#22 – Aliens: Colonial Marines (PC)

I don’t think I’ve ever played an Aliens game that wasn’t Aliens vs. Predator. Except for Aliens Doom. Aliens Doom might be better than Aliens: Colonial Marines. It’s not that it’s a bad game, it’s just not the most exciting game. It feels like it fails to capitalize on the franchises strengths, which are being spooked by aliens that fucking kill you, and watching your friends die all around you. The aliens in this iteration are not very lethal, and they rarely manage to kill anyone except some unnamed scientists. If it weren’t for the dead bodies scattered around, you’d be hard pressed to tell that the aliens are killing anyone at all. They just seem to be bothering people.

And there’s a lot of dumb stuff in this game, even for a video game. Zombie aliens that explode. An ending that goes nowhere. A pointless cameo that fails to explain or justify itself. I mean, Aliens: Colonial Marines isn’t the worst game I’ve ever played, but I’d probably be pretty unhappy if I’d bought it on release for $60. And I’m playing it post-4GB patch that apparently improved the graphics but not much else.

#21 – Tomb Raider (PC)

Tomb Raider (the 2013 one, not the original) is my first Tomb Raider game. I am, of course, well aware of the rest of the games of the series but I never got around to playing them. As much as I enjoy action, 3D platforming isn’t something I enjoy much so I never really gave the Tomb Raider series any attention.

Tomb Raider, however, is fucking great. It’s a good blend of action, platforming, and exploration. There are even tones of Metroid in that your weapons and equipment allow you to move more quickly through previously explored areas, or open up new locations. There are plenty of collectables, but not so many that it feels impossible to find all of them.

A lot of reviews weren’t hot on how Lara is repeatedly physically abused by falls and tumbles and drops but it never seems to affect her performance in game. I, however, do not care. Because it’s a video game. Surely, if Lara Croft were an actual person experiencing the things that happen to her in this game, she would’ve been done from the start with at least half of her ribs broken, and a piece of rebar sticking out of her hip.