WarningMight contain spoilers.

This is a pretty game, as you most likely already know, but I found it to be disproportionately dark (in the literal sense) with raytracing on. I suppose that’s down to the limited bounces: contrast the visuals of Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition with their infinite bounces.

The game itself wasn’t particularly interesting. I thought I’d return to it once I’d finished trying out a few others, but I abandoned it after the first hour. I stand by my comment regarding the first trailer on the now defunct Birth.Movies.Death.:[1]

✓ Nude woman in opening quest
✓ Long, slow pan up semi-clothed female protagonist’s body
✓ Careful staging to protect the viewer’s tender eyes from accidentally seeing a penis
✓ 1,001 ways to shoot people to earn upgrades to shoot people better
✓ Lovingly animated gore and giblets
✓ Terrible stereotypical dialogue for your Hispanic sidekick
✓ 1 swearword per line of dialogue quota (in case you forget how mature the game is)
✓ Vocal performances slightly better than the English dub of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
✓ Amazing open-ended quests that you can complete any way you like as long as it involves paying someone, killing someone, or stealth killing someone

How revolutionary. How counterculture. How punk.

I was surprised by how boring this looks, and at first amused then dismayed by the hordes of commenters out to defend its honour from anyone who might impugn its ‘maturity’. That said, the animations and the city sure are purdy, whereas that narrator is the most annoying since this one talking about an octopus and a shark… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q36_8s5z6S8

On a somewhat related note, I’ve been going through Horizon: Zero Dawn. Now that’s a game which doesn’t do completely new things—instead being satisfied with implementing existing mechanics reasonably well and then building on them—but innovates with legitimately great & diverse vocal performances (almost) everywhere and a compelling, gripping story, complete with a non-sexualized female protagonist. BMD’s review was on point about that one.

A friend who read this has a very different opinion. He agrees that it starts slowly but found it worth continuing for the sake of the game that follows. In addition, he pointed out something I hadn’t even considered: he’d heard from trans folks that it was empowering to have the games [sic] private parts selector be body shape agnostic and even the romance decisions to be independent of that.

Now, while I have no intention of wading through the early hours to reach the good bits, I shouldn’t have let the trailer I saw four and a half years ago prejudice me to the point where I wrote off the character creator as being solely designed to titillate. I’ve deleted my comment to that effect.

  1. Original text only retrieved thanks to Disqus comment search.