Posts Tagged ‘Fallout: New Vegas’

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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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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Some Little Things I’ve Loved In RPGs, Vol 1

One of the main reasons I got into RPGs back in the day was that if you bought one, you were getting a lot of game for your money. That was important when there was only one birthday and one Christmas a year, and not much chance that some relative might pop their clogs in sync with Ultima VI coming out. Years later I no longer need the Grim Reaper’s help to fill my collection, and other genres have done their best to replace scouring maps for objectives with, y’know, game, but there’s still few that can match it in terms of raw Stuff. It takes a lot of content to fill an RPG.

This week then, I’m turning the spotlight on a few small bits and pieces from various games that I think back on fondly. Not entire games. Just a few ideas and moments from them that stuck with me, whether I liked the actual game they were in at all. Add yours in the comments, yadda yadda, you know the drill. Also, I thought I’d try and pick a few things that aren’t brought up that often, hence the lack of, say, Heather Poe from Vampire: Bloodlines or any of The Witcher III’s awesome stuff. Got that? Cool.

Note: you can browse through the list using the arrows alongside the image at the top of the page, or using the left and right arrows on your very own keyboard.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Quests Done Quick

I must confess, since finishing Siege of Dragonspear the other week, I’ve not actually fired up any RPGs. It’s not for want of them to play. I’m particularly looking forward to finally trying Final Fantasy IX, which I missed back in the day, and Beamdog’s recently announced interquel, Planescape Torment: The Nameless One And A Half. (It’s very similar to the original, only now whenever someone asks “What can change the nature of a man?” a furious little goblin pops onto the screen to yell “#notallmen!”)

The problem has simply been timing – not having a nice satisfying chunk of time to really settle down for an epic experience. So instead, I thought I’d take a look at a few speed-runs, and see how fifty hours suddenly becomes a minute and a half… provided you don’t include the hundreds of hours to get to that point. Here’s a few of them I dug up to make your completion times look like crap, from RPGs old and new.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Time And Seasons In RPGs

The times change, and we change with the times. Or in the case of RPGs, not. I’ve always felt this a bit of a shame, especially in games like World of Warcraft, where your character is officially hanging around long enough to see the leaves fall off the trees and the snow to cover up the capital cities. That’s why I was quite keen on both Fallout 4 taking the time to redecorate Diamond City a little for at least Halloween and Christmas, and last week, to see a mod take the next step and give the Commonwealth a makeover for all seasons in a way that nobody’s really tried since Lords of Midnight 3 way back in the 90s. Whole minutes of fun with the system clock there!

But then as now, it’s hard not to start wondering how time could be given its due as more than the fire in which bad movies turn out to be even worse than they initially seemed. Maybe it could be our friend too, and in so many interesting ways.

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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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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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