Monday, February 27, 2012

Eclipse Phase

Quick, name a fantasy RPG, one of the old pen-and-paper types.  What did you say?  Dungeons and Dragons, probably.  Maybe not though, maybe it was Pathfinder, or Exalted, or Dark Sun, or Nobilis if you're so indie it hurts.  Now name one with an SF setting.  Shadowrun!  Except that has magic too.  Cyberpunk 2020, you offer, tentative because it's such an ungainly system.  GURPS?  Yes indeed, there is a great lack of role playing games set in the bold future instead of the never-past, and I've never understood the reason for this.  Surely we ought to get more excitement out of imagining our possible futures than remixed editions of fairy tales, that owe their origins to a time when a pointy rock was seen as the pinnacle of human science and engineering.

Seems like someone out there agrees with me.  Specifically, those ones are Posthuman Studios.  And that agreement is Eclipse Phase.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Slow Your Roll

OK, we're all playing Skyrim, having a fun time of it.  It's undoubtedly a game with a lot to do, with hundreds of quests, dungeons, and abilities.  But pump your breaks, that's not what you should be thinking about.  It's called  Skyrim, not QuestMan, or LotsaDungeons.  The greatest, most awesome thing about this game is its namesake, the world you inhabit, and all the exploring and adventure and huge productivity-swallowing world that awaits you outside of quests.  So here, I have a suggestion.  Not just a different way of playing the game, a different way of playing games altogether.  Just follow one simple rule.

Don't use fast travel to get anywhere.  Ever.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Reflection

2011 was a lively year for computer gaming, with several brilliant surprises.  Multiple roguelike games saw relative commercial success: The Binding of Isaac, Dungeons of Dreadmor, and Realm of the Mad God.  Bioware managed to disappoint with Dragon Age II, while announcing Mass Effect 3 will have a few more RPG elements than it's immediate predecessor.  But there are two surprises in particular I want to talk about here.  Two things I honestly though I would die without seeing: a good Deus Ex sequel, and Duke Nukem Forever.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Enviro-Bear 2000

I maintain an eagle-like vigilance over all of PC gaming, as a matter of principle, so that no game might slip my notice unappraised.  Why do I not extend this watchfulness for console games, you might ask?  Perhaps you ask this while expelling half-chewed Chex Mix across the room in fanboy rage while you heap ill-formed profanities upon my name and call into question my parents' virtue.  Well you unwashed console peasant, it is because PC is, was, and always will be home to the greatest innovation and uniqueness in video games.  Case in point?  Enviro-Bear 2000.