Jan 112021
 
Hitting the Spots

Before Christmas, at the mercy of chance, I replayed Fallout 4, a game that had not entranced me the first time around. This time, thanks to mods (most especially the Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch) I had a better time and appreciated the design a bit more. As I played (and tweeted), it occurred to me that each of the game’s locations, must have required a ton of work, yet probably never elicited any specific responses. So, for at least a few of these spots, I thought I’d put together a list of some locations in Fallout 4 that stood out [Read more…]

Feb 172016
 
One Hand Clapping

A curious feature of games that seem to be the least bit intelligent is that they inspire people to believe that one True Meaning™ can be found in them. It’s a little bizarre. Games, like any work of art, tend not to be about One Thing; that’s not how creation works. Any work of art contains multitudes, not only because the creators have more than one idea in their heads but also because the interpreters are of wildly divergent backgrounds. Regardless, the temptation remains, especially when one auteur is primarily (and often erroneously) identified with the work. This approach has [Read more…]

Syndicate, and the Future of the Creed

 Critique, Open World Action Games  Comments Off on Syndicate, and the Future of the Creed
Jan 042016
 

A rumor is now circulating that Ubisoft will, after holding to an annual release schedule for several years now, not release a new flagship Assassin’s Creed game in 2016, giving its next game extra time to possibly rebuild the series from the ground up. If true, I can only commend the decision. The series has been coping with exhaustion for some time, as its most recent entry makes clear. Still, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is… not bad. Which, coming after the flaming fiasco of Unity, is a welcome turn for the better. Unfortunately, despite being fun most of the time, Syndicate [Read more…]

Foundering in Skellige’s Seas

 Critique, Open World Action Games, Role Playing Games  Comments Off on Foundering in Skellige’s Seas
Aug 182015
 
Foundering in Skellige's Seas

With different degrees of success, Velen and Novigrad use their structure, their quests, and their storylines as an integrated whole to project Geralt’s inner life into the game world. In Velen The Wild Hunt airs Geralt’s worries that his “family” won’t fit back together after their long time apart. In Novigrad the game threatens the relationships that have already been working in The Witcher games. Once he reaches Skellige, the game turns its attention back to Yennefer and Ciri. In this region, however, the game loses coherence and as a result feels much more ordinary and even dull. Skellige’s failure [Read more…]