Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4 has no regrets

There’s a brief moment in the first hour of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End where Nathan Drake, a retired treasure hunter, combs through the artifacts from his adventures that he keeps in his attic. The space is ruined with meticulous clutter—each individual relic a callback to some grand excursion—and as I explored this makeshift museum, I found myself falling prey to the same fond memories that overtake the game’s protagonist. Sifting through this digital archive prompts Drake to discover his old holster, now holding a toy gun. Almost instinctively, I make him pick it up, and then I steer him…

Indigo Prophecy

The joys of taking a shower and sipping coffee in Indigo Prophecy

This article is part of PS2 Week, a full week celebrating the 2000 PlayStation 2 console. To see other articles, go here. /// In the men’s restroom of a New York diner, a dazed man stands over a corpse. He knows he killed the person but insists, to no one other than himself, that someone else was controlling him, that a moment of temporary possession had caused him to murder the restroom’s other occupant. Panicking, he struggles to hide the body in a stall, grabs a nearby mop to clean the red off the floor, washes the blood from the…


Samorost 3 is the best adventure game in years

In a cabin near Walker’s Lake, in Mississippi, there’s a piece of driftwood that looks almost like a wolf’s head. From another angle, it appears as some bizarre sailing vessel, and from another still, it has the look of an alien weapon—perhaps a hybrid of a gun and a club. I remember turning it over in my hands as a child, curious as to why anyone would place an oddly-shaped piece of wood on a table as a decorative object. I hadn’t thought of that bit of ornamental flotsam for years, but it suddenly appeared in my mind when I…


The Flame in the Flood floats comfortably in the shallows

I can think of few landmarks more American than the Mississippi River. It carves a slow, muddy path through the states, branching out as various smaller systems and tributaries that form the vessels of the country. The Mississippi carries with it the stories of Mark Twain and William Faulkner, the verse of Langston Hughes, the sounds of the Delta blues, the steady rhythms of riverboat paddle wheels, and the ghosts of those claimed by its waters. Perhaps my own Southern heritage has colored my perception of the river to an overly-romantic degree. But there is a mythic current that carries…


Death of the author: A Review of The Ice-Bound Concordance

In the glacial caverns beneath a polar research facility, someone hears a distant groan. No, that’s not right. Maybe she hears laughter instead, but that goes against the tone of the piece—an air of mystery with a heavy sense of foreboding. Distant whispers… no, faint whispers breathing through the ice makes far more sense. Changing that bit of language, of course, only fits one particular moment in a much larger narrative. Still, it feels significant enough given the delicate nature that comes with editing a novel—especially one written by the author’s digital ghost. Such are the considerations needed in The…


TIE Fighter found the humanity in fascism

In 1993, LucasArts released Star Wars: X-Wing, a space flight simulator that let the player fly as part of the Rebel Alliance in missions focused on ambushing Imperial forces and gathering intelligence. The game received near universal critical acclaim for its authenticity as both a window into the Star Wars universe and as a flight simulator that reproduced in excruciating detail the difficulty of piloting for the Rebel Alliance. In X-Wing, nearly every button on the keyboard serves a purpose, from shield and energy management to changing cockpit viewpoints, making the dogfights a careful balance of ship maintenance and white-knuckled…


Star Wars Battlefront is a beautiful diorama

  After the release of Star Wars in May of 1977, the Kenner toy company could not make enough action figures to meet the demands of an eager consumer base. Even into the Christmas season, the company still had inadequate stock, so Kenner instead sold people an “Early Bird Certificate Package”—an empty box containing a diorama stand, some stickers, and a certificate for four toys to be mailed to the purchaser when they finally became available the following February. People snatched them up, of course, placing empty boxes under trees, assured in the knowledge that in a few short months,…