Desync
News

Hyperactive shooter DESYNC is made to resemble synesthesia

Beginning in the 20th century, modern design started being dominated by the saying “form follows function.” The idea was that when creating a building, car, or piece of software, pragmatism should come first, and style should be secondary. In Adult Swim’s upcoming game DESYNC, however, style is the function. Taking inspiration from classic shooters like Quake (1996) and Unreal Tournament (1999), DESYNC is a deliberately unrealistic shooter set in a colorful neon world resembling the computer reality of the Tron films. Enemies are abstract collections of polygons and vectors, and players dual-wield guns and swords while jumping dozens of feet into the air…

mgsprison
Feature

The Art of Escape

This article was funded with support from Longreads members. * * * No one wore stripes that spring and summer in Leavenworth. Stripes were for rule breakers, and no one was breaking the rules. “Baseball As A Corrective” read the front page of the New York Times that May. It was 1912 and “the magic of baseball” had “wrought a wonderful change in the United States Penitentiary.” For the first time in Leavenworth’s history, for months at a time, everyone behaved, because everyone wanted to play or watch the baseball games. “Chronic trouble makers began to be so good that the…

nulloperator1
News

Null Operator is the videogame that refuses to die

One of the more common pieces of advice given to aspiring writers is to “kill your darlings.” It simply means that writers should be willing to remove passages or ideas from their work that they might personally enjoy in service of the reader. Over the course of developing his game Null Operator, Anton from game development studio Rust Ltd., has killed several darlings. When it was first announced to the internet as a whole in a blog post in October of 2014, Null Operator was pitched as a game where players fly a spaceship through a cramped, mechanical environment shooting…

DOOM
News

The monstrous models that gave DOOM its human touch

DOOM (1993) is known for its hellish bravura and the legacy that followed. On the surface, we tend to think of big pink demon muscles, gnashing jaws, and bloodied grimaces. It’s a stern-faced brute that would be quicker to punch you in the mouth than hold a conversation. Somehow, that aura surrounds the game even today, 20-odd years after it was originally released. But we’re told that all hard-nosed giants have a soft side, and that is at least true for DOOM, as all you have to do is wind back the years to before it came out, to DOOM‘s somewhat goofy-looking production. I’m…

devildaggers3
Review

Devil Daggers is one hell of a time

To play Devil Daggers is to die again and again. Anguish is constant. It’s never clear what the player has done to be locked in this eternal struggle. Every playthrough opens with a darkened room except for a single source of light, a floating blade. Touching it is apparently a damning offense, and that’s when the horrors begin. Rounds can last mere seconds, missteps compounding upon each other until you’ve found yourself knee-deep in the undead, where inscrutable tentacled horrors are eager to feast on the living. Swarms of chattering skulls are belched out of tentacled turret-like floating pillars. Skull-backed…

Doom 3
Article

Shut Up, DOOM 3

This article is part of a series called Shut Up, Videogames, in which critic Ed Smith invites games old and new to pipe down, or otherwise. In this edition, he looks at the most recent addition to the legendary first-person-shooter series, DOOM. I know DOOM has a contingent of fans and critics who enjoy discussing it—its level structure, its weapon layouts, its enemy design—in excruciating detail. I know that, for some, a single room in id’s 1993 shooter can warrant microscopic inspection, lest the mathematical precision with which John Romero laid the game out go under-appreciated. I know what DOOM is supposed…