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Monday, April 22, 2013

Issue : Games : Dead Island



Dead Island : Rip roaring rapids, is a game about expectations. As in, everyone had some for this game, I think, and everyone is taking a big poop, or pooping on it, the game, because, of said expectations.  I enjoy the game for what it is, but had no idea it is as guilty a pleasure as it is, it seems.

And ok, is the game a hyper violent? Yes. Is the game misogynistic? Yea. Racist in that "homage," way? Ok, yeah.  Is the game lacking a cohesive and engaging narrative? Yuup. Is the game full of bargain basement level design tropes and artificial intelligence that somehow manages to make zombies appear dumb in a way where you begin to feel bad for zombies because they are in this game? Jeeah!

Fine, yes. Are the RPG elements out of place? Maybe, well, yeah, but in a fun way, well, maybe not a fun way. Am I going somewhere with this? No.

Somehow, despite itself, this game manged to trip over a design element that almost makes up for everything it is lacking. Indeed, I am talking about the mindless hack and slash FPS combat. This primal, inelegant system is a glimpse into the future of gaming from the first person perspective. Hey, I didn't say it was a good future.

If you take a look at the indie scene of today you will notice a lot of auteurs using pixels to convey their art, mostly because it is cheap and easy for one or a handful of people to do, but also because most designers  have run out of love for turning people into a disembodied gun, and have also run out of ways to freak the medium.

It's plateaued, Unreal, Crisis, the Creation kit, very few people are finding any gas in those tanks, or the ability to drive is thought to be the privilege of large studios that are terrified of wrong turns. But little by little, innovation sneaks out of these systems, see: Elizabeth, see: Chivalry. This type of stuff.

These are the heroes Gotham needs now, then with the deeper immersion stuff. If HD porn was too jarring, try livestreaming from a hookers uterus. And for all it does wrong, Dead Island : Rosanna took a gamble on a system and, well, won a pyrric victory, of sorts, which in AAA land is as good as you are going to get these days.  It's dumb, it's expensive, it's repetitive. I like the game, don't hate the player.

 And yes I am late, and have been late for things all week, and for that I am truly sorry. And yes this piece is short, and for that I am mildly sorry. I had a whole thing on the other situation and scrapped it at the last minute, which is new for me, the holding back of things. Better to keep it about games for now methinks.

I hope information's hair doesn't catch on fire and then hang blanket out the window and ermagerd JERBZ.


The Protoculture Mixtape v.157 Issue : People : Constituent

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