…failure has been an integral element of game design almost since the medium’s inception, with the constant push and pull of challenge and defeat, and the promise of eventual success, being the core to what makes so many games — particularly action games- engaging. It’s easy to see how this central design philosophy flourished the golden age of arcades. Forcing punters to pay for more ‘lives’ and continue plugging away at games which were tailor made to be as hard, and thus as profitable, as possible was the goal. These days, however, such design can impede a game’s ability to…


Note: Full spoilers for The Last of Us, The Last of Us Part II & A Plague Tale: Innocence below

Through no deliberate effort, I’ve found myself consuming a fair amount of media over the past year which deals with plague, pandemic and isolation. I recently finished the first series of Sweet Home, a Korean horror-drama on Netflix about the residents of a tower block who become trapped inside, while a terrifying and unknowable affliction devastates the world around them and ordinary people are turned into diverse and deadly monsters. Within the confines of the building, paranoia among the terrified…


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild hit the gaming landscape like a meteor when it launched with the Nintendo Switch and Wii U in 2017. An unprecedented and ambitious open-world adventure, it completely upended a genre which had grown increasingly stagnant since they heyday of early Assassin’s Creed, and with cultural impact only rivalled in recent years by Besthesda’s behemoth, the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and perhaps CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher III. …


I recently purchased a PSVR headset and a couple of games from a friend who wasn’t really using it, and was keen to spend a good amount of time with a new technology that I’d barely touched before, excited at the new types of spectacle and sensation this still-new medium would offer. I knew some of what to expect — I’d had a go with an HTC Vive before and experienced both the grand spectacle of lying, scaled to the size of a giant, across Central Park while flinging the Sun across the sky in Google Earth, and the somewhat…

Jonathan Fenn

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