THE PEOPLE IN TACOMA

My main criticism of Gone Home and all the games derived from it is its lack, kind of covert lack, of human characters. It’s about love, sex, loss and family but although you read some diaries and look at a lot of curios, in an admittedly really well-captured mid-nineties American home, you don’t actually talk […]

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HIDEO KOJIMA AND WOMEN

The first Metal Gear Solid I think is a terrific horror game and political thriller. I think you care about who everyone is, you’re scared, you’re uncertain and it even picks at videogames themselves in ways much defter than he does in his later work. The second one predates BioShock and has a deliberately spiteful […]

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PROCEDURAL DEHUMANISATION

Procedural generation, of the sort which automatically creates videogame levels using an algorithm, is not to me an exciting new technology. I understand independent game-makers use it to cheaply build products (I refuse to call a game created by this method anything other than a product) that might compete, size-wise, with published and larger-budgeted works. […]

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SPEAK UP, DiRT 4

At the centre of sports games is a contradiction. They have top athletes on their covers and reverence for the sport they’re recreating, and generally insist that whatever we’re doing in-game isn’t something we could ever do in real-life. But they also, like almost every videogame, want us to win and to feel good, so […]

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SHUT UP, OLD MAN’S JOURNEY

Since he is able to literally move mountains and, in one sequence, traverse effortlessly the bottom of the ocean, the eponymous central character in Old Man’s Journey – despite the game’s mawkishness – appears not forlorn or sympathetic, but powerful and able. If one were willing to co-operate with this game, they might argue that dragging […]

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