Scary Moments In Gaming: Metro 2033 The Librarian

I’ll admit it: I have a huge soft spot for survival horror games. When done right, they easily make their way to the top of my favorites list, and I’ve played a ridiculous number over the years.

However, one of the scariest moments in recent memory came from a title that isn’t your typical survival horror game. I am referring to Metro 2033, or to be more specific, the Librarian level.

Librarian Through The Wall

If you’ve played 2033, then just the mentioning Librarian might be enough make you shiver. For me it was such a tense sequence that I was literally shaking as I ran from cubby hole to cubby hole, trying to avoid the creature’s wrath.

At the time I didn’t know that the beast could be felled or tricked it into not attacking me, which made it all the more intimidating. The sweat would begin to pour the moment I took a wrong turn or had to figure out how to progress to the next safe zone. Meanwhile, the sound of the Librarian just out of sight, loomed ever present, reminding me that there might be safe zones but that my safety was in fact not guaranteed.

Librarian Gunsights

It was such an effective segment that it stands out to this day, years after I played Metro, as a fond memory of a tense sequence done right. There are plenty of nailbiting moments in that game to be sure, but none of them, have really put the fear of FEAR in me.

These days I take the “Shh-ing” of Librarians very seriously.

Hatred Makes Me Question My Comfort Level With Video Game Violence

Hatred Logo

Hatred is a bizarre little game. I’m sure there are psychotic people in the gaming community who enjoy a never-ending romp through murdertown. I even enjoy a tiny bit of it myself from time to time, but I need a bit of context. I don’t mind if a few innocent people end up dead during a getaway chase in Grand Theft Auto V… as long as I get away in the end.

It sounds crazy, I know. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence and don’t even feel a little bit guilty. Yet there it is in black and white.

And in all honesty I can’t even put my finger on what delineates Hatred’s breed of violence from that of a GTA or a Mortal Kombat. The intent in either case is to inflict not just harm but death upon others, innocent and the not so innocent. Perhaps it boils down to a perceived difference between completing a mission in which other “people” are at odds with my objective. But in Hatred, the only objective is to kill.

Hatred video game

So then why am I so disgusted by the violence it depicts? Is it the ruthless, senseless nature of cold blooded murder simply for the sole purpose of murder? The intimacy of seeing that woman get the barrel of the gun shoved in her mouth before her brains are blown out? The waves of disgust just wash over me, and yet I am numb to the carnage wrought by my own hands in a game like Prototype or Just Cause 2.

This is an interesting conundrum spurred on by a game that doesn’t even look like it would be worth mentioning in the first place if the victims were goblins or zombies.

But maybe that’s the point. Like Alcoholic Luigi pointed out, maybe the point of this game is to spur dialogue about gaming violence. To shed light on the severity of one’s actions in pursuit of fun and excitement. What it truly means to engage in these virtual forms of depravity before sitting down to a lovely sunday dinner.

Dinner

Some how, though, I highly doubt it.

 

Far Cry 4 Feels Like Far Cry 2. And That’s A Good Thing

Far Cry 4

I’ve been hooked on the Far Cry franchise ever since Far Cry 2 hit the market. I know the second game split the fan base, but I found it to be incredibly enjoyable. I had a blast running around Africa, searching for blood diamonds and tape recordings.

Far Cry 3 upped the ante in many ways, but I felt something was lost from the previous title. Perhaps it was the setting, the overwhelming number of collectables, or having to hunt down that fucking elusive dingo to harvest its pelt to craft vital items of resource. It was still a blast to play, but it didn’t appeal to me like the second one did.

After watching the trailers for Far Cry 4, I get the impression that it will lean heavily on a mechanic established early in the series and honed in the third installment. Yet, it seems to have some of the wonder of the second title lurking in the margins. It sounds like the best of both worlds, and I’m looking forward to the experience.

Far Cry 4 monkey

If you’ve living been on the dark side of the moon, here are a few trailers to help you catch up.

Far Cry 4 Survive Kyrat

Far Cry 4 Pagan Min

Far Cry 4 Kyrat Series 1

 

The Evil Within The Last Of Us

I’ve been spending a lot of time playing The Evil Within, and the more I play, the more I can’t help but compare it to The Last of Us. Or to be more specific, what little I played of The Last of Us. Or to be even more specific, what little I’ve played of The Evil Within reminds me of what little I’ve played of The Last of Us.

I have gone on record about my personal feelings toward The Last of Us; I didn’t like it. In fact I disliked it so much that I didn’t even get past the first real encounter with those fungus-headed guys before I turned it off, questioning why it received such high praise (I go into detail during our play through of The Last of Us: Left Behind).

The Evil Within, on the other hand, while not perfect (or even the sort of game I typically play for hours at a time), managed to strike the right cord with me. Perhaps it harkens back to the survival horror days of yore. Whereas, The Last of Us felt like a slower, gorier version of the Uncharted series.

Or it could have something to do with how annoying Ellie was.

I will admit, though, that the opening scene in The Last of Us was one of the best video game intros that I’ve ever seen. It’s up there with Super Metroid and Far Cry 3 — maybe even topping those.

The Evil Within The Last Of Us

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about The Evil Within that reminded me of The Last of Us. Especially since I haven’t spent a great deal of time with either game. Yet The Last of Us kept coming to mind.

It is almost like a phantom limb or a twin I never knew I had; I see the resemblance even if the knowledge of the one is limited at best.

The Evil Within: First Impressions

Evil Within screenshotI’ve been playing The Evil Within for exactly one hour now, or 45 minutes when you subtract the 15-minute mandatory install (Why?).

Anywho, I just finished chapter one, and figured I should take a minute to jot down my immediate impressions. For disclosure’s sake, I should mention that I’m playing the game on my Xbox 360. [Read more...]

Bastion Is a Truly Delighful Little Game

Bastion screenshotI recently dove into my gaming vault, hoping to find something fun I hadn’t played in a while. Most of the titles I saw didn’t suit my fancy, and I was beginning to grow weary.

Then I saw a link to a review for Transistor, the most recent title from Supergiant Games. That made me recall the gem that is their first release: Bastion. And that memory gave me an epiphany – Bastion is ridiculously awesome. [Read more...]

Skyrim Wars: A Re-Assessment of My Initial Assessment of the Skyrim DLC

skyrim dlcI was recently taken to task for an article I wrote, and I think that was probably fair.

I had some issues issue with the DLC for The Elder aw, fuck it — Skyrim — but I failed to clarify my point of view. Allow me to extrapolate. [Read more...]

How DLC Killed the Romance

Buried at Sea imageLately, DLC has become a gaming standard. It seems that just about every game includes it, with most offering a season pass for promised content of an unknown nature to be revealed somewhere down the road.

[Read more...]

Skyrim: A Formal Letter of Apology

JulianI recently wrote an opinion-based article about the quality of the DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I was none too impressed by said DLC, and found it to be below the standards of what I would expect from Bethesda, especially when the retail game was so polished. [Read more...]

GTA Online Just Does It Right

GTA: OnlineI’ve been back in Los Santos for a few weeks now, and I’m loving every minute of it. Rockstar Games has put a tremendous amount of effort into making GTA Online a premium online gaming experience.

There are so many little features I love, like being able to join a random mission from the initial load screen, being on call while waiting for the mission matchmaker to find the next available job or activity, or being able to own more than one property. I also love the little tweaks you can make to gameplay options, mechanics and overall balancing.

GTA Online Free ContentAdd to that the impressive amount of free DLC, and you’ve got a very solid online staycation destination.

I was miffed that my attempts to play Destiny blew up in my face, but getting back into GTA Online makes me glad I missed the boat. Now if only I can reach level 465, like one player I ran across. Talk about devotion.