As in life, many people go head first into video games cocksure and confident of their actions, be it with calculated puzzle solving skills or swift reactions and perfect aim. I am not one of these people.
Save for Tetris – I am okay at Tetris – I doubt every action, question every decision and tentatively hover over every trigger. I’m a gaming mess. A gibbering, bumbling, anxious mess.
And this is why I hate Hellblade, or at least hate playing Hellblade. Continue reading
Vegans are haunted by one particularly annoying hypothetical situation: ‘But what would you eat if you were stranded on a desert island?’ I stopped entertaining this question about a month into being a vegetarian. It’s a cop-out question from people who either can’t or won’t discuss the moral implications of the meat and dairy industry. I now often respond with the equally evasive retort: ‘How many people could actually hunt a damn animal with self-made tools as opposed to foraging?’
But I entertained a similar situation while playing Where the Goats Are by Memory of God, a game about farming goats and chickens in the face of the apocalypse. Continue reading
This Thursday, if all goes to plan, the first episode of Scratching the Itch will be available for your eager ears.
Every two weeks, Luke Kear, Gareth Monk and a lovely guest will delve into a free or cheap indie game – you know, those games that just about scratch the proverbial itch. Feel free to play the games we play so you can completely disagree with our opinions!
In the first episode, we’ll be joined by the delightful Jessica Thomas to talk about Robert Yang’s The Tearoom.
See you then!
By using a little common sense and a lot of strong writing, Prey absolutely hits the nail on the head in its representation of gay characters. The folks over at Arkane Studios are proving to be one of the most capable storytellers in the business with genuinely inventive twists. Even the mimics, Prey’s lowest level enemies, defy their skittish facehugger-like appearance with the ability to mimic any object in the vicinity. As collecting objects is essential, this makes every interaction unsettling.
It’s not that Prey is particularly inventive or even subtle in representing its gay characters but it avoids dimwittedly making a fuss about it. Sexual orientation isn’t of particular importance to the central sci-fi narrative, so it is appropriately not overplayed. That said, Prey is far from coy about its gay characters. They are simply present. Frankly, it’s the finest approach to the woefully unrepresented and misrepresented issue of sexual orientation. Continue reading
Horizon Zero Dawn is a very beautiful game. Whether you’re walking through a lush valley, hunting in a desert or scaling a snowy mountain peak, it never fails to impress with abundant detail. But, it’s also disorienting and forgettable. It epitomises the problems I have with more recent open-world games. Not only is there usually too much to do but there’s too much to take in. Continue reading
From the onset, it’s obvious The Last Guardian is a specifically designed experience. Fumito Ueda and Team Ico are known for their deliberately sparse and evocative worlds but a failure to pay attention to the flawed gameplay undermines such meticulous craft in The Last Guardian, creating a serene world that is equally horrific, beautiful and unnecessarily frustrating.
A quick glance at how the world and story of Watch Dogs 2 are connected; it’s all about making an impression
There was a moment playing Watch Dogs 2 when I wrestled with the god-awful handling of a tiny car and audibly questioned whether it needed to be an open-world game. The appeal of the series was originally its go-anywhere, hack-anything premise, but the apex of the latest game is its characters and off-kilter story.
All I wanted was to experience this without the drudge of getting from A to B. Continue reading