The game’s characters, milieu, nomenclature, and overall mood are geriatrically tired. Our grizzled, taciturn, badass-but-with-a-moral-code hero is such a game commonality that he feels downloaded from some central-character database frequented only by game developers. Meanwhile, the “mature” quality of the story, upon which so many reviewers lavished such fulsome praise, seems to be based on the fact that the game’s “good” guys do lousy things and its “bad” guys have their reasons. Again, this is a modest step up from the Snidely Whiplashery of most video-game stories, but that’s all it is.
Can we have Tom Bissell write about all the games? Please?
I love this piece on The Escapist about the joy of game manuals and the frustrating lack of them these days. I remember poring over the manual for every new game I bought on my way home from the store in my parents’ car.
“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”— Carl Sagan (via fully-booked)