Category: Video Games & Narrative

Assassin’s Creed IV: Nea So Copros

I should start by saying that I love Assassin’s Creed IV. I don’t love it because it’s got a cohesive narrative, I love it because it’s really fucking fun. It’s a fun game. That said, the narrative is a hot mess, and there’s a bunch of really dumb decisions they make. Ubisoft, huh. We’re gonna talk about some of those decisions.  (more…)

XCOM 2: Sequels & Failure

I’ve put something like 40-ish hours into XCOM 2 so far, and I still haven’t finished my first campaign. Partially this may be because I suck – so I play half a battle, get destroyed, have to reload the battle and start again. Still, I think there’s a message there about the game. Usually when I’m playing things I like to have an eye towards an article to write about it. Not all of my games get articles, but it’s efficient for me if they do. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write this one up since I started XCOM 2. It’s about the game’s introduction. (more…)

Dark Souls: Architecture as Memory

As part of a string of architecture books, I’m reading Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness right now. I’m not super impressed, all told – but there’s some interesting ideas. For example, he talks about home as a place “whose outlook matches and legitimates our own.” The basic idea is that buildings affect our thoughts – which is true. Buildings affect the way we think. They can make us feel claustrophobic or free and loose, they can make us feel contemplative or encourage activity. And they can help us create and support a sense of self. It’s a way of writing yourself into an environment, allowing us to “resume contact with a more authentic self”. (more…)

Assassin’s Creed III: Tree-Running

I’m playing Assassin’s Creed III at the moment, and good golly gosh it’s buggy. I was trying to climb up a wall, but I got stuck with an outcrop just above me. Instead of leaping up to it, as the character’s supposed to do, he was flung way into the air (and subsequently fell to his death). Pictures below. Anyway, I’m trying my hardest to get something out of this game other than an increased loathing of Ubisoft. There’s some interesting stuff cropping up about running through the trees – let’s talk about that for a bit.  (more…)