The Surreal, Kafkaesque Dream Space of Off-Peak

Off-Peak could justly be called a Kafkaesque game, a sen­si­bil­ity informed by the sur­real writ­ings of Franz Kafka and similar-minded visual rep­re­sen­ta­tions like the afore­said film by Orson Welles but also Terry Gilliam’s Brazil or Richard Ayoade’s The Double. Kafkaesque works empha­size a sense of per­sonal alien­ation amidst an illog­i­cal, unre­spon­sive world resis­tant to pro­vid­ing … Continue reading The Surreal, Kafkaesque Dream Space of Off-Peak

Second Shot: A Case for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, Part One

This is the first half of a long-form criticism arguing in favor of the striking, brutal artistry of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days offers abundant thematic and stylistic questions for game critics to probe, yet the series’ unwarranted derision accumulated over the years reflects a medium still regressive and … Continue reading Second Shot: A Case for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, Part One

Revolutionary Woe: Notes on Assassin’s Creed III

1. Against better judgment, I always felt compelled to give Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series the benefit of the doubt, an undoubtedly foolish errand motivated mostly by a long-standing craving for a decent blockbuster open-world action series. I consider these games a kind of equivalent to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, titillating a base desire … Continue reading Revolutionary Woe: Notes on Assassin’s Creed III

Second Shot: A Case for The Order: 1886

To simply inhabit the world of The Order is a pleasure in itself, adorned as it is with a smorgasbord of visual and literary influences that inform our gameplay experience. The aforesaid steampunk aesthetic shines through in the rustic weaponry and analogue gadgets encountered throughout the game. Its alternate history imagery fetishizes a synthesis of … Continue reading Second Shot: A Case for The Order: 1886

Upward and Forever Upward

This kind of inward withdrawal and assemblage takes primary importance in Mountain and Journey, a pair of games that investigate our relationship with nature and how art can lead to the disclosure of ecstatic truths. Mountain, released in 2014 by O’Reilly, is a game about its own means of articulation. Much has been written about its … Continue reading Upward and Forever Upward