My Top 21 Games of 2018


I like writing ‘Thing of the Year’ lists, and you enjoy reading them, so here we are. What follows is a list of the 21 games (it’s 21 because I realised midway through that I’d forgotten Florence, and cutting out another Australian game to fit it in didn’t feel right) that made me say ‘yowza’ this year.


Continue reading “My Top 21 Games of 2018”

LATERAL: Stimulation Simulation

“Virtual reality has long been a part of sci-fi mythos, and sex has always been part of the appeal. Even Star Trek: The Next Generation occasionally implied that the Holodeck, the ultimate pop-cultural example of virtual reality, was being used to simulate sexual encounters. Now that VR headsets are becoming more ubiquitous, with multiple devices available on the market, VR pornography has started to emerge as a potential selling-point. Technology has often gained ground thanks to the porn industry — Blu-Ray beat HD-DVD partially because of the porn industry’s support, as did VHS over Beta — and the Internet has thrived on it. But with free sites like PornHub and RedTube now dictating the porn habits of many users, the industry is seeking new, mutually-beneficial relationships.”

Full article on Lateral.

ZAM: 1979 Revolution: an Interview with Navid Khonsari

“The team refers to 1979 Revolution as a ‘vérité’ game, named after a style of documentary that is often thought of as ‘observational cinema’, in which the director adopts a fly-on-the-wall approach and watches events as they unfold (the term is actually more complicated and loaded than this, but its documentary origins are important – Khonsari himself has worked as a documentarian in the past). ‘We’re kind of a hybrid of a start-up that’s trying to build an engine to tell narrative stories based on real events’, Khonsari says. ‘But we’re also a traditional game developer, trying to get a game out to the market.'”

Full article on ZAM.

HYPER: The Look Back: Deconstructing Modern Warfare 2

“The behind-the-scenes controversy is the main thing people remember about it now, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was a turning point for the franchise in many ways. It was the last game in the series to manage a Metacritic score over 90, but it was also the game that caused a large portion of the fan-base to turn on the franchise. Despite featuring some very clever pieces of level design, much tighter mechanics and some amazing set pieces, it hasn’t been remembered fondly in the same way the first Modern Warfare has been remembered.”

Full article on Hyper.

ZAM: The Last Guardian review

“Trico’s believability is a big deal. In any game that involves interacting with an animal, there are clear algorithms in place: get the dog’s ‘happiness’ meter to rise and it’ll help you in combat, feed your Charizard enough candy and it’ll be a bit more resilient, that sort of thing. Trico will react to your treatment as well — a good pat will calm it down, hitting it with a barrel will make it whine. Treating Trico well will, generally speaking, make it a more reliable companion. But Trico never loses its capriciousness, its spirit, the asshole side that all good cat-things have.”

Full review on ZAM.

WAYPOINT: ‘Forza Horizon 3’ Depicts a Better Australia Than Australians Deserve

“Forza Horizon 3 is an inherently celebratory game, coming from an overseas developer wary of being respectful. The Australia of Playground Games is so lush and beautiful, so exciting, so fun and inviting and varied, that at times I started to feel something close to patriotism…This is not a feeling I’m entirely comfortable with.”

Full article at Waypoint.