Conquistadors and comrades

I’ve recently finished two games that seem very different, but I seem to have linked together because of their oddity, and the sense that they were both passion projects. Both are kind of broken, and were frustrating in places, but I keep thinking about how much I enjoyed them, despite these irritations.

So, here’s some loose thoughts about Singularity and Betrayer. We’ll go with the latter first because it’s the one I finished most recently.


Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (2017) and Kôna (2017)

So, I followed up on my previous stint of Nazi-killin’ joy (briefly covered here) with a run through Machinegames’ newest instalment, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

Let’s just say that if you like machine-gunning fascists to death, it’s a good game. The lengthy trailer above should give you a good idea of what to expect if you’re unaware of the series thus far.

(Spoilers likely follow.)


Killin’ time by killin’ Nazis (and others)

So it’s been a bit of time since I last gave a games update. I’ve been a bit slow on the writing front, partially due to some run-of-the-mill bleh and partially because I’ve been making my way through my games backlog with a reasonable degree of success.

What’ve I been playing? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s some thoughts on the past couple of months’ worth of games I’ve played.  (more…)

On Firewatch

Despite the best efforts of my video card and Windows 10 to stop me, I recently completed Campo Santo’s Firewatch, an adventure game. It’s become the favourite thing I’ve played in the past year, I think, partially for its design, but also for the way it’s unafraid to put story first, mechanics second.

The game takes place in Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest, a wilderness of almost 10,000 square kilometres. It’s 1989, the year after the calamitous Yellowstone fires, and you play the part of Henry, a bearded, chubby dude (voiced by Rich Sommer, Mad Men‘s Harry Crane) who takes a summer job as a fire watcher to place some distance between himself and his life’s problems.

(I don’t want to explain the problems too much – there’s a surprising amount of determining your own variant of the story in its opening minutes, and they’re certainly emotional.) (more…)

Fiddling about with Forresters

I’ve just finished another Telltale series: their Game of Thrones tie-in adventure. And while I still have a special fondness for the first two series of The Walking Dead I have to say that I felt this game really nailed the source material. It feels canonical, which I suppose is understandable given the involvement of key cast members in its creation, as well as the dedication to the look of the show that’s apparent throughout. It also helps that George R. R. Martin’s personal assistant, Ty Corey Franck, was a consultant on the thing.  (more…)

Refreshed Prince (of Persia)

Over the past three weeks I’ve been reliving some of my gaming history. I finally made time to replay the games in the Sands of Time console reboot of Prince of Persia – games which were among the first I played on my PS2, and games I thought were great. I wondered before I began playing just how they’d stack up to my memories.

(There are more than likely to be spoilers in here, so just be warned. I don’t know about spoiling games that’re now over a decade old, but you know. The internet.)


Easy… easy…

The original Prince of Persia was one of the first games I remember having on my PC (at a time when what I really wanted was an Amiga) and it stood out because of how real it felt. There was a sense of weight, of physical presence to the little dude, and it was unforgiving and brutal: you fucked up and you were dead, usually impaled. (more…)

Can I get The Witness?

A fairly straightforward question. Not a witness. The Witness. The game, Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to Braid, and a game I’d really looked forward to playing ever since I saw the first demos of it. Here’s a trailer for the most recent version, on PS4.

Yeah, that’s my kind of jam right there. Or was it? At first glance – puzzles, a weird island, an almost-real-but-not rendering style – it seemed right up my alley. But was it really? I mean after all, the game’s designer once said he wanted to make games for people who read Gravity’s Rainbow, and I’m exactly that lit-wanker audience.  (more…)

Farewell, Handsome Jack!

Today was the day I finished playing Borderlands 2.

Well, let me clarify. It’s the day I finished the main story and reached the New Game Plus mode. It’s a point I’ve reached after playing on and off since before Christmas, and according to Steam’s inbuilt counter, I’ve spent just over 100 hours reaching this point.

That’s four-and-a-bit days straight. (more…)

Exploring The Old City

Today marked my first completion of a game on my newly-built Steambox.

(Catch-up: Steam is a very successful online games marketplace/management tool which I’ve successfully used to enable a virtual hoarding proclivity while simultaneously ameliorating my physical collection, so win-win I suppose. Anyway, the company is in the process of creating PCs for the lounge-room – called Steamboxes – and I recently built one of my own which, miraculously, didn’t catch fire. It’s named after Stephenson’s Rocket.)

The game I completed was Leviathan: The Old City, which has copped a lot of stick for being nothing more than a walking simulator. (more…)