Sony

Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order (PS4)

George Lucas based Star Wars’ action scenes on authentic World War II footage. It’s one of Lucas’ subtler ways to make evident the story’s allegorical fascism. Fallen Order takes that further, not in the sense of its long drawn, stifling action, rather the connective narrative tissue around Order 66. In Star Wars lore, Order 66… Continue reading Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order (PS4)

Sony

Need for Speed Heat (PS4)

Need for Speed Heat’s concept, best guess, came from an older executive who got word that EA’s primary demographic hates cops. At that moment, Need for Speed Heat’s villain became Lt. Frank Mercer, equivalent to Spider-Man’s J. Jonah Jameson in hard personality and ego. Mercer’s face is plastered on billboards across Need for Speed Heat’s… Continue reading Need for Speed Heat (PS4)

Microsoft

Madden NFL 20 (Xbox One)

This year’s edition of the NFL’s carefully controlled videogame product focuses on QB1, a thin story concerning a college player pushed into a starting spot in his senior year – one game before the National Championship. Then, into the NFL, of course. It’s sports fantasy drivel, thinly formed but allowing people to live vicariously through… Continue reading Madden NFL 20 (Xbox One)

Sony

Burnout Paradise: Remastered (PS4)

Ignoring the motorcycles – for which this situation is unavoidable – Burnout Paradise involves no people. Watch the wrecks as the camera pans the melee of crunching steel – no drivers. Sidewalks lay empty. Buildings appear abandoned. It’s questionable that a depiction of interactive paradise involves no humans and a bonanza of jubilant violence. It’s… Continue reading Burnout Paradise: Remastered (PS4)

Microsoft

Star Wars Battlefront II (Xbox One)

When George Lucas signed the first Star Wars contracts, he did so with foresight. Fox got the box office, Lucas got the multi-billion dollar, long-lasting tail end – the merchandising. People bought Star Wars everything. They continue to do so. Battlefront II then is the ultimate Star Wars videogame, representing, in totality, the business side of… Continue reading Star Wars Battlefront II (Xbox One)

Sony

Need for Speed: Payback (PS4)

Tyler Morgan is not a hero, although Need for Speed: Payback is convinced otherwise. Street racing games often lean on “heroes” like Payback’s protagonist Morgan, privileged 20-somethings putting people in harm’s way to beat their opponents. In the fictional Fortune Valley (clearly Las Vegas) no pedestrians walk on the streets. That’s probably Morgan’s fault. He’s… Continue reading Need for Speed: Payback (PS4)