Some time ago I wrote a post praising Ubisoft for its dedication to climbing in the Assassin’s Creed games and Grow Home. I complained out loud that the grappling hook set to be introduced in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate was just a concession to gamers who want to speed through an open world as fast as possible, treating the space as an obstacle to be passed rather than as an environment to be appreciated. Thankfully, that’s not the case. As it turns out, the grappling hook is really pretty awesome.
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I fell in love with Fallout 4 when my journalist companion Piper published a story about me. Then I fell out of love when Piper took a misstep off a forty story building and plummeted to what would have been her death, except companions cannot die. Now she’s wearing my dead husband’s wedding ring, and honestly, I’m kind of confused.
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the Fallout series before. When Bethesda released Fallout 3 in 2008, I took the claim that the game adapted to my play style at face value. “If I can really do anything and the game will adapt,” I told myself, “then I’m going to play the game entirely evil.” It turns out shooting most everyone on sight makes for a boring wasteland experience. I loved the daring approach to player agency, but found myself hindered by my own particular approach to Fallout. Our own Erik Kersting described this phenomenon well in his exploration of a particular Fallout 4 memory sequence: “Video games are simultaneously their own best friend and worst enemy when it comes to pacing. They can give the player tons of tools to experience the narrative, but they cannot force the player to necessarily have that experience.”
I’m halfway through the follow up to the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider series, this year’s Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Driveclub, a Playstation exclusive racing game, is a gorgeous looking game. I only played the free version available to PSN subscribers, which locks out a lot of content, but the one track that is available was more than enough to secure it the tentative title of “Best Looking Racing Game That I’ve Ever Seen.” But after completing that track, one whole race, I turned the game off with no desire to play it again. This decision was based on a tunnel featured on that track and the game’s insistence on creating a realistic world, complete with realistic eye adaptation effects (that is, the ability of the eye to adjust to various levels of darkness and light).
As we wind down for the holidays, I want to float a theory about why some games make me mad. It’s a theory that may cost me my spot on on Santa’s nice list, but I’ll say it anyway.
I rarely get mad at games themselves. I get mad at the people I’m playing with.
// Channel Surfing
"The show serves up an Avengers-esque character round-up, but the plot is powerless.READ the article