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Shooting

The Constant Monster

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

BioShock Infinite is a violent game, and it has to be. That's a contrast to BioShock, an equally violent game where combat conveyed nothing about its main character and had little to do with the game's themes other than spurring the player to engage in its various economies. Any stimulus—using plasmids to solve environmental puzzles, for instance—would have sufficed. That's not so in Columbia. Violence is essential to who Booker DeWitt is, and what Columbia is. Their story cannot be told without it.

Crysis 3 Second Opinion

More Like Crysis 2.5

Crysis 3 Screenshot

HIGH Finely tuned predatory gameplay. Also, silenced shotguns.

LOW The abysmal final boss fight.

WTF The explanation for how Prophet's back in the saddle is ridiculous.

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army Review

Hunting the Dead

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army Screenshot

HIGH Watching a single bullet plow through five zombies.

LOW Anything with skeletons. Seriously, the skeletons are horrible.

WTF I'm disappointed by the utter lack of zombie Hitler, Rebellion.

Nobody at the tower

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

One of the things I found most striking about BioShock Infinite is how sloppy it was. The ending, as I already discussed, is a self-contradicting mess held together only by sharply-timed revelations and plonky piano music. The quantum morass of its final moments is only one of the game's problems, though.

Hitman HD Trilogy Review

The Path of Blood

Hitman HD Trilogy Screenshot

HIGH HD Traditions of the Trade.

LOW Trying to sneak up on someone in Silent Assassin.

WTF Aaaaaah! G-g-g-g-ghost!

Only one of Infinite Endings

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

One of the problems with stories that use the concept of multiple universes is that the word "multiple" doesn't even begin to describe the scale of existence. Consider, for instance, the universes in which I just reached through the internet and handed you a cookie (hope you like pistachio sandies!). Now, in the context of known physical laws, this is an extremely unlikely event, so much so that if you were to try to write out the probability by putting down a 1 and writing zeroes in front of it, you could go the whole lifetime of our universe without ever reaching the decimal point.

BioShock Infinite Review

Schrödinger's Dunk

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

HIGH The classic revisionism of the Hall of Heroes.

LOW The lazy, pointless, and offensive "equivalence" narrative that opens the second half of the game.

WTF I've been finding machine-gun rounds in pickle barrels the whole game, but there's no ammo in this armament crate?

Aliens: Colonial Marines Third Opinion

A Top Contender for Worst Game of 2013

Aliens: Colonial Marines Screenshot

HIGH The first mission manages to capture some of the magic of Cameron's film.

LOW Trying to unhook fuel lines while Xenomorphs kill me during the animation and my squadmates stand there watching.

WTF An enemy merc shot me dead from around a corner and behind a steel crate. JFK's magic bullet lives...

His name is Buck…

Far Cry 3 Screenshot

Buck is a peculiar hitman in Far Cry 3. Apparently employed by the game's big bad, Hoyt, Buck has an interest in men, and in ancient Chinese artifacts. As it happens, he presently "owns" one of protagonist Jason Brody's male friends, and will exchange him if Jason retrieves a ceremonial knife originating from the treasure ships of Zheng He. Since Jason needs the knife for another purpose, it is obvious from the beginning of the adventure that he will come away from Buck's tasks with both friend and knife. That's how these games work, and Far Cry 3 is relentlessly conventional in that respect.

Tomb Raider Review

Missing Treasure

Tomb Raider Screenshot

HIGH Climbing the Queen's sanctum as it shatters in a storm.

LOW Spending 20 minutes trying to glitch my way past a showstopping bug.

WTF "I hate tombs."

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