Read more “Submerged”

Developer: Uppercut Games | Released: 2015 | Genre: 3PS, Adventure

Ever wondered what it would be like if you made a game out of just the climbing part of e.g. Tomb Raider or Uncharted? No combat, no complicated quests, no real danger – just climbing on the walls of buildings?

Submerged is pretty much exactly that.

Well, and a bit of traversing a partly submerged city in a boat, just to get from one building to the next. The story is very thin – barely an excuse to go climbing. The young girl in your control has a younger brother that has been injured, and she has to climb those buildings to get food, water, bandages, etc. There are ten larger buildings to find, all with a chest on top with the things she needs.

The game is very easy mode. You can’t fall down from anything and die. Sometimes the girl loses her grip in one hand and dangles for a few seconds with just the other hand, but it’s all show with no consequences. It makes for a very relaxing experience that also involves finding landmarks and collections, but as you might imagine, the easy mode climbing does feel like it’s too much of a good thing.

Lifeless Moon

Read more “Lifeless Moon”

Developer: Stage 2 Studios | Released: 2023 | Genre: 3PS, Adventure

This was a spiritual sequel to Lifeless Planet which I completed in 2015. This one also had me in control of an astronaut on long treks across rocky landscapes, forests, caverns, an empty city and many other bizarre locations. It didn’t impress me all that much in the beginning. It felt a little cheap with its low resolution textures, especially just coming from Stray which looked amazing.

But the game turned out to be surprisingly varied, frequently coming up with unexpected vistas and set pieces. It even had the jet pack from the previous game for a stretch, although thankfully without having to refill it all the time. I also didn’t have to replenish my oxygen. Removing these two mechanics was a good choice in my opinion. It kept a better focus on exploration and solving puzzles.


Read more “Stray”

Developer: BlueTwelve Studio | Released: 2022 | Genre: Adventure, Third Person

Know that feeling when you think a game is going to be in a certain way, then when you finally play it, it turns out to be significantly different? Stray was like that for me. I had the impression it would be sort of a cat version of a walking simulator, barely figuring out how to traverse a city, with lots of platforming and jumping through difficult to find openings. And that would be just about it.

But it was much more than that.

The game was also an adventure game with chain-like quests, it had a floating robot called B-12 to translate text and communicate with robots, there were genuine stealth sequences, running for a while from chasing enemies, even some combat. Yes, the actual shooting kind. At the same time, the game constantly awed me by how fantastic it looked. The lighting and the amount of detail was staggering.

So many of my screenshots taken of the game could be framed and put up on the wall.


Read more “Sable”

Developer: Shedworks | Released: 2021 | Genre: 3PS, Adventure

This relatively fresh third person adventure game had a really stylish drawn style that reminded me a lot of European graphic novels, particularly those by Moebius.

In fact, that was the reason I got interested in it.

I controlled a teenager coming of age as she achieved the ability the float slowly downwards, which came in handy when climbing things and jumping across long distances. I was given a hover bike to navigate the big desert, looking for points of interest to explore. There was no combat of any kind, but RPG-style quests.

And it wasn’t just quests about obtaining a specific object or finishing some kind of collection quest. Some of the later quests involved the trope investigation chain and even breaking someone out of jail.

The First Three Hitman Games

Read more “The First Three Hitman Games”

As preparation for playing a couple of modern Hitman games in the near future, I’ve decided to transfer my diary sessions of the three first Hitman games which I completed about 20 years ago. This is part of a nostalgic series of the games I played many years ago, but this time it will be adaptations rather than direct transcriptions.

There will be spoilers in these diary sessions.

Hitman: Codename 47

Developer: Io-Interactive | Released: 2000 | Genre: 3PS, Stealth

I completed this game in February 2002. I hesitated before starting it as I had heard it was supposedly very hard, and it was true. The game often had long and complicated missions with no in-game saving of any kind, and it was generally merciless. One mistake and all hell could break lose.

The game was quite original at the time. I had not seen anything quite like it before. Instead of going in guns blazing or just camping with a sniper rifle, I had to research the surroundings of the levels, learn some of the hints for bypassing security and preparing the assassination, then orchestrate an ingenious way of killing the target. And preferably without being detected.

It was a great idea in theory and the game series have always had its stalwart fans. I was never one of them. I quickly disliked the way these games required me to constantly restart and research the same missions over and over, until it was possible to complete it with as little commotion as possible. I never liked having to repeatedly sit through the same sequence in a game, and this game did that in abundance.

Nevertheless, I just had to try out the game. It was the first really big game produced in Denmark, my home country, and it had music by Jesper Kyd, whom I had briefly met at an Amiga demo party. His music was often a bit too minimalistic for my taste, but it was good in this game. It fit nicely.

Just Cause 2

Read more “Just Cause 2”

Developer: Avalanche Studios | Released: 2010 | Genre: 3PS, Sandbox

This is a post in a nostalgic series with transcriptions of my diary sessions of the games I played many years ago, translated and adapted from Danish. There will be spoilers in these diary sessions.

February 22, 2013

I finally started the sequel to the Swedish open world agent-style game – now from 2010. I ended up playing three hours over two turns. Although the game was basically just a strong embellishment of the same game rules as in the first one, the gameplay, the graphics and the atmosphere were still improved so much that I thought significantly better of it and even seriously considered playing it through properly.

The 3D engine in particular was unparalleled. It had a totally unobstructed view to all horizons and no immediate corner cut to achieve this. Huge mountains and volumetric clouds with beautiful sunsets, foaming waves on the beaches, detailed forests and palm trees, large cities with skyscrapers but also small villages with huts on stilts. Cars and people were finely detailed, and textures were of a reasonable high quality. There was a world of difference since the first game from 2006. The music was also of a more symphonic and professional quality – although I still missed the furious Spanish guitar a bit.

Just Cause

Read more “Just Cause”

Developer: Avalanche Studios | Released: 2006 | Genre: 3PS, Sandbox

This is a post in a nostalgic series with transcriptions of my diary sessions of the games I played many years ago, translated and adapted from Danish. There will be spoilers in these diary sessions.

This is about the first game in the series.

February 10, 2013

It actually surprised me a bit when I discovered that the game developers were Swedish, as the game was set in some fictive Spanish/Mexican/Colombian republic and had a lot of furious Spanish guitar mixed with modern rhythms. The description of the game made it sound like the bright green islands from Far Cry meets the typical game rules from the Grand Theft Auto series.

You get missions and side missions to kill targets or to dust something important, targets in the form of icons on the mini map and the larger map, and you can steal cars, motorcycles, jeeps, trucks, speedboats, police cars, even later helicopters and airplanes. There was a solid road network on the islands – more than I had thought, complete with quite a bit of traffic on the roads. As an added spice of its own, Just Cause and its sequel were notorious for the many stunts you could do. Jumping from car to car, throwing a grappling hook at other cars and helicopters, hang gliding with a parachute, even throwing yourself off high cliffs and popping an always available parachute. And there is probably much more still possible.

However, the game turned out to be too similar to the Grand Theft Auto series for my taste. No saves anywhere but only checkpoint saves at the end of a mission or in a hideout. The latter was much like in Far Cry 2, with the possibility to renew weapons, ammunition, heal, and obtain a new vessel.