The time has come for Nintendo’s strange, glorious Miiverse to die

What happens when a social network is sentenced to death? For Vine, it was wild outrage followed by mummification. The platform’s death was announced in October of last year, and in January, it was gone. Today, Vine is Vine Camera, an app that takes six-second videos for you to then post elsewhere, and Vine.com is…

We now know what Half-Life 2: Episode 3 might have been, but did it sound any good?

Marc Laidlaw, a former Valve employee and the writer behind the Half-Life series, shocked the internet overnight when he posted what appears to be a cheekily veiled plot summary of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 (or at least a version of the game as he once envisioned it). Down in the comments, Captain Internet voiced some…

Hideo Kojima wrote an essay on the similarities between Dunkirk and Death Stranding

Hideo Kojima is the legendary game designer who created the long-running and absolutely insane Metal Gear series. He’s also a cinephile who loves to talk about his favorite movies and the ones that influenced his iconic game series. It seems he’s found another film to add to that list of essentials, Christopher…

This short story is probably the closest we'll get to learning the plot of Half-Life 3

It’s been nearly 10 years since Half-Life 2: Episode 2 was released and the long, fruitless wait for the series’ once promised conclusion began. Episode 3 (or just Half-Life 3 or whatever the hell it would’ve been called) has become one of gaming’s biggest mythological projects, a sequel to a beloved series that, last…

Can a video game fan who knows nothing about football learn to love Madden? 

Descent Into Maddeness is a mini-series that follows football neophyte William Hughes as he attempts to understand the video game institution of Madden NFL. Every other week, William will dig into a different mode from the series’ latest iteration, Madden NFL 18, all in an effort to appreciate this chart-topping…

UPDATE: Republicans try comparing Zelda to the American tax code, fail miserably

In a bold attempt to speak to America’s youths, the Republican Party has apparently thrown itself into the world of video game criticism. For its first foray into this famously lucrative industry, the website of the House GOP published an incredibly insightful thinkpiece entitled “What Do the The Legend of Zelda and…

How Sonic Mania’s first level sets the stage for a nostalgia-twisting adventure

As pop culture’s booming nostalgia-industrial complex goes to show, the comfort and delight we find in the familiar is only amplified the longer we go without it. Two of gaming’s most recent hits, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Sonic Mania, reach back more than 20 years for the subjects of their respective…

Choosing the impossible: Did BioShock define the last 10 years of video games?

Ten years ago today, Irrational Games’ sci-fi first-person shooter BioShock was released, and its story of a ruined undersea city and the brutal objectivist that led it to its doom was instantly canonized as one of the medium’s strongest artistic statements. The art-deco-adorned city of Rapture was realized with a…

The ’90s are alive and better than ever in Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania isn’t your typical nostalgia trip. Yes, it borrows the look, feel, music, and even specific levels from Sonic The Hedgehog’s Genesis-era glory days, but there’s more to it than the cynical recycling of fondly remembered bits. Mania’s development team—an assemblage of developers from outside Sega who cut…

In GoldenEye, screen-looking didn’t break the game—it was the game

I don’t know if you heard, but this week, The A.V. Club took its annual trip back in time and celebrated 1997 Week. In the world of video games, it was a pretty solid year, and I kicked things off with Supper Club editor Kevin Pang talking about one of its landmark releases: GoldenEye 007. Lots of good times were…

Hellblade’s battle with mental illness is an agonizing story only games could tell

As Hellblade begins and our main character, a Celtic warrior named Senua, paddles down the foggy river that serves as the backdrop for its opening credits, the first name we see doesn’t belong to a director or producer or actor. The first credit goes to the game’s mental health adviser, Cambridge neuroscience…

Surely there’s a better name for games like Gone Home than “walking simulator”

This week, Clayton Purdom gave us a review of Tacoma, the new game from developers of Gone Home. It’s very much an evolution of the style that Gone Home helped architect and many games since have shared. For whatever reason, a lot of people out there get really pissed off that these narrative-focused, conflict-free…

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