Vampyr
News

Blood fetishists rejoice: the Vampyr E3 trailer understands you

The vast majority of videogames harbor a raging, barely concealable boner for violence. But it takes a special kind of violent videogame to step over that fine line into the realm of fetish porn: where violence is used for neither shock nor gore nor anything remotely resembling reality. Rather, the videogame snuff film aims to entice that primal, buried part of your sexuality that lusts after something without knowing whether you want to consume it, have sex with it, kill it, or some combination of all three. That’s the Vampyr E3 trailer in a nut shell: the loving caress of a CGI-ed blood stream splattering across your face with the warm tenderness of a paramour. While certainly not the most expected followup from…

Jak and Daxter
Feature

Jak and Daxter: the Search for Player Two

This article is part of PS2 Week, a full week celebrating the 2000 PlayStation 2 console. To see other articles, go here. /// I hear him pad up next to me before I feel his whiskers tickle my ankles. A wet, impatient nudge tells me to hurry up already—there’s something I should see up ahead. Won over, I look down. “What is it, Dax?” His ears perk at my response before immediately shooting down to the ground with the rest of his body. Head low, eyes steady, he slinks forward to his new objective with laser focus. But, after reaching…

5
News

The adorably grotesque world of Push Me Pull You arrives next month

As you can surmise from the title, Push Me Pull You (PMPY) is about the delightful tension between polar opposite forces. Even the world behind this couch co-op game is simultaneously the same and exact opposite of our own world. Because, you see, PMPY is populated by a very similar society with one key difference: people are joined at the waist to one another, turning the populace into a squirming pile of two-headed mutant tube creatures. Despite the body horror this image suggests, PMPY depicts a utopian society built around play, diversity, and a strong sense of community. For all its grotesqueness, this society of skin worms seems endlessly more charming and self-loving than our own. The bond struck between each one—quite literally unbreakable—is…

Planet-licker
News

Planet Licker, a game that you play with your tongue

By far the most innocent game with the smuttiest implications at GDC this year was the alternative controller entry entitled Planet Licker. In the game’s fiction, you are a monster who eats planets made of popsicles. As the player IRL, you are also a popsicle-licking monster of sorts, only instead of planets your tongue is manhandling an edible controller. Planet Licker not only puts your tongue to the test; it’s also a race against time. You have to schlurp up six planets before the clock runs out. As part of the annual ALT.CTRL.GDC showcase, Planet Licker was an unusual experiment for creator Frank…

Thumper
News

Rhythm hell game Thumper aspires to be a VR fever dream

The term “rhythm game” might call to mind images of a virtual band either slaying or bombing in front of a crowd. Usually, you’re cast as a musician strumming a fake guitar or a fake drum kit to the demands of a note highway, songs turned into timely button presses. Thumper throws all that shit out the window. You play as a beetle who lives, breathes, and literally is metal. You are tasked with making the right moves as you try to survive the endless road to hell stretched out before you.”When you think of Rock Band or Guitar Hero, they’re trying to recreate this euphoria…

Isabela's_Ongoing_Search
News

80 Days writer thinks you should stop playing the hero

“Protagonists have had their way for too long,” declared Meg Jayanth, the writer behind 2014’s 80 Days and a contributor to last year’s Sunless Sea. At her GDC talk on Monday, Jayanth took the stage to instruct a room full of game designers to transgress one of the most fundamental conceits of their craft: “Forget your protagonist,” or, in other words, forget the player. Almost since their inception, videogame worlds have bended backwards to the whim and ego of the player-protagonist, leading to conventions like leveling up and the Badass Anti-Hero With A Gun cliche. Of course, arguments against the classic power fantasy narrative aren’t new, either. You don’t even have to…

GenitalJousting_Screenshot2
News

Genital Jousting, a real videogame about penises fighting each other

A videogame that has you and your friends play as mutant penis-butt creatures trying to penetrate one another might not sound like the most empowering female experience. But, believe me, it is. Genital Jousting began as a simple joke. At Berlin Minijam last spring, programmer Evan Greenwood (director of Free Lives, the studio behind last year’s masculine-pumped action game Broforce) set out to make a local multiplayer game with humor that was “at the expense of penises.” After teaming up with Marin Kvale (sound) and Daniel Schüler (art), they came to the understanding that watching players “chase each other around trying to…

THE-WITCH
News

The Witch isn’t an empowerment narrative and that’s why it’s great

Before, I was not a witch. But now I am one. — Margaret Atwood, author of Half-Hanged Mary and descendant of accused witch Mary Webster The Witch, described simply by its first time writer/director Robert Eggers as a “New England fairytale,” tells a story we’ve heard many times and in many different ways—but with one crucial difference. The ancient, devil-loving hag who wreaks havoc on good, devout Christians is, of course, a tale as old as most countries. More recently, though, it’s also been reapproriated to incorporate everything from Arthur Miller’s metaphorical scapegoats to the WB’s Halliwell sisters (and whatever the hell Strega Nona and…

Unrest_1
Article

What could an Indian videogame identity look like?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Indian game development is booming—or at least it is compared to where it was just a decade ago. Shailesh Prabhu, founder of Yellow Monkey studio and a lead designer on their isometric puzzle game Socioball, says that, “When I started working in games eleven years ago, there were about four game studios. When I started Yellow Monkey eight years ago, there were maybe eight? Right now, there are too many to count.” That’s in no small part due to the fact that, despite the lack of formal avenues for developers, quality creators…