Archive for June 2008

Work: The Bourne Conspiracy and Alone in the Dark

June 30, 2008

Two reviews of mine have been published in print this week. I played The Bourne Conspiracy for the Official PlayStation Magazine and Alone in the Dark for the Official Xbox Magazine. (Go buy them now! The magazines, that is, not necessarily the games.) After the jump is an excerpt from each review along with some additional commentary.

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Keeping Faith in Fallout: What happens when our favourite games change hands

June 28, 2008

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Bethesda and play Fallout 3. I’ll shortly be posting extracts from an interview I did with lead designer Emil Pagliarulo, and you can read my hands-on impressions of the game in an upcoming issue of the Official Xbox Magazine. But for now I want to discuss what happens when one major developer inherits a classic series from another major developer.

I’ve been thinking about change recently, and how gamers tend to be somewhat frightened by it. We want to be dazzled by new technology and we say we want innovation and originality, but it seems what gets us most excited is something familiar given a new lick of paint. So, on the one hand, Fallout 3 should be exactly what gamers want – an old idea updated with cool new graphics; on the other hand, it’s kinda scary. How do we know Bethesda isn’t going to ruin an old favourite?

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Choice and Consequence: The meta-game of Execution

June 5, 2008

I’ve just played Execution, a self-described “short experimental game”. Download it now and then come back, otherwise I’m going to spoil it all for you. Trust me, it really is short, you’ll be back here within ten minutes.

So, Execution is a game where you have a choice – indeed, just one choice. And the consequence is permanent. Shoot the guy and he remains dead when you start a new game. Hit ESC without shooting him and you “win”. At least, that’s how it seems.

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