Published on August 4th, 2014 | by Tony Odett0
Game of the Month: July 2014
Each month, Critically Sane will select, from the releases in that month, a game that is worthy of our prestigious game of the month award, and sometimes, a few runners up that are worthy of recognition. These games will form the basis of our GOTY discussion later on in the year. Here are our July selections.
Game of the Month: Divinity: Original Sin
I’ve waited so long for a true heir to Baldur’s Gate. Dragon Age: Origins was close, but while fun and sufficiently epic, it lacked the tactical depth for which I yearned. Happily, and thanks to a generous helping of Kickstarter donations, we now have Divinity: Original Sin. This isometric RPG gives me an open world to explore, with numerous quests to complete and characters to rob of all of their belongings. It includes tough, tactical combat, that constantly refreshes itself in new ways, so that each battle is a unique challenge (and repeating the same combat methods over and over will result in your depth). The game includes a deep upgrade system that forces you to make tough choices as your character levels up. The crafting and smithing portions are compelling as well, and Divinity goes as far as to allow your characters to make their own scrolls (for personal use, or for sale).After all that awesome, I haven’t even mentioned the best thing about Divinity: the game is so well designed that you can do pretty much whatever you can think of. Enemies standing in a puddle? Cast a lightning spell on the water for a nice area effect. Don’t have a key to that door? Break it down. Trouble with an enemy with toxic blood? Combine that blood with a fire arrow and make them explode.
Divinity is deep, with a huge world, a wonderful sense of humor (treat yourself by reading the tombstones), and combat puzzles without all the fluff with which you’re normally confronted. Divinity Original Sin is a must –play RPG.
Runner-Up: Sniper Elite 3
No Game of the Month would be complete without a game featuring slow-motion testicle shots. Sniper Elite 3 did do a wonderful job of presenting a well-paced, methodical campaign that felt complete and just fun to play. While each level was not as open and grand as my beloved Bad Company series, it was still far more open in terms of options as opposed to other shooters on consoles. The slow-motion feature is also a welcome one, and made those well-placed shots all the more satisfying. Oh, and you kill Nazis, so there’s that.