Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire (PC)
Developer: Whale Hammer Games
Publisher: Whale Hammer Games
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There aren’t a lot of games I found myself shattered when I think of how disappointed I was with them. Though there is one game that sticks out to me like a sore thumb and it’s unfortunate since I still think it’s a fun game.
I came into Tahira: Echoes of the Astraal Empire, I think, with far too many expectations based on my experience with The Banner Saga. Tahira manages to be a really interesting proof of concept or a prologue to the real events I thought I was getting from the game itself. I was having a hard time falling in love with the game due to its technical problems and aesthetic disparities. It is hard to connect with the characters you are using when in cutscenes and in between battles you can clearly see the differences in the character portraits, but when in battle they revert to generic templates. The personalities of the main cast were fun, and the gameplay was certainly interesting with its gorilla format. Tahira is mired by just a lack of both content and individuality. It certainly isn’t the worst game I have played all year, but for something that I remember since the first moment I saw it on Steam Greenlight it was disappointing to see what the finished product was, even though I still enjoyed it and can see the potential the story can have.
Other Disappointing Games:
Stories: The Path of Destinies (PS4)
Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: Spearhead Games
The idea of Stories: The Path of Destinies is truly interesting and certainly piques one’s interest, despite the lacking gameplay mechanics it presents. Repeating the same set of scenarios learning about certain elements of its narrative after your untimely death and showing how your choices deeply shift the ending of the story you follow in its own right is great. This is where I can say a game truly takes in your choices and shows how they affect you, learning new elements after each ending you run into, hoping you can attain that final ending which will make everyone happy. Sadly, the game built around this mechanic is a tedious romp of battles that have little to no complexity, and the game at times is too forgiving to care about dying. You run around empty but beautiful levels that lack a sense of diversity in the overall linear focus. The game itself is glitchy and has faults in its basic combat being merely another button masher, but without completely fluid motion. It is like Batman’s Arkham series and its combat, but not as fluid, despite its variation in enemies. It is disappointing purely because of how you can see this idea working exceptionally well, yet it lacks the gameplay in order to truly sell it, often turning into a tedious button masher. Also I am not a fan of the narrator and would have preferred more voice actors to level it out, since the narrator and his lines come off more groan worthy the longer you play.
Developer: Devolver Digital
Publisher: Free Lives
It is fun until you reach the second half of the game where it becomes a nightmare to play through with the amount of slowdowns it has. The final boss battle was so glitchy that I was worried for my PS4. It’s just not a smooth ride, despite the somewhat entertaining dialogue and explosive action it has in the beginning. If you want a good time, it’s best to play the early stages, as many of the later stages when you reach the aliens can overwhelm the screen, making the game run far too slow for comfort. The game desires fast, high octane action, yet doesn’t have the technical prowess to do so. What do you do when you remove the one element from the game that makes it truly fun and enjoyable? You just find something else to fill in that void. Broforce on the PS4 is broken and doesn’t create an ultimately fulfilling experience making it fun with its concept, but never fully with its execution.