This is coming a little late, but I like to do this for my own records. This is a comprehensive list of the posts I think were the cream of the crop in 2013. You can see 2012’s list here.
Other things of note before I start:
- I released a lot of games this year! You can see them all here!
- I still feel like this diagram of principles sums up this blog.
- I started a Patreon to begin 2014. If you enjoyed the stuff here, or if you have enjoyed things in the past, of if you think you might find future enjoyment here, please consider buying me a monthly cup of coffee here.
On Alan Wake
A Moment of Pause in Just Cause 2
On Riff Raff or Swag Rap or Pure Aesthetics
On Depression Quest
Nonhuman Life: Quentin Meillassoux’s After Finitude
On Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto
On Astrid’s Animation [about Skyrim]
On Kentucky Route Zero Act 1
On Fictional People, Lies, and Underlying Processes
You Buy It I Write It: Rogue Warrior
On Loss of First Person Control
On Monster Loves You!
Interesting Bioshock Infinite Posts, Podcasts, and General Things
On Bioshock Infinite
On Bulletstorm‘s Echoes
On The Yawhg [please ignore my repeated misspelling of the title]
David P. Gray Interviewed By ClassicGames
On Weaponized Architecture
On Small Town Gay Bar
On the Max Payne Franchise
On Red Dead Redemption
Playing Through the “No Interaction Mixtape”
Suspicion Under Everything: Riff Raff Meets Boris Groys
On The Last of Us
The Most Wonderful Part of Remember Me
On the Inhuman Drama of Pacific Rim
Ticketing After the End of the World
Trouble in the Neighborhood
On Rogue Legacy
On Living the Apocalypse in The Last of Us Multiplayer
A Collection of Criticism About Gone Home
On Jenn Culp’s “Makeup Mondays” [I really love this post]
On Darius Kazemi’s “Scenes From The Wire”
In Watermelon Sugar and Game Design
Twenty Years of Myst
Why Is Grand Theft Auto V so Conservative?
Two Scenes From a Grand Theft Auto V Playthrough
The Indiecade Judges’ Comments on Alpaca Run
“an immature and outrageous satire”: on GTAV, Satire, and Irony
On The Ricky Litany
A Moment in Whiteness
Call of Duty: Ghosts: A Hill
Call of Duty: Ghosts — Death as a Language
On Kingdom Hearts
Indie and AAA and a Complex Relationship
Games of the Year 2013 – Part 1
Games of the Year 2013 – Part 2
State of Decay – The First Two Deaths
For whatever it’s worth, your post “On Gone Home” from August was one of the best things I read this year. Was surprised to see it miss your best-of list.
To comment on your Bioshock: Infinite queries (which I can’t do in the original thread since comments are closed there – SPOILERS FOR EVERYONE ELSE):
– There is an asylum level where mentally ill mask wearers attack the player. Why? Who knows?
I was profoundly disappointed by B:I for a number of reasons. It felt like a game cobbled together from a much larger title and as such didn’t fit together particularly well in places. The Asylum was one of those places. It was a re-education camp of sorts where the disloyal were placed, stuck in some kind of dimensional statsis / torture until a Boy of Silence released them. Why do they all attack DeWitt? Because it’s expected of a stealth level if you get seen.
– Daisy Fitzroy becomes a savage child murderer for seemingly no reason.
Remember how the player was meant to look on Colombia negatively for being a racist society? But then the only coloured character of note steals from you, tries to have you murdered and then looks to murder a white child just because Daisy is black and angry? So then Disney Princess Elizabeth has to murder her to save that child? I ended up wondering how a game supposedly as sophisticated as B:I botched race commentary so badly when it was meant to be some kind of important point in the game.
– Vigors make absolutely no sense in the context of the setting.
They were stolen from Rapture according to in-game lore, but it really feels that Vigors where there to make sure we knew this was part of the BioShock franchise.
– It is impossible for me to believe that Elizabeth is a seventeen year old girl.
Regardless of age, she’s exceptionally well adjusted for someone who has lived all their life trapped in a tower with only a songbird for conversation.
– There is very little internal consistency with rules of tears–some people exist in both worlds and are ghosts, some people are half dead, some people get to fly around with their memories. There’s no rhyme or reason to it.
I agree. And then the ending throws out any rules the rest of the game tried to establish anyway. Some people saw it as clever, I saw it as a sloppy narrative that made the rules up to suit whatever the game wanted at that point in time.
– The balance of the vigors is strange–the first one you get is expensive and overly-useful; the last one is nearly pointless. You are rarely rewarded for altering your tactics.
If you play on 1999 mode, Possession is by far the most valuable Vigor you’ll have. B:I’s combat was very, very ordinary, which is a problem for a game where you spend so much time fighting things.
– Elizabeth kills a person after watching Booker murder dozens of people and immediately takes off some of her clothes and cuts her hair. I understand the symbolic move to maturation, but I don’t know why that translates to more cleavage and a bob.
Because “showing more boob” equals “maturity” in video game language. Again, some people saw B:I as Ken Levine’s meta-commentary on FPS titles and every problem like the one above as the game making a point, but I saw an average FPS that had some very large delusions of grandeur.
Which was a shame, because I really liked BioShock and BioShock 2 (especially the Minerva’s Den DLC).