E3 2016

Let us now consider the menswear at E3—2016 edition

We still live in a glorious time for mediocre fashion. Russell Westbrook notwithstanding, all it takes for a man to be deemed a good dresser is baseline competence: if your clothes vaguely fit, you’re stylish. This, incidentally, is the bigotry of low expectations or, to use a trendier term: male privilege. So, here we are: another year of unimaginative fashion; another year of officialdom-sanctioned apathy under the aegis of “normcore”; another year of E3. Sigh. You can probably see where this is going. In true Kill Screen fashion, this review will involve scores. Let’s begin. Here, for your sartorial pleasure, is one…


Upcoming game asks if isolated dicatorships like North Korea are good or bad

North Korea is upset with Bae. Kenneth Bae, that is. The American missionary, who was detained in North Korea from 2012 to 2014, has a book out—Not Forgotten: The True Story of My Imprisonment in North Korea—and has been giving interviews about it. This has not pleased his former captors. “As long as Kenneth Bae continues his babbling,” North Korea’s KCNA news agency announced, “we will not proceed with any compromise or negotiations with the United States on the subject of American criminals, and there will certainly not be any such thing as humanitarian action.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsCmoTaRKC0 The whole situation is…


A game about the difficulty of getting people to leave a house party

Knowing how to leave a party is an important life skill. This does not get enough attention. Plenty of angst and instruction and practice goes into mastering the entry: when to arrive; what opening line to use; what to bring. As for the exit, well, you’ll figure that out when the time comes—just feel the room. Everyone will probably be sloshed by then anyhow. That system tends not to work and, consequently, most parties stumble across the finish line like a marathoner who ran the opening mile at full speed. People stick around too long; they fall asleep; they pass out.…

Kentucky Route Zero

Slow things down by listening to the new Kentucky Route Zero teaser

Cardboard Computer has released a new track from an upcoming installment of Kentucky Route Zero and maybe it contains important information about what is to come in the game. Maybe—OK, let’s be real—it probably doesn’t. But maybe it does, and that’s enough hope to keep the whole operation going. https://t.co/2SWOwOuGYp — Cardboard Computer (@cardboardcompy) June 8, 2016 “River” is, as you might expect, an atmospheric track, filled with billowing sounds and distant noodlings. It doesn’t wash over you; you sink into it. Of course, this isn’t exactly music for you to listen to—at least not in this context. How often…

Pan Pan

Pan Pan gets you lost in the prettiest parts of space

You’re riding aboard your spaceship—maybe you’re enjoying an in-flight movie, and everything is going reasonably well. Then it isn’t. That wasn’t supposed to happen. But it did, and you’ve crashed on a remote planet. Good luck with that. Now your job is to get home. Or is it? That is the central tension in Pan Pan, an upcoming game for PC and Mac from Spelkraft, to be published by Shelter (2013) creator Might and Delight. damn, isn’t the planet nice On the one hand, it is quite clearly a game about returning from the planet on which you’ve crashed. (Think 2015’s The Martian,…


Star Trek: Bridge Crew brings space camp to virtual reality

I was always under the distinct impression that Star Trek was a virtual reality—no, it’s really not necessary to email me about this—but now… it actually is? This is Star Trek: Bridge Crew, as revealed at E3 on Monday. It’s a collaborative VR game where, instead of interacting with your friends, you all put on headsets and interact with one another’s avatars. Here, for instance, are some of the franchise’s distinguished alumna giving it a go: Having actors record a video trying out virtual reality is always an interesting gambit because they are… well… actors. But, for argument’s sake, let’s…


At E3, FIFA 17 concedes that soccer is boring

Soccer clubs are fundamentally in the content business. Their prime offering is a match—90ish minutes of action delivered once or twice a week—but they have to fill in around the edges. This is how it came to pass that clubs started releasing exclusive video content through their own online portals—anything to fill the void between matches. Soccer media, more obviously, is in the content business. It, too, must reckon with the fact that relatively little time is taken up by the sport itself. It, too, has sought to fill this void with pseudo-events: endless talk shows and things like “transfer…


Want to weed through a suspect’s phone? There’s a game for that

A few days ago, a terrorist attack devastated a major city. Officials don’t have a body count for you but it’s bad. Do you really need to know the exact number? Would that change anything for you? Anyhow, officials now want to find out how this happened and prevent future attacks. That is the opening premise of Replica, and from that fact pattern alone you can almost sense callous indifference to civil liberties coming around the bend. And so it is: the game challenges you to piece together a story by rummaging through someone else’s cellphone. There may be some…

v r 2

V R 2 asks how much faith you’re willing to put in game makers

The town of Marfa is a repository of modern art and little else in the middle of the Texan high desert. “Whether you aim to remember history or forget it,” reads the first line of the welcome message on its website, a blockish, primitive piece of Internet. That is not the most promising of taglines, but the widget to the right of that text nevertheless advertises a stocked cultural calendar. And why shouldn’t it? Since the late 1970s, Marfa has been home to a series of installations that achieve their potency by appearing on the edge of the world. Among…