Prey is Gay (and that’s bloody fantastic)

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

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The Evil Within – less bargain bucket, more bargain bin

 

Horrors and thrillers are somewhat Marmite genres. Beyond the hate it or love it motif – who am I, the Game? – the analogy relates more to whether the genre works for you or not.

For me, Alien: Isolation was a game that exercised tension. For others, it was a game that tested a player’s bowel controls. For some reason scary games struggle to scare me. Bear this in mind when reading the following.

Shinji Mikami is considered a legend in videogame circles, and with Resident Evil and Vanquish under his belt how could he not? Sadly, for those hoping a return to what made the now flailing Resident Evil series exciting, The Evil Within is not it. It is not scary. It is a slightly broken, kind of alright game with an absolutely dog-shit narrative. It opens to a very weak first hour but quickly finds its mediocre size 8 feet.

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Review: Wolfenstein – The New Order

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Once the game loads, the player is greeted by a pounding grunge-tinged soundtrack and the severe face of a hardened war-ready (not completely bald!) soldier.  Then, before you start the campaign, the player picks their difficulty option which ranges from can I play, daddy? and I am death incarnate!, all accompanied with comic depictions of BJ’s face.  This jarring juxtaposition between humour and horror is both Wolfenstein The New Order’s strength and weakness. Continue reading

First Course: Wolfenstein – The New Order

Slight spoiler if you have avoided this game completely.

Just over half way through the new iteration of the Wolfenstein series, and it has taken me this long to realise just what it is all about.  In fact, it was the moment that I played the original Wolfenstein 3D in which BJ Blazkowicz has a nostalgia tinted nightmare – surely you know about this awesome easter egg by now? – that it hit me. Continue reading