Weekly DLC: Border House News Roundup


  • Releases: …What did come out this week? Hawken? Anything else?
  • Guild Wars 2‘s Wintersday event, held this Wendesday, pushed the game to the top of the PC downloads. (PC Gamer) Here’s the list of events.
  • Naughty Dog studios, the developers of The Last of Us revealed in an interview this week that they were asked to remove Ellie, one of the game’s two main characters, from the front and center of the box art. Naughty Dog refused. (GamesIndustry International) There’s also a great feature piece on VG247 about the game, where Ellie’s voice actor Ashley Johnson spoke out about the industry perception that games with women on the covers don’t sell as well. (VG247)
  • Angry Birds Movie coming in 2016. This is not a drill. For the first time the impending apocalypse doesn’t seem so bad. (Kotaku)
  • MMO The Secret World is changing its monetization strategy. No more subscriptions, now after buying the game you can play at “free,” “member” and “grand master” packages. (Joystiq)
  • The PC release date for DMC: Devil May Cry was announced for January 25 through Europe and North America. The game will be on PS3 and Xbox on January 15. In this reboot,  a younger Dante from a different timeline partners with a psychic named Kat, and since the game’s developers, Ninja Theory, pulled off a similar-sounding game called Enslaved: Odyssey to the West a few years ago I think it’s safe to say this game will probably be pretty good. (Digital Spy)

Side Quests

  • If you’ve played enough of Far Cry 3 you’ll know that [SPOILER] the game heavily implies the rape of a main character. A male main character. At Kotaku, Patricia Hernandez tries to make sense of the scene, and what the game might be trying, or not trying, to say with it.
  •  Kotaku also has a series of “Years in Review” for some of the biggest videogame companies, including NintendoSquare Enix, Sony, and Microsoft.
  • Lots of people have written about the relationship between Master Chief and Cortana in Halo 4, and this article,”The Naked Vulnerability of Halo 4” on Tap Repeatedly, is one of my favorites.
  • And here’s a timeline of The Last Guardian announcements by Kotaku that only reminded me how badly I want that game. TRUE FACT: I occasionally tweet at @fumito_ueda to send him encouragement like “You have lots of American fans!” and “頑張ってね よ!”

Bonus Levels

  • There were female pilots in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi but they were cut from the final version! Eight-year-old me is crying. (Star Wars Aficionado)
  • Beloved comic book writer Gail Simone was rather unceremoniously fired from the Batgirl series this week. We still don’t really know why, but we do know it really sucks, particularly for ladies in comic books. (The Mary Sue)
  • Here’s a little awesome to make up for all that: A Swedish toy company with a gender-neutral catalog that features boys playing with dolls, girls with Nerf guns and, perhaps most incredibly of all, boys and girls playing together with the same toys! Sooo basically me and my brothers growing up?



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5 Responses to Weekly DLC: Border House News Roundup

  1. QueenOfThorns says:

    As much as I loved Team Ico’s games, I don’t think I’d ever want to send encouragement to the guy who said a girl couldn’t be the main character in the games because they wear skirts and can’t climb shit because they’re not strong enough.

    Yeaaaah I’m still bitter.

  2. Alex says:

    Also on Far Cry 3, the PA Report has a ridiculous interview with the game’s lead writer, Jeffrey Yohalem: http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/double-talk-far-cry-3s-lead-writer-explains-the-deceptive-nature-of-th

    I haven’t played FC3 and don’t plan on it, so I didn’t feel comfortable doing a whole post about this, but I thought I would share it here. Two things I wanted to say about it:

    1. The stuff about the Rook Island name made it sound like he really wanted people to get into conspiracy-theory-level analysis of the game, the way some have analyzed Braid or come up with Indoctrination Theory for Mass Effect 3 or analyzed movies like Inception practically frame-by-frame for alternate or hidden meanings. That is a neat goal, but it’s really not something you can force. And you’ve got to give it more than, what, two or three weeks since the game launched? Patience! Sometimes people don’t turn that close of an eye to something until it’s been out for years (for example, Majora’s Mask?).

    2. If what he’s saying about colonialism and misogyny in the game is indeed what he intended and not some major backpedaling (which I am willing to grant since there was talk before the game came out about how FC3 was “about video games” etc) it sounds like it was very poorly executed. It’s like the game version of Deathbed Confession Cinema (coined by Melissa McEwan; example here), where the entire game you are engaging in colonialism and misogyny only to SURPRISE get your comeuppance at the end. If he wanted to implicate players in the colonialism and misogyny of games, there are far more effective ways to do it than simply embracing it. I think Spec Ops: The Line did a pretty good job of implicating the player in shooter violence in a disturbing way. The genre conventions could be subverted in other ways, too, than exposing the player’s responsibility, perhaps by–gasp!–putting players in the shoes of the colonized instead (I’m disappointed the kind of awesome-looking Vaas isn’t actually the playable character!).

    I’m glad Yohalem does seem to find colonialist and misogynist tropes in games to be messed up and wrong. But it doesn’t seem like Far Cry 3 communicated that at all. Just the opposite, in fact.

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