South Park: The Fractured But Whole Shouldn’t be an RPG

The response to South Park: The Fractured But Whole has been conflicted.  Critics say the predecessor was funnier, while fans accuse the critics of failing to understand the show’s comedy. Continue reading

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Hellblade or: How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Appreciate Horror

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

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.