Maybe this is a curse of third Batman things: Arkham Origins is to the Arkham series what The Dark Knight Rises is to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy: the biggest, but probably the weakest, of a series of very good things. Arkham Origins is objectively a pretty good game, but that mostly comes from what it preserves from its predecessors, because it makes very few attempts at expanding that formula.
Happy Halloween, Tap-Repeatedly!
Time for the news.
This weekend I’m going to be participating in the Extra Life game charity drive. I’m playing games for 25 hours as part of the Schell Games team, benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I hope you will consider donating to my page here! I’m getting closer to my goal and every extra bit helps kids.
The Stanley Parable is a game about branching narrative structures in games. Well, except I talked to Davey Wreden for a bit at Indiecade last year, and he said it’s not really about that. But the game is pretty sarcastic, unless it’s very sincerely telling you something about how it feels about branching choices in games, so maybe I misinterpreted that conversation, or maybe Wreden was just pulling my leg.
The Stanley Parable is a game about pulling my leg.
After playing a bit of Heavy Rain, I would often get on my phone and call a friend who was playing it at the same time. After verifying how far in we were (speaking in vague terms, so as not to spoil anything), we ravenously compared notes on the latest choices we’d made, why, and what happened as a result. (“How did you cut off your finger?”) I was nearly as excited to find out what my friends had done differently as I was to progress further in the game. It’s an urge I get most any time I’ve gotten through a game that confronts me with a meaningful decision.
Beyond: Two Souls never once provoked this feeling in me.
Have you ever had a dream, Neo, you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How could you distinguish between the dream world and the real world?
Most children have a monster or two – under the bed, in the closet. One of mine lurked in the huge attic fan that cooled our home during the Time Before Air Conditioning. I never walked underneath when the slats were open. The creature was up there, perched above the rumbling mechanism. Go under and it might drop down and bury its claws in you. It could pass right through the spinning blades. I knew this. But I never saw it. Because there are no fan-monsters.
As I’ve mentioned a few times my PS3 is a relatively recent acquisition, and so I missed on some otherwise must-have exclusives during their launch windows. In honor of the release of Beyond: Two Souls this week, I decided to skip it for now and instead fire up its spiritual predecessor, Heavy Rain.
I thought I might not have much to say about Heavy Rain, but it had me at “Press Start,” and not actually in a good way.
Hi, Tappers: just a public service announcement. Myself and my friends are trying to make games better. In order to make games better, we want some information about how you play games.
Easy, right? If you have a minute of time today – or this week, or whenever! – there’s a couple of quick surveys I hope that you will check out.
Closure isn’t a half bad time if you want to experience a uniquely difficult yet easily playable puzzle platformer. But if you have Dark Souls, don’t bother reading further; just go play that. ‘How are they related’ you ask? Hah, well for that you will have to read on to find out!*
I was so excited when the message about the final chapter of Cognition: an Erica Reed Thriller, dropped into my inbox, that I let out a little squeal of joy. In public. People looked at me.
That should be your warning that I’ve become remarkably invested in this adventure game series.
My mind is in twain. Part of me wants to say “Well, we saw that coming.” Another part of me wants to say “Holy mudcrabs!”
Valve has been teasing three big announcements for a while now, and they’re all expected this week. The first? SteamOS, which is (almost) exactly what it sounds like. And the whole earth trembled.