Pokemon Go

The purpose of Pokémon Go

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// I remember the first time I saw Abney Park chapel. I was already in a state of wonder, having discovered that behind a busy high street, not 10 minutes from my flat, a vast forested cemetery lay silent—cut through with dappled paths, lined with ancient graves. But on top of that, to discover the chapel with its derelict spire, its empty rose window and sprigs of green that grew between bricks and tiles and stone, was to enter another world…

The Silver Case

The Silver Case HD completes the 17 year localization of an iconic videogame trilogy

Goichi Suda, or Suda 51 as he is often known, can be a hard person to pin down. His work, especially in recent years, has been accepted into videogame culture as “crazy” or “weird,” identified as flippant stories filled with self-referential non-sequiturs and mulched manga plotlines. “Oh it’s just crazy old Suda,” seems to be the standard response to his work, and you can drown in articles that introduce him as “the Tarantino of games.” This is a side effect of his breakthrough game perhaps, the otaku assassin simulator No More Heroes (2007), which cemented him as a master of the…


Proteus: Artifact Edition brings the game’s pastoral landscapes into your home

At first glance, there would seem to be nothing more tangible than a landscape. An arrangement of physical objects, spread out before you, traversable, understandable, concrete in every sense. Yet when you start to think of a specific landscape, things start to cloud. What is a landscape if not the play of light on a hillside, the gathering of clouds on a horizon, the mood of the image as seen through your eyes, in your time, with your colors? All of these things are transient, unfixed, perhaps impossible to repeat. A landscape as a formation might be concrete, but a…

To West

To West explores the inherent slowness of vast landscapes

The power of the engine doesn’t matter—it is the landscape which dictates the speed of a train. Some journeys are staccato and breathless, clusters of urban interest barely spaced, laying down a beat over which the melodies of weather and light might play. Others are long drawn-out sighs, exhales as long as a country, made even slower by the occasional point of basic interest; a tree or ruin. Most waver between the two, playing out the time away from work, life, routine and rote in an almost mischievous way. Once you board a train, you leave your life behind, you…

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, a radical city in a failed system

I’ve always been fascinated by the coherence and incoherence of cities. The system and interface of their streets. The network logic of their rooms. In my fifth year in London, buried in basements fashioned to appear as French cafés or Italian bistros, I obsessively traced the shapes of silver ducts and pipes, interwoven along the ceilings as if they were circuit boards. Among the fake leather seating and off-white walls, the large canvas prints of Parisian street scenes and the art-deco light fixtures they stood out as uniquely functional objects, unornamented, hidden in plain sight. I followed them down flights…

No Man's Sky

Watch the man who creates No Man’s Sky’s creature sounds at work

No Man’s Sky feels like the game that keeps on giving. Before even reaching its long-awaited release date it has managed to capture imaginations with both its improbable construction and the mind-bending problem solving of its creators at Hello Games. Perhaps it has been because its talented team, in particular art director Grant Duncan and programmer Innes McKendrick, as well as figurehead Sean Murray, have been so eager to share their solutions with the world in a series of talks that all deal with the same issue: how do you maintain artistic control in a near-infinite game world? First there was…


Scorn slowly reveals its fleshy face with a new trailer

The camera slides over an unknown melding of flesh and bone, something tumorous growing in the edgelight. Towers of meat and sinew stand in a sickly fog, their scale and anatomy twisted beyond recognition. Like the 1979 teaser for Alien, the camera lingers over these textures, as if under such close scrutiny some occult meaning might be revealed. This is the teaser for Scorn, and it sets out a strong vision of fleshy worlds and cadaverous landscapes. Like that infamous Alien trailer, it is a masterpiece of atmosphere, a slow accumulation of tension that creeps under your skin. However, unlike…

Gravity Rush 2

Gravity Rush 2’s city turns the player from tourist to traveler

As a word, tourist is often pejorative. Like jogger is to runner, tourist is to traveler. One implies lazy trend-following and a profoundly uncool lack of self-awareness, the other an adventurous outlook and a sense of dynamic movement. You’ll be as hard-pressed to find a self-professed jogger as you will a tourist: we are all travellers now, or at least we like to think so. When it comes to cities, tourism also brings with it a kind of standardization—think of any city guide or map. Tasked with describing those complex organic machines we call cities, they often fall into gross…

Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2’s main attraction is still its arcane artistry

It was there, in the very first shot of Dishonored 2’s gameplay debut. Shown off by director Harvey Smith at publisher Bethesda’s E3 press conference earlier this week, the game’s first true appearance opened with slatted light falling across an unfinished sculpture, the chisel marks visible in the aging hardwood, depicting some tentacled monstrosity, some creature of the deep. Beside it a painting of a knight or soldier, hunched in the shadow of a tree, atop a huge boulder and surrounded by fireflies, or perhaps hidden, glinting eyes. Both were set in a series of rich apartments, filled with entomology…