Categories
Gaming Reviews Stadia

Review: Gylt

Developer: Tequila Works

Publisher: Tequila Works

Genre: Stealth, Adventure

Platforms: Stadia

Rating: T for Teen

Price: $29.99

 

Leading up to its launch, Gylt really didn’t make much of a splash. Everyone knew it as “the one Stadia exclusive,” but beyond that, it felt like little effort was even made to make the world aware of its pending release. Now, with the launch of Stadia, Gylt is out, and while it may not drive people to play Stadia, it’s proven itself as a decent stealth game.


Content Guide

Spiritual Content: The game contains scary monsters and creepy living dolls, as well as some big bads with otherworldly design.

Violence: There are monsters that will physically attack and scream at you. There are scenes with mannequins positioned in ways that show children getting bullied. Sally can push monsters or hurt them with concentrated flashlight and fire extinguisher smoke.

Language/Crude Humor: While not particularly foul in the traditional sense, the game is full of bullying language. There’s a lot of graffiti with insulting or mocking language.

Positive Themes: The game employs problem-solving skills to solve puzzles and defeat or bypass monsters. You can also see our protagonist, Sally, grow as a person over the course of the game.


Review

Sally’s younger cousin, Emily, has recently gone missing. While others appear not to care, Sally is focused on finding her young relative. Her plan becomes a reality after a spooky old man offers her a tram ticket to help her find Emily.

The narrative is relatively light on story beats. But what it lacks in exposition, it makes up for with contextual storytelling. The world itself gives you a load of clues to help decipher what’s happened and why. While I wouldn’t call Gylt a fantastic story and the characters particularly compelling, I think it tells a tale that will resonate with many of us.

In terms of gameplay, Gylt is a pretty simple stealth action game. As Sally wanders around the town, she’ll want to hide in shadows to avoid the attention of the monster horde. She can throw soda cans to distract the creatures momentarily while she scrambles from one spot to another.

Should she be seen, Sally has a couple tools at her disposal to deal with monsters. As with many bullying situations, Sally’s most effective means early on is to run. Beyond that, she can shove to make enough room for getting by when cornered. Later in the game, she’s given an amplified flashlight that can target weak points and a fire extinguisher to freeze foes.

One of my favorite design choices in Gylt is with the game’s healing items. When she’s hurt, Sally can regain some health (and, perhaps, composure?) with a quick puff on her inhaler. As someone who grew up with asthma, it was a cute little detail I could personally identify with. Kudos to the team at Tequila Works for devising such a relatable mechanic.

Gylt has some memorable gameplay moments, including a few boss fights. For anyone who’s well seasoned with stealth games, though, there’s nothing particularly exciting or interesting to experience mechanically. What Gylt does, it does well—with the sole exception of enemy intelligence. Monsters could be described as lackadaisical, often giving up the hunt after a few seconds without particularly strenuous effort on your part. It’s fun, though, and there’s a decent bit of enemy variety for the short adventure game.

Gylt is a fair looking game. In my experience, it runs fairly well on Stadia with only the occasional hiccup for controller re-sync (which appears to be a Stadia-level issue, not an issue with Gylt). The game’s art style is both whimsical and evocative, reinforcing the idea that Sally and Emily are children trapped in a dark, twisted reality. Gylt also has good sound design, with creepy gurgling coming from monsters and tracks that match the on-screen tension.

Gylt is currently trapped in a bit of a catch-22. Though simplistic, it’s a fun stealth game with good worldbuilding and a sincere message. It’s currently the world’s only Stadia-exclusive game, and, after the platform’s mediocre reception, Tequila Works is probably regretting their decision to make it as such. For the sake of the game, we can only hope Stadia will turn things around, or we might see Gylt on other platforms in the near-future. It deserves to have more eyes on it.

Categories
Gaming Reviews Stadia

Review: Google Stadia

The Google Stadia has arrived and general reception to the platform has been nothing more than lukewarm. Stadia’s launch was mired with technical hiccups and awkward issues. Even a few weeks after the launch, the platform still has some issues, but Google’s inaugural effort into the world of gaming has proved that the future of cloud gaming could be viable.

Stadia’s primary selling point is the ability to be able to play your video games from anywhere, leveraging Google’s cloud and livestreaming technologies to serve players HD gaming in 60 fps at a dynamic resolution based on your bandwidth. In practice, this actually works fairly well…most of the time.

As an early adopter, I purchased the Launch Edition. This included a Chromecast Ultra with Stadia firmware and the Stadia controller, which looks like a modern Xbox or PlayStation controller, but communicates with Google via WiFi. In the time since launch, Google has released Stadia-compatible firmware for anyone with a Chromecast Ultra. Speaking of the Chromecast Ultra, while it can communicate wirelessly, it comes built with an Ethernet port and I would highly recommend Stadia players to hardwire it. It will make a significant difference.

Let’s be frank. The Stadia’s launch was frustrating for owners everywhere, and I wasn’t immune. Initial setup required downloading the Stadia app on my phone (with no other way to make it work), then connecting my Google account to it, which required a confirmation code Google didn’t send out before I received my unit. After 10-15 minutes marrying my Chromecast to my phone and my controller to my wireless network, I was setup. I just had to get some games and go.

While game purchasing at the time of launch was restricted to the mobile app, it was a relatively quick, painless process. I added Destiny 2 and Samurai Shodown to my library as part of the Stadia Pro account, a monthly service that provides a couple games, like Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, and access to 4K and surround sound. I also used my Google Pay account to buy Gylt, the platform exclusive stealth action game from Tequila Works.

Jumping into Destiny 2 was a breeze. I tied my accounts together through Bungie, then just clicked “Launch” on the game from my app (yep, you still have to kick everything off from the app if you’re playing on your Chromecast), and it was up and running, ready for me to select my character and drop in.

While the initial launch was quick with no install required as promised, the Stadia still has notable concerns at this point. Getting into the game still requires loading screens that take as long as my Xbox One X or PC. On top of that, Bungie admitted their Stadia version is graphically inferior to other platforms, so there’s a noticeable graphic difference, even at a smooth 60 FPS.

Ultimately, for Stadia, the proof is in the pudding. As long as your network is up and running well, you’re probably going to have a good experience playing the Stadia. On launch, Destiny 2 had a painful half second of aim delay for me. In the weeks since that period however, I’ve played half of a dozen games across a range of genres that all held up great with one concern: every half of an hour or so, the controller takes about thirty seconds to re-sync itself, which can seriously hamper any gameplay experience.

I really like the platform. I think the controller feels great. I’ve beaten Gylt, and I’ve put another dozen hours into GridDestiny 2, and Darksiders Genesis. You can also switch playing from Chromecast to Chrome browser to your phone at the drop of a hat, which is impressive.

Speaking of games, let’s discuss Stadia’s library. They launched with 22 games and recently added GridBorderlands 3, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint. They have a decent offering right now including shooters, racing games, stealth action, and fighters, but they need to continue growing their library, possibly with some slower-paced games. I’d love to see some turn-based games, like the phenomenal Trails of Cold Steel RPG series, make an appearance here.

I can’t help but feel like Google should’ve waited another six to nine months to get their ducks in a row. As of the time of this review, they have instituted an Achievements system that can’t be seen from the mobile app, and you can capture screenshots in game but they’re only viewable from the mobile app. Weird idiosyncrasies like this make the platform feel like it was rushed to market with no real reason for the rush. With Google’s history of abandoning ill-performing sectors of business, it’s a legitimate cause for concern. 

I really like the Stadia, but it has an overwhelming set of issues that still need to be panned out. They need to continue growing their library and work on stability and infrastructure. Google also needs to make it known that they plan to support this platform for the foreseeable future so customers aren’t skittish about platform adoption. As it stands, I can’t recommend anyone pay $120 to pick up the platform before they bring it out for mass public consumption via browser, and that makes me sad. It has, however, proven to me that a future of streamed cloud games could be viable, and it has me excited to see what Microsoft’s xCloud could do.

Categories
Community Podcast

GUGcast: Episode 199 – Our Thoughts on Google Stadia

Find us on PodbeanApple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Spotify!

This week we are geeking out about Joe’s first impressions on Stadia, movie sequels, and Cody geeks out about the new Vikings show. We answer a question on the funniest games we’ve ever played.

 

 

GAMING

Link coming to Mario Maker 2
https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/12/the_legend_of_zelda_is_coming_to_super_mario_maker_2

 

Twitch streamer sets record for most hours streamed in 30 days
https://gamerant.com/stream-record-hours-november/

 

 

MOVIES

Alita Producer Presses For Sequel
https://screenrant.com/alita-battle-angel-2-disney-producer-sequel/

 

Vin Diesel Sequels
https://screenrant.com/vin-diesel-bloodshot-movie-last-witch-hunter-sequel/

 

Batman Spin-Offs
https://screenrant.com/batman-birds-prey-movie-spinoff-sequel-actors-contracts/

 

 

 

TELEVISION

 

Vikings Sequel Valhalla 
https://screenrant.com/vikings-tv-show-sequel-valhalla-netflix/

 

Walking Dead: World Beyond
https://screenrant.com/walking-dead-spinoff-world-beyond-announcement-teaser/


Simpsons Is Not Cancelling
https://screenrant.com/the-simpsons-not-ending-al-jean/

 

 

 

 

MORE INFO

 

Send us your questions!
[email protected]

Represent the Podcast with the official shirt!
www.geeksundergrace.com/shop

 

For more Geeks Under Grace:
http://www.geeksundergrace.com
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http://www.twitter.com/geeksundergrace
http://www.twitch.tv/geeksundergrace
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Categories
Community Podcast

GUGcast: Episode 198 – Star Wars, Disney+, and More!

Find us on PodbeanApple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Spotify!

This week, most of the news and what we are geeking out about is related to Disney+ and Star Wars. We discuss our thoughts on the platform along with the Mandalorian, and L.J. gives his thoughts on Jedi: Fallen Order.

 

 

GAMING

Google Stadia increases lineup to 22 games
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/google-stadia-will-now-launch-with-22-games/1100-6471523/

 

Geoff Keighley teases two world premier gameplay trailers
https://gamerant.com/the-game-awards-2019-world-premieres/

 

Half-Life VR game full reveal on Thursday
https://www.pcgamer.com/rumour-valve-are-about-to-announce-a-vr-game-called-half-life-alyx/

 

 

MOVIES

Nicolas Cage Movie (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent)
https://screenrant.com/nicholas-cage-playing-himself-new-movie/

 

Marvel Adds 5 New Movies To Slate
https://screenrant.com/mcu-release-dates-new-2022-2023/

 

Release The Snyder Cut!
https://screenrant.com/justice-league-snyder-cut-cast-zack-snyder-support/

 

How To Train Your Dragon Homecoming
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foRey00Xoq8

 

 

TELEVISION

Disney+ Expiration Dates
https://screenrant.com/disney-plus-expiration-dates/

 

Marvel’s Runaways Canceled
https://screenrant.com/marvel-runaways-cancelled-season-3-trailer/

 

Netflix Nickelodeon Deal
https://screenrant.com/netflix-nickelodeon-deal-spongebob-spinoff/

 

 

MORE INFO

 

Send us your questions!
[email protected]

Represent the Podcast with the official shirt!
www.geeksundergrace.com/shop

 

For more Geeks Under Grace:
http://www.geeksundergrace.com
http://www.youtube.com/geeksundergrace
http://www.twitter.com/geeksundergrace
http://www.twitch.tv/geeksundergrace
https://www.patreon.com/GeeksUnderGrace

 
Categories
Community Podcast

GUGcast: Episode 197 – The Scooby-Doo Origin Story

Find us on PodbeanApple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Spotify!

This week on the podcast we discuss China’s video game curfew, the new trailer for SCOOB!, and the importance of Marvel’s Disney+ shows. We also answer a question in relation to D&D and authority figures.

 

Shawn’s D&D article:
http://www.geeksundergrace.com/tabletop/christians-play-dd/

 

GAMING

China’s radical gaming curfew gaming limits
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/china-is-cracking-down-on-online-gaming-over-fears/1100-6471262/

 

Guerilla Games co-founder now president of Playstation Worldwide
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/guerrilla-games-co-founder-is-the-new-head-of-play/1100-6471251/

 

Google announces Stadia launch lineup
https://blog.google/products/stadia/lineup-games-coming-to-stadia/

 

 

MOVIES

SCOOB! trailer
https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=ZnKvQbpDYXU

 

Dan Akroyd confirms the original cast is returning for next Ghostbusters (2020)
https://screenrant.com/ghostbusters-original-cast-2020-akyroyd-murray-confirmed/

 

Star Wars movies officially on hiatus after Rise of Skywalker (via Bob Iger)
https://screenrant.com/star-wars-disney-hiatus-after-rise-skywalker/

 

 

 

TELEVISION

Titans season 3 renewal
https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/11/11/dc-universes-titans-season-3-renewal-announcement?sf112281449=1

 

Loki and Wanda Vision will tie into Doctor Strange 2
https://screenrant.com/loki-tv-show-doctor-strange-2-connect-mcu/

 

Stranger Things 4 first episode references X-Men
https://screenrant.com/stranger-things-season-4-premiere-x-men-hellfire-club/

 

 

MORE INFO

 

Send us your questions!
[email protected]

Represent the Podcast with the official shirt!
www.geeksundergrace.com/shop

 

For more Geeks Under Grace:
http://www.geeksundergrace.com
http://www.youtube.com/geeksundergrace
http://www.twitter.com/geeksundergrace
http://www.twitch.tv/geeksundergrace
https://www.patreon.com/GeeksUnderGrace