Hyper Light Drifter dazzles with tight gameplay but ultimately feels inconsequential. In this review, I show how one of its influences, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, uses plot structure to overcome this issue.
Is Metal Gear Solid V incomplete or is Hideo Kojima just crazy? I’ll assume the latter and dance at the edge of sanity deciphering the Phantom Pain’s narrative via the Cold War and its residual effects on modern history. Full spoilers for the Metal Gear series.
An examination of Her Story and how its gameplay mechanic and narrative parody the media frenzy around criminal court cases. Full spoilers for Her Story and Sunset Blvd.
Pixel hunts, cryptic puzzles, dead end levels. Adventure games can fail for many reasons, but when they hit — like in the case of Wadjet Eye’s Technobabylon — they can give a feeling of infinite possibility.
Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey not only fits Brothers fairly well, but also helps flesh out the game’s theme. Spoilers for Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
The Hotline Miami series laughs at our attempts to make sense of it. So naturally I’m going to try to make sense of it. Spoilers for Hotline Miami 1 & 2.
Pour yourself a damn fine cup of coffee and see how director David Lynch directly influenced 17 games, including Zelda: Link's Awakening, Silent Hills, and Life is Strange. Click annotations throughout to skip spoilers.
Like its predecessor Bastion, Transistor holds a pessimistic view of humanity, illustrated in their pursuit of utopia. Full spoilers for Transistor.
Child of Light distinguishes itself with a rhyming narrative, but the game's entire story can be grasped solely through player interaction. Full spoilers for Child of Light.
Gearbox's Borderlands always revels in references—namely spaghetti westerns—but Telltale's spin on the series takes advantage of the throwaway gags to help craft a tighter narrative. Spoilers for Tales from the Borderlands Episode 1: ZerO Sum and Borderlands 2.
Many games incorporate player choice, but none quite like This War of Mine. Let's see how 11 bit studios made possibly the best morality system by going against conventional design wisdom. Spoilers for This War of Mine and Far Cry 3.
Despite its colorful exterior, Bastion happens to highlight some dark truths about humanity. Full spoilers in-bound for Bastion.
Think Dark Souls' pessimistic? You have no idea, but Rustin Cohle does. Let's examine nihilism in the Souls games using True Detective, Macbeth, and H.P. Lovecraft. Full spoilers in-bound for the Souls series and True Detective season one.
A game's fail-state can tell a lot about its gameplay. Let's take a look at how 10 games choose to kill its players.
An examination of Portal's set-pieces, and how they exhibit traits of their in-game creators. Full spoilers of both Portal and Portal 2 ahead.
A look at how narrative fits into every match of League of Legends, including why the player's the protagonist (or antagonist) of every game, and how Riot tells these stories without endless dialogue and exposition.
A look at the motifs and plot twists foreshadowed in The Wolf Among Us' opening scene, and how they help explain the entire season's narrative. Full spoilers for Season One of The Wolf Among Us ahead.
An examination of Papers, Please's dark yet hopeful theme, complete with comparisons to Radiohead and John Locke. The video contains full spoilers of the game.
With this video, I attempt to analyze The Stanley Parable, a game that made fun of my attempt to analyze it. The video contains full spoilers of the game.
An examination of how Tim Schafer and the team at Double Fine take advantage of Broken Age's dual narrative structure. The video contains full spoilers of the game.