SSX (2010) was a masterpiece. A snowboarding game that blew out the scope of the snowboarding game into something grandiose. Steep, the new extreme sports game by Ubisoft, doesn’t quite reach those epic heights, but it’s certainly an acceptable replacement. “Acceptable” doesn’t mean “similar”, however, as booth games come at their subjects from completely opposite directions.
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2Dark is about child murder.
Of course, this isn’t made immediately clear from the game’s description on Steam:
2Dark is a stealth adventure game developed by Frédérick Raynal, the pioneer of survival horror games and creator of Alone in the Dark®. Make your way through the lairs of psychopaths, unravel intrigue where madness mingles with horror, and, above all, save the kids!
The Last Guardian is a fairy tale: A short story (well, relatively short for a game) featuring folkloric creatures and magic. It’s a simple definition, but it works. The Last Guardian fits perfectly within that simple categorization. It also works because Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the two previous games by developer Team ICO, could also be described as fairy tales. But they’re not simple fairy tales. Each game, in its own way, questions the simple morality of the fairy tale.
I enjoyed the first Sorcery! game because everything you did felt inconsequential. All the money and magical items and spells were neat, the various people and creatures you met along the way were fascinating, but all were still inconsequential. It was a freeing experience, being able to play in the moment, without any care for future events. If that first game was defined by this kind of narrative freedom, the second game is defined by a restriction of that freedom. Suddenly, consequences matter. Not in a major way, but just enough to focus your play, which is both good and bad.
We Become What We Behold is a non-partisan game about politics, which is hard to imagine in such a currently divisive American and European political landscape. This is exactly the point of We Become What We Behold, though, examining the horror of the viral nature of divisiveness and tribalism.
The game begins simply enough, asking its player to watch and then photograph a small group of randomly wandering individuals. Photographing “interesting” things results in a hashtagged photograph that ostensibly goes viral enough to affect parts of the group. If we photograph the one “interesting” person who has chosen to wear a hat when no one else is doing so, this results in others adopting the look. In other words, hats become cool for some people, and they join the hat tribe.