News

Bound brings videogames to the ballet

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Bound (PlayStation 4) BY PLASTIC STUDIOS & SIE SANTA MONICA STUDIO Rhythm games may use dancing animations to show a beat, but not many games engage with dance as an artform. In Bound, the beauty of the ballet takes center stage. The platformer casts the player as a faceless dancer who must defeat a nebulous monster by pirouetting across each fragmented level. With abstract landscapes and an irresistibly graceful protagonist, Bound is a feast for the eyes. The surreal story and level design paint…

Review

Bound makes a case for ballet in videogames

I was eight years old when I watched my first ballet performance, the Nutcracker, at an old, musty local theater. When the show ended, my mom asked if I wanted to be a ballerina, and to her surprise, I cringed. There was no way I could be a ballerina, I insisted. My body, short and stubby, could never be so lithe, yet strong. To be a ballerina, I thought, would be to somehow transcend the human body’s limits. To my childhood self, ballerinas were these inhuman, majestic creatures who, in their bending and gliding, could tell wordless stories. Ballerinas were…

Feature

The invisible women of videogames

When I was a young girl, I read an anecdote about Lara Croft—it said that her iconic look was created when her designer wanted to enlarge her breasts by 50 percent but accidentally entered 150 percent in the window. When he saw the effect he decided that it was great and that’s how the heroine should look—and thus the legend was born. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s plausible, and the fact that it is tells us something about female characters in videogames, and how we think about women in general. Or maybe—how we look at them. It’s…

Bound
News

Bound brings a much-needed dose of ballet to the videogame lineup

Alongside the newest edition of God of War and a horror VR title, Sony Santa Monica talked about a smaller, quieter game at their E3 Conference. Bound is a 3D narrative platformer set to release August 16th. Bound doesn’t look like any other game currently out, both in terms of its unique take on low-poly minimalism, its usage of color, and the movement of your unique main character. There’s an easy connection to be made between the effort and work of ballet and game design, in terms of their difficulty and craftsmanship. Both require years of practice and a certain poetry…