Category Archives: Gaming

I play games on Steam, but I talk about any and all platforms and genres.

The “Mass Effect” effect: over-complicated video game narratives are a bad idea


Mass Effect is a franchise that prides itself on giving the player a huge amount of control over the outcome of the game. While the original Mass Effect had only two really big decisions that could impact the future of the series, the second game spawned so many possible permutations of the story that most people will never experience all of the content that BioWare created. I’m not so convinced that’s a good thing.

Warning! As is often the case with my recent posts, I’m going to be spoiling all three Mass Effect games here. If you haven’t played them and would prefer not to have everything ruined, don’t read this.

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BioShock Infinite is basically just Fringe


Warning! I’m going to spoil the crap out of the TV show Fringe (up through season 2, at least) and the game BioShock Infinite.

I’m gonna go ahead and point out that I haven’t watched the season 2 finale of Fringe yet, but I mostly see where things are headed, and I’ve noticed a lot of parallels between that show and BioShock Infinite. Allow me to explain.

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The Path Not Taken: A full explanation of BioShock Infinite’s crazy finale

BioShock - Elizabeth

I’m writing this post to help those who have completed BioShock Infinite make sense of the confusing series of events that takes place at the end of the game. I’m going to try to make this as simple as possible, but we’re dealing with some very complex ideas, and that may not be entirely plausible.

Warning: Everything beyond this point contains massive spoilers for BioShock Infinite, including a detailed recap of the entire ending and backstory. I also spoil a major plot point from the original BioShock. Proceed at your own risk.

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How Ubisoft “marked and executed” the fun of Splinter Cell

In the video above, IGN demonstrates a new feature in the fifth Splinter Cell game. The feature, called Mark and Execute, allows you quickly take out up to four enemies at once with a guaranteed kill. It looks like a great new addition to Sam Fisher’s arsenal of hand-to-hand and firearms tactics, but it’s actually one of the worst single features added to the entire franchise. In fact, I’d say Mark and Execute could be even worse for the franchise than Splinter Cell: Double Agent. If you’ve ever played Double Agent, you know that’s a strong accusation. Obviously I plan to explain myself, so let me go ahead and do that. Continue reading

Breathing Life Back into the Zombie Genre

Yes, I know, you see what I did there.

The Genre as We Know It

The zombie game genre has been getting a lot of attention lately. Between the Resident Evil games,the Left 4 Dead series, Dead IslandThe Walking Dead, and even Nintendo’s new ZombiU game for the Wii U, zombies have been and are continuing to be a centerpiece for a large selection of games. What’s interesting about all of the above-mentioned games is the lack of similarity between titles. Sure, the Resident Evil games are similar, and the Left 4 Dead games bear a striking resemblance to one another, but that’s to be expected. The big difference lies in the gap between Resident Evil and Left 4 Dead, or any other title above.

What’s really interesting, though, is that none of the games have what matters most: realism. Sure, some of them have realistic graphics and gore, or realistic character movements, or even realistic AI, but in a real zombie apocalypse, I certainly don’t plan on standing around saying, “Wow, look at how well that zombie moves! It’s so great!”

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Stop acting like E3 was shocking

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us gameplay trailer serves up a brutal point-blank shotgun blast

There’s been a lot of discussion about the amount of violence on display at E3 this year. From God of War: Ascension to Call of Duty: Black Ops II, to Tomb Raider, and Assassin’s Creed III, violence seems to be one of the most pervasive themes at E3 this year. Even the usually-tame Nintendo jumped in on the gore-fest with the trailer for their zombie shooter ZombiU (yes, that’s an awful name). In fact, Nintendo’s trailer was so graphically violent that I couldn’t even find a single screenshot suitable for including here illustrate my point . If you’ve ever watched AMC’s zombie-drama The Walking Dead you won’t really mind the ZombiU trailer, but most people will probably find it quite disturbing. And this is Nintendo. They made Mario, people. Mario.

Everyone has said it. I’ll say it, too. There sure was a lot of violence at E3 this year. But why are people shocked? Is this new? No, it isn’t. Violence has been used as entertainment for centuries. The Romans had the Colosseum. We have Call of Duty.

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