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

Horizon Zero Dawn: What’s that on the Horizon? Wait, what’s that in the foreground?

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

The Last Guardian – Cantankerous Cats and Catastrophic Cameras

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.

Continue reading

Watch Dogs 2 Makes an Impression

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

Batmobile Coming to Rocket League

The most exciting thing about Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman Vs Superman is that its Batmobile is coming to the still very addictive Rocket League.  Check out the overly dramatic advert:

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Car Pack drops on 8th March, and already looks better than the film. 

Because the film looks shit.

Appetiser – The Divison Beta

Tom Clancy's The Division™ Beta_20160220150849

So The Division open beta has been crowned ‘the biggest beta ever for a new game brand on current generation platforms’, with 6.4 million players taking part in the glorified demo, all playing an average of 5 hours.

I was sceptical of The Division.  In general, RPG MMOs aren’t my cuppa, and after really, really trying to enjoy Destiny I had little hope for Ubisoft’s attempt.  No matter how much it looked like Freedom Fighters – seriously, where is Freedom Fighters 2?

Yet, I was pleasantly surprised by the beta.  Firstly, the network performance was good, with no drops and matchmaking actually working unlike the Rainbow 6 beta.  Secondly, the game was actually okay. Continue reading

Hitman: most exciting thing at E3

Amidst the excitement for Fallout 4 and how pretty Guerrilla Games’ Horizon looked, it was very easy to overlook the most exciting thing at E3 this year: a game about a bald assassin with piercing blue eyes.

Yes, Agent 47 is back. He may part of a franchise that is older than Ubisoft’s run-down assassins, but he’s back, and he’s showing that age can triumph over beauty. Continue reading