I re-connected my old Sega Dreamcast today and tried out some of the old games. One that still holds up perfectly is REZ, originally released in 2001. What a great and addictive game that is. It plays like a psychedelic music video version of William Gibson’s vision of cyberspace. You are this polygon avatar that has to fly around in the matrix and watch out for various geometric constructions out to get you. All while digging the interactive techno music. It’s impossible playing this game and not moving your feet to the beat.
So I started playing Metal Gear Solid V, The Phantom Pain today. The intro is BONKERS. It’s one hour of shaky cam and cut scene bonanza. You start out having to crawl SLOWLY through bloody hospital floors while Keifer Sutherland in bandages urges you to hurry the fuck up. At the end you’re riding bareback through the woods while chased by some crazy ass fire god on a burning unicorn.
SOMA was released over a year ago, so as usual I’m a bit late to the party. I grabbed this game at the latest Steam summer sale but haven’t started it until now for some reason. SOMA was developed by Frictional Games, a team of indie-developers that happens to be located in my old hometown Ängelholm, in the south Sweden. These guys of course also did the hugely successful Amnesia The Dark Descent, which I have to admit to have bought at another sale but actually only playing a couple of hours. SOMA however is just my cup of tea with the perfect blend of mystery, horror and science fiction. Love it.
Last night, after 18 hours of playtime and 677 kills I finally finished Uncharted 4 on my PS4. I’m still awestruck. It’s such a great game, on so many levels and I would dare to say it’s one of the best so far, if not the best.
It’s not often I get impressed by a computer game but the Uncharted series has managed to do this four times now. The thing I’m most impressed with is the world building and how the story sucks you in. The world of Nathan Drake is believable and the characters are almost real, with their own desires and emotions. It’s the trademark of a really good movie and rarely, just rarely you get this from a computer game as well. Check it out if you haven’t already.
Wow. Here’s a game I’m really looking forward to playing. Outcast: Second Contact is a modern remake of the 1999 science fiction adventure-game Outcast. I loved and played though all of the original, which at the time had a great story, top notch voxel graphics and a live recorded orchestral score.
Outcast: Second Contact will be shown during Gamescom 2016 in Cologne, from August 17th to 19th. The game is set for release in early 2017 on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
I love a good game any day and here is one that I enjoyed immensely, Firewatch.
I have to admit I kind of missed all the hype when it was released back in February. Somehow I thought it would be about looking out for and report wildfires. Turns out that’s not at all what it’s about. Instead it’s a really beautiful mystery game set in the Wyoming wilderness, where “your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio”. Great story and.. yeah a really good game. Available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Playstation 4. Check it out if you haven’t already.
Photo of hybrid Galaga and Ms. Pac Man machine, Framingham Rest Stop, MA. Photo by Brian Katt.
When I was a teenager in the early to mid 80s, the only place where you could play really good games in Sweden were either in the arcades or at the local burger joint. Playing games like Gyruss, Ghosts’n Goblins and Bombjack was what converted me into the gamer I am today.
At one point I actually owned a couple of arcade cabinets as well. In the mid 90s they started to become cheap enough for a private consumer to buy. Emulation was still not good enough so you had to buy real arcade boards on Ebay. Each board contained one game so you could imagine the space this would take up when you got 15-20 games.
Anyhow, the documentary The Lost Arcade is about the legendary Chinatown Fair in New York City. One of the last arcades in the western world. I haven’t seen it yet, but will as soon as I get the chance. Now watch the trailer below!