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…

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…

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…

For the love of God, can we not just come up with a new word already?

Should (video)games be fun?   Yes, this old chestnut again. I’ve written about this before because much like, “can games be art?” it’s a question that won’t just ever die. And it can’t die because everyone’s talking in cross purposes. The people who say that videogames need not be fun are talking in the broadest possible…

On difficulty in Videogames

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/10/02/assassins-creed-origins-tourism-difficulty/ Okay, here’s an argument which pops up all the time which I completely reject: Do we have some arbitrary test in the middle of a movie which locks you out from seeing the end if you don’t pass? No. So why should these barriers exist in videogames? Replace “movie” with “book”, “album”, whatever other medium…

More Thoughts on Game Criticism

No game should be immune from criticism – let’s just get that point out there first so there’s no misunderstanding. But this whole mess with Digital Homicide and Jim Sterling about which Mr Biffo has written a couple of excellent opinion pieces here and here got me thinking, especially the latter post. I’m not going…

Some Twaddle about VR

I don’t want to get all pretentious and cite the vast array of literature I read so that I come across as some kind of intellectual, because to be honest I don’t read that sort of stuff and I’m not clever enough to fake it. Most of what I read is non-fiction sciencey stuff and the fiction is…

What the hell is a videogame anyway?

Whenever a game hits the internet which pushes the limit of what many would consider an actual videogame, it’s not uncommon for that to be met with a certain amount of hostility. Sometimes it’s because the themes are not felt to be appropriate, it’s political, has an overt agenda, is dogmatic, is linear to the…