A daddy-daughter stealth game about escaping a war-torn city

It goes without saying that sensationalized military conflict has long been a staple of the videogame landscape. From Contra (1987) to Halo 2 (2004), Modern Warfare (2007) to Bad Company (2008), the variety of titles that allow players to occupy the boots of a laconic lone shooter on foreign territory are innumerable. The number of games centered on the lives of bystanders caught in the crossfire? Not so many. Recent titles such as This War of Mine (2014) and Papers Please (2013) are a notable couple, panning the focus away from the bombs and bullets to ruminate on the human…

God of War

God of War is the new daddy in town

Upon seeing the new Norse mythology reboot of God of War at Sony’s E3 2016 press conference last night, I was ready to declare Kratos the new God of Phwoarr. I changed my mind pretty quick. Just because Kratos has a beard now doesn’t automatically put him up there with the lumbersexual appeal of Hot Ryu. And, in fact, he’s actually gone through the same facial hair evolution as Fred Durst—from gnarly-wannabe goatee to middle-aged man beard. That isn’t so cool. Let’s not forget: Kratos is a profound asshole who, in his Greek myth form, had sex with women and…

undertale 1

The Year of Mom

It begins with her. Whether the birth of a nation or your own life, it all began with her. Inside her, existence takes shape. Outside her, the shape of her existence is forgotten. As American poet and feminist Adrienne Rich says, “Life on the planet is born of woman.” Yet, somehow, the begetter of planet Earth has been all but cursorily kept out of humanity’s central myths, social structures, and ideologies. In Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, Rich weaves autobiography with literary and historical research to paint a universal portrait of motherhood as it exists under patriarchy.…


Videogame dadification takes a delightful turn for the bizarre in Dad Quest

IRL dads are basically super human. In fact, there’s an entire subreddit dedicated to dad reflexes because they are so outside the realm of normal human capabilities that their special powers only activate once the fruit of one’s loins is threatened by malicious gravity and the like. Perhaps this explains why dadification has taken over so many gaming plots: because the super-human capabilities of a dad translates seamlessly to the super-human feats achieved by most videogame protagonists. But usually in games, the super-human capabilities of a father are explored through a very specific lens. In titles like The Last of Us and…


New Rise of the Tomb Raider footage stars Lara Croft’s daddy issues

Finally, some tomb raiding for the Tomb Raider! The latest footage of Rise of the Tomb Raider direct from its presentation at Gamescom gave fans what they’ve been yearning for since the 2013 reboot: Lara Croft scaling crumbling walls in exotic, undiscovered locales like the good ol’ days when breasts were triangles. The footage reads like a response to the critics of the first reboot who cited a distinct lack of the series’ titular activity. In Crystal Dynamics’ defense, though, they did kinda address that in the game, with Lara’s self-aware declaration that she “hates tombs.” Yet by the end of…


TV and film are full of bad dads, but games are doing better

“[On TV] if there is a dad in the home, he is an idiot. It must have reflected our own discomfort with dads being competent,” said Hanna Rosin on a panel about the future of fatherhood this weekend at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “You put a dad in front of his kid, and the dad gives the worst advice. You put a dad in front of a toaster and he burns the house down.” Alexis Madrigal echoed the refrain: “As a new dad, I’ve often been struck with horror at dads I see on TV. On the small screen, dads are…


Yep, Shelter 2’s defenseless cubs still look adorable

Shelter, our favorite game of last year about one adorable sacrificial mama badger, is getting a part 2. As you can see in the new teaser and classy, origami-inspired concept art, Might and Delight is giving our heroine of the first game a reprieve.  In her steed is another carnivorous matriarch: a lynx with sharp claws and piercing fangs who should prove more adept at defending her pack of young’uns than her predecessor, not that a badger isn’t fully capable of crushing a fox in its jaw. Like the first one, this game has a National Geographic documentary thing going…