Posts Tagged ‘Fallout 3’

How historical games integrate or ignore slavery

Video games always come with an expectation that the player will suspend disbelief to some extent. Genetically engineered super-soldier clones don’t exist, radiation has never and will never work like that, and overweight Italian plumbers could never make that jump. In most cases, if we are unwilling or unable to suspend our disbelief, we may well struggle to enjoy the game and our questioning of the basics of its ‘reality’ would probably make us insufferable to be around.

There are some games however, where the realities of our world are key to enjoying the game. These are the builders like City Skylines, simulators and sports games like Prison Architect and FIFA, and even crime games like Grand Theft Auto. One genre has a particular problem when it comes to maintaining a foot in the real world yet still creating a setting where one can have fun without becoming mired in morally questionable events and choices: historically based games. And among historical games, few subjects are as complex to represent as slavery. Many have tried, from Europa Universalis IV and Victoria II to Civilization and Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry, and in this article I’ll investigate the portrayal and use of slavery in these games and more to explore what they get right, what they get wrong, and how games could do better in future.

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Wot I Think: Pinball FX2 – Bethesda Pinball

DOOM, Skyrim and Fallout have been recreated as Pinball FX2 [official site] tables. Because nobody else at RPS has the flippin’ guts to take on such a massive task, I’ve spent a couple of hours with each, and have now judged them. Short version, I like them about as much as I like the games they’re based on, which means one is great, and the other two are a bit of a ballache. To find out precisely what I mean by that, join me below.

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Here are the best Black Friday 2016 PC gaming deals

Black Friday 2016 is finally here, and it’s of course the biggest day for deals yet. We’ve rounded up the best below, so if you’re looking for great games or PC hardware, step inside.

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Is It Important That Fallout 4’s World Lacks Credibility?

So I’m wandering through Fallout 4 [official site], and I come across this old diner, sitting there, neon still lit, almost jaunty in a destroyed land. There’s a guy outside called Wolfgang, a leathered drug dealer, who explains that a mother and son have set up a shop in this diner, and that he wants paying for goods he’s sold to the son.

I go inside, aiming to resolve the problem between the dealer and the son, and get into conversation with the mother. But, looking down, I notice that, despite trading from this place, she hasn’t thought to remove a skeleton from one of the booths. Because why would you remove a skeleton from your shop? Or any of the filth that’s accumulated on the floor?

It’s just one of the weird little things about the world of Fallout 4 that I find confusing and alienating. Little things that nudge me out out my suspension of disbelief that this is a place. Instead of enveloping myself in all its detail, it just gets me wondering, absently, is this how it would be?

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What Makes A Videogame House A Videogame Home?

Oh boy, am I conflicted. Fallout 4’s main plotline requires that I do this thing and as far as things go, it’s a pretty major thing and a major thing that you’d expect someone with the maternal instinct of my character Halle to crack on with straight away. The trouble is, rather than doing this major thing, for at least an hour now, she, and when I say ‘she’, I mean ‘I’, have been poking around Sanctuary, scrapping anything that glows yellow so I can salvage enough materials to build a house big enough for me and my Minutemen companions. I had largely avoided Bethesda’s drip-feed of Fallout 4 pre-publicity but when I somehow found out that the game had settlement building, I think I might have involuntarily passed a little wind in joyous anticipation.

That’s because I’ve felt a similar rosy inner glow while hanging around other hubs and houses in many other games I’ve played. I think it’s easy to underestimate the value of having a ‘home’ base option, especially in open world games where there is a free-roaming element, but it’s a part of why I love certain games.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Voices In The Air

There’s something oddly comforting about radio. Comforting because it’s so familiar, so natural. Odd because it’s a comfort that most of us don’t really use all that much these days, at least not in the ways that games just casually assume. It’s a little like the whole audio diaries thing – it makes a vague sense that everyone in a city like Rapture might record their daily crimes and schemes onto audio tapes, even though in reality that whole idea became obsolete when Facebook/Twitter added status updates.

But I do love in-game radio. It’s an amazing narrative tool, a great way of filling in the gaps the screen can’t show, a constant companion in the loneliest of situations, and not a bad way of making music diegetic – a term that translates to ‘let’s see who now sneakily Googles diegetic’. Forget Spotify. Never mind video. In RPGs, nothing can kill the radio star, unless of course you walk up to them and shoot ’em in the face. Then, sometimes. Though usually nature still finds a way of keeping them on the air.

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Wasteland Chic: The Clothing Of Fallout 4

Above: The Murderettes

I briefly mention how much I dug Fallout 4‘s colourful, playful clothing options in my review, but given that my hard drive is full of screenshots of that stuff, it seems a waste not to give it its own post. The costumes are, as far as I’m concerned, Fallout 4 [official site] at its absolute best. Take a look below.

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