Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z. The subject of this installment: Dead Ink, developed and published by Offwidth Games.
Author: Mike Suskie
All That Is Golden
HIGH When the highest location on the map is also a climactic story beat.
LOW Scarlet Rot, this game’s version of the “toxic” ailment.
WTF That thing under Stormveil Castle.
If Elden Ring were the size of a normal From Software game, I’d have finished it by now. I’m 30 hours in — longer than my entire first run of Bloodborne — yet I’d be surprised if I were more than a third of the way through.
2021 was a year that broke our brains just a little bit. You don’t need me to tell you that, and I’ve already spoken about this elsewhere anyway. I finished fewer games this year than any other year in recent memory. As a critic, I’ve generally believed that I should at least make a valiant effort to complete a game before judging it – the more of a work you’ve seen, the more informed your reaction to it will be.
If you’re a frequent and longtime reader of GameCritics, you may have noticed that my output has dried up significantly over the past year. Take a look outside and I don’t think you can blame me. While the hope for a better tomorrow was what kept me running (albeit mostly on fumes) in 2020, that better tomorrow never came, leading to a 2021 in which energy-sapping depression seeped into every aspect of my day-to-day life, right down to my gaming habits. Up became down, hot became cold, and I got way into an MMO for the first time in my life while stuff that would have grabbed me under normal circumstances failed to gain any traction.
Not Exactly Rock Solid
HIGH The visuals.
LOW The visuals.
WTF The visuals.
HIGH Our accumulated skills coming together in the final level.
LOW It’s easy to forget to save.
HIGH Taking someone out with the ball they threw at me.
LOW Microtransactions in a paid release.
WTF Having a dedicated button for the phrase, “Throw me!”
Card For Hire
HIGH Reducing a character’s morale via negotiation, then going in for the kill.
LOW The cluttered interface, especially on Switch.
WTF The alien dialect is actionably similar to Twi’leki.
Shooting Almost Straight
HIGH Getting a grappling hook during a train level.
LOW A big emphasis on unnecessary RPG elements.
WTF Seeing trash mobs materialize right before my eyes.