Author: <span class="vcard">pauldoyle22</span>

Disco Elysium and Political Literacy

Disco Elysium is a role-playing adventure game that takes place in Martinaise, a lawless district of the occupied city of Revachol. Throughout Martinaise, there is evidence of a complex history of revolution, capitalism, and imperialism, etched into its people and places. As an amnesiac detetive, the player must piece themselves together and solve an elaborate…


Top 10 Games 2019 – Wrapping Up

In the final days of 2019, I counted down my favorite ten games of the year by writing a solid 500-600 words about each one. But sometimes the fun of lists is more about seeing what’s on them! Here’s a condensed version of my top 10 list, all in one post, with short blurbs and…


Top 10 Games 2019 – #1: Outer Wilds

There are a ton of games out there that I would describe as systems-driven. They establish a set of internal rules which provide a framework for players to understand the obstacles in front of them. They can then manipulate variables in the system to achieve the desired outcomes. Examples that come to mind are the…


Top 10 Games 2019 – #2: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Only a few years ago, I considered From Software’s Dark Souls series, and its spiritual successors, to be utterly unapproachable. It took a lot of poking, prodding, and watching Let’s Plays before I got the nerve to jump into the series. But now, they’re are some of my favorite gaming experiences of all time. Fast-forward…


Top 10 Games 2019 – #4: Control

Remedy Entertainment’s Control is not a game that’s particularly easy to pitch. In fact, only the enthusiasm of critics whom I follow even drew me to it in the first place. But now that I’ve played it, I’ll see what I can do. Control follows protagonist Jesse Faden as she tracks down the Federal Bureau…


Top 10 Games 2019 – #5: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

As it turns out, there have been a lot of star wars games over the years. I’ve played virtually none of them. This mostly because I’m just not that into Star Wars, and so many of these games hinge on investment in the franchise. That isn’t to say that they’re not good games in their…


Top 10 Games 2019 – #6: Untitled Goose Game

For many of us, video games are a space to be our best selves. We can be Commander Shepard and save all of our crewmates, or we can be Yu Narukami and help everyone in town with their troubles. Of course, there are also plenty of games that let us act out vices. We can be nihilistic murder-machines in Grand Theft Auto. We can be selfish thieves or demonic mages in Skyrim. We can hurt people, steal from them, kill them….


Top 10 Games 2019 – #7: A Short Hike

A Short Hike is a game that you can play in about the same amount of time as it takes to go on a short hike. It’s cute, straightforward, and bite-sized, and it still feels fully-realized. It plays almost like a miniature Breath of the Wild with pixel graphics and no combat….


Top 10 Games 2019 – #8: Life is Strange 2

Life is Strange 2 seems to have made much less of a splash than its predecessor. But it marks a notable evolution for developer Don’t Nod’s writing and storytelling abilities. The prior games won folks over with their unflinching sincerity, but fell into problematic tropes at the worst moments. This new season embarks on a…


Top 10 Games 2019 – #9: Vision: Soft Reset

A few years ago, I started to take an interest in what is now one of my favorite video game subgenres: metroidvania-style platformers. I love how they systematize exploration, how they evolve mechanically through powerups, and how they frequently offer small aesthetic and mechanical iterations on the core formula. But Vision: Soft Reset has one…