When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. And, according to Capcom, appear in TV shows.
Years after the first game’s critically acclaimed zombie invasion of the Willamette Mall, the whole of America is infected. In the casino town of Fortune City, Nevada, a deadly TV show plays out to millions of viewers across the nation.
There’s a widespread notion in the videogame industry that game reviews can have a profound impact on game sales, and for the most part the evidence bears that out. But as tempting as it is to gloat about the supposed power that we, the videogame press, hold over the livelihoods of publishers and developers, it’s not always true. In fact, history is littered with countless examples of megahit games that had originally been ripped to shreds by reviewers
“We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and to ask: What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is? When will we get to the cowboy level?”
– Professor Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
Time travel and videogames are a perfect fit.
Sam Fisher has gone from shadow warrior to wrecking ball. Splinter Cell fans may remember the series as somewhat sneaky – a matter of waiting for the right moment to knife someone in the back and plonk their body in a darkened stairwell. Conviction asks, why wait?
The Chaos Space Marines are doppelgangers. They’re the Venom to the Space Marines’ Spider-Man; the Sith to their Jedi. They’re best buds with the dark gods of an obscure dimension. They gussy up their power armor with gaping skulls. And among the varied-shades-of-villain factions of 40k fiction, they’re a great candidate for their own expansion to Dawn of War II.
Back before you were a gamer, we didn’t have the multi-button, clickable-thumbstick, solar-powered controller gizmos you have today. We used to have to invite friends over and work together to push down the A-button because it was too stiff to move on our own. If we were lucky, we’d get two, maybe three good presses in before it got stuck and Mario just had to hope the rest of the level was flat.
You thought Japanese game design was weird? Ha!
Only once you’ve wandered into StarCraft II’s greased-metal cantina and engaged in conversation with embittered mercenaries, or spoken to Jim Raynor’s crew about armour upgrades and the like, do you begin to understand why, and how, the Terran, Protoss and Zerg campaigns will be split into three separate titles.
We’ve murderised millions of men, killed countless cuddly animals and run over a nursing home’s worth of OAPs. But nothing has ever unhinged us like the computer crappers in the following beastly bathrooms. Unhygienic, grim and often smeared in the sort of bodily fluids you’d associate with Kill Bill rather than the can these are the filthiest game bathrooms we’ve ever seen.
Silent Hill 3
In a tight bind, when
Good thing there was somebody in the room who knew a bit about submarines: a German games journalist, who’d ask about periscopes like a terminally ill patient asks about how long he has left to live, and who’d punch the air when he learned of the accurately rendered ship wakes, and the now separate damage readouts for hull integrity and flooding.