Microsoft

Cuphead (Xbox One)

Cuphead doesn’t ignore realities of senescent media it’s lauding; Cuphead merely engages with it on different terms. Depression era animation, a pioneering era for the medium, too often employed appalling racial stereotypes and garish war propaganda, butting against the litany of creativity. The Fleischer’s Betty Boop, Popeye, and Gabby series; Ub Iwerks’ Flip the Frog… Continue reading Cuphead (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Resident Evil 7 (Xbox One)

Resident Evil 7 has many masters, from schlockbuster found footage horror to mainstream offerings. It treats the backwood bayou stereotype as a viral infection (a clever if ultimately unfilled promise), induces VCR terror tropes, eventually manifesting into killer kids, but not before blending in a touch of Sam Raimi’s off-beat Evil Dead – or at… Continue reading Resident Evil 7 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One)

In 2011, to promote Homefront, THQ sent hundreds of balloons into San Francisco’s skyline. The marketing drew immediate ire from environmentalists and government agencies – THQ’s actions were potentially damaging to wildlife, and no one in PR considered the consequences. During Forza Horizon, thousands of balloons ascend skyward as festival locations open. It’s gorgeous, and… Continue reading Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Prison Architect (Xbox One)

Prison Architect’s first mission concerns building an execution chamber, the centerpiece an electric chair. Calls from a nameless CEO tell you to build walls, flooring, underground electrical lines, etc. All the while, the condemned sits in a cell waiting for the power switch to be installed on the death machine. Played out in comic-like chunks,… Continue reading Prison Architect (Xbox One)

Microsoft

Quantum Break (Xbox One)

Quantum Break comes from two different places. First, it falls into a surge of time travel pop culture, inundated with the likes of The Flash, 11:22:63, Looper, Predestintion, and in this medium, the exquisite Life Is Strange. Quantum Break is also in on the binge of post-recession distrust of capitalists, entertainment which casts corporate figureheads… Continue reading Quantum Break (Xbox One)