PUBG as a game shouldn’t work. It’s a multiplayer only game that requires around 100 players for a match. It looks bland as white rice. There’s fundamentally no narrative, no story. To start a game is to commit to a single 30 minute time sink where 99 players are going to lose. This game should have empty servers, critical panning and a bunch of postmortems to dissect exactly how bad of an idea it is. Yet it’s easily one of the most engrossing games I’ve played in a long time. Somehow PUBG is a highly compelling game that’s sucked up most of my year.
Castlevania is a game series based around the troubles of the Belmont family, as they tackle the monsters sent by Dracula to torment the people. The animated series brought to us from Netflix and written by Warren Ellis has been adapted from that core concept. With only four episodes, Castlevania is more of a proof of concept than anything else. Saying that, It’s compelling, hideous and leaves you wanting more.
2016 was… not ideal. But there was plenty of good stuff to enjoy and maybe distract. Might as well celebrate them. So, top ten games, plus a few honourable mentions. Here we go:
To put it bluntly, the opening episodes of Walking Dead Season 3 do not inspire confidence in the rest of the season. There’s structural problems, story issues, a really weird sense of camera direction and some odd graphical problems. By now, Telltale’s Walking Dead series has a reputation. There’s good parts, like the first season’s (for the time) excellent narrative and ability to tug on heartstrings with the choices system. There’s also terrible parts, like the second season’s reliance on unrelenting solemnity and shock, and the fact that by now, after using the choices system in so many other games, it’s transparent to the player. Season Three does very little to move on from this.
I know the move to Netflix is great. And I know you have your habits. But Do Not binge watch Black Mirror. Don’t do it. It’s amazing, I get that. You want to watch more. It is wonderful, but pick an episode, watch it, take a break. It deserves it. Netflix has mostly got it’s original programming series designed to be watched in a sequence, sometimes not even paying attention properly. Black Mirror is worth considering. Pore over it. I’m going to go through the episodes for commenting, but I’ll be avoiding spoilers for the most part where I can.
This week we get so much TV, plenty of adventure games and some really weird movies. Check out your week in Pop Culture below!
Time for another round up of films, games and anything else that catches my eye, starting from Sunday 4th September.
Stranger Things Season 2 is confirmed for Netflix in 2017! But what will be involved?
You are a pilot running supplies to Antarctic Research stations. Your Plane goes down in a storm. You stumble out to try to find shelter. It’s -38C with the wind. You make your way into the nearest base. It’s abandoned. You’re Near Death. An hour and a half later, you’re using the rope lines you’ve been planting to guide yourself through the blizzard. It’s now -80C and you can’t see anything but the mild glow of the base’s wall lamps. You ran out of batteries for your torch when you left the last shelter. You need to reach a safe spot right now. Near Death was created by Orthogonal Games. (previously of The Novelist, a game which has been highly recommended to me) to paraphrase their own words, “it’s not a survival game, It’s a game about survival”. And it is great.
Inside is a horror based platforming game by Playdead Games. Their previous game, Limbo, is an excellent addition to any library, a game with a simple aesthetic and gameplay that doesn’t demand too much time to enjoy. With Inside, as before in Limbo, they’ve created a deeply unsettling platformer, starring a young boy who wanders through a steadily more unpleasant environment, solving puzzles and doing basic platforming challenges. If you’re good at something, might as well just iterate on it.