Free Lives. Broforce [Devolver Digital, 2015]
Broforce is a non-stop action platformer in the vein of Contra. It takes all of your favorite action heroes from the last 30 years, gives them copyright non-infringing names (like Brobocop and Rambro), their signature weapon, and sets them loose in a variety of missions with a goal to kill terrorists and that's about it. It's mindless and fun, until you get to some of the more platform heavy levels. That's where the fairly loose controls cause the game to suffer. Otherwise it's fun to pick up and play for 15 minutes just to blow stuff up.
Wolf Brew Games. Slain: Back From Hell [Digirati Distribution, 2016]
Slain: Back From Hell is also an action platformer, though much closer to Castlevania than Contra. It's got a great Gothic atmosphere with everything cast in shadows and dripping blood. It also has a great metal soundtrack, as it's scored by Curt Victor Bryant, formally of Celtic Frost. But above all else, it's a real difficult game! You've got a handful of tools to avoid death and damage, and you better get used to them because it's full of enemies and instant-death traps. Like Broforce, it's not a great game but it's a good time killer in small pieces. I felt like I made more progress by rage quitting and coming back after a day or two than trying to stubbornly push through it.
Treyarch. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 [Activision, 2015]
In Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, you are a straight up cyborg who murders a lot of people and robots for a variety of reasons. I wasn't really into it either, until about halfway through. Then the story takes a real turn for the weird and I got way into that. It's got Christopher Meloni, Katee Sackhoff, Robert Picardo, and other celebrities. I couldn't tell you about the multiplayer or zombies, because I didn't touch those but the single player has enough going on for me. Few games do spectacle like Call of Duty.
POSTED BY: brian, sci-fi/fantasy/video game dork and contributor since 2014