Toby casts his addled mind back to the distant past.
By Toby McCasker on December 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm
It’s December and everyone’s doing lists, lists, lists of things they totals liked very much a lot this year. Yes it is that time. It’s a horrible time, and ruins Christmas for me every year. “This game was awesome.” “No this game was more awesome.” “I challenge you to a virginal neckbeard fight because our opinions differ!” “OK but be careful with my thin aristocratic wrists.” And so on and so forth.
By and quite large, I think all these dumb lists miss the point. In their rushes to personally quantify fun, mayhap they bogart the ties that bind us all in mutual admiration: The moments.
The Last Of Us
This was so bold. SO BOLD. I don’t think gamingdom has truly grasped what kind of narrative step this was for the medium as a whole. It’s a finale in the exact same nihilistic, existential vein as the new wave of French extreme cinema… only it is not nihilistic. It is simply real. Too real. People are not accustomed to stories being told with such un-Disneyed humanity after decades of simpering “No no, life is a utopia of regal possibilities, really.” I say, get accustomed, because this was unforgettable.
Who picked the end here? You? No you? Bull-ass, none of you did – but you could have, just maybe, because of the expertly laid breadcrumb trail leading to one of the year’s most intriguing yarns (in a shooter, no less). To compare, once again, to a style of “art” more highly regarded for its mindfulness than gaming, it felt to me Murakami-esque.
What a huge wank, but if you have ever read any of his stuff, you’ll see how those dots, so imperceptible at the time but now so weirdly visible, connect… and connect, and connect, until the debate as to what really happened becomes as warped and simultaneously mirrored as Booker himself.
An entire building falling over
I am constantly in awe of newer and more blinding scale in games. Fallout 3’s Megaton explosion, for example, is the end of many lives that not only seared itself into my gamer’s eyes but also provided the context of a living preamble and a terrible aftermath (hi Moira, you look different). BF4 has no storied threads on either side but is instead entirely personal, making for a much different cornea-burn, but a burn nonetheless. I look upon the skyscraper with a new wariness, one glass eye on its structural integrity.
Oh hi Jake
Seriously, playing this was such an incredible joy. I love isometric stuff, I love cyberpunk, I loved the SNES original to absolute bits when I was a gamer grom. It’s that last part that makes this piece of epic fan-service something I sit around and chuckle at and go, “Hey that was cool.” Because it was. It was overdue payment for my investment in video games that I wasn’t expecting, and nor did I even want. But I spent it on a nostalgia wakeboard regardless, and noob-surfed my way to gooey feelings all ‘round.