Sunday Swatch

Before E3 is unleashed upon us, take this moment to sit back, relax, and enjoy my round up of interesting news and favourite articles of the week.

OVERWATCH, once again, obviously. This week Eurogamer has an interview with game director, Jeff Kaplan. In it he talks more about possible updates to the game, competitive play, but also drops some hints about possible new character Sombra. Check it out here and join the hunt for all the clues.

Speaking of updates, DOOM devs have been talking about changes to improve multiplayer here. Personally, I’ve not really got into the multiplayer, purely because the campaign is so good, it really outshines everything else. I do think it would be cool if snapmaps were available on multiplayer, as I’ve seen some very creative levels being made. Ultimately though, I would just rather a new campaign to be added – I think they can tinker with multiplayer all they want, it’s still not going to be as good.

OUTLAST 2 is coming out soonish, and demos have been sent out to media. So with all the hype, RockPaperShotgun decided to look back on the first game here. This short article made me chuckle, and really gets to the heart of what is terrifying about the Outlast universe: spare batteries.

Games media and journalism has always been a topic of conversation to some, but there’s been a lot of back and forth on it recently. You’re forgiven if you haven’t been following every campaigning of git gud or argument for easy modes. However this Vice article is a thoughtful piece about games journalism, and why it doesn’t deserve some of the flak it’s been getting from fans recently. Don’t be put off by the title, it is actually worth a look – find it here.

WATCH DOG 2 has had some controversy by revealing that its protagonist is a black man! Outrageous. ‘Don’t look at the comments’ is a good mantra for approaching the steam page – it’s full of the kind of thing that really makes you despair about, not only the state of gaming culture, but society at large. Find out more about it below in this piece by Tanya D, who talks about representation and diversity in gaming, and how it is not the end of the gaming world, despite what some white guys seem to think.

View story at Medium.com

And finally, here’s an in-depth analysis of the level designs of the SoulsBorne series. Despite the fact that everyone’s been talking about DARK SOULS constantly since it came out, I like that there is still a lot of interesting conversation still happening. I really learnt a lot from this video, watch it here.

So that’s my picks for this week pals. See yous next week for the post E3 wrap up, plus any other cool news and writing that may happen in its shadow. Bye!

Weekly Wrap-up

So, I actually plan to do this on Sunday, but this week I had an old friend visiting, so I’m only getting around to it now. Anyway, here’s a collection of news/articles/videos that caught my eye last week.

OVERWATCH devs have discussed some areas they would like to improve in future patches. You can find information about this all over the web, but I think RockPaperShotgun’s run down is very thorough.This includes tweeks to existing characters to make them more balanced, as well as slight changes to post match highlights. I’m excited to see what they have in store for D.va (who’s my favourite hero), and it would be really cool if they could get play of the game down so that you see more than just Bastion or Torbjorn’s turrets mowing everyone down. Read more about it here.

I posted this over at my tumblr, but this article from Cracked.com is a pretty decent read. It’s all about sexism in video games, and in classic Cracked style, gives you a list of some of the shittiest excuses game devs have come up with for excluding women from their games. Some of them would be laughable, if it wasn’t so depressingly widespread. However, this probably doesn’t cover any new ground, and any women who has looked at games for even 1 second, could tell you how shitty representation can be. I also mentioned on tumblr that this article is very entrenched in a gender binary/equating vaginas to women and penis to men exclusively. I know Cracked is a comedy site rather than a nuanced study of journalism or sociology, but it does get fairly tiresome towards the end.  Check it out here.

SUPERHOT. SUPERHOT. SUPERHOT game devs have some updates on the future of their game over at their site here. First of all, they’re teasing us with a new DLC that promises to “introduce new levels, game mechanics and introduce new ways to immerse yourself”. Sounds great, I’m pretty excited to see that. They also talk about some of the work they are doing with Oculus on Superhot VR. Yes please. Personally, I’m not super interested in VR at the moment, but I would love to play this game in VR. I think it would look and feel amazing. Perhaps even…SUPERHOT. (Sorry I had to.)

There’s also this lovely article on the rise of walking simulators from Sumonix that you can read here.  I don’t really have too much to say about this, but it’s worth a swatch.

Are you fed up of talking about DARK SOULS yet? I’m not, and so I greatly enjoyed these thoughtful mini essays from Errant Signal. I particularly liked the comparison between haunted houses and DS level design. And I’ve loved the Castlevania vibes that I get from Souls – it reminds me of a great game on my first console (the SNES). Watch and/or listen it to here.

Hope you enjoy this week, and I’ll check in (hopefully) on time this Sunday with another round up of gaming news and opinion goodness.