Ben Hoyt is an old friend and longtime industry veteran – he did a Celebrity Guest Editorial for us a while back, and has appeared as a guest star in some of my posts over the years. We’ve been meaning to do a sort of sweeping discussion of the Mass Effect series for some time now, and it’s ready at last!
My friends and I have a running in-joke about Infinium Labs’ cancelled “Phantom” console. I don’t mean to be cruel about a failed business model. It’s just that the whole story about a cancelled console that doesn’t exist, being called “Phantom”? You can’t really make that up.
But if Infinium had used Kickstarter in 2004, would we have funded the Phantom back then ourselves? How would things be different?
…a well-executed blend between old and new sensibilities. … Adventure game fans should definitely play this. If this was your first adventure game, you probably wouldn’t be disappointed, either.
By eleven in the morning I’m a sweaty, dizzy, panting mass of insect stings. Earlier, sliding down a rocky embankment, I lost my footing on the rolling stones and toppled, face-planting in the mud. I dropped my knife and saw it spin out into the bushes but I can’t find it. My stratospheric fever makes this bright day dim. The periphery is clouded by a dense black fog; my head pounds. I stumble again and fall, injuring myself. My throat is parched and I cannot find water. I am lost among unrecognizable landmarks. And I am dying. If I’m very lucky, I will die before it finds me.
Welcome to the first day of the worst days of my life.
The beginning is probably a good place to start.
Earlier in the year, I managed to find some time to play through Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP (in May), Journey (in June) and Dear Esther (in July). I’d heard nothing but exceptionally good things about them so, naturally, I was incredibly excited to finally be able to play them. S:S&S EP had until then been a tablet exclusive (and I didn’t have a tablet), Journey was something I’d sampled only briefly at the EG Expo 2011 and I had been aware of the original Dear Esther mod for Half-Life 2 for years but hadn’t gotten round to playing it, in which time, the astonishingly beautiful remake was on the horizon.
Anyway, recently in the staff forums where we talk about our readers in secret, I mentioned in the Journey thread that I found it ‘underwhelming’, and lumped it with S:S&S EP and Dear Esther. Understandably a few brows were furrowed. I’d only ever discussed why I didn’t get on with these games in a few comments and emails here and there, so rather than continue that trend I thought it was high time I spilled the proverbial beans.
With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!
My friend Colin McComb is trying to decide what to do next. He’s wrapped his work on Wasteland 2, and some other stuff coming down the pike still leaves him with a bit of spare time on his hands. If I had spare time on my hands, I’d stare at the wall, or fail to clean the house, or watch something I’ve already seen. Colin, on the other hand, might be a bit more productive…
After a rush on Black Friday, I am now the proud owner of a PlayStation 3 console. That allows me to pick up on some games that I have missed (more on that later). But it also allows me to watch Blu-ray movies, such as the Red Vs. Blue full series Blu-rays that I was itching to dig into, but unable to previously view.
Even though I got these at the start of the month, I’m actually a little glad I was able to watch them simultaneously with playing Halo 4. (And more on that, later, as well.) Halo 4 actually turns out to contain a surprising amount of Red Vs. Blue inspired throwbacks. And Red Vs. Blue slowly develops, over the course of the series, away from being a pure farce and more into being an actual wing of the Halo franchise. It’s an interesting symbiosis.
Below, some spoilers for Red Vs. Blue, all seasons. Very minor first-hour spoilers for Halo 4.
Captain’s Log, Final Entry
In my ongoing quest to find the best games attached to the Star Trek franchise, I’ve delved into the depths of history, the formative years of PC gaming, the “golden age” of the fifteen years ago, and the slow death of the franchise in gaming. Somehow, though, I always knew that we would come back to one of the earliest Star Trek games, one of the first I ever played.
The year was 1992. The company was Interplay.
The final episode of The Walking Dead, Season One, dropped onto Steam this week. Now that the series is over, I’d like to take a moment to review that experience with a particular focus on the game’s narrative choice system.
My previous review was careful about giving too much away, but, this analysis will contain spoilers for episodes One through Four. If you aren’t totally sure if you want to read further, I’d suggest picking up The Walking Dead Season Pass and giving it a play before joining me below the cut. If you’re on the fence, know that it looks to be a Game of the Year nominee. And though I don’t ascribe ultimate importance to that award, I voted for The Walking Dead this year without hesitation.