Warping between tech, games, and literature
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Strategy games have always had to balance both accuracy and clarity. After 16 years, Age of Empires 4 is no different in that regard.
Say what you will about the game’s cheery visuals or simplified mechanics. Age of Empires 4 makes smart tradeoffs to reward nostalgia-driven fans while bringing young gamers into the fold. Veterans of the decade-old series have been critical of its dust storms and balance issues.
But my peeve is bigger. It’s the camels.
They raise an issue that has forever divided real-time strategy fans. While serious gamers despise fancy aesthetics at the cost of visibility, Age…
I must have watched the Wolverine PS5 trailer a dozen times. And yet, Reddit had the keener eye. Fans spotted Tamil words in Insomniac’s tight trailer. I noticed neither “Cocktail” on the left nor “[illegible] unavailable” on the right.
This lends credence to the game being set in Madripoor.
And here’s why that’s a big deal.
Much has been said about idleness holding one back from greatness. But some of the world’s greatest ideas broke the surface in times of lethargy. Take these fine sloths for instance.
Their moments of triumph arrived without warning.
A break from their typical lives altered the very course of history. Your ideas won’t always lead to an invention or an Amazon bestseller. …
I turned the card around to see Death.
Luck, I mused as I shuffled the tarot card deck and started over. Death.
I was no first-time pilot when it came to turbulent friendships. The first card I could understand. The second one bothered me.
I don’t believe in superstition but lightning had struck twice. Who was next?
And in a pandemic, there was enough Death on our screens.
Death steals more than lives from us. He steals ways of living, robs us of the false sense of stability that propels humanity along its self-destructive course. …
Liam and I are both narcissists.
We sought different paths to self-preservation. Pin your foe to the ground or elevate the stage and its actors. One chose to destroy, one chose to build.
Two sides of a coin that spun with indecision.
But in that playground, Liam had an advantage: time.
The bully towered over us primary school rats. His face before the transformation is one I struggle to remember. But his bristly hair could keep a balloon on its toes.
Liam’s sleeveless sports tee swelled with his puberty-given guns.
“Hand over the bat and no one gets hurt.”
The Far Cry formula is built to dish out emergent gameplay. Ubisoft’s weaponized joyride through Hope County in 2018 tried to teach its plot the same trick. The result? A divisive storytelling approach that found both fans and critics.
The circus arrives without warning. Nintendo’s 4-year success story with the Switch (85 million-plus in sales) now has a new rival. Known for its Steam storefront, Valve dropped its $399 Steam Deck at the heels of Nintendo’s new OLED Switch variant. While a powerful handheld PC with access to multiple stores and operating systems is promising, that’s not what caught my eye.
The Steam storefront did.
For the uninitiated, Steam is the most popular way to get PC games online. The digital storefront offers access to both ancient relics and the latest hits. …
Disclaimer: I respect all beliefs. Except those that discriminate.
It was all but invisible until it struck. Fictional races like StarCraft’s advanced Protoss serve as the perfect vehicle to represent real-world events. A direct approach earns a “political” tag from disgruntled gamers but fantasy titles bypass this setback. Some “inclusive” games use flavor text while others pick on more fundamental issues.
One game warped in age-old flaws like caste and conformity to the forefront.
StarCraft 2 helped me explore the invisible threads that dictate the patterns of Indian society. Cue the reflection on privilege and prejudice. …