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For Honor Review: Bound by the blade

For Honor is a rare breed of game. For one, it manages to be incredibly intense without a single gunshot being fired. That’s not to say it saves anyone any slack by avoiding violence; quite the opposite: it makes its home in the chaos of battlefield, no holds barred. For as much as anyone could argue that its liberties with historical facts basically kills any attempt of this game being taken seriously, the opposite can be said for its intricate and in-depth gameplay. While boiling down For Honor into a third-person weapons-based beat ‘em up might make explaining what’s it’s all about easier, it would downplay just how much there is in regards to its fighting system. On the other hand, downright calling it a fighting game would also prove to be too broad of a characterization, given how differently Ubisoft handled the various classes...
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Hollow Knight understands the value of discovery

Of all the things Hollow Knight does well (a fascinating world, beautiful art, fantastic combat, etc.), discovery is by far its strongest quality. It follows the “metroidvania” style of map design and progression, and it’s one of the best executions of that formula I’ve seen in quite some time. The key lies in how Hollow Knight carefully decides which parts of its world to lock until you possess the right abilities or items and how it allows you to subvert those locks. Typically, games like this guide you along a linear path. The world may be large and open, but the road you’ll travel is predetermined. Your progress is gated by a lack of abilities, forcing you to follow a very particular route that introduces you to each new skill before allowing you access to the next area. They present large, labyrinthine worlds but only...
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Desync is stylish as hell, and just as frustrating

Just on its aesthetic alone, Desync had me hooked. It drops you into its neon-cyberspace with nary a clue as to where you are or what your purpose here is. Static and interlace effects dance across the screen as you make your way through the hub, grungy synth scoring the scene. It’s a very striking look that lends Desync its sense of style. If only the actual act of play were as good. Desync is a score-based first-person shooter that urges you to kill with style. By using the environment or combining certain attacks together, you perform “attack sequences.” Attack sequences are essentially unique kills that involve doing something more than simply unloading into foes until they vanish. Maybe that involves knocking an enemy into a pool of lava, or combing weapon shots in some fashion. Desync rewards you for pulling them off with increased...
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