There isn’t much of 2015 left and, as always, that makes me feel a bit reflective. So, in the spirit of looking back while preparing, too, for what’s ahead, I’ve rounded up some of the stuff I wrote about games throughout these last 12 months.
Doing this feels a little self indulgent, but I think it’s a good idea to have a snapshot of 2015 in videogames all rounded up in one place, even if it’s just my own work.
So, here are a few of the pieces I wrote this year, collected:
Soma‘s really good. I wrote this after playing an early version that only included the first third of the game, but I stand by it after seeing it to the end months later.
I’ve had a problem with videogame “romance” systems for quite a while so it was great to articulate why that it is with the help of relationship expert Dr. Kimberly Moffit.
I think Life Is Strange is a special game, largely because its early episodes do a great job depicting the pleasant and painful nostalgia of looking back at the formative choices we make during high school.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture ended up being one of my favourite games of the year. And this article, which came about from talking with The Chinese Room’s Dan Pinchbeck, was one of my favourite things to write, too.
(The full transcript of my chat with Dan Pinchbeck is available here and an excerpt from my conversation with Jed Pressgrove about Rapture, spirituality, and religion in games is available here via Unwinnable)
The Metal Gear Solid series limped its way into the sunset with its (supposedly) final entry, which was disappointing. But, even The Phantom Pain–the most confused and meandering of the long-running series–had interesting connections to real-world history.
(I also reviewed the game for Kill Screen.)
It’s Still a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World; Or, Who is Nathan Drake? (for Kill Screen)
I love the Uncharted games, but protagonist Nathan Drake has always seemed like far less of a hero than its developer makes him out to be.
The best design feature/character in Fallout 4 is Dogmeat, a German Shepherd that valiantly struggles to hold the whole wobbling enterprise together.
And lastly, I was really happy to release the SHOOTER anthology and start a podcast with Patrick Lindsey and Ed Smith called Bullet Points. Both are pretty big departures from what I usually do and they’ve been–and still are–a lot of fun. Talking about videogames on my own is all well and good, but there are many other writers out there who are far smarter than me. Reading and listening to their perspectives expands my own outlook.
Reid McCarter is a writer and editor based in Toronto. His work has appeared at Kill Screen, Paste, VICE, Playboy, and The Escapist. He is a co-editor of SHOOTER (a compilation of critical essays on the shooter genre), co-hosts the Bullet Points podcast, runs Digital Love Child, and tweets @reidmccarter.