Map markers are the worst development in open-world games

Before I start, I don’t want this to sound like a direct criticism of Cyberpunk 2077 given that it, too, is guilty of this and I wrote about the game just yesterday. This is a broad point about pretty much all open world games to have been released in the last decade or so. I…

Cyberpunk 2077

Oh no, here we go. It’s been a strange old few months hasn’t it? Never have I seen such a high profile game dogged by so much controversy. We had outrage over the release date being moved, then moved again. We had outrage over crunch conditions. We had outrage over the game’s promotion and depictions…

Retrospective: GreedFall

Spiders is one of my favourite developers. According to their website, they currently employ over twenty people which, in the grand scheme of videogames, makes them a pretty minute company but they consistently punch far above their weight. The thing with the games industry is we kind of have AAA Games, some other stuff, Indie…

On Epic, revenue-shares, and manufactured outrage

Many many moons ago, back when I was fifteen or so studying economics at school, I wrote a project for my coursework about the economics of videogames. One diagram I included was a pie-chart I made of the various slices of a game’s RRP that went to each of the various elements involved in getting…

The Problem with Fusing Narrative into Open-World Game Design

How to weave a game’s narrative neatly into its open-world design is a problem every game of that type faces. There is an inherent silliness in having a player spend most of their time rummaging around for collectables while the end of the world is looming, and this issue gets more pronounced the more straight-faced…

Mad Max: Retrospective

I wrote about this game four years ago – I loved it then, and I still love it now. Is it a perfect game? No. Are there things I wish it could have done better? Yes, because this second question is redundant. I wish the survival mechanics were fleshed out – it’s too easy to…

On the next The Elder Scrolls game

In all likelihood, we won’t see another main The Elder Scrolls game for a considerable time since there’s been next-to-no information teased yet. The gap between Morrowind and Oblivion was a quaintly tiny four years, the gap between Oblivion and Skyrim a meagre five years and although the gap between Skyrim and now is already…

The Outer Worlds

Initial impressions after the first few hours Minor Spoilers below Okay I’ve played a bit now – have passed the point of the first moral choice™ having been fairly completionist about that area, and a few side missions and what-not beyond that. So I think I’ve played enough to get a flavour for the game…

The Bard’s Tale IV

Before I begin I should note where I stand on these sorts of games. I’m not, in general, massively into dungeon crawlers – I played my fair share back in the early 80s including the original Bard’s Tale. I loved Ultima Underworld although, to my shame, I never did complete it. More recently, I enjoyed…

Mass Effect: Andromeda

I didn’t play Mass Effect: Andromeda when it originally released in part because of all the controversy around the bugs but primarily because I felt the series was done. Three games was enough for me in the same way as I’d rather play Cyberpunk 2077 than another Witcher game despite loving The Witcher series very,…