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

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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

It All Started with a Water Chip: What Happened to Fallout?

By the time this blog entry is posted, I’m positive you’re either tired of Fallout 4 related content, or don’t care about the game and are sick of hearing about it all the same. What I’m intending to do, however, is not just compose a lengthy article about what the newly-released post-apocalyptic role-playing game is made of, but rather take a look at the series as a whole, and more specifically how it has gone through changes so thorough that for all intents and purposes nothing of the original game is left to be found in the latest one.

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Wake the Dragon: How to enjoy Skyrim

A couple of weeks ago, I got back into playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, after a hiatus of a couple of years. I initially stopped playing because the game, for some reason, seemed to lack something that, back in the day, made it impossible for me to pull myself free from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, which is one of the best games I’ve ever played. This time around, I’ve been able to remain interested in the breezy world of Skyrim much better than even the first time around, and I’ve even figured out why.

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