The biggest Splinter Cell to date is also, unfortunately, the messiest.
Let's just get this out of the way: Sam Fisher is no longer being voiced by Michael Ironside, and that sucks. I'm comfortable calling Ironside's work one of the most iconic performances in the gaming industry (yes, more so than David Hayter as Solid Snake), and the actor's absence leaves a gaping hole in the series that, unfortunately, his replacement can't fill. Eric Johnson mutters, mumbles and murmurs his way through the entire script, reducing one of the most memorable protagonists of the last two generations to a guy who sounds like he needs his coffee. And let's face it – Splinter Cell has always been a bland mix of indecipherable government lingo and eye-rolling spy movies clichés. It was Fisher's gravelly menace and dark sense of humor that kept us engaged in what was going on, and
Gone Home has something important to say to you.
After you finish Gone Home, the first thing you'll want to do is read what others had to say about it. You may try to do that before you play Gone Home, at which point you'll be urged to stop reading, avoid hearing anything about the game and buy it immediately. Now that I find myself in the same position of having to sell the game without spoiling it, I'm tempted to echo that. Between Brothers and now this, what's going on here? Is this some international competition to develop the world's most critic-proof game?
Through unique controls, breathtaking atmosphere and minimalist storytelling, Brothers is one of the best games of the year.
There are approximately a million things that I love about Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and I'm hesitant to tell you about any of them. It's not that I'm worried about spoiling the story, either – there really aren't any big twists or unexpected developments, and the whole game is presented as an Odyssean adventure, a string of miniature escapades that's more about the journey than the destination. That's the thing, though. Developer Starbreeze uses the basic setup, vibrant setting and unique control scheme as jumping-off points for a healthy chunk of the year's most memorable sequences, and every chapter stands out in a unique way. The game's biggest strength is its capacity to surprise you – be it with clever puzzles, some shockingly morbid subject material or even its occasionally jaw-
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