugs, and meager staging of a few cutscenes, and even a plot of dubious value. Control has become one of the most spectacular but poor video games of the season. Its charm in gray tones is the only location in the whole history, and the talk about the oldest house is a high-rise building with identical offices, empty corridors and the same closets. What is intended to delight and why pretend that many people like the empty, budgetary and apathetic story? But she can, and so – that she cannot manage to do anything else, because this is the most immersive spooky adventure of the year and naturally frame-by-frame homage to beloved The x-files, The twilight zone, Lost and even linchevsky Twin peaks. This is your obligatory “evening kefir” if, despite your age and position, you still love scary stories about teleportation, levitation, pyrokinesis, and other parapsychology, and in your closet, the mournful trench of Agent Mulder is waiting for the finest hour.

This is a truly intriguing hotbed of crypto in the most interactive form: there are no screamers, but the source of tension is the echoing tread of the heroine Fessie Feyden and the horse gallop of your heart. Play Control uncomfortable in a good way, but interest in exploring locations and objects prevails. Here is a game retelling of digital Talmuds from the SCP Foundation, in combination – a stylish metrodiving, and even in the same universe Alan wake and from the creators Max payne – so successfully, the stars did not stack together even nine years ago during the parade of planets in the constellation Pisces, take a word.

Responsible for the cult trilogy of games Syphon filter from the first Playstation This year the team released the first AAA project in its modern history. This exclusive to Playstation 4 at first it seemed to everyone The last of us on steroids, but in the end, something strange happened. It seems that the project for release was roughly cut with garden scissors – this can be seen from gaping holes even in some scenes of the narrative. What can we say about the roughness of the mechanics around whom the gameplay is built Days gone. Phrase “Exclusive PlayStation” usually means the exceptional quality of the product behind it. Days gone – not the case, and this is a precedent.

Hardly anyone will object: for the eighth generation of consoles in the library Sony registered a number of excellent exclusives. Bloodborne, God of war, Horizon Zero Dawn – no matter the year, then a new hit. But even in the most impressive line of releases, there is always an outsider. AND Days gone, alas, one of those.

Oregon brainchild Bend no luck since the announcement: a banal debut trailer, bad previews, hyphenation, no advertising campaign. A triumphal premiere could save the situation … however, a miracle did not happen. Deacon St. John was kicked as soon as he got down from his bike – he got both the schedule and the plot, and nothing more. But if everything is so bad, then where does the action have 8 points on Metacritic? And what the hell did he forget in this top?

The casket opens simply: contrary to technical and design problems, Days gone finds than to charm. Behind the screen of a “banal action movie about the undead” with an unwashed biker in the title role is a moving, expertly played and skillfully set western, on the one hand “Sons of Anarchy”, on the other – Red dead redemption about motorcycles. Not a masterpiece, not a milestone, but a good game, capable of falling into the soul. The main thing is to give the exclusive chance. And he will find something to surprise.

Days gone Until the release, it remained a video game without clear positioning. Few people understood what potpourri from secondary mechanics and concepts could mutate into. And in short, the result fits into the formula The last of us and State of decay. From the first there is a hypertrophied gloomy man, gray scale and emphasis on realism. From the second – gathering, craft and micromanagement. Ideal sources for Days gone were complex and distinctive, they did not climb into someone else’s territory, but it was Days gone darted in attempts to become a collective, but at the same time unique product. But it didn’t turn out as sharp and adult as The last of us, and not so intricately and meticulously as State of decay. The new hybrid did not surprise with ambition, did not inherit in memory and did not hurt the living.

An interesting idea in theory about the patterns of the cinema badi movie about bikers in practice turned out to be a 40-hour post-apocalyptic sandbox, the main disadvantage of which is the lack of empathy. The acting characters are too categorical and caricatured, the characters are flat, and all the situations that can be cooked in such a thin broth are not impressive. Days gone it turned out to be one of those games that immediately fold all the trump cards at once, filling a huge map with dozens of points of interest, a dozen storylines and fifty mediocre side quests. And if The last of us was compactly laid out in short and closed game zones with new mechanics, tear-twists and immersive gameplay, then Days gone It offers a playground with mopping up of outposts, monotonous gathering and foolish factional shootings. On the other hand, rush mutants greatly change their impression, because hordes have never been so dangerous and unpredictable. Each met flock of mutants-phreakers encourages creativity and improvisation: setting traps, planning escape routes and managing a crowd of bloodthirsty reptiles – for these emotions Days gone one can forgive a weak narrative and secondary. In addition to great skirmishes, there is an engaging customization of weapons and a motorcycle.

In its category Days gone turned out to be uninteresting and unreasonably prolonged, but not the worst purchase of the outgoing season. If you do not rush to the plot and do not get annoyed by the tortured drama, then you can get a lot of pleasure from such a game. Again, hordes of brutal freekers are the pearl of gameplay. If the prospect of such a sandbox does not frighten, then this is not the most offensive investment of time and effort. But lovers of good stories have nothing to look for here.