Brett Douville, a former lead programmer at Bethesda Game Studios on games like “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4,” talks about why he sees himself in the kill animations for “Skyrim,” why he loves “Rez,” and what he’s doing for “Tacoma,” the next game from Fullbright.
An interview with a British political journalist that isn’t about Brexit: Helen Lewis, the deputy editor of the New Statesman, talks about why “BioShock” is her favorite game, why she plays as Queen Elizabeth in “Civilization,” and what “Fallout 4” might tell us about the future of America.
What was your favorite game of 2015? We asked 22 of the smartest people we know–designers, critics, academics, political journalists, an actor, a playwright–and got 18 different answers.
Starring, in order of appearance: Ken Levine, Tina Amini, Michael Abbott, Stephen Totilo, Lucy Prebble, Meg Jayanth, Simon Parkin, Helen Lewis, Peter Suderman, Bob Whitaker, Ashly Burch, Carolyn Petit, Anita Sarkeesian, Michael W. Clune, Austin Walker, Tracy Fullerton, Evan Narcisse, Laura Miller, Olivier Knox, Laura Hudson, Brenda Romero, and Jenn Frank.
IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE, THE 2015 ‘SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?’ VIDEO GAMES OF THE YEAR:
The “Fallout 4” saga concludes. Or JJ’s saga concludes, on a spoiler-y note. Then, Chris talks to Nick Suttner about his new book on Team Ico’s “Shadow of the Colossus,” which is titled, appropriately, “Shadow of the Colossus.” It’s the latest from Boss Fight Books. We spoil “Shadow of the Colossus,” too, but c’mon, it came out more than 10 years ago. There’s an expiration date on these things.
After their debut on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” JJ and Chris continue their serial review of “Fallout 4,” a podcast miniseries that is now beginning to approach the length of the real “Serial.” Did Chris betray the Brotherhood of Steel, the Railroad, or the Institute? Why is JJ more forgiving of the narrative failings of Bethesda and BioWare games than of indie games like “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture”? Does he secretly find pleasure in the mundanities of inventory management? A mildly spoiler-y discussion of our (still unfinished!) playthroughs of “Fallout 4.”
Peter Suderman–a senior editor for Reason magazine, a cultural critic for Vox, and a Bethesda superfan–talks about his first 40 hours in the Commonwealth. Are the crafting menus and inventory systems in “Fallout 4” obtuse, or a subtle nudge to promote player creativity? JJ divulges why he has built a bureau to house weapons in the middle of a Sanctuary street.
Then, Chris and JJ review “Cibele,” Nina Freeman’s autobiographical vignette about sex and virtual worlds. They (politely?) disagree.
“Fallout 4”: Our favorite sidequests and companions after two weeks in the Commonwealth. Plus, Ian Bogost on his new book, “How to Talk About Videogames.”
It’s a double album. Forgive us? It’s still much shorter than “Fallout 4.”
“Fallout 4” is almost out, and we’ve played it. Or some of it. JJ and Chris have each put about 20 hours into “Fallout 4,” which will be released on Tuesday. We have some impressions. We try not to spoil the game, because it’s virtually impossible that you’ve played any of it. Then, Chris talks to Kotaku’s Evan Narcisse about “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” to find out if he should have spent last week playing Lara Croft’s newest adventure instead.