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Gods Will Be Watching team parodies what they’re good at: videogame violence

Violence is commonplace in videogames. It’s commonplace in most popular media, but its role in games comes under particularly heavy fire. What strikes me as weird about videogame violence, as someone who plays plenty of violent videogames herself, isn’t its prevalence as much as its weightlessness. Violence in games is often trivial, reduced into menial tasks that rarely reflect anything important about characters or plot beyond serving as shallow narrative impetus. These acts usually result in some form of currency for the player, like coins, money, items, or points, that make them worthwhile—something to be rewarded for. That isn’t to…

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This sea-faring sim lets you romance your crew or eat them. Your choice, really

With The Walking Dead and Gods will be Watching and now Sunless Sea, a dark and Melvillian account of life on the open ocean, cannibalism is quickly becoming the hot new trend in games. OK, maybe three games doesn’t exactly constitute a trend, but we’ll wait and see. The interesting thing about this one, with selling points like “eat your crew” and staving off “hunger” while joining leagues with “pirates,” is that it teases to tap into moral-choice-making with a slant towards villainy, a perspective TellTale’s games, for all their horrific qualities, seem afraid to flirt with. But this game…

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Crawl is like Diablo, but with gorgeous, gory pixels

The dungeon hack Crawl, recently greenlit on Steam, is a grisly little action-RPG with very, very pretty pixel art. The new trailer is a visual symphony of small four-sided shapes—a feast of upside-down pentagrams, Carmackian floating demon heads, and plenty of blood-splatter.  Like Diablo, it allows you and up to three buddies to rampage through a damp, subterranean, freak-filled dungeon, with the caveat that your buds can possess the baddies and the spike traps. Another difference from Diablo: these pixels are hella expressive. Games from smaller studios that feature spectacular pixel art is a trend we’re loving, as we’ve seen…