Game Film

Puppeteer_Pirate

If you care about video games, then you’re probably not even reading this right now. Most likely, you’re deep inside of Grand Theft Auto V, living a life of excess and loving it. And now that GTA V’s online mode has finally overcome most of the bumps and is actually turning out to be pretty fun, all the more reason to stay inside its warm embrace. We’ll be talking about Rockstar’s triumphant return to the seedy underbelly of crime soon, but we wanted to highlight the amazing storytelling and whimsical design of Sony’s Puppeteer for the PlayStation 3. With the PlayStation 4 being introduced next month, this might represent one of the last great PS3 games. Despite the childlike art adorning the cover and the name, this is actually dark game: you play as Kutaro, a young boy who has been turned into a puppet and had his head torn off. While you can find other puppet heads to utilize, and gain special abilities from them, and you spend most of the game armed with a magical pair of scissors, this isn’t a cheerful story with your princess waiting in another castle. Puppeteer is dark, disturbing, and completely amazing, thanks in no small part to game director Gavin Moore. We spoke to Moore in Japan about all things Puppeteer, so read on for the full interview, and be sure to pick up a copy and give it a whirl for yourself.

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FablesFSR1

Last year, Telltale Games did what many people thought would be impossible: they took the smash hit comic book The Walking Dead, and turned it into a point and click adventure game. It was a real triumph in video game storytelling, with much of the game contingent on conversation and player choices. But more than that, it channeled pure emotion into the hands of the gamer, and plenty of jaded, cynical naysayers were moved to tears while playing. On top of that, the game was released in an episodic format, although you can purchase the complete experience as one whole package now. Of course, the game came at a perfect time, with the white hot Walking Dead television show on AMC, which in turn spurred sales of the comic book and created an appetite for this game. But based on the show and many issues of the comic, you would expect that the game would be Sheriff Rick’s Zombie Shooting Gallery, not a tearjerking piece driven by the characters. In fact, the game focused on new characters, without a Rick, Daryl, or Shane in sight, as it is set while Rick is in a coma. You will see several familiar faces, but what Telltale drives home is that this is not Rick’s story. There are plenty of other survivors out there, along with their own stories to tell, and the game went against the odds and blew everyone away in the process. If you haven’t played it yet, I highly […]

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Papers Please

Video games don’t have to be complex to tell a story. Or, more importantly, have you fill in parts of the story in your head. Early games like Pong existed without any sort of narrative, unless you enjoyed pretending you were a rectangular block intent on sailing a square of pixels past your opponent for ultimate victory. It wasn’t until later that games were given narratives for the player, even though they were extremely simple: rescue the princess, flee the evil robots, destroy oncoming asteroids. These days, games have deeply complex storylines with multiple, branching plot points and are often denser than most Hollywood movies. They have to be because they often last upwards of ten hours. But the meteoric rise of indie games have propelled a much smaller type of game to the forefront, often with stories that are just as moving or emotional. This is the case in Papers, Please, from Lucas Pope. The game bills itself as A Dystopian Document Thriller, and here’s the description from the creator:

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SR1

Saints Row is the game that decided to out-ridiculous Grand Theft Auto, and since 2006 it has been providing players with an over-the-top gameplay experience that mimics the open world sandbox of GTA, while adding a ton of tongue-in-cheek humor and oddities. For instance, you can go streaking in the game and if you shock enough people, you’ll gain experience. Sadly, that just doesn’t work in real life, or I would have had some extra credit in college. But with each of the three successive games, the series has gotten stranger and stranger. You play as the leader of the Third Street Saints, a gang out the Chicago/Detroit inspired city of Stilwater. Despite the extremely high body count you have racked up in previous games, you’re now the President of the United States, and Keith David (yes, that Keith David) plays himself, and serves as your Vice President. Which is meta in itself, as David also voiced Julius Little in the first two Saints games, original founder of the Saints.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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