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by Nick Dinicola

23 Feb 2017


I’m a police chief with only four months left until my forced retirement. I’m burnt out, I’ve got no life savings, I’m addicted to uppers, the Mayor hates me, I hate the Mayor, and my deputy fled the city under pressure from a corruption scandal, leaving me to take his place as a mole for the mafia. 

It’s a recipe for tragedy. This Is the Police is a neo-noir resource management sim, a bizarre coupling for sure, but also a surprisingly effective one. The premise sounds like a typical “good cop gone bad” scenario, especially once you—Jack Boyd—decide on a retirement plan: Earn $500k before your days are up, by any means necessary. However, while Jack might be a good cop, he’s not a particularly good man. This isn’t the story of Jack’s moral downfall as he is already close to the bottom of that metaphorical well when the game begins. This is the story of his attempted come back. The power structure in the city of Freeburg is designed to keep men like him under the boot, so when he realizes his days are numbered he rebels against that system. Not out of moral outrage, but self-preservation. This is the Police tells the story of his failure, and why it was always inevitable. 

by Nick Dinicola

10 Feb 2017


Dishonored 2 opens with a coup. Emily Kaldwin is dethroned by an aunt she never knew she had, then imprisoned in her castle. Naturally, she escapes, and the first level/tutorial of the game has us sneaking out of our home. Along the way, you’ll encounter many traitorous guards and many more dead bodies. It’s easy to put two and two together; this was a coup after all. So what are you going to do about it?

by Nick Dinicola

3 Feb 2017


2016 was a good year for first-person shooters, but a great year for single-player shooter campaigns. First, Doom, Gears of War 4, Battlefield 1, and Titanfall 2 all had single-player campaigns, which is a victory in itself for an industry that would prefer to go all multiplayer all the time (screw you Overwatch). Second, all those campaigns were good, and some were even great! However, the biggest surprise of all was that the best shooter campaign came from the game I had the lowest expectations for: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

by Nick Dinicola

27 Jan 2017


Dishonored 2 is a stealth action game that tells you to “play the way you want”. What that really means is that you have a choice in how to get rid of patrolling guards: Either kill them, or knock them out, be lethal, or be non-lethal.

Early in the game I picked up a pistol. Now, late in the game, I’ve still never shot it. Well, except for that one time I shot a wall just for kicks, but my gun has never been used for its intended purpose. It’s never killed people. I also picked up a crossbow early on, and it has been rarely fired. I’ve set insect nests ablaze with incendiary bolts, I’ve broken wood planks with normal bolts, but I’ve only ever shot people with non-lethal bolts. It’s another tool that, for the most part, has not lived up to its intended purpose.

by Nick Dinicola

20 Jan 2017


Far Cry 2 was, and still is, an anomaly in the world of shooters: A big-budget franchise shooter power fantasy that undercut its power fantasy with constant reminders that this kind of violence has consequences. Throughout the game your friends die, your friends betray you, and in the end, we team with the central villain to save some refugees before we both kill ourselves; doing something good before we let our violence consume us. It was a world that fought back at us as much as we fought it, and everyone was corrupted by the violence.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Romantic Nightmare in Alfred Döblin's 'Bright Magic'

// Re:Print

"The stories in this collection are circular, puzzling; they often end as cruelly as they do quietly, the characters and their journeys extinguished with poisonous calm.

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