The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for writing a very small intro to your collection of fine (mostly) game related writing from across the week, because you want to include a massive quote in the first story. Oh – I will try not to link to some noisy pop music. I will.

  • Remember Magnasanti? The ultimate Sim City 3000 city? Well, Francisco Alberto points me in the direction of Vice’s interview with its creator, which is strong stuff. Example quote: “There are a lot of other problems in the city hidden under the illusion of order and greatness: Suffocating air pollution, high unemployment, no fire stations, schools, or hospitals, a regimented lifestyle – this is the price that these sims pay for living in the city with the highest population. It’s a sick and twisted goal to strive towards. The ironic thing about it is the sims in Magnasanti tolerate it. They don’t rebel, or cause revolutions and social chaos. No one considers challenging the system by physical means since a hyper-efficient police state keeps them in line. They have all been successfully dumbed down, sickened with poor health, enslaved and mind-controlled just enough to keep this system going for thousands of years. 50,000 years to be exact. They are all imprisoned in space and time.” Go read.
  • Tom Jubert – Narrative Designer on Penumbra – has started blogging. Plot is Gameplay’s Bitch. It’s striking stuff so far, and impressively candid. Here’s him picking over the strong reactions to a little interactive dialogue he wrote. Here’s an interview with Richard Dansky of Tom Clancy fame. And here’s him working out whatever to make of Egron/Logos.
  • Magical Nihilism wonders whether our new leaders have ever played Civilization. They totally could have.
  • Roguelike Developer Andrew Doull, after playing Shattered Horizon, is depressed about the lack of near-future science-fiction games. I think he’s got a point – especially about the fact it needs a little intellectual rigour to make work being a design limitation which developers shy away from.
  • J Nash is still dropping his occasional science at his Or Something, archiving his nineties games reviews. Here’s him on Toonstruck, in a relatively straight mode. And here’s him taking apart Speris Legacy, in a fine example of why he’s one of the few games writers I still have excited hushed conversations about with fellow believers, a decade and a half later. And here’s him kicking Blackstone Chronicles for PCG which – if I remember correctly – lead to an odd weak where he kept on sneaking into the office to change the mark back to 3% from 4%.
  • Seems amiss not to mention it: one of the bigger talking points this week was when Quinns review of the first Age of Conan add-on got pulled from Eurogamer. Here’s Warpcore breach with a little commentary. It’s a shame Quinns hasn’t got a statement out on this, really. I wouldn’t be expecting one soon because…
  • He’s now traveling across the Far East at the moment, having recieved a hot lead for Gaming’s Citizen Kane. No, really.
  • Following on from my session at Gamecamp, Denby over at Game Set Watch has a little think about how much you actually embody your character in videogames.
  • Gaming Daily interviews Erin Robinson about the John-Walker loved Puzzlebots. Oh – and they’ve also finished their own Neptune’s Pride diary. Hurrah for long-form diary pieces!
  • Coilhouse on Kiana Firouz which is worth your attention if you’re a Brit. Good work on Meredith Yayanos trying to get to the bottom of it all too.
  • A week’s a long time in… you, you know. Lots of excellent political writing across this week. My favourite was Matt Sheret’s over at Global Comment talking about the netroots, because it’s looking forward rather than smearing ashes in its face. The Future’s Never Over.
  • It’s the sort of music-talking-point of the week. Are you PRO! or ANTI! Sleigh Bells. Perhaps inevitably – because they sound like the logical cross-collaboration between Betty Boo and Nuclear War – I dig ’em. NPR are streaming the album at the moment, so you can make up your own mind. I’d start with Infinity Guitars, as it’s called Infinity Guitars.

Failed.

116 Comments

  1. Falsus says:

    That piece with the creator of Magnasanti was really heavy and thought-provoking, an excellent way to start The Sunday Papers!

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I think it’s worthwhile comparing the comment thread for the original story to the interview. As in, he’s much, much, smarter than anyone gave him credit for. He had a *point*.

      KG

    • Falsus says:

      That comment thread is really disappointing when you’re used to the ones we sport here at RPS. :/

    • Starky says:

      OMG that guy iz such a noobzor no lifer… sad guy wholl neva get laids lolololz

      (My god that was painful to type)

    • leeder_krenon says:

      the comment thread is pure vice. a magazine read by a bunch of nathan barleys.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      “how can he possibly make commentary about reality via a computer game. ” – J, Vice Comments

      Christ, that’s depressing…

  2. Heliocentric says:

    If you like i can post *first* or something.

  3. Tei says:

    “Watch this and get scared”

    Soo true. Magnasanti really polarize feelings.

  4. Lack_26 says:

    Have Sleigh Bells got an album out now? Just checked, yey, I’ve been a fan for a year or two now and I’ve been waiting for them to get the album finished.

    Also, I wonder how bad Quinns review really was, he doesn’t seem like the type who would right a review that would be pulled for quality control.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Lack_26: It’s linked in the comments thread of the piece I link to. From what I understand, it being pulled was nothing to do with anything in the actual review.

      KG

    • Lack_26 says:

      Thanks for the hint (Also I appeared to have misspelled ‘write’, doy).

    • Lack_26 says:

      After reading the repost of his review (link to vetarnias.bravehost.com), it’s a good piece of writing, the comment about communism was in a caption under a screenshot (a place usually reserved for jest in otherwise serious reviews). I don’t know factual errors in the review, but I’m not convinced they warranted the amount of derision he’s received in the comments threads. Also, the quotes, of the article, from the comments thread sound a lot better when in context.

    • Starky says:

      Seems to me it was pulled because the squealing of a bunch of fan boys scared the eurogamer editors into it.

      The review is fine. Clearly aimed at the vast majority of readers who may have trialed Conan and never done more, who have never really put any time into it. As consumer advice to a potential new buyer it serves it’s purpose well.

      Hell he spells it out plainly: “So, in all probability, you’re the same as me: a thousand miles away from Rob’s rippling virtual muscles and proud collection of “alts”, and simply curious as to whether Rise of the Godslayer makes Age of Conan something worth playing – or returning to. ”

      A few minor mistakes don’t invalidate the whole – who cares if he put 10 hours in or 50…
      If playing a MMO for 10 hours isn’t fun, then adding another 40 onto your playtime won’t change that.

      He admits he’s not a AoC expert up front, and that’s fine.

      Sadly the screaming fanboys seem to demand that the reviewer be an expert for MMO’s where as the rest of us, don’t give a damn how many zones there are, we just want to know if it is fun and if it sustains that fun enough to be worthy of a subscription.

      The answer that review gives is clearly no.

    • Auspex says:

      “Phew, this is turning into a dismal review, isn’t it?”

      Fun!
      The only real problem with the review is this paragraph:

      “Age of Conan already had redundant abilities and a wealth of tactical options, so with the addition of dozens more perks and powers, character advancement can begin to feel a little sordid. Dropping into one of the level 80 characters Funcom kindly provided me with, I found myself having to study four racks of abilities and stances with at least a dozen more powers sat eagerly in menus, waiting to be given slots. But then once I did figure out what I was doing I found I could slouch through every fight with the same series of combos.”

      I have never played AoC but I assume it looks overly complicated but is actually quite simple. The above paragraph is a bit awkward though and yells “this is review I am doing!” I never read Eurogamer reviews though so it may be keeping to their style. It isn’t nearly as good as the Quinns stuff on RPS.
      Oh I realised I read his Plain SIght review on Euro and that was really good…
      Rambling!

    • Slaphead says:

      Quinns also talks about a supposed gap in stuff to do between levels 50-80. That problem has been remedied about a year ago with the addition of two zones, one *huge* and a second, large one. Plus several group dungeons. The new lvl 20-40 zone is just intended to add a new leveling path past those levels.
      I resubbed for the expansion, and I’m fairly pleased so far. While I was gone, they’ve fixed yet more usability kinks,expanded the stuff you can do in the guild cities, the alternate advancement and faction systems seem fun, and there’s a massive amount of new quests.
      The only annoying thing is the client instability, which isn’t a new thing for Funcom. That has always gotten resolved in the past, so I trust they’ll sort it out now too.

      I don’t really get the claims of “unimaginativeness”. The visual style is intended to mimic the low fantasy look of the first Conan movie, and Frank Frazetta paintings etc. You can’t get too wild with sky-piercing towers and floating rocks and whatnot, if you try to do that. Which I’m glad for, since I’ve seen enough high fantasy stuff to last a lifetime.
      I guess the realistic-ish chinese & mongol visuals served by the game will look “unimaginative”, if you’re used to those of Guild Wars or the even more ludicrous versions served by Japanese and Korean games.

    • Slaphead says:

      And, I don’t really see a reason for pulling the review. The guy might be wrong with several points, but that does’t mean the review is invalid. All reviews are opinion pieces anyway. He probably should have read the past patch notes to check up on what’s changed since he last tried the game, though.

      AoC does still have the problems common with most MMOs. Like the relentless grindiness of the end content. At least they added the time based perk leveling option for the AA system, so my characters advance a tiny bit while I’m busy doing overtime at work.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I seriously doubt Quinns did a bad piece. Eurogamer are just cowards. Just like people refusing to bring the score down on new Ubisoft games because they’re unplayable, these games sometimes NEED to be taken down a peg or two.

      I don’t know if this is or is going to become a habit of Eurogamer’s, but they need to stop and stand behind their reviewer. At the very least, put out more than one opinion but stand by the first one. They should’ve stood behind the Darkfall review (that game was terrible).

      And who the hell pressured them to take the review down? I can’t imagine Conan has that many players.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “And who the hell pressured them to take the review down? I can’t imagine Conan has that many players.”

      Check the comments on what remains of the review. Those that it does have are apparently vocal.

      Like many I’m fairly unsold on the idea of MMO reviews. If the EG reviewer really did his Darkfall review after two hours in game, then his opinion is barely worth reading to anyone seriously interested in playing the game. The experience just isn’t going to be consistent enough for that two hours to be worth anything. Especially as MMOs seem to practically require emotional investment (in terms of guilds etc) to actually be enjoyable in the least, as the tedious gameplay mechanics certainly aren’t conducive to having a good time.

    • Lambchops says:

      @ Lilliput King

      I don’t quite buy the weight of complaining comments as their reason. If that was the case then Ellie Gibson’s review of Alan Wake would have had to go through the digital equivalent of being burnt and having it’s ashes buried under several feet of concrete and subsequently had a hospital for sick children built over it to remove any chance that anyone would try and exhume them.

      if it is their reason then that seems particularly unfair on Quinns.

    • Manley Pointer says:

      So I’m guessing it was pulled based on Eurogamer either deciding the game hadn’t been played long enough, or deciding that they wanted a longtime player (Fahey) to write the review after all. It probably would have been more interesting just to run a review by him as a counterpoint, so you’d have one by both an outsider and a (probably more positive) veteran. I’m sure MMO reviews are always problematic, as “play it to the end” is a basic guideline for reviewing, but of course MMOs don’t really end.

      I wonder what length of playtime magazines typically require for an MMO review — 80 hours? 100? It would be pretty easy to verify how much the reviewer had actually played before the review was published (if you required them to submit a screenshot of total time logged), rather than be embarrassed AFTER publication when the developer says “your reviewer only logged 10 hours” or whatever. I don’t have any idea whether that’s the case here, but it has been the case in retracted reviews of multiplayer/online games before.

      This seems like a lot of commotion over a game that nearly everyone thinks is shit; I guess Eurogamer really wants to appear to give the game a fair shot (even though they’ve already rereviewed it twice?). As the start of the review points out, if Eurogamer wanted a review from an expert, they would have had Fahey do it. If you ask an outsider, they might make some of the excellent points that the retracted review made, about how the game’s ability choices are much less significant or interesting than those in singleplayer RPGs. It’s true of most MMOs, sure, but that doesn’t mean AoC is less guilty of doing the same thing.

      The one curious omission from the review was any mention of the game’s quests. Boring quest design/money-grinding is the reason I’ve burned out on every MMO I’ve played, and I think they’re a huge part of a game’s design. Yet the retracted review doesn’t really mention any characters, dialogue, or notable quests (only scenery); was that because this AoC expansion sucked at all that stuff? If it did, that probably would have been worth saying.

  5. Spann says:

    I think you need to spell it ‘frist’.

    Or tell someone to ‘fuck of hope yr mum gets aids’

    The Sleigh Bells is all kinds of great.

  6. the wiseass says:

    Based on that warpcorebreach article I think it was a wise decision from Eurogamer to pull Quinns review, because…

    • Starky says:

      … flying monkeys would snuff out all life on earth had it remained.

    • robrob says:

      … you touch yourself at night.

    • the wiseass says:

      … obviously you guys don’t get the joke.
      Ah well, to be honest, I could care less if this review was pulled or not. I haven’t read the piece and therefore can’t comment on it. I doubt that it was so abysmal that it had to be removed and I can imagine Quinns not being very happy about it.
      Game reviews are mostly a blatant form of opinionism and as we know, opinions are like arseholes, everybody got one. So why get all worked up over a bad/good review?
      I don’t throw myself off a bridge if Roger Ebert doesn’t like the same movies as I do. Or to put it otherwise: “Well, that’s like, just your opinion, man.” And as long as we don’t get any background information as to why the article actually was removed (which I guess will never happen), it’s all just worthless speculation, because…
      Oh and yes, I touch myself at night and it’s great :P

    • Lorc says:

      You COULDN’T care less. “I could care less” means exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to say.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Lorc: Let’s not turn this into a “things the Americans say differently to the UK”. Clearly, we’re right, but you get what he means. Roll with it.

      KG

    • Slaphead says:

      @the wiseass


      I doubt that it was so abysmal that it had to be removed and I can imagine Quinns not being very happy about it.

      It was the worst piece from him I’ve read so far. The whole article radiated “I just can’t be arsed to find out how this game works” and it had factual mistakes that could affect people’s buying decisions.
      Still, it shouldn’t have been pulled. Publishing a correction would be just fine.

    • RedFred says:

      @ KG: To agree with you. The metric system. BOOM. Argument finished.

    • Wulf says:

      @Lorc

      Really? I always took it as sarcastic, intended to mean (when spelled out) “As if there was something in the world that I care less about.”

      Just because it’s different doesn’t mean that it has to be wrong, just that it’s a different way of saying things. I used to get hung up on the like when I was younger, but with the years I’ve realised that actually fighting the tide stunts our ability to communicate, and language in general. These days I like figuring out how something works rather than just outright saying it’s incorrect.

  7. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Concerning Quinns review, I’m siding with him. There are a few points that I think were the most criticized for the wrong reasons. It’s a case of critic the critic. And the manner they did this showed the exact same level of misinterpretation they accuse Quinn’s review of.

    I’m taking the comments of one tiny_Callo:

    “The reviewer did not like the first game. So it is absurd that he is the one who reviewed the game (this point is not so strong so lets go to nr. 2)

    No. That’s actually a good point. Perhaps the only good one you make in your entire criticism of the review. It is a good argument. However it seems to imply Quinn already approached his review of the game with stones in his hands. The little I know of Quinn, I’m pretty sure he didn’t. He did his job as he has learned to. And the result has been that; more bad things to say about the game than good ones. And I’m surprised this is a surprise. Or is it that there aren’t bad games out there?

    Conan is low fantasy – even the amount of fantasy present is a bit to much for conan universe. As for him saying that the architecture and the world is unimaginative it makes me wonder if he played the game AT ALL. Because he is the first person I know or I have read that said something negative about probably the most beatiful MMORPG on the market.

    The first in a series of examples of misinterpretation of Quinn’s review. And another example of the trend that is running today among gamers (and many developers alike) that confuse imagination with beauty. They have nothing to do with each other.

    Quinn comment was about the lack of adherence to the typical Conan world imagery. A lack of imagination in adapting the oriental motif to that world of Conan. Something that Quinn almost surely knows better than this reviewer of his review, because his comments betray the fact he probably never read Marvel’s Conan, Howard’s Conan or Lancer’s Conan.

    It’s a fact, the game totally bypasses Conan world. The oriental setting makes no effort to adapt to this. It’s a fac-simile of itself and then it places monsters in there. What can happen is that someone agrees or disagrees with this. But It’s the reviewer task to speak his mind and to expose what he feels are the problem areas of the game.

    A less accurate reviewer, a less professional reviewer, a less interested reviewer, wouldn’t even have the knowledge or experience to think this far in their review. Quinn did. That alone shows his competence.

    I would have a lot more to say. But unfortunately this would become a long post on a comment box. Maybe I should address this in my blog in the next few hours. Because it’s part of a more serious problem I envision… the condition of free press.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      I managed to read the review before it got pulled – was nicely written and informative, I think it got 6/10. Seems pretty shabby to have it removed.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Excellently said, sir. The other point I’d raise, having had a look at the review, the comment thread and the warpcorebreached article, it seems as though one of the biggest sources of complaint was the idle “Conan vs Communism” throwaway gag. I should have thought it was obvious to anyone reading it that it was simply a joke, albeit not a terribly funny one.

      In all honesty, its not even a terribly negative review with a final score of 6/10. While we can debate whether numerical scores are worthwhile or not, six out of ten is pretty clear in its declaration, if you like Age of Conan and want some more in a different locale, this is for you; if you haven’t played it yet, I shouldn’t trouble myself if I were you. Thats pretty much the function of a review, no?

  8. radomaj says:

    “Treats”, indeed.

  9. Auspex says:

    Just out of interest was that AoC review one of the ones that Quinns needed a graphics card leant to him shortly before a review deadline?

    I am not implying anything!
    (I might be implying something)

    Loving Sleigh Bells though.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      He goes through video cards like candy, apparently.

      This is not the first time this has been an issue for him. That, or he made a lot of comments about the video card, then those got spaced out over the timespan of like, a year.

  10. pupsikaso says:

    You have failed to mention having failed to not include a link to noisy pop music.

  11. terry says:

    The Speris Legacy was a bit crap, really. If they’d ripped off Zelda slightly more than they did it wouldn’t have been awful, but it would have essentially been Zelda on the AMIGA, which seemed to be the whole point of the exercise. Sort of like Superfrog was some sort of Sonic wannabe. Not Team17’s greatest, anyway.

    • LaundroMat says:

      It was a bit crap, and very boring. Apart from Project X and the Alien Breed series (even the 3D ones), I suddenly seem to realise that Team 17 wasn’t (isn’t?) that great a games developer really.

    • Helm says:

      Speris Legacy was not developed by Team 17. They just published it. Not to say Team 17 are game development gods… most of their games haven’t held up.

  12. Feet says:

    “Anything else you’d like to add?
    If anyone’s wondering, I am not autistic, or a savant, nor suffer from OCD, or suffer from any other form of clinical mental disease or illness for that matter.”

    Heh.

  13. Thelonious says:

    That Kiana Firouz story is appalling. Fair play to you guys for doing your part to raise awareness.

  14. Dante says:

    I recall seeing a clip from the daily show in which a US Senator/Congressman (I forget which) admits to having played Civ 4 in a discussion on games. I guess if they were going to have played any game, the game of global domination would be it.

    Just keep them away from Defcon.

    • Gritz says:

      I hope none of our leaders decide to rule the way I play Civ 4, or else our forests would be clearcut, pollution would generally be ignored, and overpopulation problems would be solved with inappropriate uses of slave labor.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Or, conversely, all public projects would be cancelled and all of the nation’s revenue would be dedicated to building a space ship to get us off this doomed rock…

  15. Gassalasca says:

    These Sleigh Bells folks aren’t half bad, though clearly not my specific cup of hot, soothing beverage.

  16. Clovis says:

    Ahh … I thought it was really odd how nobody in Magnasanti lived past 50 …

  17. Radiant says:

    I hope quinns gets his side of the story out because he is very obviously going to be killed, fucked and then eaten.

    If, by some straw hat in a fire’s chance, this turns out not to be the case then he is making a huge school boy error:

    Fancy pink decorated paper = fat bird.

    • Heliocentric says:

      If the paper is printed in a gothic style its all good.

  18. Lambchops says:

    I’m on board with the near future single player sci fi article. As soon as I started reading it I immediately thought “basically you’re asking for something along the lines of Deus Ex aren’t you” and that’s pretty much the way the article turned out and something which I’m very much in support oi.

    Admitably speaking from a non MMO playing position, I can’t see much wrong with Quinn’s review. Seems well written; goes through the positives and negatives, tries to give a guide to both new players and those returning to the game. The score isn’t on their though and I’d imagine if it was low it would have no doubt attracted the ire of fans of the game. In days where even a 7 out of ten review seems to lead to ludicrous amounts of bile being spouted such things are hard to avoid.

  19. fuggles says:

    Oh hot LEAD. I thought it was hot lead, as in Quinns had been shot!

  20. Toyoch says:

    I’m terribly sorry to hijack this comments thread but steam just presented me with a game called “Guns of Icarus” which instantly reminded me of that one UT mod (name escapes me) that RPS praised and revived by setting up a server for its community.

    Does anyone here have it and think its any good? 4 player coop and the trailer look tempting

    • Torgen says:

      I too, was enthralled by that Steam ad. Was hoping for a demo, or to find a review somewhere. I’d really like to know more as well.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well I found a review linked from Play.tm of it and I was going to link to it but Avast says one of the ads is dodgy. So go look it up at your own risk.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well I found a review linked from Play.tm of it and I was going to link to it, but Avast says one of the ads is dodgy. So go look it up at your own risk.

    • matte_k says:

      There is a demo of it available over here: link to musegames.com

      Reminds me a lot of Project Nomads, for some reason

  21. The Hammer says:

    Regarding near-future sci-fi games, I would love a Children of Men inspired third-person action game. The setting there was just perfect, and reminded me strongly of the vibes coming from Half Life 2, albeit a Half Life 2 absent of aliens. I’m surprised there hasn’t been any games like that made, actually.

    • Wednesday says:

      I’d love anything Children of Men inspired. Its the best thing since things were first things.

    • Tei says:

      On the other hand, Children of Men is another apocaplsys-thing. Part of what criticize the author. A setting we already know and is to “cheap”.

    • The Hammer says:

      Really, Tei? In film, at least, I think Children of Men is quite unique. And I can’t really think of anything in gaming that you could compare it too. Remember, no aliens, no mutants, no swamp monsters. Normally games/films spruce up their settings with something fantastical, or otherworldly.

    • Kirian says:

      On the note of near-future sci-fi, hasn’t that been more-or-less what the Ghost Recon games were? The ones I played were Clancy-fetish near-future sci-fi, and the upcoming one is playing with tech that’s near-future and partially sci-fi.

      Or is there too much realism and gun/military-industrial-fetishism in there?

      Fetish fetish fetish. Something wrong with me today.

    • Tei says:

      Well.. the article is better than anything I could say.
      The idea is that a apocalypses is easy to imagine, and is a setting that we have explored again and again. Cheesy stuff, like blades made by scrap, fits this settings, anything fits… so is easy, cheap, the setting for lazy writers.
      Setting a game (or book) in our world, modified by technology ( 30, 40 years ) is much harder, because you can’t add anything, whatever you add need to fit. And anything you add, may look outdated really quickly by real science advancements. A good example is movil phones, we have these today,… al science fiction set on 2200 or 2098 where the people can’t communicate with other people if get lost in the forest look outdated, because this is already impossible in our time. Making good science fiction that can stay relevant after real science fiction advance is very hard ( You can cheat and add psychology stuff ) and lazy writers don’t even try. What is very sad, because we want (we need) more science fiction.

    • AndrewC says:

      Tei, Children of Men is exactly what you described – our world in 30 or 40 years. I would like to know what film you are thinking of, though.

      I’m also not sure quite what the article writer wanted, seeing as he spent a good chunk of it having to say why game after game didn’t quite count for ever more hair-splitting reasons – rather undermining his initial statement that no-one is making these sorts of games.

      He seeems to be against the militaristic games, and yet points to two first person shooters as examples of what he wants. He doesn’t give a decent reason as to why Bioshock would have been better able to explore humanity’s relationship to technology if it had been set on a space station.

      My guess he’s just fetishising on shiny-but-recognisable tech in his games and is trying to justify it somehow. Just saying ‘Shattered Horizon looks gorgeous. More please.’ Would do fine.

    • Tei says:

      Re: children of men

      The movie is excellent, in more than one way (visuals, world, characters, history, dialogs, scenes, gun action,..).
      The first half of the movie play like a distopia movie ( a world not different than the one of V for Vendetta ).
      The second half is like a zombie movie, with the characters crossing a apocalypse-land.

      AndrewC: is a puzzle and you already have all the pieces.Lets say a mad max setting is not a interesting setting in the sense it gives not information you can use in your daily life, since is too different. Also has been explored to dead. Lets say a mad max setting is too easy to use, theres not skill involved, is a product more of randomness than a artisan writter. A history about a apocalyupse world can have space elves and space orks or space zombies, anything.
      Theres very good things in fantasy, but the worst one is lazyness. Lazyness to create really original and mindbreaking ideas. Worlds soo derivative are like continuations. And we have lots of these derivate crap already. So is sad, because theres a loot we are missing.

      Oh.. and not all fantasy is lazy. I remenber a story about a world where to make magic blood sacrificed are involved, and the mosters of the forest we really alien.
      Most fantasy is described as imagination, but there are no imagination involved in recreate another space elves, orks and laser blades story.
      Children of Men is about a 95% all over that crap, but not totally over it. The end of the movie is over ice, over very thin ice.

  22. Red Avatar says:

    About the Eurogamer article: they should have pulled a lot more reviews or made amends. The Risen review was tagged as “for PC” as well but it was clearly the Xbox copy that was reviewed and the review didn’t hide this yet the terrible score it got couldn’t possibly have done the game any good despite it being a lot better for PC. Despite many people including me sending messages to Eurogame to remove the “PC” tag from the review, they failed to comply. Since then, Eurogamer has been removed from my bookmarks as an unreliable and untrustworthy resource. Pulling reviews now isn’t going to change my view if they leave those blemishes on their webpage.

    • AndrewC says:

      Did you think the contents of the review were accurate as regards to the Xbox version of the game?

    • IdleHands says:

      They did a re-review of the PC version because of such complaints;
      link to eurogamer.net

    • Red Avatar says:

      @AndrewC I have no idea since I never played the console version. I know of quite a few console ports that were far worse than the original on consoles so I’m sure it’s possible the other way round as well but if you read the original review, it’s pretty obvious it didn’t apply to the PC version and it was grossly unprofessional of them to still give it the PC tag as if it’s just another console when the PC usually outshines consoles when it comes to most RPG games.

      @IdleHands The original review still has both the PC and Xbox tags. The re-review is by the same idiot as well, and the review smacks of “hey, fuck you, I didn’t like it before and I won’t like it now”. If anything, it makes me dislike Eurogamer even more. It’s not so much disagreeing with the review as it is the attitude of the writer. The PC is really getting a poor treatment most of the time on Eurogamer.

    • drewski says:

      Dude, all video game review sties and, I suspect most of the general gaming magazines do this. They review one version of multiplatform titles only – and it’s usually the 360 version.

      Only in the rare cases where games are materially different across platforms (the latest Final Fantasy, for example) or when the fanbase makes a song and dance about different versions, or very occassionally when there’s a big lag between different platform versions being released, will more than one version of a game get reviewed, or the differences even mentioned.

      You’re basically saying you don’t trust Eurogamer for being exactly the same as every other game review site around.

    • TeeJay says:

      It takes zero effort to make it 100% clear which format you are reviewing and if your readership keep raising this issue then why would you ignore them (unless you really don’t care that much)?

  23. Tom OBedlam says:

    I’ve been baffled by the lack of near future games myself. The first p&p rpg I played was R.Talsorian’s Cyberpunk 2020, which was a world of cybernetics, corporate conspiracies, mirrorshades and transhumans. As you can probably guess, Deus Ex is one of my top five games. But that only deals with one small aspect of the cyberpunk world that I crave. Ideally, I’d like a game that starts with the player as a standard human, and allows a huge array of modifications as the game progresses, eventually allowing full ‘borging, or animal-human hybridisation. All set against a tale of corporate terrorism and espionage. If we could get it designed and written by Warrens Spector and Ellis, all the better.

    Of course, the game that I really long to see is set in The City of Transmetropolitian.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      link to en.wikipedia.org Particularly interesting as a mechanic would be the loss of humanity as you augment yourself, in a similar vein to what the chaps talked about in the podcast about the bioshock 3 they’d like to see.

    • Oneironaut says:

      Space Siege had a function like this. From what I played of the demo, the game wasn’t very good and I never bought it. You could upgrade yourself with bionic bodyparts, but would lose humanity each time you did so, and there was supposedly a different ending if you stayed 100% human.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I just had a dekko at the IGN review for Space Siege. It looks as though they had a few good ideas that got lost in a generic diablo clone, which is a shame. I guess I have to keep hoping that someone buys the cyberpunk license one day…

    • the wiseass says:

      I miss Spider Jerusalem :(

  24. Tei says:

    Inspired by the Sci-Fi article I have downloaded the Dystopia.
    The gameplay is, like most of other player-created-mods, very fast and hard to understand. Overall design feels counter-strike derivative, there are powerarmors and the supposedly innovative cyber alternatve level. Much like all other multiplayer mods, everything is streamlined, combat is king.

    The best part is these areas of the map, where it opens to wide citys, that really felt like a world.

    tl,dr version:
    Dystopia can claim to have a distinctive feel, but for not much, is your average counter-strike with power armors.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I rarely disagree with you Tei, but you’re just wrong this time round. Cyberspace is an immensely innovative approach to objective based gameplay.

    • Arathain says:

      I thought Dystopia did very well indeed at creating its own feel. A good selection of unusual weapons and some neat implant powers really went well with the setting. The cyberspace thing was huge, although for the shortish time I played I rarely ventured in. It’s fast and deadly in there, with a whole different set of combat techniques from the main game.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      All FPSes are Counter-Strike clones, it’s true!

  25. Kirian says:

    The whole AoC thing is just further proof that reviewing MMOs is just asking for trouble. Impressions, then re-impressions say every expansion pack (or overhaul) are all that’s necessary. A supposedly-objective clearly-subjective review on something that requires commitment by someone who, let’s be honest, cannot provide that commitment without opening another can of worms.

    All that just leads to worms all over the floor, and unless they’re shooting each other and speaking with accents the [snip] aren’t any fun.

    • Kirian says:

      Missing the words “opens a can of worms” in there. Editing fail.

  26. Heliosicle says:

    Damn iTunes won’t let me buy the Sleigh Bells album because my account isn’t from the US, any one that could help me out with somewhere else to buy?

    • Bas says:

      Amazon, but the album and rip it in iTunes? Personally, if anyone down the line (artists, record labels, etc) don’t want to sell to a certain market, it’s pretty much an invitation to piracy.

    • Heliosicle says:

      not out till the first of june there, theres no where I can even donate to to torrent it or anything :(

  27. Tei says:

    Quinn review removed:

    Some games are much like… religions, and you don’t criticize religions. This is a bad thing, and people should be more open to see his beloved games getting criticized. Is a hard thing to do, but the other option is to get “always happy” reviews. To protect our reviewers, we have to learn to see our loved games get into the mud by a reviewer :-I

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      No, it’s not a hard thing. (I think. It hasn’t yet happened to me.) It’d love to see my game get dragged in the mud by a (good) reviewer!

  28. Fullbleed says:

    I feel people aren’t talking enough about Kiana Firouz; lesbian Iran film maker being deported to Iran to likely be totured and executed and being refused asylum by the UK Home Office. I’m leaning about Iranian film right now in film studies and while I knew they had strict rules on what can and can’t be done in films, this is the most extreme thing I’ve heard them do since arresting film maker Jafar Panahi, which was only in March… It’s frankly shocking and absolutely dreadful that there isn’t more coverage on it in the news.
    I’ve sent news about it to my film teacher who has written about Iranian Cinema before, I really hope we talk about it and try to help make a difference.

    • TeeJay says:

      If this is correct then it deserves a public outcry.

      My reservation is that they are about to release a film on May 20 (two days time) which is actually about her asylum claim, so I’d like it clarified that this isn’t actually some kind of viral advertising. I’m wondering why noone has been able to interview Firouz.

    • Bob Bobson says:

      An open letter from Firouz:

      link to arcigay.it (with English at the bottom of the page)

      And the sites covering this story include a nobel peace winner. It’s not an ad campaign

  29. AyAitch says:

    Whoa, RPS linked my humble, little blog, and about a controversy concerning of their own, for that matter.

    I wrote that piece criticizing Quinns earlier in the week, without the benefit of the full review. That was a mistake. Having now read it, I realize that in context, Quinn’s statements weren’t that bad. I don’t think it’s a good review – I think there are limitations on what an MMO review can be, and I think that what the review was could have been more – but the review isn’t thoughtless, and it isn’t making shit up.

    I’ve since modified and clarified some of my thoughts here. But seriously, that piece on Magnasanti is much better, go read that.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      +1 internet to this gentleman

    • AndrewC says:

      @ tom: Really? He just admitted he criticised someone without even knowing what he wrote, and wrtiting about that which you do not know is exactly what he criticsed Quinns for.

      So good for you, AyAitch, for fessin’. Now don’t do it again, or it’ll be the -1 internets for you

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      yeah, but he was man enough to own up. I admire that, especially when he could have behaved like an angry internet man instead. So it’s all good, which is nice.

    • AyAitch says:

      From here on out, I’ll be on my best behavior – promise!

      (You guys are awesome. Thanks for the +1, Internet!)

    • Turin Turambar says:

      This is very circular: You did the same mistake with Quinns that Quinns did with the game. Critizing without the full review is similar to critizing without playing the full game/playing enough hours.

  30. Mario Figueiredo says:

    +1 for coming clean about it. +1 to Tom for +1ing him, and +1 to AndrewC for sticking to his guns.

    -1 to me for +1ing everybody. (and for a reply fail)

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      By the way Chris, I did enjoy reading your articles (both) regardless. I don’t necessarily agree with your assertion that the reviewer needs to be an experienced MMO player, though. But neither I disagree entirely, especially being this about an add-on review, and not the initial game.

      More importantly however is that Quinn proved he had enough. Eurogamer classifies his review as “accurate and reasonable”. And many who read it (you included) later agree at least it was sensible and well written.

      So the whole issue about being a badly written review by someone who doesn’t know about the game falls flat on its face.

    • AyAitch says:

      (I think by Chris you were referring to me?)

      I really enjoyed your article, too. It was really thoughtful, in a way mine completely wasn’t. And I totally agree – EG self-censored, and that was a bad idea.

    • drewski says:

      Yeah, I’d very much disagree with that point too – are experienced AoC players really going to decide whether to buy the expansion or not based on a review on a website? I find that unlikely. You don’t want games reviewing to just become an exercise in reassuring fans.

      In this case, Eurogamer apparently wanted a “n00b”/lapsed player point of view, and the concerns of that viewpoint seem to have been pretty well addressed by Quinns.

  31. Thants says:

    Regarding that near-future-sci-fi article: a proper Shadowrun game would be fantastic. Get on it developers!

  32. Lambchops says:

    Oh and as for Sleigh Bells having listened to the first few tracks of the album I gave up just shy of half way through. Not my cup of tea at all. I also have to admit to them having slipped entirely passed my radar so I can hardly classify myself in an “anti” camp and can happily forget they even exxist and go and listen to the National’s new album again!

  33. The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

    Scratch that – A Rifts game (not on a phone) would set my poor brain on fire

    • The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

      And on that note – im going to hunt down and destroy the developers of this :
      link to g4tv.com
      for rudely and thoughtlessly raising my hopes and desires and then cruelly dashing them against the rocks. Scum. Inhuman scum.

  34. IIshin says:

    119th Sunday Paper! (Well from the URL)

    Aren’t you guys going to do something special? *hint* *hint*

  35. Fashigady says:

    Huzzah for Sunday Papers! Without it I’d have nothing to do while waiting around at uni for 4hrs

  36. destroy.all.monsters says:

    Not game related but music related – Ronnie James Dio passed away early yesterday. Very sad. :(

  37. Choca says:

    @drewski

    Reviewing the game on only one platform isn’t the problem. It was pretty stupid to consider the X360 version as the main version because everyone knew that Risen was an heir of the Gothic series (which is pretty much as PC as you can be) but it still wouldn’t make the review invalid if it was clearly indicated as Xbox 360 only.

    What they did wrong with Risen’s review was putting “PC” next to the review title as if it was relevant to both versions of the game, which it wasn’t.

  38. Malagate says:

    Well, I can safely say that Quinns has been trapped, because I’m totally in the Far East right now (Shanghai) and I haven’t seen him. Been walking around town all day and not a single hint of Quinn was to be noted, so he probably got captured somewhere east of Bognor (or is travelling by camel as we type).

    Either that or he’s sneakily in the Far East and I only find out about it a single day before I go back to Blighty. Curses, I don’t get to stalk Quinns in a thrilling chase across the orient all in search of the Jade Citizen Kane of Games (Citizen Game?).

  39. Alastayr says:

    Guess what?! I got a fever, and the only prescription…is more Sleigh Bells!
    (Can’t believe no one’s done that yet.)