video games

Returning to Silent Hill


silent hill james sunderland

I love Silent Hill. I don’t think that’s much of a secret, I’ve mentioned it more than a few times on this blog previously, but I do think that Silent Hill 2 and 3 represent the pinnacle of horror gaming. It’s not just the gameplay — which, in some aspects, is actually calculatedly attrocious —  but rather the harmonised working of atmosphere, story and character along with the immersive aspect of gaming worked to a perfect crescendo of terror.

If you don’t know what I mean, play Silent Hill 2 late at night, in the dark, with the lights off. See how long you last.

Sadly, after Silent Hill 3 the series went starkly downhill. I haven’t played Silent Hill 4: The Room (from what I hear, it gets an A for effort but an F for execution), but those following it have been decidedly lacking.

Now, though, there is apparently going to be a new Silent Hill game, called Silent Hills. And it’s going to be made by Hideo Kojima, Japanese game maker extraordinaire. Oh, and Guillermo del Toro. And it looks like it could be a return to what Silent Hill is meant to be.

Read on…

Heresy of the Week: Star Wars’ universe needs a spring clean


star wars expanded universe luke

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

In its apparently ongoing quest to sacrifice all of geek-culture’s sacred cows, Disney has announced to predictable outrage that it intends to ditch the ‘expanded universe’ which has grown up around the six films. But, once again, Disney is exactly right to do so, and if the fandom could calm itself down for five minutes, it might agree.

Read on…

Heresy of the Week: Video games are catching up on film


GTA-V-big

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

For all of its admittedly nascent existence, video games has been considered the lesser cousin amongst entertainment media. Next to books, film and TV it has barely even been considered in the same bracket. But with recent experimental forays into the territory of real storytelling, video games seem ready to breakout and embrace their interactive and immersive entertainment birthright.

Read on…