Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
From The Blog
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
November 13, 2014
Why Do We Reject Love as a Powerful Force in Interstellar?
Natalie Zutter
November 11, 2014
The Well-Lit Knight Rises: How 1960s Batman Shaped Our Bat-Thoughts Forever
Ryan Britt
Showing posts by: Pritpaul Bains click to see Pritpaul Bains's profile
Thu
Nov 20 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Dragon Age: Inquisition Takes Flight This Week

Gaming Roundup Dragon Age: Inqusition

With Dragon Age: Inquisition, industry heavyweight BioWare is diving back into the gaming waters with their first full-fledged RPG since 2012’s fantastic Mass Effect 3.

Dragon Age: Origins was a revelation to gamers in 2009 (two years after the launch of the first Mass Effect), helping to firmly establish its developer as a founding father of the modern RPG—as though the creators of Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights really needed any further cred. While Dragon Age II was widely viewed as a step backward for the franchise, BioWare promised to take the criticism (most commonly, repetitive gameplay and a distinct lack of environmental variety) to heart and put to rest any outstanding concerns in Inquisition. Did they succeed?

[Lead them or fall.]

Fri
Nov 14 2014 10:30am

Gaming Roundup: Blizzard Rebounds with Overwatch

A couple of months ago, the gaming universe mourned the demise of Blizzard Entertainment’s Titan—an ambitious new MMO shooter eight years in the making. The game’s cancellation raised a number of questions—most notably, how it would impact Blizzard’s bottom line and whether the all-star developer had any other strategies by which to foster and develop a new IP.

As it turned out, Blizzard had a plan all along. Meet Overwatch.

[“Don’t worry, loves. Cavalry’s here.”]

Thu
Nov 6 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Grim Fandango Returns From the Land of the Dead

Last week, the internet’s finest purveyor of classic gaming, GOG.com, announced an agreement with LucasArts that brought a veritable treasure trove of 90s PC classics back to computers, including the much-acclaimed X-Wing and Tie Fighter games. However, even amidst this bounty, a sour note sounded. Where was Grim Fandango? LucasArts’ heralded comedy noir offering, headed by the legendary Tim Schafer, blended Aztec mythology and film noir into a colorful, stylish, and beautifully written game that left a lasting impression upon all who played it. It’s been one of GOG.com’s most-requested games of the past decade. What reason could there be to hold back one of the most beloved games of the 90s?

Well, for one, it’s coming back next year.

[“Guess they couldn’t save me, eh?”]

Thu
Oct 30 2014 1:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Kick Into Sunset Overdrive This Halloween

Sunset Overdrive isn’t exactly your classic Halloween video game, but hey—there are mutant zombies, so... close, right? Insomniac Games’ fast-paced rail-based shooter took E3 by unexpected storm earlier this year, going from virtual unknown to being touted as a franchise-defining title for a console sorely in need of one at the time—the Xbox One. The much anticipated game launched this week, just in time for October 31st. Is it worth your time?

[“My life didn’t start until the world came to an end.”]

Fri
Oct 24 2014 9:30am

Gaming Roundup: Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth Blasts Off This Week

Somewhere along the line, someone decided that Sid Meier’s Civilization—in space—would be a fantastic idea, and... well, they were right. It was an excellent pitch, ripe with possibility if pulled off successfully and billed as a spiritual successor to 1999’s excellent Alpha Centauri. So how did Firaxis Games fare with the much-anticipated Civilization: Beyond Earth?

[“A new beginning for mankind...”]

Thu
Oct 16 2014 1:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Dare to Survive The Evil Within

Legendary survival horror developer and creator Shinji Mikami made his return to the gaming world as his latest endeavor, The Evil Within, launched worldwide this week. Mikami, best known for his creation of the Resident Evil franchise and his work on Dino Crisis, was last heard from in 2011 when the underrated Shadows of the Damned released. Since then, he has been hard at work on returning to the roots of survival horror, the genre that made him a legend. How did he fare with The Evil Within?

[“What do you fear, little one?”]

Thu
Oct 9 2014 1:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Become the Hunted in Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation has been on the radar of the gamingverse for quite some time. Long since pegged as the game to make things right after the debacle that was Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines, Isolation did nothing to curb anticipation in its previews, which made it out to be everything franchise fans wanted in an Alien game — claustrophobia, extreme vulnerability, space stations, flamethrowers, and one deadly, badass alien.

Well, the game’s been out for a couple of days now, so what better way to usher in October than with a closer look at one of the premiere horror offerings of the season?

[“Some things are better left lost...”]

Thu
Oct 2 2014 1:30pm

Gaming Roundup: One Does Not Simply Overlook Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor

The first wave of reviews are in for Warner Bros.’ Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and it would appear that developer Monolith Productions has a surprise hit on their hands. Sure, LOTR-meets-Assassin’s Creed-style-world-meets-Arkham-style-combat with a new grimdark story sounds like a pretty solid concept, but knowing that it’s actually really fun and frustrating and beautiful? We finally might have a media tie-in game worthy of its franchise. (That doesn’t star Vin Diesel.)

[“You are banished from death. A curse binds us together.”]

Thu
Sep 25 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Death of a Titan

Titan gaming roundup

Blizzard Entertainment finally pulled the plug on their not-so-secret secret MMO this week. News of their venture, codenamed Titan for the last several years, first leaked as far back as 2007, sending the gaming world into a frenzy as players salivated over the possibility of a new IP from the masters of modern MMO. Sadly, it was not to be, as Blizzard officially cancelled the game after seven long years of development, citing a lack of passion and drive for the project.

[Where does Blizzard go from here?]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 1:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Visit Hyrule as You’ve Never Seen it Before in Hyrule Warriors

At first glance, one might be forgiven for mistaking Hyrule Warriors for another entry in Nintendo’s iconic Zelda series. The game is set in Hyrule. Zelda’s in it. Link’s in it. Everyone from Ganondorf to Princess Ruto to the Great Deku Tree is present and accounted for. But this isn’t your father’s Zelda, oh no. While Hyrule Warriors adds what Nintendo hopes will become another A-List title to the Wii U’s arsenal, those expecting anything akin to a classic Zelda experience will be in for a surprise.

[Prepare to save Hyrule... again.]

Fri
Sep 12 2014 12:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Next-Gen Gaming Meets its Destiny

There was plenty going on this week in gaming—from the Xbox’s abject failure in Japan to the 15th anniversary of the Dreamcast—but one story pretty clearly stood out from all the rest. Destiny, Bungie’s much-anticipated post-Halo IP, launched, finally giving both next-gen (or is it current-gen? I feel like we can call them current-gen now) consoles their first true killer app (with apologies to the Xbox-exclusive Titanfall).

[“It doesn’t matter who you are. Only what you will become.”]

Thu
Sep 4 2014 2:30pm

Gaming Roundup: The Resident Evil Remake Gets a Remake

Resident Evil remake

Give Capcom credit—they know which side their bread is buttered on. When Shinji Makami’s classic survival horror franchise, Resident Evil, first launched all the way back in 1996, it met with substantial critical and financial success that spawned a trail of sequels and tie-ins 23 games deep, with the original game warranting a 2002 remake exclusively for the GameCube (which, predictably enough, also met with substantial critical and financial success). Is it, then, really any surprise that 2002’s Resident Evil REmake is receiving an HD remastering for current and next-gen consoles next year, over a decade after its initial launch?

[There’s a party in Raccoon City and everyone’s invited...]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 1:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Grab a Friend or Four to Play Dragon Age: Inquisition

BioWare’s upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition is looking better and better as its launch date nears. With each passing month the developer has teased a little more of the game, and this last week brought us news of a particularly tantalizing nature: the latest entry in the Dragon Age franchise will feature a four-player online cooperative play mode.

[“Lead them or fall...”]

Fri
Aug 22 2014 10:30am

Gaming Roundup: Gamescom 2014 Edition

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Gaming Roundup

Gamescom—Europe’s largest annual gaming convention and the second largest in the world—came and went last week in Cologne, Germany, and left in its wake a plethora of previews and trailers for excited gamers to sift through. Most of the industry’s major players were present, and the focus was very much on the continued development and maturation of next-gen consoles in the marketplace—a circumstance balancing the most viewed and approachable games of next year.

[So many games, so little space...]

Thu
Aug 7 2014 1:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Targets Your Inner Arctic Explorer

In the surprising-yet-not category, Ubisoft revealed earlier this week that they’re officially cranking out yet another Assassin’s Creed game this year. Assassin’s Creed: Rogue launches this holiday season, and appears to be a last-gen peace offering to gamers who haven’t yet upgraded to the Xbox One or PS4, and accordingly have no means to play the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed: Unity. While more dedicated fans will likely be able to speak to this with more authority than I... is anyone else getting burned out on this franchise simply due to the sheer volume of content being churned out?

[No official word yet on whether Ubi managed to learn how to animate the female form for this game.]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 1:00pm

Lords of the Fallen Demoralizes the Masses at SDCC

Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen capped off my weekend of gaming through SDCC in rather violent, merciless fashion. The game is a joint venture between Polish developer CI Games and German studio Deck13 Interactive, and to date, much of its fame stems from its reputation as being a “next-gen” Dark Souls. While the developers haven’t done much to dissuade gamers from that comparison, they certainly want a game that’s able to stand on its on merit, rather than be known as a next-gen Dark Souls knockoff—and so, I checked in to play through the dungeon on preview to see where the game is at.

[So much death. Why can’t we all just get along?]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 10:30am

Alien: Isolation Scuttles Through the Air Vents and Into SDCC

Alien Isolation SDCC

Developer The Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation made an eye-catching appearance at Comic Con this past weekend, drawing not only crowds of hopeful gamers but also throngs of intrigued spectators who couldn’t help but stop to watch the carnage unfold as each and every player met a grisly demise at the hands of the Alien. Not wanting to feel left out, I too joined the line to await my impending death and to see how the Alien franchise’s latest offering was shaping up a few months prior to release.

[You can run. But I really wouldn’t recommend it.]

Mon
Jul 28 2014 2:31pm

Sunset Overdrive Brings Extra Buzz to SDCC

Sunset Overdrive SDCC

Sony’s PS4 didn’t have much of a presence at this year’s Comic Con (given recent sales numbers, perhaps they felt they didn’t need one), but Microsoft made itself known via a few different games, including a hands-on demo of Sunset Overdrive—an Xbox One exclusive that went on to become one of E3’s surprise hits. So how’s the game that Microsoft is hoping will become a console-defining gamechanger holding up, three months prior to release?

[This game just might make you cut back on your Red Bull intake.]

Mon
Jul 28 2014 10:30am

Hunting the Kraken in Evolve at SDCC

Evolve SDCC

Turtle Rock Studios hit the ground running in 2008 with the release of Left 4 Dead, the multiplayer co-operative zombie shooter that clawed its way into the hearts of gamers around the world. L4D in and of itself was not a revolutionary game—co-op gaming has been around for decades, after all, and zombies remain a gaming cannon fodder mainstay. What Turtle Rock did to elevate their game above all those before it was dedicate the primary focus of the game to co-operative play and then refine that experience to an extent never before seen. The developer both continues with and deviates from their L4D roots with Evolve—a game that lives up to its name not only by virtue of its refined gameplay, but also in how it’s innovating the dynamic of the multiplayer shooter.

[Click for a preview of true evolution in an oft-stagnant genre.]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Die and Enjoy It in Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen

From Software’s Dark Souls franchise went a long way toward mainstreaming the concept of insanely difficult, yet fun gaming. Polish developer CI Games, in conjunction with German studio Deck13 Interactive, is making no secret of the fact that they hope to follow in From’s tradition with their latest title, Lords of the Fallen.

[“The sins I have committed have left their mark. Now I shall leave mine.”]