The Roundup: the Circle & Beyond

by Lucy Ungaro

Welcome back to the Roundup! This week’s shenanigans involve VR proving its dangers again, and live-action cutscenes forming a potentially symbiotic relationship between movies and videogames. 

Let’s kick off with the latest Uncharted game. Samit Sarkar interviewed one of the co-writers of the game, before he got to sit down with Uncharted 4 and play away. He provides a very in-depth review, as well as images and videos that show off the characters, environments and gameplay. Check out this Uncharted extravaganza right here.

VR has been getting a bad rap lately, what with the potential (and realized) violation of boundaries showcased at GDC and written about by our very own Allegra Frank, and now with an article by Scott Stein on the dangers VR could pose. Yes, VR lovers, I will rain on your parade. Find out whether the magical allure of VR overcomes the potential risks right here.

If you answered “Yes! VR is worth it!” to the above question, then you’ve come to the right place. Thanks to Dan Ackerman, we have a list of “VR-ready gaming PCs” fresh out of the oven. The list is sorted by price, and boy was I unaware of how expensive gaming PCs could get. This is coming from someone who is predominantly a PC gamer, mind you. Rest assured, however, the computers at the top of the list are affordable!

MLB The Show 16 is a baseball videogame that’s part of a yearly released franchise. But I had no idea that it existed, which seems strange to me–we have a AAA videogame for almost every major sport, of course we’d have one for baseball, too. As Harold Goldberg points out in his review of the game, baseball doesn’t get as much attention as it used to, but the game keeps selling. He explores why, as well as what makes the game worth playing.

Michelle Ehrhardt’s got us covered on our indie game of the week. If you liked Papers, Please, you’ll be slightly dismayed to note that its developer, Lucas Pope, is currently experiencing some technical issues with his next project, Return of the Obra Dinn. Read about his game design journey here. It happens to the best of us!

Quantum Break is a game with live-action actors and a sort of “TV show” at the end of each episode of gameplay. Russ Frushtick doesn’t think much of this show, but enjoys the game for other reasons. Read his review here.

Ebenezer Samuel has an exclusive interview with one of the actors in Quantum Break, Shawn Ashmore, who played Ice-Man in X-Men. More and more games are cropping up with established Hollywood actors, so it’s very interesting to get a look into what one of these actors thinks of videogames and their potential.

And now for news outside of the Circle…

This week, our games are getting political. First off, as you may have heard, Trump tweeted a fan-made propaganda video using the trailer for Mass Effect 2 to portray the small-handed businessman as the chosen one. Apparently, EA did not like this usage of its beloved videogame. I think I’m going to have to go wash out this awful taste in my mouth with some Mass Effect 2-playing.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a videogame with the potential to teach people about history, specifically, the 1979 Iranian revolution. I don’t know about you, but I was taught nothing about this topic in school. That’s OK, though, learning about history through games is one of the most effective and engaging ways I can think of to retain information. Read about the game here.

Congressman Duncan Hunter spent more than one thousand dollars of campaign funds on videogames from Steam, and then blamed it on his son. Ok, it may very well have been his son, but we can’t really know for sure. Check out this article to see how the Congressman is trying to dissolve the issue.

That’s it for now, folks! See you soon!



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