Hard to believe that we’re now officially halfway through the year. I don’t know about you, but it’s seemed to just fly right past for me. Now for the mad rush towards the end of the year. Yay?
Games Journalists Uniting In Common Causes?
While listening to a discussion about civil disobedience and direct action on Triple J the other day I was struck by a thought. Such activities are organised by groups of like-minded people interested in making a difference in this crazy society that we live in. Endless talk does nothing to solve the problems that plague the world and people must unite and take things into their own hands to make the people in charge take notice.
How does this relate, even tangentially, to gaming? Surely I can’t be the only one to notice a rise in recent times of games journalists bouncing ideas off of each other in an attempt to raise awareness of a particular facet of gaming culture that could, and sometimes should, be changed. Some of the debates are as old as the hills, but some are extremely relevant to the hobby today, given its increasing mainstream acceptance and cries for maturity. From the debates on whether the portrayals of violence have gone too far to the outcry against the objectification of women, to say nothing of the calls for more sparks of originality, these gatherings can really only be a good thing.
It may not be direct action, but it draws attention to the issues present in modern gaming society that developers would be foolish to ignore. Accessible violence like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto may be the most popular, but more gamers are calling for intellectual and different experiences like Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and downloadable games in the vein of Journey, Braid and Limbo. Does this mean that a more mature outlook will take precedence in the immediate future? Probably not, but the industry is moving in that direction and it should prove to be a boon for the single players out there, who seem to generally prefer such a focus.
So, we’re done with our latest giveaway of codes for Metro 2033, and we currently have nothing else running at the moment, but we do still have some other goodies related to that game to give away and we’ll be doing that over the coming weeks while we try to arrange something else for the fans. In addition to that, we finally launched our forums and while it remains a work in progress, we hope that you’ll take advantage of them to talk about all of the things that you like or don’t like about gaming. You never know, you might inspire one of our staff members and get recognised for doing so.
Will Blackwell finally played through enough of Dragon’s Dogma that he felt comfortable with delivering a review that praises many of the aspects of the gameplay that blends typical RPG tropes with a design that can feel more like a strict action title, while also including unique elements. The story didn’t manage to hold up to close scrutiny, but most of the technical aspects were on par with the norm.
On the editorial front, Michael got up the latest entry in his Concerning Comments series, bound to deliver either laughs or /facepalms for anyone that adheres to a higher standard of writing. I was disappointed by the fact that EA seems to have forced Criterion Games to abandon Burnout in favour of taking the role of lead developer of the Need For Speed series, as well as delivering a second look at Max Payne 3 and pointing out all of the things that were just plain wrong about it.
Personal Gaming Update
I picked up the recently released Ratchet and Clank HD Trilogy this past weekend, so I’ll be working on that to deliver a review for the readers out there ahead of the US release, purported to be in Autumn. Can’t say too much about it right now, but what little I’ve played has, indeed, been fun.