In their rush to fill the screen with high-definition gore and arm players with arsenals that would make Duke Nukem feel inadequate, horror games have become a lot less horrifying. But one U.K. developer is doing his best to change that trend. Lewis Denby speaks with Dan Pinchbeck, creator of Dear Esther and Korsakovia, about how horror games could truly live up to their name.
Horror movies may give us monsters as a way to help us confront our worst fears, but horror games go a step further: They let us put our monsters in the crosshairs and pull the trigger. John Carr recounts his experience playing Left 4 Dead to cope with his parents' cancer.
Fighting games have experienced a slow but steady decline since their arcade heyday in the mid '90s - today's fighters are both too repetitive and too unwelcoming to newcomers. But one 2009 title offers some novel solutions to these problems. Robert Bevill takes a closer look at BlazBlue and what it can teach fighting game designers at large.
While most fighting games feature overblown characters with borderline magical abilities, one short-running series offered an unflinching view of weapon-based combat. Jonathan Palmer looks at Bushido Blade and what made the pair of PS1 sword fighting games so special.
It's easy to see how martial arts have affected videogames - games like Street Fighter and Tekken have mined the sport for inspiration for years. But you may not have realized how much videogames have given back to martial arts. Marshal Carper examines the symbiotic relationship between real-world and videogame fighting.
There are two types of players in fighting games: those who study each character's special moves in order to most effectively defeat their opponents, and those who just mash buttons. Brendan Main tests whether mashing is a viable strategy in fighting games both old and new.
Guns and games typically only come up in the same news story when it involves a horrific act of violence. But what about all the responsible enthusiasts out there who simply want to enjoy their favorite pastimes? Russ Pitts speaks with gamers and gun owners about their dual hobbies.
The Phoenix Wright series aside, videogames and lawyers don't make the likeliest of bedfellows. But major lawsuits have had a huge impact on the game industry's development. Dave Cook examines some of the most prominent videogame legal battles in the last 25 years.
Many gamers have encountered situations that lead them to consult a FAQ or walkthrough - a boss battle that just seems impossible or a puzzle section that looks downright incomprehensible. But what drives a person to write a guide? Robert Janelle speaks with a number of FAQ writers about their efforts.
Valve's Steam service has made it easier than ever to buy and sell PC games. But behind the ridiculous sales and Streamlined developer tools lurk some potentially anti-competitive practices. M.S. Smith examines how Valve could become the Microsoft of digital distribution if it's not careful.
Mirror's Edge is a beautiful paradox: a first-person action game that emphasized "flight" over "fight." But while it took a familiar genre and reconfigured it into an entirely new kind of gameplay, it was also deeply flawed. Michael Cook examines what brought Mirror's Edge close to greatness, and what held it back.
If there was ever a game that exemplified the term "flawed masterpiece," it's Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, a 2004 PC title that aimed high and very nearly made it. Logan Westbrook looks at what went wrong - and right - with Troika Games' swan song.
Not many games use psychoactive drugs as necessary plot elements, but the intense visuals of Outcry do little to make up for the nonsensical puzzles and gaping plot-holes. Still, Outcry has enough artistry going for it that Lewis Denby urges you to play it, warts and all.
The latest addition to the Alone in the Dark series was almost universally panned when it hit shelves in 2008. But while Yahtzee heaped his share of scorn onto the game in his review, he actually has a strange affection for it. Yahtzee explains how Alone in the Dark came closer to greatness than you may think.
The Konami Code and the Game Genie may be relics of another time, but there's one corner of the gaming space where cheating still runs rampant. John Szczepaniak looks at how certain game reviewers are encouraged to cheat, and what the consequences may be.