Join the folds - the warm, inviting folds - of www.rockpapershotgun.com. Nestle with us as we hold gaming hands around the world. Then slide fingers across bare, taut, hot gaming skin, before descending into ungainly gaming groping.
(Followed by gaming shame and gaming regret)
Look for our BFBC2 server by searching for "rock" in game.
An interesting experiment that's more interesting for what it attempts to do than what it actually accomplishes. Playing "Dear Esther" I couldn't help but feel like video games were taking a small step forward in terms of what they could do, which is admirable, yet the game as a whole never really stopped feeling like a disjointed story awkwardly slapped on to some (really, really, beautiful) level design.
Still, the first silent film to start using camera pans and tracking shots wasn't that great either, so I'm ultimately more hopeful that "Dead Esther" will lead to better things than it achieves on its own. And playing it really made me realize how readily adaptable some modernist novels would be to "Dear Esther's" style of first person gameplay (someone please loan me a million dollars so I can adapt Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse" to the Source engine. It would be AWESOME!).
Kind of like a 320x200 video game rendering of "Koyaanisqatsi." Not just because its primary appeal is its visuals, but also because of its pretty neat, procedurally generated, Phillip Glass-esque score. The primary mechanic is exploration and the combination of the audio and visuals make it play more like a sort of extended tone poem than a "game," but there are interactive elements and new things to see and discover on different playthroughs.
Not sure if there's enough there to warrant many play throughs, but it is incredibly....relaxing. Its cumulative effect is a bit like popping a couple valium and listening to one of those self-hypnosis relaxation tapes (which wouldn't be a compliment if referring to most games, but in Proteus' case it is). In fact, it's so relaxing that I kind of find the demand to control it to be a bit of an impediment at times. Someone needs to make an "auto-wander" mod for it so I could turn it on and veg out when I'm stressed or just fall asleep to it.
This is probably the oldest game that I still fire up for multiplayer on occasion (and, yeah, people are still playing it a full decade after its release, if you're curious). It might have my favorite capture the flag of any FPS as the combination of lightsabers, conventional weapons, and force powers add layers of strategy to the game that other FPS' lack. Sure, "Team Fortress 2" CTF probably has more depth over all, but I find it less fun to play, personally, as being stuck in one class can get tiring. Jedi Academy CTF flag is like TF2, only every player has all the benefits of every TF2 class, so your role will be determined by the strategy you employ rather than class selection.
On top of this, while the single player is a bit cheesy and no where as good as the previous Jedi Knight games, Jedi Academy is, hands down, the absolute pinnacle of lightsaber combat in a video game. Basically every Star Wars game ever has tried it, but it's distressing how so many have gotten it completely wrong. The last two Jedi Knight games were the only ones to ever nail it: it's fast, fluid, looks awesome, and has just enough complexity to allow for strategic play, but not so much that it becomes an impairment.
Anyhow, this rec is meant as a bit of a requiem given that Disney just shut down Lucas Arts for good. This, sadly, means that we probably aren't going to see another "Jedi Knight" game again. However, the shuttering of Lucas Arts allowed Raven to finally release the source code for Jedi Knight 2 and Jedi Academy, so hopefully modders will be able to do some awesome stuff with these games in the near future.