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Anthony Burch's blog
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Anthony Burch avatar 11:30 AM on 12.29.2009  (server time)
A tribute to videogame fan films, and a game you NEED to play (but won't).

Firstly, this. Any excuse to watch Escape from City 17, right?

Secondly, The Void is currently on sale for half off ($9.99) on Steam, and really deserves to be checked out.


On the one hand:
It's one of the most interesting, gorgeous, atmospheric, original, haunting, and tense games I've ever played.

On the other hand:
It's oppressively hard and vague, to the point where you spend most of the game with no idea of what you're doing while being punished for that very fact. You'll get yourself into jams that require you to reload hour-old saves just to prevent yourself running out of resources.The glyph-drawing system is so fucking inaccurate that anytime you want to draw a "donate" glyph, you need to save the game first because otherwise the game will arbitrarily decide you didn't actually draw the glyph and then take all the color you used to draw the glyph anyway and say "hey asshole you should have drawn the donate glyph" even though you did.

But goddamn if I don't keep coming back for more, in a way I really didn't expect to. Mostly, games like this (hard for the sake of hard, suffering from some shitty design, where loss results in a lot of wasted time that has to be repeated) piss me off after a few hours and I never come back to them. Demon's Souls is still sitting on my coffee table, my character still sitting unfinished in world 3 or something.

But there's something about The Void, and how unrelentingly original it is (as a game, it literally defies genreclassification -- it's either an RPG or an FPS or an RTS or none of these or all of them) that keeps me coming back. Something about how INTENTIONALLY vague its story and mechanics are, and how the gradual discovery of what to do and how to do it is satisfying in a wholly unusual way (granted, some things I just never found out on my own and had to ask for help with, which was less cool).

When playing, people kept asking me what the game was. eight hours into the game, I still have no idea. But I know I like that.

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