Alone With You

Alone With You brings inclusive romance to the dead of space

Alone With You is an adventure game that focuses on relationships—particularly, relationships with four fellow colonists. (Four fellow colonists who are actually dead, and appearing as holograms.) As the last member of an ill-fated space colony, the player is desperately trying to escape the planet. But the player can’t do that without getting to know the folks around them. Relating to the four main characters—Winnie, Jean, Leslie, and Pierre—is just as important as exploring through the game’s 12 missions, and ultimately, escaping the planet. Each character has their own arc, as does the “troubled” AI companion and the player. And…


Thank god the new God of War isn’t set in Ancient Egypt

When Sony kicked off their E3 press conference this year by announcing a new God of War game, it confirmed rumors that Kratos would be taking his God-slaying talents North to Scandinavia. It was later revealed that developer Santa Monica Studio had also considered Ancient Egypt as a possible setting for the next act in Kratos’s story. The game’s creative director, Cory Barlog, said in a roundtable interview with Eurogamer that, “for me, as I looked at both [Egyptian and Norse mythology], Egyptian mythology is about the pharaohs as embodiments of the gods on Earth and there’s a lot more about…


Thumper is set to blow your damn face off this October

Thumper may not be the first rhythm game to feature a craft accelerating down winding paths in sync with the beat, but its aggressive assault of color and sound and speed promises to perhaps be the most hypnotic. The intense and otherworldly  “rhythm violence” of the game has been gestating since developer Drool formed in 2009, and now, like its titular chrome beetle, is finally set to emerge on October 13th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and Steam. “an overwhelming sense of speed and monumental dread” In a recent PlayStation blog post, co-founder Marc Flury discussed what you should expect when…

Gravity Rush 2

Gravity Rush 2’s city turns the player from tourist to traveler

As a word, tourist is often pejorative. Like jogger is to runner, tourist is to traveler. One implies lazy trend-following and a profoundly uncool lack of self-awareness, the other an adventurous outlook and a sense of dynamic movement. You’ll be as hard-pressed to find a self-professed jogger as you will a tourist: we are all travellers now, or at least we like to think so. When it comes to cities, tourism also brings with it a kind of standardization—think of any city guide or map. Tasked with describing those complex organic machines we call cities, they often fall into gross…

Death Stranding

Death Stranding: The Ultimate Theory

The trailer for Death Stranding, revealed last week during E3, is proper batshit. It features a naked Norman Reedus clutching a baby to his chest while crying (that has seemingly been delivered by him via c-section, and is still attached to him by the umbilical cord), lots of dead fish, and five distant figures in the shape of a cross floating in the sky. This isn’t too surprising given that it’s the work of longtime Metal Gear series director Hideo Kojima. For years prior to this, he has been working under Konami, producing games that involve prison escape with a bottle of ketchup, a…


The dream behind Abzû’s alluring underwater world

The “dream” of scuba diving is separated by the actual, body-in-water act by one significant detail: there is no equipment. To scuba dive, you must submerge with a wetsuit, mask, flippers, then there’s the air cylinder, compass, line cutter, and dive light. There’s more too and it all bears down upon you; a heavy baggage of artificial stand-ins for fish parts and safety measures that account for inevitable human error. Matt Nava wants away with it all. He wants to swim nakedly under the sea—bold and free. Drowning not included. Nava has been scuba diving since high school. He described it…

The Last Guardian

I yearn to pet The Last Guardian’s giant chicken-dog forever

It’d be foolhardy to make any big claims about The Last Guardian, Fumito Ueda’s massively long-in-development third game, after 45 minutes of playing it at E3. So I will start with what I know, which is that the big feathery chicken-cat, who is the ostensible star and raison d’etre of the videogame, is a very nice thing. She—I do not know her gender, but she reminds of my cat, who is female—has a nice face, and eyes that glow like malfunctioning PlayStation Move controllers. After throwing barrels at her face for a while, I freed her, and then threw more…


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…

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…