On this week’s Kotaku Splitscreen, we implore you to not miss Return of the Obra Dinn, a phenomenal game and contender for 2018's greatest.
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I've been slowly making my way through Return of the Obra Dinn, a moody concept piece (or if you prefer, flashy walking simulator) from Papers, Please creator Lucas Pope. It's a gorgeous game, a triumph of aesthetics over technical grunt, and built around a simple but endlessly pliable concept: investigating a flash-frame of each crew member's final moments, and working out how they died.
I'm roughly halfway through the investigation, by my reckoning, because I've seen the end for around 30 of the characters. After the first few you start to understand where the fun of Obra Dinn lies: this is a grand mystery, filled with unknown alliances and enmities and tragedy and base murder. Piecing it together will be a huge task.
“Realistically I think it’ll take me around half a year,” Lucas Pope wrote four and a half years ago about his game Return of the Obra Dinn, which he released today.
What’s four extra years when the results are this brilliant? Meticulously constructed, from the stippled black-and-white graphics to the intricate, devious logic puzzle at its core, Obra Dinn is a unique and fascinating tragedy.
I'm really looking forward to Return of the Obra Dinn, the next game from Papers, Please creator Lucas Pope. The version at PAX West is much improved from the early demo you may have played, with a much more extensive "ship's log" interface that lets you keep track of all the murder mysteries you have to solve by reliving people's moments of death as you explore a ship in classic Macintosh-style monochrome. It shouldn't be long now before it's out.
Echoing Mark's thoughts, I've a good feeling that quite a few of the year's best titles will be the ones that we simply haven't heard of. Take the Nintendo Switch: nobody knows what's landing on that this year. And then every year has little indies that pop up out of nowhere, like Stardew Valley last year, or Her Story the year before that.
With that in mind, here's the games that we do know about - and the ones I'm most excited for.