MyHouse.wad is not another gimmicky Doom map with ingenious level design
MyHouse is not another gimmicky Doom map with ingenious level design. It’s an art piece with a strong and effectively delivered message. The message of the importance and complexity of personal exploration, however frightening, dangerous, and challenging it can be. I see it as especially powerful due to its medium of choice—not just a videogame, but one of the most transformative videogames ever made.
[Private Wheels] Need for Speed II (1997)
After the significant success of the debut, the sophomore game in the series, Need for Speed II, was released in 1997 to a somewhat mixed reception. Several technical aspects of the game can be conceived as problematic from the gameplay perspective, but I’d argue that the game’s primary weak point is of symbolic nature. Need for Speed II lacks saturation and focus—instead of presenting a playable power fantasy, it’s a confusing and unconvincing attempt to impress.
The Butlerian Jihad: Gatekeepers of Digital Consumption
Machines themselves aren’t the problem—hierarchies are. When there are hierarchies, there are also small privileged groups of people that tend to screw up horribly with disastrous consequences for everybody else. Therefore, our pitchforks and sledgehammers should be used to dismantle hierarchies and not destroy machines.
[Private Wheels] The Need for Speed (1994)
Atomized individualism, hierarchal status, Darwinian competition, and petty rebellion—the symbolic realm of a private vehicle, a direct metaphor for neoliberalism. And like neoliberalism, a car is also a prison. But I’m straying away—a car as a prison is less relevant for this text because believe it or not, this article is about videogames.
UNRECORD: This is why we can’t have the nice things
Wasting opportunities is one thing, but doing so in a destructive, immoral, and irresponsible way is another. My thoughts on Unrecord’s gameplay trailer.
[Cleaning the Backlog] Subnautica
I’ve played Subnautica for dozens of hours and came to the only conclusion someone in the right mind can reach: we should boil it! Boil the hell of this wet abyss, burn the remains, bury the ashes, and then nuke the burial place several times! This is the only way.
[Cleaning the Backlog] Adios
By the phrase «cinematic experience,» when used in the context of videogames, people usually mean visually appeasing spectacle of destruction or dramatically charged cutscenes. Adios lacks both, yet it’s the most cinematic game I’ve played in a long time. Like Italian neorealism films, the game embraces and utilizes the mundane instead of avoiding it; like French New Wave cinema, it weaves long and seemingly empty conversations, hiding under their covers motivations, fears, inner struggles, and beliefs of the conversing characters.
[Cleaning the Backlog] Mad Max
Mad Max: Fury Road and Mad Max, the videogame, were released the same year, in 2015. Nevertheless, it is said that George Miller wasn’t involved in the videogame production, and there is no direct connection between the projects. Does it matter? No. The game has all the essential things that elevate Mad Max into a cultural phenomenon as precious as petrol in its post-apocalyptical chaos: Max, style, and a dramatic spectacle of vehicular manslaughter.
Mario’s Game Gallery, or The Place Where Reality Crumbles
I haven’t played much of Mario games in my life. It may sound wild, especially for an American reader, but I didn’t own any Nintendo console up until I bought Switch some five years ago. Along with Switch, I purchased Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to see what’s all the fuss is about—it’s okay, I guess—and back in the day, I played the very first Super Mario Bros on a Chinese NES rip-off called Dendy. That’s basically my whole experience with a franchise featuring this weird and creepy pseudo-Italian plumber. There was also Mario’s Game Gallery. And it wasn’t pleasant.
[Cleaning the Backlog] Wolfenstein 3D
Shareware versions of both Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were pre-installed on my first PC machine back in 1995. When friends came over, we played Doom «Nightmare hotseat»—we sucked, rarely beating E1M1, but it was pure fun. Personally, though, when remaining one-on-one with my best pal Volkov Commander (also pre-installed by patriotic Russian hardware sellers), I better preferred to navigate to the C:\GAMES\WOLF3D\ directory. Retrospectively, there are three reasons why I preferred Wolfenstein 3D over Doom.