Living Things: How Capcom is doing right by Resident Evil

The Resident Evil franchise turns 20 years old this March, and the series has seen its share of ups and downs over these two decades. I unsuccessfully predicted the appearance of Resident Evil 7 as far back as E3 2014, and by now I’m almost embarrassed that said game has still not been announced. As it turns out, Capcom had different plans for the franchise, and while it’s still safe to assume there will be another “core” entry in the series, there’s much more to Resident Evil than just that these days. Continue reading

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Choose Your Own Adventure: Player-Influenced Narratives

With the exponential evolution of narration and story development in video games since the turn of the millennium, the gaming community has grown more sophisticated and demanding in terms of storytelling. Arguably, the most severe criticism hits games where there’s more than one possible way the game can play out – in other words, games that feature some sort of choice available to the player. Continue reading

House of Troubles: Is Bethesda’s “Free Pass” Justified?

Since the turn of the millennium, Bethesda Softworks and their development branch Bethesda Game Studios have gone from an eccentric yet ambitious company, with their own unique visions and goals, to a massive player in the western video game industry, whose name is recognized on the same level as the best of them; everyone invested in the scene knows what they’re about, and especially as a developer they’ve achieved huge popularity and renown. Their development résumé consists essentially of two franchises: The Elder Scrolls, created by Bethesda themselves, and Fallout, acquired from Interplay. Both of these franchises are among the most popular video game series in existence, generating quite a bit of buzz with every new title that’s launched or announced. Continue reading

Agoraphobia: The Decline of Open World Games

Over the past decade or so, the Open World format has steadily increased its penetration of the video game scene; starting with role-playing games whose nature included such vastness and openness in the game world like The Elder Scrolls series, eventually the number of new games with Open World sensibilities increased noticeably, and existing series began to adopt those features as well.

More linear games like Metal GearFar Cry and the Arkham series of Batman games developed from being fairly straightforward, guided experiences into what we saw in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainFar Cry 3 and 4, and Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Knight. The reason should hardly surprise anyone – it’s the supply to the audience’s demand. My argument, however, is that the tide is well on its way to turning around, changing the landscape of Triple-A games in the next few years. Continue reading