First Steps: Freedom in the Open World (Part 4)

Welcome to Part 4 of my “First Steps” project which focuses on restrictions, guidance, and freedom in the initial moments of open world games. You may find it helpful to visit Part 1 for an introduction to the project and an overview of my line of inquiry. In previous posts, I talked about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Fallout 4, … Continue reading First Steps: Freedom in the Open World (Part 4)

First Steps: Freedom in the Open World (Part 1)

“Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word ‘understanding.” – Werner Heisenberg Welcome to the first post of many focusing on open world games! It’s a project I’ll be working on over the first few months or so of the Spring semester. (FYI, this … Continue reading First Steps: Freedom in the Open World (Part 1)

Favorite Video Games of 2017

This year was a genuine joy for me in regards to gaming. I played some great indies, enjoyed some stellar open-world RPGs, tried a JRPG for the first time, and bought a Switch, bringing me back in touch with Nintendo. From innovative indies like Snipperclips to much anticipated AAA titles like Destiny 2, gamers of all sorts had more options and opportunities for both unique … Continue reading Favorite Video Games of 2017

Narrative Pull & Engagement: Horizon & Mass Effect: Andromeda

With the release of Horizon Zero Dawn and Mass Effect Andromeda (ME: A), March was a busy month for gaming. I’ve been playing ME:A since it released and have been enjoying the game overall (despite a few frustrations, gripes, and not feeling invested until more than a few hours in). Since Horizon was the last game I played before ME:A, I couldn’t help but make a few comparisons between the games even though they are different in many ways, which led me to think about the narrative hook or pull of each game. Warning: minor spoilers ahead.

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Horizon Zero Dawn


“Damn wind. Never cared for being pushed around.”

The above words, spoken by Aloy, perfectly register the impetus for the PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn. To break Horizon down into a simple narrative would read as follows: in a world shared by humans and machines, a young outcast seeks her origins and the identity of her mother, ultimately getting caught up in the politics of various tribes while discovering the darkness that led to the world’s current state. Continue reading “Horizon Zero Dawn”