From the Depths – Hotline Miami

GamingDaily was a fantastic website, where I learned a lot about games writing. Many brilliant writers got their start here, and I was very lucky to be able to work with some of them for a time. 

Unfortunately, a few years ago, it was shut down. Much like this very blog has lay dormant for an age. So, in an effort to bring myself back into writing, I’m going to post some of my favourite things that I wrote from way back in the day.

Up first: My preview of Hotline Miami, from the very first time I played it. Warning – i may have done some swears.

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I am Sir, and I was Hunted

9b14d97b5daf6e966c440a05bdf73e6f_largeI’ve had a strangely avoidant relationship with Sir, You Are Being Hunted, the ‘tweed-punk’ survival FPS from Big Robot Entertainment. As soon as it was announced, I was intrigued. The pitch, essentially, is S.T.A.L.K.E.R, set in rural England, with the player constantly on the run from an ever-multiplying horde of robotic hunters, which scour the land in a thinly veiled parody of the traditional (but, thankfully, now illegal) fox hunts which were a common sight in country villages until recently. Sadly, when the Kickstarter came around, I was without the means to buy in. Clearly, this was a personal affront, and I therefore went on a campaign of ignoring the game really, really hard. I ignored the posts on various gaming blogs. I shunned the Twitter accounts. I even turned my back on the pre-orders, with their promise of early access.

But now, having finally given in and played a good 20+ minutes at their Rezzed booth recently, I can ignore this game no more. Now I, too, have become hunted.

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Miss me?

Well, I’m back.

After two weeks living in our new place, we are at last connected to the internet. Which means I can start writing about all things nerdy once more. While I was gone, I got a few single player games out of the way, watched a few films and started gaming on an Xbox 360.

Now, now, settle down. I’m not abandoning my PC gaming roots, not at all. But there are a lot of games that I’m missing out on by not owning one. Red Dead Redemption is one game I’ve been itching to try for a long time, but it has never made its way to the PC – quite why Rockstar aren’t bringing it over alongside L.A. Noire I have no idea. Then there are games like Stacking and Costume Quest, from Tim Schafer’s company, Double Fine. That the genius behind classics like Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango and the criminally ignored Psychonauts has made games that I haven’t played actually offends me.

I’m sure I will still do most of my gaming on the PC, once the novelty wears off. I still think the PC is the best gaming platform, for a variety of reasons that would require an entire rant to properly express. But, for now, I’ve got a lot of platform exclusives to catch up on.

Righting Some Digital Wrongs – Has Ubisoft Seen The Light?

Earlier this month, Ubisoft announced that the upcoming PC version of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood will not feature the same DRM system as Assassin’s Creed II.

Yes, of course, this is a good thing – the old system was completely unfair, and drove away a lot of customers, losing many more sales than piracy alone would have done.

But let’s not be too hasty with the celebrations. After all, AC:B will still need to have some form of copy-protection – Ubisoft wouldn’t have it any other way. Can this new system really win back the hearts, minds and, most importantly, wallets of those who didn’t purchase ACII because of the DRM?

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