Thrown together in paint. The original art for Divinity Original Sin was considerd offensive enough to warrant a change. Yet a ton of sites still use the original art for the game on reviews and game hubs. Sooooo. Was all the hubbub really necessary? Storm in a teacup? Or are sites like Gamespot, Giant Bomb and IGN bastions of misogyny? Send your answers on a stamped postcard to -
Zo moe van de Zwarte Piet discussie, dat ik tegen zowel voor als tegenstanders maar èen ding te zeggen heb.
A philosophical question.
Say there is a room.
The room is empty apart from one painting that hangs on the wall.
It’s a painting of black polka-dots on a white background.
People enter the room, one at a time.
When one leaves the other enters.
No one is told what is in the room before entering, except that they can stay as long as they want.
What do you think influences their reaction the most?
Is it the single image the painting provides that forms their reaction?
Or is it everything they take into the room with them?
Their personal history.
Piet is voor kinderen een held.
Maar we luisteren naar de racisten die Piet een domme neger vinden.
Piet is voor kinderen een held.
Maar we luisteren naar de tegenstanders die Piet een domme neger vinden.
Piet is niet echt. Piet kan alles zijn.
Maar volwassenen maken er een domme neger van.
Piet is niet echt.
Wel echt, is het slavernij monument wat staat in een hoekje van het Oosterpark waar bijna niemand langs loopt.
Wel echt, is het schandalige feit dat de afschaffing van de slavernij in Nederland, ‘hier’ niet eens een nationale feestdag is.
Dit land heeft een verleden wat het daglicht niet kan verdragen.
Een verleden wat het graag stopt in hoekjes waar bijna niemand kijkt.
Ondertussen is Piet is voor kinderen een held.
Maar naar hun wordt niet geluisterd.
It has been a though day so far. I’ve fought my way past survivors, smugglers and soldiers. People just trying to make it in this world. Sneaked past Infected, survivors, smugglers and soldiers who did not do so. Living in this world, where breathing the wrong air can end your life as you know it. I’ve been escorting a girl through this once thriving city. While escorting her to her destination, I’ve spent a ton of time scrounging around. Checking out every corner, of every building that allowed me access. Most of these buildings would have been condemned in the better days. Now, just having walls and a roof is enough for a building to be considered in a good condition.
Behind every wall, around every corner, someone could have been lurking. A survivor. An Infected. Yet I still did it. Still looked in every drawer, still looked in ever nook and cranny, still turned around every corner knowing it The first thing I saw around each turn, could have been the last. I had to. It was the only way to survive.
Then, after narrowly escaping a swarm of infected, I see it, standing on an old wooden crate.
A Ming Vase.
I look at it for a while. The centuries old vase surviving in this environment was a miracle. I looked at it once more and thought to myself “It’s worthless”.
The only way this vase could have gotten me anything useful was if I somehow met a crazy coot who collected these. You couldn’t use it to carry water. And if I did take it with me, keeping it intact would be a whole new distraction. A distraction I was not willing to take for an uncertain pay-off. Not with my life, and that of the girl I was escorting on the line.
I started wandering the room, looking for useful items. In the better days, this vase could have been so valuable that no insurance company would even insure it. Now it was worth less than an aluminum can, empty or full with, well, anything. It was worth less than an egg, a hand-full of raisins. Even a plain brick had more value. It shown a light on what was really important in this post-pandemic world. The superficial value of objects was gone. The only things of value were the things that could sustain life. Then the thought hit me, maybe all the things that we value now, were all the things we should have valued in the better days. Maybe the idea of a decorative vase having more value than an egg was part of what made the better times messed up. Maybe if we had discovered the real value of things before, before the event that started the pandemic- Then I heard it. The sound of pottery shattering to pieces, followed by “Sorry, Sorry!”
The girl had bumped into the vase and broke it. I couldn’t even be mad. She broke a centuries old artifact, and I couldn’t even be mad at her for braking it. I was more concerned about the sound it made when shattering. Who knew if there were infected around to hear it. Even the volume of her saying sorry was room for concern. But not the vase. Any deal I could have made for it would not have been worth the hassle of carrying it. It was worthless. Then, I notice where we are. A museum. Full of centuries old artifacts. I scrounge around some more. The once proud display cases smashed. The once valuable items now worth less than the brick I pick up from the debris. I hear sounds from the other room. I hold my brick ready to defend myself from whatever is around the corner. A brick, the most valuable item in a whole building full of centuries old artifacts.
Grand Theft Auto 5 Review.
Next Gen starts when Rockstar says it does. And they say: it starts now.
When Grand theft Auto 4 was released on a stream of hype and anticipation, following the release of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas four years earlier, no-one could have predicted just how high the benchmark for open-world games would be set. Sure, Grand Theft Auto 4 was not the first ‘Open World Gangster Havoc Simulator’ released on what were back then, still considered ‘next-gen’ systems.
That honor went to the decently received Saints Row. And while a solid game, Saints Row still missed that certain something that RockStar had always managed to provide in their Open World games. Could RockStar and the Houser brothers continue their streak of brilliance on the newer hardware?
The answer to that question proved to be a loud and clear,.“Yes, and then some.” The game received perfect scores across the board, and was held up as a benchmark for the genre for years, until RockStar’s own ‘Red Dead Redemption’ would push the benchmark even higher. Now with both ‘Red Dead Redemption’ and RockStar’s latest, ‘Max Payne 3’ providing a base of what to expect, can Grand Theft Auto 5 measure up to the obvious, and sky-high expectations weighing on it’s shoulders? The answer to that question is, Yes, and then some.
Now you could stop reading right here and just play the game for yourself, which I honestly would not begrudge you for. After-all with the current Internet and the obsession some people have over spoilers, the most basic game mechanic might be considered a spoiler. But trust me, I will not spoil any major story related details here, nothing that was not present in trailers, and some things that were, will be unmentioned. Repeat, I will not spoil the story. Doing that would be cruel enough to warrant a trial in the world court in The Hauge. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but only slight. It’s been a long time since the last Grand Theft Auto, and while that game was lauded with phrases like “Oscar caliber story” I’d go as far as to say Grand Theft Auto 5 trumps it’s story in every way. Is it Oscar caliber? No. But then again neither are most of the Oscar winners these days. These days the place for high quality drama is TV. And anyone who follows either ‘Braking Bad’ or ‘Game of Thrones’ viewers on social media can attest to the emotional impact of modern-day television. It is in that same high quality, emotion grabbing and knife twisting category that I put the storytelling in the latest Grand Theft Auto.
You play as on of three playable characters, a series first. Midlife-crisis bound family man Micheal. Franklin, an ‘Out of the Hood’, but not quite out of the hood entrepreneur. Think the Cuba Gooding Jr.character in Boyz’N The Hood’ if the movie had ended differently. And last but not least, there is Trevor. A crazy drug (and everything else that he can move) dealer that makes Heath Ledger’s Joker same like a bastion of sanity.
You can switch between all three characters either mid-mission, or in between them. Leading to a big departure from the mission structure in previous games. You now have even more freedom to choose the order in which you play the missions. And being able to switch between all three at any time during the crazy antics you might want to pull in between missions, makes this already addicting game even more addicting. When not selected, the characters will go on with their own life. Doing whatever it is they do. Checking into their antics on random occasions can lead to some high hilarity. Speaking of those antics, one of the main concerns people had with Grand Theft Auto 4 was the more serious nature of the story, and the impact it had on the craziness of the sandbox. Namely, made it less crazy. There were no more planes to jump out of, no real crazy stunts to pull. The craziest you could get in Grand Theft Auto 4 was taking in a Russian Varieté act, or take your cousin bowling. To those disappointed by the last iteration’s lack of crazy I can say: Your payers have been answered. Grand Theft Auto 5 brings back the expansive possibilities of the series’ yesteryear with aplomb. Everything from a basic game of Tennis, to parachuting, to coral diving. Anything you ‘would’ want to do on a vacation to the beautiful Los Santos is at your disposal. It all plays great too. No longer are the mini-games and distractions clunky controlled affairs. It seems RockStar has pulled out all the stops. The tennis game in particular has evidence that lessons learned form their earlier game “RockStar Table Tennis” have not gone to waste.
If Micheal, Franklin and Trevor are the first three stars of the show, Los Santos is surly the fourth. The fictional recreation of Los Angeles and it’s surroundings that sets the stage for your adventures in Grand Theft Auto 5 has a vast amount of variation in it’s locations. From bustling city streets, crowded with pedestrians going about their lives. To mountains brimming with wild-life. You might want to bring a gun to either of these settings, just to be safe. If you do you’ll be happy to find the standard array of weapons are available to you. From basic pistols to rocket launchers, from frag grenades to Molotovs. Nothing too crazy here, but the weapon selection process, previously clumsy and annoying when in a pinch, is now smooth and intuitive. Thanks to the weapons wheel from ‘Max Payne 3’ making a welcome guest appearance. Shooting also takes a nod from the RockStar shooter, but still manages to have it’s own feel. The weapons have the right amount of weight to them. You won’t confuse shooting an AK47 with a pea shooter. And head-shots give the right amount of pop (no pun intended) to feel satisfying, no matter how many times you pull them off.
Pulling those heads-shots off won’t always be easy though, as the AI has made a giant leap from the bumbling buffoons that were present in every Grand Theft Auto 4 shoot out. Enemies will catch you off guard if you don’t pay attention, and switching between characters is a must in any encounter that seems impossible to survive. No it’s not quite Xcom levels of tactics that are required to survive, but it’s a great testament to how polished the AI is. And, it needs to be, because one of the main draws to this new iteration in the Grand Theft Auto series are bank robberies, or heists so you will. In the tradition of movies like ‘Heat’ and ‘The Italian Job’ (The original not the remake) You set out to plan a variation of robberies, the prize? Loot. The real winnings? Fun, glorious, glorious fun.
You can make plans to go in quiet or go loud. Going quiet goes well, and the previously mentioned AI never gets in the way of a smooth operation. But go loud, and that’s where the water cooler moments come from. An instantly full notoriety meters is tough when in a car, but trying to escape a building alive, with seemingly the whole Los Santos police force surrounding it, is a rush like no other.
When you do enter a car for the inevitable chase, you’ll notice that the cars in the game are responsive and varied. Stepping into the wrong type of car for your getaway is a costly mistake though. Getting in one of the faster sports cars without being used to their oompf can lead to disaster, but stepping into a bog-standard family car can be as surefire a way to get caught by the police as turning yourself in.
Luckily, there is plenty of terrain and roads to shake the police off your back, as the game world is even bigger than that of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Red Dead Redemption combined. I have to confess I have not seen every corner of the map yet, even though I’ve spent hours fooling around in Los Santos. And here in lies one of the main strengths of this game. Even though the game world is larger than any we have ever seen in the genre, it never feels empty. There is always a from of life, even if you are not directly in-front of it, you know it’s out there somewhere. This sense of always something to do and see almost makes the regular missions, while varied and fun, seem like the appetizer for the real game. I never dreamed I would see this level of a life simulator this console generation. This was supposed to be be ‘next-next gen’ stuff, but somehow RockStar pulled it off. They made one of the best games of the decade a side attraction to the real game. Grand Los Santos simulator. Always on, even when you are not there.
10 out of 10.
(Editors note: due to server issues, the on-line portion of the game will be reviewed in a separate review)
Oh by the way, this review was written based on nothing but trailers. I have not read any reviews or previews. I just wanted to see how close I could get to the real reviews without even having played the game or looking into it with any depth. Made ya look!
This is a booklet Chris Sanders sent to some Disney execs. in 1998, before they really started developing it.
Sorry to followers who just had to scroll through a long list of thumbnails
It’s amazing how much changed and yet how much stayed EXACTLY THE SAME.
So inspirational to see this :D
My comic; “Introversion” is finished! Please go to the main page of my blog to read it in full size (the text is kinda small)
I really hope you’ll like it!