Posts tagged gaming
Posts tagged gaming
Antichamber will be out Jan. 31 on Steam (Windows, Mac OS X). It seems that it will be the ultimate environmental puzzle game. Check out this Penny Arcade report.
Epic music, political intrigue, somewhat broken yet totally engaging and synergistic game mechanics, and Calculators/Arithmeticians—that’s why.
A few random notes on the article:
Initial report detailing opinions on the prototype hardware and software from Kickstarter Ouya devs. Mostly positive, but the controller could use some work.
Even though Boxer8 and the Ouya are nowhere near the scale of Sony or Microsoft and their XBox 360 and PS3, it’s still crazy to think that this little TV gaming console is becoming a reality, and that indie developers and gamers are shaping its design to a certain extent.
[Ouya prototype controller and console next to an XBox 360 and PS3 controller]
It is an impressive game in many respects. It has themes, it has moments of inspiration. It goes farther than any game I can recall in integrating your visceral self with the game through sound and animated flourishes. It presents an idyllic game world that recalls reality but is engineered to be gamic. But it, like too many games, is not cohesive, through and through. The parts don’t add up to a whole; they’re off by themselves doing things, unconnected or weakly connected to the rest. And there are some social themes and premises that are just way too problematic.
I can, in my head, mend some of the lacking aspects together and see how the game could have been better, arguably. The pieces for a better game are there; they’re just not structured or arranged correctly. But there is still this persistent and fundamental problem when trying to reconcile our world of photorealism, with all its interactive and non-trivial complexity, and a concentrated, gamic world: the more realistic and less abstract you try to make it, the greater the obligation the game world has to expectations of the real world. Fail to match those expectations and you lose the player little by little. It also hurts the legacy of the game through time, where it runs the risk of its initially high valuation depreciating considerably. Not sure what to call this phenomenon yet, but I’ll think of a term, because I’ve noticed this a lot lately.
Also, whoever thinks it’s still awesome to put QUICKTIME EVENTS in games needs to retire from the gaming industry. Seriously. Especially QT events where if you fail, you just restart the lengthy, narrative-interrupted event over and over.
If you need a good example of awful game journalism, this is it. Well, maybe it’s good insofar that it sparks some kind of debate, but the ultimate conclusion the author reaches fails.
In Far Cry 3, there is implied rape between one of the island’s criminal inhabitants and his captive, which is the protagonist’s friend he is trying to rescue. The author makes this out to be some kind of dissonant inclusion—that it doesn’t make any sense, or that its inclusion has no artistic merit or justification. But the towering, looming, and ironic elephant in the room that she misses is the implicit acceptance of overwhelming violence and murder depicted in the game (and others). The contrast is way, way too high between implied rape as a small detail in the narrative and the slaughterfest that is the actual interactivity, and is endemic to gaming in general. Violence and killing has of course become abstracted and is part of the fabric of gaming.
Heck, the game allows you to kill civilians going about their business with nothing more than a ‘do not kill civilians’ message.