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The Sunday Papers

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A plain white mug of black tea or coffee, next to a broadsheet paper on a table, in black and white. It's the header for Sunday Papers!
Image credit: RPS

Sundays are for having a bath before you cut your nails, because it's the smart thing to do. Before you clip, let's read this week's best writing about games.

For PC Gamer, Natalie Clayton wrote about how virtual worlds are already better than the metaverse will ever be. I hadn't even considered the Metaverse and its reliance on lots of people owning VR headsets - which aren't exactly cheap right now. Plus, some nice insights from folks on physical immersion being besides the point. A very good read.

For all Facebook and Microsoft's talk of connecting people through lifeless 3D avatars and VR conference calls, there's an ignorance to the ways players are always finding community in virtual spaces. We don't go into cyberspace to have business meetings—we do it to meet strangers across continents, to pretend to be things we're not and discover people we are, to create hyper-specific fantasies and yes, to recognise the elephant in the room, to engage in a whole load of weird virtual sex.

Over on Eurogamer, Emad Ahmed spoke to Steven Spohn on accessibility and beyond. I like how Spohn shines a light on the "box-ticking" mentality of developers and publishers when it comes to accessibility. He says it shouldn't be a checklist but a "mindset" instead.

And luckily it's increasingly easy to try out new stuff. "Subscription services [like Game Pass] are a godsend, particularly for people with disabilities," he says. "This is not going to turn into a Microsoft promotional advertisement here, but it's great for people who just don't know if they're gonna be able to play something." Spohn has spinal muscular atrophy, a physical disability that causes problems with movement; he tells me he cannot count the amount of times in the past that he has investigated a game only to find out that he couldn't play it without hacking files.

For Unwinnable, Rob Rich wrote a quick post about the immersive nature of tedium. Something I feel quite strongly about, this. Not to say Jett: The Far Shore is the only one, but that's definitely a game that would benefit - in my humble opinion - from less "hold X to climb/enter/eat/breathe" moments.

No Man’s Sky is an expansive and involved space sim of a sort, but take-off and landing is just a matter of pressing and holding one button. Elite: Dangerous has a whole process you have to go through, especially on a space station, that includes requesting docking clearance, manually flying to the designated landing pad, adjusting your speed, adjusting your trajectory, not lowering your ship too fast and so on. It’s undeniably more complicated than it needs to be and that’s exactly why I love it, because it feels much more like I’m actually piloting a spaceship when I have that level of responsibility and control.

For Vice, Gita Jackson wrote about how Shin Megami Tensei V's world just doesn't care about you at all. I've been umming and ahhhing over whether to get this game or not, but this article tells me that I may not be emotionally ready to tackle it just yet.

In Shin Megami Tensei V, failure is often emotionally devastating. Like Nocturne, this game does not have auto-save, and checkpoints are few and far between, especially in the early hours of the game. I have lost a huge amount of progress in this game from random enemy encounters, the kind that are not usually difficult in other kinds of games. I had to, at one point, put my Switch down after losing a random encounter before I even had a chance to attack. I lost an entire night's worth of progress.

Finally, Greenskull shows off what happens when you level up your Grappleshot in Halo Infinite's campaign. And my god does it look satisfying.

Watch on YouTube

Music this week is Honey by Yoko Kuzuya. Here's the YouTube link and Spotify link. A pop delight.

That's me. Have a solid Sunday everyone!

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