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Far Cry 2

…simple fact that 10 years later, people are still inspired to play it, to revisit it, and most importantly, to write about it.

So for the 10th anniversary of Far Cry 2, I wanted to share some of the best and most thoughtful criticism of the game that I’ve come across. I went back through old emails, searched the internet, and spent hours organizing my Instapaper account in order to narrow it down to what I feel are the ten best pieces written about Far Cry 2.

In terms of how I filtered them: for the most part…

Kentucky Route Zero

Critical Distance is proud to present this Critical Compilation of Cardboard Computer’s Kentucky Route Zero, written by Nicholas O’Brien. Nicholas is an artist and researcher that makes video games, digital animations, and installations addressing civic history, urban infrastructure, and overlooked narratives of technology and labor. He currently lives in Brooklyn and is Assistant Professor in 3D Design and Game Development at Stevens Institute of Technology.

When Kentucky Route Zero, the episodic magical realist point-and-click adventure from Cardboard Computer (Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt), first reached players in 2013, critics were struck by its intricate narrative, distinct

September 5th

Critical Distance is back for another installment of This Week in Videogame Blogging. I’ll be filling in for Ben with a fresh round-up of the latest and most interesting pieces of analysis and criticism from all across the gaming blogosphere.

Kate Simpson at Falling Awkwardly has started a new series of articles on the metaphysics of Morrowind to remedy the dearth of critical analysis about the RPG. While the first entry is simply a primer to the series, the second and latest piece takes an in-depth look at a piece of Morrowind’s fiction, dissecting it as an attempt

Assassin’s Creed II

…the narrative twist of “Templar dirty tricks” is used in the Carnevale misson (sequence 9) to highlight “the corruption of an instance of control” (i.e. cheating in a traditional game). The rigged carnevale mini-game is contrasted with the player’s locked progression in the video game, with its embedded rules. Thus, when rules are being broken and remain unbroken at the same time, the player becomes aware of different “game frames” operating at the same time. For Brian Wuest at Mediascape, the Matrix-like narrative device of the Animus in AC2 acts primarily as a “framing interface” that explicitly presents the game…

May 15th

Welcome to another exciting, informative, and hopefully entertaining instalment of This Week In Videogame Blogging.

Before we swing into the usual routine, a few words about a certain blog post you may have read this week. Around about the time last week’s TWIVGB went live, Dan Cook wrote an inflammatory blog post called ‘A blunt critique of game criticism’, and a heated conversation bloomed across much of the blogosphere. I’ve made my personal response (to the original draft, which has since been edited heavily) on my personal blog but I wanted to comment here as well, since Critical

July 18th

Sunday’s are for being at the snow – yes, it’s winter here and I’m at the snow. Thankfully, I’ve had the foresight to prepare this week’s instalment in advance. It’s almost like I’m speaking to you through time.

Speaking of time, I’m not sure how I missed including this last time I compiled TWIVGB – it’s Margaret Robertson with a piece she originally wrote for a Polish newspaper, freshly dusted off and popped online. It’s about ‘games as dating tools‘ [mirror].

Sent in by Matthew Gallant and continuing the trend of sourcing from outside this week in

February 6th

…cost. Their critics are only depicted as acting in bad faith, spanning the spectrum from obstructive bureaucrats to tabloid journalists to literal terrorists.”

Artful Time Battle

RPGs and especially JRPGs are front-and-centre in this next pairing looking at poetic and experimental design decisions in key games.

  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter Revealed the Ugliness of RPGs in Stripping Them to Their Bare Essentials | Paste Austin Jones examines the interesting, experimental, and not very fondly remembered installment of the Breath of Fire series.
  • How is a battle system like a poem? |…
Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

December 14th

Hello everyone, it’s Lindsey here with another weekly roundup. Before we get started I want to remind you that, as the year comes to a close, we’re looking for submissions for our end-of-the-year roundup. But for now, let’s take a look at This Week in Videogame Blogging!

History and Culture Clashes

Quite a few of the submissions this week talk about how history and culture are both used and confused in games. For instance, Corey Milne uses the recent news about Greece’s pleas to have their artifacts returned to them rather than loaned out by the British

January 17th

Over at The Atlantic, Will Partin presents different case studies of an MMORPG’s version of the apocalypse.

Grayson Davis at Videogame Heart praises Emily is Away’s interface’s representation of the instant messaging of yesteryear.

According to G. Christopher Williams at Popmatters, if you take a good, hard look at the interaction between mechanics and storytelling in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there’s another shocking twist to be found! And no, for once, it’s not Ocelot’s fault.

The packaging for a PS4 controller skin makes Brendan Keogh wonder what, exactly, we consider to be “cheating”

October Roundup: ‘Leadership’

…your role turns out to be.

Last word this month goes to Leigh Harrison who writes on As Houses that Metal Gear‘s Big Boss is actually not a very good boss at all. In fact, most of Big Boss’s job seems to be wrangling middle-management minutia:

Snake does his sneaking missions and keeps kidnaping soldiers, and they keep instantly joining his cause upon arrival at his in no way moustache-twirlingly evil deep sea fortress

He can also send his boys out on little missions of their own, though only if they’ve been playing…