“If there exists a single mainstream video game (and it is certainly alone as a console exclusive) which acts as a reflection of modern society, it is Rise of the Tomb Raider. While not an encompassing portrait, the exaggerated narrative is an unforgiving interpenetration of media flare ups over Kentucky license clerks, school prayer, and what some view as religious persecution. Konstatin has no greater purpose other than enacting what he sees as God’s will – he’s the Westboro Baptist Church of the scenario. It’s a loaded sentiment and displayed without sensitivity toward prejudiced conservatism.”
“But Arkham Knight’s Batman is not warning anyone. Free from oversight, Batman has constructed a spy network, integrated with a police state, held citizens against their will and constructed a multi-ton transforming tank – for protection. He is now a well-armored, bulky and implausibly powerful unrestricted figure, looming overhead on Gothic architecture as private conversations stream into a headset. He needs no militia; he is one.”
“Clues mean torture, which is okay because the results lead to more shoot-outs. In trying to convince an audience that torture is reasonable, dialog piles on eye-rolling commentary: “Besides, he’s an f’n terrorist,” seconds before hemorrhaging the victim’s brain. Everything must be approached in a blockbuster, low attention span theater way. Black Ops III turns itself sideways trying to expose the possible cost of not torturing – the loss of 300,000 people in a cataclysmic explosion could have been stopped if only we suffocated more people beforehand.
Fear still works, only now instead of an inconvenience at the airport, people are paying $60 for the privilege of seeing their fears justified.”
“Beast from 20,000 Fathoms preys on nuclear fear, then uses bogus radioactive science as a solution. It’s thoroughly American in approach, scientists banding together to study nuclear weapons harmlessly in the Arctic. Hubshmid’s militaristic role as a probe for nuclear answers and solutions solidifies the film’s approval for government armament. The film reads like unsanctioned propaganda – Nukes spawn monsters, but they also stop them. They’re necessary. If Beast were anything other than a quickie B-offering soaked up by Warner, there may have been some strength in the parable.”
“Denham’s financially strained situations relate, and the promise of a mythical pot of gold embedded in Skull Island’s rocks is enough to spur him – or anyone of the period – into a hunt. It would be work after all. Son of Kong makes for a reasonable depression-era story medley, despite the fantastical inclusion of an albino ape. Even Denham’s shipmates turns mutinous; they’re not being paid a living wage. Son of Kong hits at the nation’s turmoil and doesn’t seem as dated now as it once did.”
“Video games are an industry of visuals, where frame rates are counted and resolutions reach the peak of modern televisions. Those numbers, 60fps/1080p, are a sales pitch. They’re rated and reviewed. Audio is difficult to parse in ads, more so in text. There is a stadium intimacy to the NHL franchise, different from Madden’s 90,000 seat virtual domes or the reflective wooden floors of NBA Live. As NHL the series grew, so did the focus on audio.”
“Through progression, it would appear the interesting layers of the universe – gripping religious fanaticism and necessity of war – are being excised for a playable essay against progressive technology. Halo is stepping into Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke’s territory. What was once so unique has fallen into the derivative and intellectually stymied.”