Advertisement

Screenshot: The cutscene effect

Man of Steel

Let’s be honest: Video game cutscenes—those moments when control is taken from the user so that story information can be conveyed through a cinema-style sequence—almost always disappoint. Dialogue is often stilted and the voice acting is subpar; character expressions are muted at best and immobile at worst, sticking them firmly in the “uncanny valley” of […]

Read More…

Screenshot: Why can’t there be a good Star Trek game?

Star Trek

To accompany May’s release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, Paramount released a Star Trek video game as well, developed by Digital Extremes. While the critical reaction to the film sequel was middling (as a lifelong Trekkie, I thought it was just fine, but then these new movies are barely Star Trek at all), the critical […]

Read More…

Screenshot: Late to the block party

Minecraft

I have a friend who is somewhat obsessed with a particular writer, but hasn’t read what is widely considered this author’s masterpiece, as he’s intentionally saving it for a particular moment. After I accidentally spoiled part of the novel for him this week, I teased him for being the only person I knew who was […]

Read More…

Screenshot: Thrill of the Hunt

Tomb Raider

Crystal Dynamics’ new game Tomb Raider (2013) adopts the strategy of the film Star Trek (2009) in using a prequel-cum-reboot to revitalize a franchise that had run out of steam: You play the game as a version of Lara Croft far younger and less experienced than in her previous 10 iterations, whose experiences in the game are meant to be her “formative” experiences… […]

Read More…

Screenshot: Revelations from the Abyss

To my mind, the best director in contemporary Hollywood—for our purposes, let’s say post-Star Wars (1977)—is the Dutch import Paul Verhoeven. While Verhoeven was working in the United States he gave us trashy, excessive Hollywood films we could sink our teeth into. More than that, if you look closely at these ostensibly paradigmatic examples of Hollywood’s deleterious product (e.g. Showgirls (1995)), Verhoeven was also the most subversive of genre auteurs, directing the spectacle back in at itself, parodying the absurdity of U.S. culture. […]

Read More…