Look at sanity
My very first interaction in Thimbleweed Park [official site], and most likely anyone else’s, was to “Look at Willie.” I don’t know who I’m playing yet, nor who Willie might be, but my German accented chap has appeared on a screen with two interactive items: a gate, and a slumped drunken man called Willie. So I looked at him, he being potentially more interesting than a gate, presuming that my character would inform me that either he knew this man and needed to speak to him, or that he did not. I got neither. Because “Look at Willie” speaks to him. Read the rest of this entry »
Do mention the war
If the rumours are true, and they most likely are, this year we’ll be seeing Call Of Duty: WWII. People have reacted with concern, but I’m here to argue it’s the best possible news.
There was a time when learning a game was set in World War II was deserving of the heaviest of sighs. Not only did it mean that it would be one of seven thousand other games that year plundering the past for an excuse to bob a gun at the bottom of the screen, but it was more likely to be crass and ignorant than a tribute to the bravery and miserable deaths of our ancestors. We got well and truly sick of WW2 games. Then to save us, the march of the zombies began. We had a whole new theme to groan at, and the Second World War has had something of a break.
The temptation of hearing the rumours that the all-conquering shooter series is to return to its own origins is to start sighing once again. But there are some really good reasons not to. In fact, if there’s anything that could save CoD from itself, it’s heading back. Read the rest of this entry »
Just Add Humans
There was a time when Valve could do no wrong. Champions of PC gaming, undeniably pivotal in the current huge success of the gaming platform, and releasing stunning game after stunning game. When they spoke, the industry listened, and reported with a well-earned reverence. Those times, it’s safe to say, are long gone. Apart from past glories, Valve is now primarily known for Dota 2 and Steam (but for an industry-ignored VR hat), the latter being a monopoly-controlling online store that’s becoming increasingly nonfunctional and dysfunctional, and which they apparently have no coherent idea how to control. And yet so much that’s so wrong with Steam is so easily fixed: it just requires people actually doing something. Read the rest of this entry »
1170 Steam new releases a month
The Twitter account I see the most tweets from every day is @todayonsteam. Partly because I fairly ruthlessly unfollow or mute anyone who doesn’t understand the importance of brevity, but mostly because it is a sobering daily reminder that Steam is 2017 is by no means the Steam of 2007, or even 2012.
@Todayonsteam is a bot that automatically tweets whenever a new game is released on Steam. In the last 24 hours alone, it tweeted 39 times. That was a typical day.
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I didn't ask for him to come back
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site] has a problem, and his name is Adam Jensen. Human Revolution’s returning protagonist has been my single greatest obstacle to enjoying a game I had, frankly, taken it for granted that I would enjoy. I don’t understand why this is his game – other than on a commercial level, of course. In the public eye, the Deus Ex brand is not the DIY route and vaguely philosophical reality-questioning that it might be to an older PC gamer. It’s The One With The Bearded Bloke With The Elbow Swords And The Sunglasses Built Into His Eye Sockets. That’s why Jensen’s back, not because the story DXMD is trying to tell needed him. If anything, he undermines it.
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