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Falling through 100 million stories in Gravity Rush: Remastered

Gravity Rush (2012) director Keiichiro Toyama didn’t choose horror, it chose him. His first game as director, Silent Hill (1999), was assigned to him by his bosses at Konami. A stranger to horror as well as a self-professed scaredy-cat, in order to find his feet Toyama turned away from schlock and gore and towards those softer influences that did appeal to him: occult practices, mystery stories, and evidently enough, the work of David Lynch. Silent Hill’s thoughtful, ambiguous atmosphere may have gone on to define survival horror, but it also went on to define Toyama’s career. Which is why Gravity Rush,…

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A love letter to the stony architecture of Ico

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. In Ruins (PC, Mac) TOM BETTS The craggy, mysterious ruins of Ico’s fortress-like castle are known for their wind-blown eeriness. Tom Betts has taken that game’s architecture and used its melancholy character as a model for one of his experiments into procedural generation. The idea, he says, is to interpret the work of Romantic landscape painters, such as Thomas Cole and Caspar David Friedrich, as a sublime videogame. The result is an island of broken ramparts, cold beaches, and overgrown pathways that lead to crumbling…

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Ico gets eco in the first trailer for Submerged

Submerged explores a vaguely serene, post-apocalyptic world that is, well, submerged, thanks to global warming, melting icecaps, and poorly constructed window air conditioner units. We’ve been tracking it for awhile, through screenshots and Vines, and now the Australian studio Uppercut Games has released a full trailer. Seeing this thing in motion teases out the Ico-ness of it: the sense of melancholy, the earnestness of its central relationship, the way it explores a brown palette without looking, like, all brown everything.  The game is due out next year. 

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Vane is as gorgeous and desolate as you’d expect, coming from ex-Last Guardian devs

Vane is a jaw-dropping game about exploring dangerous old ruins in desolate nature, and boy does it have pedigree.  It’s coming to us from some self-described devilishly handsome ex-members of The Last Guardian team—that’s Fumito Ueda’s long en absentia, man-eating yet puppy-eyed monster game for PlayStation 3, or 4, or 5, possibly. They grew tired of the daily grind of big game development and decided to go do what they love at their own independent game studio, Friend & Foe. And apparently what they love is Fumito Ueda’s former games. Looking at the gorgeously picturesque panoramas that have been released,…