Charity Stream Wrap Up – What is sleep and where can I buy some?

Well after 24 hours of gaming from 10AM Tuesday to 10AM Wednesday, we managed to raise over £250 (thanks to a very generous late donation!) with more to come in.  Somehow I survived, and its thanks in no small part to those lovely people who who joined the stream either to chat, play or just watch.  Thank you to you all, and an extra special thank you to those who donated to Special Effect who were running the event.  There are bigger streamers with more followers raising greater sums of money in this event, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

16 hours in meant I did not do very well here!  Thank god the team carried me to victory!

Some highlights and clips of the day (and night).  Starting quietly with 5 hours of the insanely difficult Nioh almost ruined me.  The chat was pretty quiet for the first 8 hours or so (although it was nice to have Later Levels join me early on to offer support) but picked up later on.  An attempt at Valley backfired due to the sound not coming through well at all.  Instead I moved onto the free PS+ game Not A Hero, a very violent, pretty challenging platformer for a few hours.

Eugene’s play by play commentary as F.A.N.G takes on Ryu is just stunning.  So much quality!

Around this time, friends Eugene, Josh and Emma arrived and things got a little more entertaining!  Cue an hour of Street Fighter V, 15 minutes of Starwhal and about 3 hours of Fibbage, Bidiots, and Quiplash resulting in a lot of hilarity and stream viewers joining in the games.  They headed home (some people don’t have all the sweet, sweet time off I get!) and Twitch chat and I agreed on playing Rocket League together, but due to download and update problems we settled on an hour of Tricky Towers first, which is a competitive tower building game in the style of Tetris.  Once Rocket League finally kicked off (PUN!) I was joined by Ben and Paul who had been watching for most of the evening for a couple of hours of car based football and basketball.  The lovely Hungry Goriya and Shelby Steiner joined us to inform us just how great we were at the game!

Taking on the Umi-Bozu.  Not much talking here because I spent so much time on this stage.  YorkshireGames feels my pain.

After much success (seriously, I can’t believe how many we won), Ben and I worked through the remake of Gauntlet, in which I died repeatedly due to the Valkyrie being terrible and the Wizard being insanely overpowered.  Anyway, Ben eventually headed for sleep (I miss sleep) and I finished up with the Street Fighter V story mode (terrible) and some more Not A Hero (I’m terrible) before being rejoined by Ben and Paul, along with Nick and Tom for a final hour of Gauntlet.  10AM reached and I gave up gaming forever (or at least for the next 24 hours anyway).

Don’t watch this if you’re easily offended.  Or if you find my laugh annoying.  I had no idea it was that bad!

Again, thank you if you were involved in any way, or even if you just read the initial post or this one.  Any support for charity is a good thing in my books.  If any of you guys do a charity live steam (and I know some of you are soon), please let me know and I’ll join in however I can.  Who knows, next year maybe I’ll do my 4th run and break £300!  Finally, an enormous thank you to my wife and daughter for allowing me to do this and supporting throughout.  Love to you both!

The final game of the stream.  Good to know my tiredness utterly scuppered my sense of direction.

The Evil Within – More aggravating than scary

I’m going to cut to the chase here.  I did not like this game.  It’s certainly not a bad game (although it has its flaws), but I didn’t enjoy it for a number of little reasons rather than a single big one.  Certain aspects of the games difficulty, controls, and story weren’t perfect but as a whole it should have been more enjoyable.  Let’s have a little dig into it!

The Evil Within
The letterbox effect can be left on throughout the whole game, but it’s quite intrusive.

We play Sebastian Castellanos, a detective sent with his partners to investigate Beacon Mental Hospital where a massacre has taken place.  During their exploration of the hospital, the team are attacked and rendered unconscious by a mysterious hooded figure.  Sebastian awakes, alone, in an insane version of his world with the task of reuniting with his friends and figuring out just what the hell is going on (spoiler: I still have no idea).

The Evil Within
Running through a field full of sunflowers (which just so happen to be my favourite flower). Why is this happening? I have absolutely no idea.

The early game has us sneaking around to avoid a chainsaw wielding monster that culminates in a chase down a corridor and confronting The Haunted, humans covered in barbed wire (because HORROR).  We’re introduced to stealth kills, traps, general combat and the usual array of survival horror tropes.  Combat should generally be avoided at early stages in favour of stealth to conserve health and ammo.  As the game progresses, more weapons become available including the usual shotguns and rifles and the pretty cool Agony Crossbow which can use a variety of different bolts, from harpoons to freeze shots.  The crossbow was probably one of my favourite aspects of the game, but the limited carrying capacity for bolts (understandable for a survival horror) meant using it wasn’t an option in most situations.  We carry on, fighting bosses, avoiding traps and not understanding the plot until the comparatively easy final boss fight.  Cue final cut scene and set up for a sequel!

The Evil Within
It’s a horror game, so giant spiders are pretty much a given. This section was pretty intense, but certainly not scary.

So here’s the thing, the game sets up the rules for you early on.  Avoid combat!  Stealth kill enemies!  Disarm traps!  Then it starts screwing you by having enemies that inexplicably can’t be stealth killed, invisible monsters (a gaming no-no unless very well implemented) and traps that Batman would struggle to spot.  The bosses are creative in most cases, but they have surprise attacks that can, and will, one shot you.  There are so many aspects to this game that just felt cheap and lead to the game replacing its horror with irritation.  Knowing there was an invisible enemy nearby didn’t fill me with dread but annoyance that I would have to put up with another irritating section.  Unpredictable stealth sections with enemies that occasionally can see through obstacles or out of the back of their heads lead to more than a few of my near 150 deaths.  Controls that don’t feel quite sharp enough cause precious ammunition to be wasted.  As a package, this should be great, but so many little annoyances put me off.

The Evil Within
Stealth kills are a must. Apart from when you’re inexplicably not allowed to. Or an enemy sees you through the back of their head. Or it just doesn’t work as intended…

On a positive note, the game looks gorgeous (although I noticed a few framerate drops on the Xbox One version) and is well voiced.  The bosses are fairly inventive if you ignore their cheapness and the run up to fighting some of them can be genuinely tense and unnerving.  The build up to confronting one of them was quite unsettling; seeing (and hearing!) it scuttle around inside a cage and knowing you’d have to release it to continue was excellent.  Environments are varied and interesting, although seemingly disconnected (for plot reasons I think) with urban environments quickly followed by crumbling medieval European architecture keeping the world fresh from moment to moment.

The Evl Within
Some of the environments are creepy and well put together. Still no idea what’s going on though.

The key thing with any horror game really comes down to whether or not it’s scary or unsettling.  The Evil Within goes mostly for body horror with its unpleasant monsters and gallons of blood and gore which certainly can work.  If there is an intention to have moments of foreboding and dread then they were few and far between, and this is its main problem.  Due to the regular (cheap!) deaths, the horror aspect rapidly disappears.  The fear of the monsters rapidly became a fear of repeating sections, which descended into annoyance.  I realise Shinji Mikami defined survival horror through the Resident Evil series (side note: I loved Vanquish too), but gaming has moved on in the decade since he last created a game in the genre.  This feels like an attempt to recapture his glory days whilst avoiding looking at how horror gaming has evolved in the interim.  Or maybe I’m just playing it wrong…

The Evil Within
One of the occasional chases in which you run towards the screen. Looks cool, but not being able to see where you’re going is irritating. There’s one towards the end of the game in which I died due to not being able to see obstacles.

The Evil Within was developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda.  I played the game on Xbox One and I’m not sure how to recommend this one.  If you can overlook the flaws then maybe you’ll enjoy this for what it is.  I was not a fan though, and found myself wishing the nightmare was over for all the wrong reasons.

5 Cases of Terrible Voice Acting – Speak friend and enter!

That’s Charles Martinet up there you know.  He’s Mario.  That is not how I expected him to look.

So there was that voice actor strike a little while back.  Is that still going on?  I’m pretty sure it was to do with pay and conditions.  I’m not going to get into the rights and wrongs of it, but I am going to take the opportunity to mock some genuinely terrible voice acting in games.  Bad voice acting really can take you out of an experience when it’s so jarringly bad.  Even in a game that isn’t very good to start with can suffer even more at the hands of bad vocal work.  On the other hand, there is the occasional “so bad it’s good” set of vocal lines that can occasionally work if you’re going for a B-movie style.  But more on that later.

David Warner
David Warner played Jon Irenicus in Baldur’s Gate 2. I can’t think of many “real” actors being used in games well, but this guy is Irenicus as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, you know they rules by now.  Games that I have played only, one game per series etc. etc.  I normally wouldn’t post videos, preferring to go for screenshots, but to fully appreciate the sheer awfulness (is that a word?) I feel a video is somewhat necessary.  Enjoy!

Resident Evil

resident_evil_logo
Resident Evil (1996)

A classic!  In so may ways.  It brought survival horror into the mainstream.  It was genuinely unsettling at times.  The graphics (for the time) were excellent.  That first meeting with a zombie!  But the voice work was cheesy beyond belief.  This is what I meant with “so bad it’s good” B-movie style.  The cheesy dialogue actually works for the game.  But that doesn’t change the fact that the line was delivered so badly.  I accept the writing being wonky, but considering the context of the scene, it comes across so badly acted.

Almost crushed to death, having been confronted by zombies, and we’re giggling about being “a Jill sandwich”.  Plus Barry not managing to say Jill correctly.  Apparently the voice actor started laughing during the reading of the line, resulting in it sounding like “Jiggle”.  But obviously doing another take is something other game studios do, so it was left in.  Then there was the “Master of unlocking” quote later on.  Just cringe worthy.

Mega Man 8

Mega Man 8 Logo
Mega Man 8 (1997)

Mega Man 4 is my favourite in this series.  This is most likely due to it being the first one I played, but I still stand by the fact that it was a good entry to the series even though it was a touch easier than some of the others.  Mega Man 8 was released on the Saturn and PlayStation complete with animated cutscenes featuring voiced characters.  Whilst there were some laughable ones, none quite takes the crown of “Most Terrible Voice Acting” like Dr. Light.

I’m not one to make fun of someone with a speech impediment which may account for the mispronunciation of “Dr. Wily”, but the lines are just delivered so poorly.  There’s utterly no emotion to them, and at various points the person delivering them sounds as though they’re drunk!  This didn’t really effect the main game too much as they were confined to animated cutscenes outside the stages.  But good god they were annoying and stuck out like a sore thumb.

Dynasty Warriors 3

Dynasty Warriors 3
Dynasty Warriors 3 (2001)

The Dynasty Warriors games are something of a guilty pleasure for me.  I’m not under the illusion that they’re excellent games, but they can be extremely cathartic.  Taking out hordes of enemy units before confronting their commander is rather satisfying.  Battles are often interrupted by by brief cutscenes of the commanders taunting each other before engaging in battle and it is some of the most terrible, cheesy vocal work I have ever heard.  But it somehow makes the game better for it.

Just listen to it.  I don’t think I even need to say anything.  It’s hilariously camp nonsense, with lines delivered as though they’re sitting in a living room mocking each other over a game of Street Fighter rather than fighting to the death on the fields of battle.  “Feel the power of my maaaagiiiiiiic!” sounds as though it’s being said by a character on South Park rather than a Chinese mystic.  The thing is, I think the game would actually be worse if the lines were delivered seriously.  This is the perfect example of “So bad it’s good” in video game voice acting.

House of the Dead 2

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House of the Dead 2 (1998)

I love light gun games and I love this series.  House of the Dead is one of those go to light gun games for me, alongside the likes of Time Crisis and Area 51.  Well paced with interesting boss fights (linked to Tarot cards apparently) and typing tutor spin offs of all things!  There aren’t all that many voice lines in the second entry in the series due to the plot being completely meaningless; but those that are there…

I’m not sure the voice actors knew what the characters were going to be doing in the game.  It’s as though each person was given just their own lines and recorded after reading it once.  No one seems to have a single emotion.  Maybe the real zombies are the humans!  Is that what’s happening?  Is the game that deep?!  No.  No it isn’t.

Shenmue

Shenmue
Shenmue (2000)

I feel bad for including this.  I really enjoyed the game in spite of some bizarre lines that were repeated far too often (“Do you remember the day the snow turned to rain?”) or delivered in such a stilted way.  The bad voice work did break the immersion from time to time, which is a shame as it was pushed as being an immersive experience through its day night cycle, genuine weather transitions and it’s time based system that I only really recall seeing in Dead Rising since then.

The lines from some of the characters are delivered in such a forced way.  Nothing feels like a genuine, flowing conversation.  It’s more like they’re a conduit for information (which I suppose they are) and nothing more.  It’s an issue that came up quite regularly in the era, but when this game was supposed to be so immersive, badly delivered voice work sticks out a great deal.

A couple of honourable mentions.  Earth Defense Force has some absurd lines that result in more than a few chuckles.  This may be due to translation showing cultural differences between territories.  Sonic Adventure is also a fairly poor one at times.  The line delivery isn’t always terrible, but the sound mixing is a mess meaning some lines can’t be heard over the background music and sentences are cut off part way through.  This is compounded by some of the characters having such grating voices.  Also: Big the Cat…

How about you?  Can you remember any dreadful voice work from some of your favourite games?  Has it ever ruined the overall experience for you?  Let me know.  I could always use a laugh!

 

 

King of Tokyo – Board game fun times!

In a surprising twist, I like board and card games as well as video games!  There is quite an extensive collection on the shelves, some of which I still haven’t got around to having a good go at.  I have often subjected victims friends and family to one game or another, some more successful than others.  One successful one recently was King of Tokyo, which my wife, sister, brother-in-law and myself played over the Christmas period.

There have been a couple more added since Christmas too…

The premise is simple!  Each player is a giant monster, fighting for control of Tokyo to become king of the city.  To what end I don’t know, but do we really need a reason for Cyber Bunny to punch Kraken in the face?  Anyway, the object of the game is to either be the first monster to earn 20 points, or be the last monster standing amongst your vanquished foes.

Post food board game time!

Players take turns to roll a set of dice that will determine their potential actions for that turn.  Healing, attacking, scoring points and gaining energy to purchase abilities are all possibilities, and the ability to re-roll unwanted results up to two times means you are not entirely at the mercy of the dice gods.  The first monster to make an attack will enter the city and become the current king and any subsequent attacks they make will hit all the monsters outside the city.  This sounds powerful, but any monster outside the city can only attack the current king, making the current monarch very vulnerable to being knocked out.  The king does have the option to retreat from the city however, having their current attacker take over.  Being the king allows you to earn points each turn, assuming you can survive long enough!

Kraken smaaaash!

Healing takes place outside the city, allowing health points to be recovered whilst energy is used to purchase cards giving either one off bonuses such as points or long term benefits like stronger attacks that can very much swing the game’s outcome.  As mentioned, all of your dice can be re-rolled to allow you to get the combination you want which gives a nice risk reward element to each turn.  In fact, I’ve heard this described as “Yahtzee with monsters” by friend and fellow blogger Dave from Words and That which is an excellent description.

Sadly, Kraken ended up upside down after being punched too hard.

The moment to moment gameplay is not complex, but there is enough strategy to allow players to have a plan lined up.  The reliance on dice means that previous players aren’t really at a huge advantage over new players beyond knowing what cards may come up for purchase.  Game’s take around 30 minutes and are light enough that players don’t need to be 100% focused on the game at all times lest they miss something.  Light board games are great for families, and this is an excellent family game.  If you have even a passing interest in board games and have a couple of people to play with, this one is definitely worth your time.  Don’t make me set Mecha Dragon on you…

Gameblast 17 – 24 Hour Charity Gaming Marathon!

For the past couple of years I’ve done a 24 hour gaming stream for Special Effect, a charity that develops gaming systems for people with physical disabilities to allow them to take part in this fantastic hobby.  Seriously, click that link and take a look at some of the stuff they do.  The charity designates a weekend for people and groups of all sizes to take part in a 24 hour game-a-thon to raise money for this cause and I’ve been more than happy to take part!

People join in on the stream, and friends come around to join in the games and have a few drinks in the evening.  Some people are even kind enough to donate to the charity, resulting in around £600 being raised by my streams alone.  Last year Special Effect brought in over £70,000 thanks to participants and wonderful people willing to give a little money.

Rocket League logo
I bought this especially for the stream after some people suggested we play it. I was not good.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, I’d love for you to take part in some way!  I’ll be running a 24 hour stream on 21st February (yes, a Tuesday, but it’s the only time I can do it!) at 7AM GMT and it would be great to have some of you join the stream either watching, chatting or joining in.  Last year we had games of Rocket League with the stream viewers, co-op games of Helldivers and groups of people yelling at me to stop sucking at The Witness.  We had Transformers and drunken attempts to play Layers of Fear and hopefully this year we should carry on having a bunch of fun and raise some money too.

The Witness square puzzles
No. No! I am not doing this again!

If you would like to watch and join in in any capacity, the stream will be found here: Twitch And if you’re feeling really generous, you could even donate as much or as little as you’d like to a worthy cause here: Just Giving  Please don’t feel you have to donate or even watch a second of it, but if you are willing to it would be fantastic and I’d be honoured to have you giving up even a moment of your day for this.

Special Effect Logo
They’ve raised more and more money each year. Hopefully this year they’ll be able to breach £100,000!

Do you have any suggestions for games?  Early in the day it tends to just be me playing single player games, with some online multiplayer with chat later on followed by some local gaming in the evening.  Any suggestions would very much be welcome though, especially if they’re ones you’d want to play too!  Thanks for reading and please join me when the time comes for laughing at just how bad I am at games.

Modern Gaming Is Actually Pretty Good – Arguing with myself.

Not so long ago, I did the very British thing and complained about some things.  Modern gaming is pretty rubbish to be fair.  There’s plenty wrong with the industry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few positives we can focus in on!  So here we are, a few things about this hobby that I’m actually happy about!

I also want to see whether this post or the negative one gets more views!  Do you folks prefer positive or negative words?  Will you be more interested in what’s good about the industry or what’s bad?  I’m interested in the results!  Anyway, on with the words!

Indie development

Alright, so Early Access and Greenlight are often terrible, but the indie development scene has produced some absolute gold in recent years.  The likes of Hyper Light DrifterInside, and The Witness are all very successful and, love them or hate them, highly rated games.  It’s very unlikely that a major publisher would even think to take a risk on unusual games like these.  These are the developers that will drive the industry forward, trying new ideas and giving players experiences that Call of Duty 23 and FIFA 2043 just won’t.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with these games of course, it’s just nice to see developers being brave enough to try something new and put it out there for the players.

Fez happy!
Shame Phil Fish turned out to be a bit of a nutter.

Not to mention Kickstarter.  Whilst the video gaming side of Kickstarter has had a rough time lately, there are some very impressive looking games that are on their way thanks to crowd funding.  I for one am looking forward to Yooka-Laylee and Battletech, expecting them to be well made, polished games.  Mighty Number 9 has been a high profile flop, but there are still plenty of fresh, interesting ideas out there just begging to be made.

Choice

Games
Want to be a chainsaw wielding, zombie killing cheerleader? Sorted. Have the urge to be Ellen Page’s ghost friend? Fine. Or maybe pretending to be Optimus Prime? With the indie digital release scene and mobile market too, there’s pretty much a game for everyone.

This is almost an extension of the indie development point.  There is just so much choice these days (I might argue too much) when it comes to gaming.  Want to work in a kitchen with your friends?  There’s a game for that.  Fancy competing with an evil teddy bear in a battle of investigative wits?  Got you covered.  Feel the desperate urge to walk around a forest pretending to be a bear?  Yep, that’s a thing.  My point is that there is practically something for everybody who has even a passing interest in gaming these days.  Not all of them are good, far from it, but the fact that something like Euro Truck Simulator exists is a testament to how the industry has moved away from platformers and ultra-violence.

Price

Yes, I know I complained about microtransactions.  And I stand by my complaint that they should not be a feature in full priced releases.  But DLC is something that has allowed game prices to remain pretty much flat for a very long time.  Physical releases of console games in the UK have been hovering around the £40-£45 mark for many years in spite of an increase in VAT and inflation (not so much their digital costs).  PC games are even cheaper thanks to sensible digital distribution platforms like Steam and GOG and their regular sales events.

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I don’t think I have enough money to make this pyramid myself. But it looks cool!

Further to this point, some DLC practices have been really rather good.  Whilst so many shooters are content to release another set of maps to play online, games like The Witcher 3 get enormous expansions the size of another full game.  There are some teams who genuinely seem to care about what happens to their game after release, and I’d love to see more of this.

Online passes failed

Do you remember online passes?  They were an attempt to cripple the second-hand games market by locking out the multiplayer portion of a game unless you entered a one time code or paid an additional fee.  Whilst I do appreciate that this existed as a way to offset losses suffered by used game being purchased rather than new copies, an attempt to lock out a portion of a game rather than giving a positive reason to buy a new copy garnered nothing but ill will from the vast majority of gamers.  I don’t know how much sales suffered as a result, but gradually over the years this punitive measure has thankfully dies out.

Online passes are terrible
Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore.

Now, I know where this is going for some people: what about PS+ and XBL Gold?  Well, yes, these models do force payment for online multiplayer.  But put simply, the extras that come with it are pretty great.  Two or more games gifted to you each month is pretty good, especially when some of them have been as good as Rocket League and the Tomb Raider reboot.  I don’t really play much multiplayer, so this has almost become a game subscription service, and I’m sure that’s the case for others too.  Now the Nintendo Switch version of this…well that’s a different story right now.

Ok, so there weren’t as many positives as negatives, and that last one was a bit of a backhanded positive point.  Still though, there are some things that are positive in this hobby these days.  Maybe even major publishers will start to take notice and have things developed that are outside their usual catalogue.  Gaming has the potential to go from strength to strength this generation, lets hope to see plenty of good to offset the bad!

Virginia – My most disappointing game of 2016

No spoilers here folks!  Read with confidence that no story elements will be mentioned in any depth.  Screenshots won’t give away much, if anything, either.

I like a good walking simulator.  You know, those games in which you travel through the world and experience the story, but interaction is limited.  The best ones allow you to take part in the story, or perhaps guide its direction somewhat.  Firewatch was a good example of this, there is plenty of exploration and what you say and do leads to different responses.  The Vanishing of Ethan Carter adds a light puzzle element to the gameplay and has hidden sections that you can easily miss as you continue through the story.  Virginia does none of this and basically has you find the magic button that continues the story and little more.  This is not a good walking simulator to my mind.

Virginia Intro
We start of with a partially on rails section. There are no loading screens in the game at all, with instant camera cuts being very noticeable and technically impressive.

I had high hopes for this one.  It had been likened to Twin Peaks by many (which is a show I enjoyed immensely) and had a very interesting art style.  But this is not a game; this is a walking simulator in its original, derogatory sense.

We play as Anne, a newly qualified FBI agent who is sent to investigate a missing child in the small town of Kingdom, Virginia with her newly assigned partner Maria.  The whole game is played in first person in small environments that can be walked around at your leisure until you find the object/person you are meant to interact with to progress the scene.  There are hidden items to find, but finding them doesn’t seem to do much other than award you with the obligatory achievements.

virginia music
The Twin Peaks inspiration is visible throughout. You’ll even notice it in the music.

What’s very noticeable is that there is no dialogue throughout the game.  All information is conveyed either through very occasional papers given to you or through body language.  This is an interesting move, and could work quite well if there was a simpler story here.  There are so many bizarre dream sequences and visions that at times I had no clue what was going on.  Either a character with spoken lines or a simpler plot would have been ideal here, just to explain what was happening.  There were times where Anne (“me” for all intents and purposes) had worked something out and went to the next area, but I had no idea what she had worked out or why we had moved on.  Silent protagonists are fine.  Gordon Freeman is a perfect example of one in a world with an unclear plot; but he had people talking to him to explain why things were happening without explaining absolutely everything.  Either Virginia does not handle this well, or I’m not smart enough to follow what’s going on (both are possible!)

virginia environment
The environments are really rather impressive, although very small in most cases.

As the game moves on, it becomes clear that different characters have different, hidden goals (although I still have no idea what some of them were) and things aren’t quite what you expected.  As the end of the (roughly 2 hour) story approaches, the weird, dream-like scenes become more frequent and imply…something.  Honestly I’m not sure what happened at the end of the game beyond figuring out what happened to this missing boy (who doesn’t seem to be too important to the plot beyond the original reason for you traveling to Kingdom).  What I am sure of is that I don’t think I really played a game here.

virginia ending
The game takes a rather strange turn later on, making its convoluted plot even harder to follow.

There is almost no interactivity in this game.  Approach a new area, walk around looking at the admittedly pretty environments and listening to the stunning soundtrack (really, the music is fabulous and absolutely the highlight of the game for me), find the interactive object, watch the result and move to the next area.  Rinse and repeat for 2 confusing hours.  I was so disappointed by this.  Coming from playing Firewatch to this is like a step back in time in terms of what a game is.

virginia creepy
Occasionally creepy moments kept me interested in spite of not knowing what the hell was going on.

Virginia was developed by Variable State and published by 505 Games.  I played the game on Xbox One and wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re after an extremely abstract, non-interactive “game”.  Though the world looks pretty and the soundtrack is worth a listen to the extent that I intend to buy it separately.