The worldbuilding of Watchmen flows from two changes to American history: Costumed vigilantes of the 1940s, and the creation of Doctor Manhattan. The book is famous for being a “realistic” superhero story, full of almost exclusively normal human beings with human desires and flaws. But it’s also a world with psychics. And I don’t mean just a genetically engineered squid. As Ozymandias puts it in the original book, “I engineered a monster, cloned its brain from a human psychic, sent it to New York and killed half the city.” And in this week’s episode of HBO’s Watchmen, we are introduced to the widespread fear of another psychic attack like the one that occured on Nov. 2, 1985. So widespread that companies can make a mint selling anti-psychic shielding, a commercialized form of the tinfoil hat. If Watchmen is so dedicated to realism, how does the existence of demonstrably real psychic phenomena fit in? The answer is that Alan Moore … [Read more...] about When Alan Moore wrote Watchmen, psychic phenomena were all the rage
Classic wow talent tree
Through a locked gate, down a winding path and by a still pond a few miles outside of the leafy village of Twycross, England, a bonsai tree stands. It was a gift given to Rare by Shigeru Miyamoto, the most famous game designer in the world, as a thank-you for the game developer's critical and commercial success in creating games for Nintendo, the most famous game maker in the world. For Rare's staff arriving to work at 8:30 sharp each morning, it has served as a reminder of the company's heritage, of who they are, of how lucky they are to be a part of something so admired, so rare. An unassuming trophy of past glories, it's also an inspiration for future goals, a symbol carefully cultivated to weather trends, transcend fashions; rooted, a gnarly resolution. On 20th of September 2002, Microsoft paid $375 million for this bonsai tree and all that it symbolised: creative excellence, technical mastery, innovation, originality, soul and the precious fingerprints of Nintendo. The … [Read more...] about Who Killed Rare?
It's a bit early to start thinking about Christmas, but since this season above all others is a thing of many rituals, it shouldn't be too surprising when the rituals start slipping forward a little. Last week Starbucks brought out its red cups, and this week, perhaps because of all that, I've been looking to Fortnite to do its special Christmas thing.It involves the shrubbery scattered about the place. Shrubbery that, when I first started playing the game, was incredibly important to me. Before I knew what I was doing - I still don't know what I'm doing - I spent a lot of time hiding in Fortnite's many bushes. They gave me an elbow up on a game that seemed to be full of much more talented players. I could get inside the circle, park in a bush and then wait as the player count ticked down.Then Christmas came, and the bushes were suddenly transformed. They had fairy lights strung through them, which made them festive, but also made them more visible. It was a trade-off I was happy with, … [Read more...] about Awaiting the return of Christmas shrubbery in Fortnite
Its big themes are glibly handled, though this is still Quantic Dream's most credible and satisfying interactive yarn by far. The main menu screen for Detroit: Become Human - Quantic Dream's new game about androids discovering free will and rising up against their human masters - features the face, stunningly well realised, of an android who talks directly to the player. The android looks like a young, pretty, white woman. She asks if we are enjoying ourselves, suggests we take a survey, jokes about the game save being corrupted. If you leave the menu on long enough, she changes the subject. Did we know about the underground railroad, the secret network which helped black slaves escape the antebellum South of the USA? Then she starts to sing, quietly, pleadingly: "Hold on just a little while longer, everything will be alright." It turns out this is a traditional gospel song. She might as well have burst into "We Shall Overcome."Intentionally or not, it's a jarring moment. It also … [Read more...] about Detroit: Become Human review – clumsy yet effective robot-rights thriller
The aim and swing work much as you'd imagine, but the game does a great job of gauging the power of your shot. Without an on-screen gauge, this has always been something of a dark art, yet Season 2 makes it seem easy. It helps that you have unlimited practice swings that let you see exactly where the ball will land, but it's still surprising how often shots play out exactly as you wanted. It's especially impressive given that Kinect is reading your body movements sideways, rather than the front-on view it was created to expect, and the developers are clearly pleased with this new addition to their Kinect toolbox. Golf has more than just solid swing mechanics though. There are lots of clever little touches that make it one of the most distinctive events in the game. Key to this is how Kinect has been woven into the golf experience in a way that feels invisible. Lift your hand to your forehead in the classic "lookout" pose and the game gives you a flyover of the fairway. On the green, … [Read more...] about Kinect Sports: Season 2 • Page 2