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8:30 PM on 09.03.2010

Keep your pants on while viewing these Cargasm screens

I still can't wrap my head around the name Cargasm. Is it an orgasm of cars? Are the cars enjoying orgasms? Are the drivers? Should players expect to experience a cargasm while playing? Because if so, I'd like to know what I'...

Andrew Kauz

8:00 PM on 09.03.2010

No Heroes Allowed! coming to PSP, doesn't allow heroes

Remember back when the Badman series was called the Badman series? You know, back before the whole "This sounds too much like Batman so change it or we'll take all your money" thing happened. The series went strong with...

Andrew Kauz

7:30 PM on 09.03.2010

Crackdown 2 DLC is broken, don't buy it

Ruffian Games has given players another reason not to play Crackdown 2 today, as its just-released DLC pack, the Toy Box add-on, seems to only take things away from the game. Namely, its ability to function. Ruffian has ...

Andrew Kauz

7:00 PM on 09.03.2010

Celebrate Thong Friday by watching this DeathSpank video

Thong Friday is now a thing. Take off whatever lesser underwear you're currently donning and squeeze into your sexiest neon-colored thong. Do not send us videos. Instead, watch this new story trailer for the upcoming DeathSp...

Andrew Kauz

6:30 PM on 09.03.2010

Rocksteady has a complete build of Batman: Arkham City

The Batman is very pleased this day. His next adventure, Batman: Arkham City, is "complete," playable from start to finish and in need only of some tender polishing.  The information was discovered on a recent OPM podcas...

Andrew Kauz

5:30 PM on 09.03.2010

Red 5 announces FireFall for PC, lets you shoot bugs

Red 5 Studios announced today a new team-based shooter, FireFall, due to be released some time in 2011. And it has bugs. Nasty, disgusting bugs. I can only assume that they must all die. The game is being developed by a team...

Andrew Kauz

8:00 PM on 09.02.2010

Action-RPG Bastion revealed for PC and consoles

I get more than a little giddy every time I see the words "new action-RPG," and the full reveal of Bastion from Supergiant Games is no different. Couple that with the promise of an unusually emotional experience and you...

Andrew Kauz





6:30 PM on 09.02.2010

New screens, trailer capture essence of FEAR 3

  If you ask me, there just aren't enough games with scary-ass pregnant ladies. At least we have FEAR 3, which Warner Brothers and Day 1 Studios is showing off in this brand-new trailer.  While we may not see FEAR 3...

Andrew Kauz

4:00 PM on 08.28.2010

Videogames and the pursuit of harmless entertainment

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or ho...

Andrew Kauz

4:00 PM on 08.21.2010

The rubbing of breasts on faces in Dragon Quest IX

The Dragon Quest saga began for me in earnest only with Dragon Quest VIII. I had played previous games in the series, but not in any capacity other than "OK let's do this oh WTF this is shit?" I never even got around to fi...

Andrew Kauz

4:00 PM on 08.15.2010

The restoration of faith in Dragon Quest IX, part two

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid ...

Andrew Kauz

4:00 PM on 08.14.2010

The restoration of faith in Dragon Quest IX, part one

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as...

Andrew Kauz



Violence, mystery, and meaning in the dark world of Limbo photo
Violence, mystery, and meaning in the dark world of Limbo
by Andrew Kauz

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]

We often speak of videogames in terms of the narratives they present. A game’s story is seen as a necessary extension of gameplay, like the heart that resides within the body and keeps it in motion. Games like BioShock are praised for the narratives they present, and without them, the games amount to little more than standard fare.

Then there’s Limbo, which is minimalistic and vague in its storytelling while simultaneously offering one of the best experiences of the year, and not just because of its puzzle-solving gameplay. You never really know where you’re going, what you’re doing, or who you’re sharing the world of Limbo with, and because of this some might be quick to label the game’s story as lacking or even poor.

Those people are, of course, missing the point. Limbo presents one of the most engaging and sophisticated stories in videogame history, and it does so without giving you a solid idea of what the hell you’re doing. 

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Why games should play the player photo
Why games should play the player
by Andrew Kauz

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]

People don’t really like to be f*cked with. I can’t think of a compelling reason why any person would want to be lied to, led on, or strung around on a regular basis. Sure, some people get off on doing this to others, but they’re also the types that are likely to get their windshields smashed in with golf clubs.

Yet in fiction, we can’t get enough of stories that mess with our minds, our perceptions of events, or our ability to trust the players involved. Some of the best pieces of fiction from recent memory (and many from history) have done this. Of note is Shutter Island, which presented a story from the perspective of a completely unreliable narrator/main character. The story was effective largely because of this single choice.

Games are in a unique narrative position, as they are able to play us as much as we play them. However, few games do this, and even fewer do it effectively. While games will always be at risk of pissing us off personally thanks to our personal involvement in the action, game narratives and game design are both in an ideal position to start f*cking with us, and some have already pulled this off to great effect. 

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Death, storytelling, and the manipulation of progress photo
Death, storytelling, and the manipulation of progress
by Andrew Kauz

For years, we've heard the same tired proclamations about the limitations of storytelling in videogames. This argument stands apart from the talent involved in making games; it's not that the people making games are poor writers, but that the medium itself cannot tell a story as effectively as a film, novel, or play. There may be some truth to these arguments, despite many of them being hugely exaggerated.

However, what few are likely to talk about are the storytelling methods unique to the medium of the videogame. Games are only just beginning to explore these strategies, and as such, many of the attempts are slipshod at best. Yet each attempt, in spite of its quality, raises a very interesting question. What advantages over other storytelling mediums are built into the very fabric of the games we enjoy, and with the proper execution, could they actually provide even more compelling storytelling?

One trend in storytelling connects player character death and the manipulation of progress that the player has made through the game. Two recent games in particular, Red Dead Redemption and Nier (spoiler warning for both games), explore this concept in divergent but equally interesting ways. In each case, the power of the statement made would simply be impossible in a film or novel. By manipulating the player's progress in the course of the story, each game appeals directly to the player during pivotal moments in the story, and the increased impact of these moments suggests that breaking the fourth wall can work brilliantly in a videogame narrative. Spoilers follow after the break. 

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Forced morality in games will never, ever work photo
Forced morality in games will never, ever work
by Andrew Kauz

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]

A man rides his horse swiftly along a dusty path, six shooter in hand, when he hears a cry in the distance. The sound grows closer, and a woman comes into view; she is visibly panicked. Soon, the source of her panic becomes clear. Behind her, four bobcats snarl and nip at her ankles, inching closer and closer to the poor, defenseless lady. The man knows what he must do, for he is a man of honor. He raises his six shooter, aims for the bobcats, and fires.

Just as the first pull of the trigger has been committed, the woman makes a sudden turn, putting her directly in the path of the man's bullets. The first one tears through her leg, while the rest find their mark somewhere around the woman's abdomen. She falls to the ground as the bobcats scatter in fear. The woman is dead...

...and a message appears: "Honor -50." The man stares in disbelief, knowing his reputation is forever tarnished despite the lack of witnesses to his crime, and most of all, despite his noble intentions. He had done everything a noble man should except anticipating the woman's unpredictable movement. As he turns away from the grisly scene and mounts his horse, he mutters a single thought.

"Morality systems in games are such sh*t." 

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