The Curious Case of Kratos

God of War is one of Playstation’s most well-known franchises. The first God of War game came out on the Playstation 2 back in 2005 – I was an excited college student who took a bus all the way to the nearest game store of my small college town just to pick it up. I’m a sucker for mythology and a game themed around Greek mythology was right up my alley. It ended up being absurdly popular – spawning two more direct sequels and several prequels and spinoffs. The next game in the series comes out this Friday for the Playstation 4 and it’s been getting rave reviews and is one of the highest reviewed games on the platform and of this generation of games.

What makes this particular game interesting, though, is that it’s completely throwing away the formula from the previous games. Kratos, the main character, is well known through gaming circles as basically being the villain protagonist of the God of War series. He’s murderous, cold-hearted, consumed by revenge, and doesn’t give a crap about anything other than his stated goal of killing the gods. The games themselves are mature content to the Nth degree – you perform bloody finishing moves on all the creatures you fight, you sacrifice innocents to progress, and when you face the gods Kratos despises in combat you better believe they are brutally murdered in horrific fashion. And most of the God of War games have sex mini-games, too, just to tick all the boxes.

But the new God of War is taking things in a different direction and it’s brought up some interesting questions regarding moral philosophy and the idea of redemptive behavior.

Continue reading “The Curious Case of Kratos”

Fortnite Fervor

After dancing around it for a good while, on Monday night for the first time I played Fortnite’s battle royale mode. I’ve never played PUBG or any of the other battle royale mods of other PC games, so it was my very first experience with the genre. And I have to say, due to me staying up way later than I should have after playing a good three hours of continuous games – I think I can see the appeal of Fortnite. (And then I played for a few more hours yesterday just for good measure.)

The thing that struck me almost immediately was just how easily I got into it. It’s one of those games that is very friendly to new players – even if you suck at it. I didn’t win a match (and honestly didn’t even come close despite having a few top 10 finishes) but I still had a lot of fun playing the matches. Unlike games like Overwatch where I get frustrated with multiple losses in a row, every time I died early I was easily able to shake it off and immediately requeue without any negative feelings or frustration.

So what is it about Fortnite (and the battle royale genre as a whole) that is so attractive and user-friendly?

Continue reading “Fortnite Fervor”

Spider-Man Spider-Man Spider-Man

So a lot of times on here I talk about current issues in gaming or try to write a thinkpiece on something relevant that’s happened within the last week or so. Today I’m going to take a slight deviation from that norm and instead use my writing time to do things a little bit differently. Instead of a long-form piece on a recent event or game release, I’m going to geek out for a bit over something I’m really, really excited for.

Spider-Man is coming to the PS4 on September 7th this year.

And holy bananaballs it looks amazing – no pun intended – okay, pun kinda intended.

Continue reading “Spider-Man Spider-Man Spider-Man”

Help! I’m Playing XCOM 2 Again…

I have a love-hate relationship with XCOM 2. When it was first announced Firaxis gave the pretty strong impression that the game would not be coming to consoles. And that made sense. Despite XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within both being released on consoles, the game was a much, much bigger seller on PC. Most of their sales and profit had come from PC, while the console release was a dud.

So me being a huge fan of the first game, looked into if my PC could handle it. It turned out that my computer met the bare minimum requirements except for the graphics card. So I upgraded my graphics card so it could also handle the minimum requirements, and then waited patiently for release. And in February 2016 I got to play XCOM 2 on my computer!

And it was a mess.

Continue reading “Help! I’m Playing XCOM 2 Again…”

The Many Moons of Mario

When Super Mario Odyssey was announced earlier this year, I knew that it was going to be the game that I bought a Switch for. Then later in the year when it was announced that there was going to be a special Super Mario Odyssey Switch bundle I did what any video game enthusiast with no self-control would do: I pre-ordered it. For the last two weeks, I’ve been off and on playing Super Mario Odyssey (and enjoying the Switch) and while Odyssey is a great game and definitely a worthy entry into the Super Mario 3D platformer pedigree, I’ve come to one conclusion that stands out above everything else in regards to the game:

There are too many freaking moons.

Continue reading “The Many Moons of Mario”