All Op-Eds

Waves of Change: Battling Social Anxiety in Sea of Thieves

Rare's pirate adventure isn't for everyone and it's pretty clear why. But for me, there's nothing else quite like it, and nothing quite as rewarding thanks to its ability to aid me in defeating lifelong social anxiety.

Posted 15 days ago by Mark Delaney, 49 comments

Memory Lane: Revisiting the Backyard Sports Series Through Super Mega Baseball 2

Super Mega Baseball 2 launched this week on Xbox, and straight into the Games with Gold program, no less. It's an excellent baseball sim in its own right, but it's also a surprisingly effective device for nostalgia.

Posted 2 months ago by Mark Delaney, 11 comments

Fool's Gold: Sea of Thieves' Achievement List Is a Huge Problem

Sea of Thieves has been out for a few weeks now and while many have picked a side between staying at sea or docking for good, one thing we should all be able to agree on is that its achievement list is hugely problematic.

Posted 3 months ago by Mark Delaney, 241 comments

Mending What Has Broken: Unravel and the Urgency of Our Lives

2016 brought us our first game under the EA Originals banner. Coldwood Interactive, who was until that point known mostly for skiing games, created Unravel, and with it left a timeless message for all of us to consider.

Posted 3 months ago by Mark Delaney, 30 comments

Left Behind: The Abandonment of Mass Effect: Andromeda

I had a great time in Andromeda, and a lot of others probably did, too. However, others thought differently. One year on, the game has simply been left behind as a whimper in the vast canyon that is the games industry.

Posted 4 months ago by Marc Hollinshead, 143 comments

Sensory Indulgence: The Power of a Great Video Game Soundtrack

What is a video game soundtrack to you? Simple ambience in the background, or something more? As the industry has advanced, so has the nature of soundtracks. We aren't in the age of budget gaming anymore.

Posted 4 months ago by Marc Hollinshead, 67 comments

The Mountains We Make: Celeste and Mental Health

I recently reviewed indie darling Celeste, which on the surface is an extremely competent and charming platformer. Underneath that, it's a fascinating parable about mental health - both in story and gameplay.

Posted 5 months ago by Sam Quirke, 26 comments

Follow the Leader: The Changing Depiction of Cults in Video Games

Video games have been giving us cults to battle for decades, but recently the way these cults are depicted has become much more like the stories we see in the news. Let's examine why this trend may be occurring.

Posted 5 months ago by Mark Delaney, 51 comments

Melodies, Desperation and a Story

A game cannot tell a good story, but that doesn't mean there's not a good story to tell when playing a game. Like music, gaming may create just the right mix of emotion to become something special.

Posted 5 months ago by Kevin Tavore, 52 comments

Indie Retailers Decry Xbox Game Pass, But What Did They Expect?

It's been reported lately that independent gaming retailers have decried the moves by Microsoft to put exclusives on Game Pass at launch. Sympathies aside, what did these people honestly expect in a digital world?

Posted 5 months ago by Mark Delaney, 156 comments

What Goes Around Comes Around - Microsoft's Vision for the Future

Microsoft unveiled their vision in 2013 to disastrous results. No one wanted an online console that couldn't play used games. Or, well, they didn't until earlier this week.

Posted 6 months ago by Kevin Tavore, 187 comments

Shooting Yourself in the Foot: The EA Access Problem

EA Access is a mostly appreciated program from a publisher that gets little appreciation otherwise from the gaming community, but could it be doing more harm than good for the publisher lately, and should we expect changes?

Posted 8 months ago by Mark Delaney, 103 comments

Uphill Climb: Losing the Battle of Console Exclusives

PlayStation has been killing it with its exclusive titles in recent years, and it seems as though Xbox is lagging behind. But I still believe Microsoft's console can and will succeed.

Posted 8 months ago by Marc Hollinshead, 188 comments

Loot Boxes: Who's To Blame?

Loot boxes and other microtransactions are the talk of the industry right now? Are they an example of gambling? Do we deserve any blame as the consumers? How can we get them to go away? Do we even want that?

Posted 9 months ago by Mark Delaney, 211 comments

Growing Up Gamer: Destigmatizing Video Games for My Son

I grew up as an avid gamer who was made to feel shamed or foolish for liking video games. Now, as a father, I'm ensuring this stigma doesn't affect my son's own enjoyment of the medium we both love so much.

Posted 11 months ago by Mark Delaney, 107 comments

The Desperate Failure of Games to Tell a Tale

The sky is not blue because it is blue; the sky is blue because the author says it is. Authors use imagination to create worlds which become real. Video games are a bit rougher than that.

Posted 11 months ago by Kevin Tavore, 139 comments

Sold Again: Enjoying Remasters in an Era Full of Them

Despite some great new games this generation has brought us, many people think of it as the remaster era. It's hard to argue seeing as how there have been so many, but I don't think I'm wrong for liking them.

Posted 11 months ago by Will Cruz, 77 comments

One Man's Trash: Longing for the Days of Movie Tie-in Games

Years ago, virtually every family movie received its mediocre tie-in game treatment. For several reasons, those games have all but vanished. They weren't good, so why do I find myself missing them like I do?

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 73 comments

Maybe It's a Lake After All

It's been seven years since Alan Wake arrived on Xbox 360. Its status as a cult classic is rarely questioned, but its sequel prospects now feel like a closed window. Maybe the lingering mystery left behind is a happy ending.

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 72 comments

Try Before You Buy

The demo section is the rarely visited corridor of the digital Xbox store, with new demos hitting the store infrequently and in very low numbers since the Xbox One launched. Am I the only one clamoring for more demos?

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 63 comments

Three Lingering Questions for Project Scorpio

The Scorpio specs have now been officially revealed and it's clearly just phase one. We have plenty of questions left even after a hugely exciting day for the Green Team. What's still on your mind?

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 193 comments

TA Top Five: What Took So Long?

It's said that patience is a virtue and that good things come to those who wait, but in the gaming world who tried our patience the most and was it really a good thing that we ended up with?

Posted 1 year ago by Andrew Ogley, 72 comments

Leaving Well Enough Alone

Video games, like movies and sometimes books, are prone to sequels. Selling a known commodity is always a good head start when looking to make money, but often times these continuations make the overall story worse.

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 81 comments

How Hard is Hard?

Plenty of gamers aren't in pursuit of a challenge when it comes to their gaming, but for those who are, where do they find that challenge? Is there a universal understanding of difficulty that spans across all games?

Posted 1 year ago by Marc Hollinshead, 190 comments

The Uncertain Fate of Social Gaming

The long, silent death of... okay let's not be overly dramatic here. Gaming is social and it always will be. But that doesn't mean everything is going well for the online side of gaming.

Posted 1 year ago by Kevin Tavore, 65 comments

Game Changers: Resident Evil

Resident Evil christened and defined a whole new sub-genre of games and has become synonymous with video game horror ever since. Twenty one years later we have the latest installment set to terrify gamers once again.

Posted 1 year ago by Andrew Ogley, 35 comments

The Road Ahead: What Can We Expect From The Next Forza?

A simple forum post from the CEO of Fanatec revealing Forza Motorsport 7 raises a number of questions and leads us to speculate about what might be in store for the next installment in the hugely popular racing franchise.

Posted 1 year ago by Andrew Ogley, 41 comments

We Deserve Better

The Game Awards was broadcast live across several platforms on Thursday night. If you missed it, consider yourself fortunate. The show was as bad as ever, and as gamers we deserve better. When will we see improvement?

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 103 comments

The Long, Silent Death of the JRPG

Once the pinnacle of storytelling in the gaming world, the JRPG genre has slowly moved toward an inevitable death over the course of years. On the eve of Final Fantasy XV's release, it's clear things are over.

Posted 1 year ago by Kevin Tavore, 351 comments

The Gaming Dead: Searching for the Perfect Zombie Game

Despite the games industry's deep affection for undead-centric stories and settings, I still find myself chasing the perfect zombie game. When will we see it and what has come close so far?

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 50 comments

A Video Game Renaissance

History always repeats itself, and gaming is no different. With new ideas and a reinvigorated desire to experience classic gameplay in modern games, we're in a Renaissance. Where will we go from here?

Posted 1 year ago by Kevin Tavore, 86 comments

Console Racing Comes Of Age

With the increased power of the console and more advanced peripherals to match, racing on the console has never been so good.

Posted 1 year ago by Andrew Ogley, 69 comments

The Curse That Never Was

Sports and superstition go hand-in-hand. No superstition is perhaps more famous than one that also touches on video games - the Madden Curse. I'm sorry to say, however, that there's no solid history to support such a hex.

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 39 comments

The Best of The Best

I spent most of my gaming life disinterested in multiplayer games, Twitch streamers, and e-sports. Then I watched competitive Rocket League, and everything changed.

Posted 1 year ago by Mark Delaney, 39 comments

Microsoft's Vision for The Future - Where's the Benefit?

Play Anywhere. Project Scorpio. Microsoft says they're here for our benefit but what do we really get? The fear is rife on the internet over what might happen, so let's shine a light on things and see what we're really getting.

Posted 2 years ago by Kevin Tavore, 234 comments

Downloadable Discontent

DLC isn't going away. What was once reserved for only the most hyped AAA titles is now a near inevitability for titles big and small. But the DLC model is shifting, and with that we have to ask: is it shifting for better or worse?

Posted 2 years ago by Donyea Cooley-White, 121 comments

The New Nightmares

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” - H.P. Lovecraft The American author, father of cosmicism, and creator of such mythical beasts as Cthulhu, Lovecraft was famous for practicing what he preached. Sadly nev

Posted 2 years ago by Mark Delaney, 49 comments

A Very Particular Set Of Skills

10,000 BCE. The world of Oros is a brutal, unforgiving place. Mauled by sabre-toothed tigers, bashed by rampaging cannibals... Takkar's life is simply a case of kill, or be killed. As he wrenches an arrow from his shoulder and wipes the blood from his club, Takkar sees a mysterious symbol

Posted 2 years ago by Sam Quirke, 47 comments

Call of Duty: Consumer Warfare

“50,000 people used to live here. Now it’s a ghost town.” That’s the opening line to the iconic Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare trailer that blew everyone’s mind at E3 2007. “Our so called leaders prostituted us to the West..."

Posted 2 years ago by Kelly Packard, 180 comments

Hero of Everything

This article contains spoilers from Mass Effect 3. Don't read any further if you have not played this game and intend to do so in the future. Destroy. Synthesize. Control. What'll it be? That was the controversial question posed to me in the final moments of Mass Effec

Posted 2 years ago by Mark Delaney, 41 comments

Table For One: Playing Alone in the Era of Multiplayer

Being alone. Besides love, which is in some ways its antithesis, it might be the most prevalent theme in the history of music. From The Beatles instructing us to "ah, look at all the lonely people" to Roy Orbison's melancholic line about how "only the lonely know the heartaches I've been through"

Posted 2 years ago by Mark Delaney, 107 comments

On Second Thought

"Who wants my coleslaw?" For many years it was a question I posed to the table whenever I went out to eat. I'd tried it a bit as a kid, didn't like it, and wrote it off from that point on. I wasn't into cabbage, or the raw carrots, or the dressing. Nothing about it was "for me". One day se

Posted 2 years ago by Mark Delaney, 83 comments

I'm Getting Too Old For This

Something of which gamers can always eagerly anticipate is a generous offering of end of the year releases. For me, that usually means one to three new games on my Christmas wishlist. I’m usually luc

Posted 2 years ago by Mark Delaney, 273 comments

Where's My Campaign?

I'm a gamer who grew up in the days where online gaming didn't exist. If you wanted to play a multiplayer game, you and your friends had to cram together on the couch or the floor, with multiple cont

Posted 2 years ago by Rebecca Smith, 296 comments

Xbox Milestone - 100,000 Achievements Available

On November 22nd 2005, the Xbox 360 arrived in stores, along with 18 launch titles and a total of 415 available "achievements". Xbox gamers' lives would never be the same again. On July 31st, 2015, t

Posted 3 years ago by Rich Stone, 174 comments

In My Xbox Dreams, I See That Town

The only me is me. Are you sure the only you is you? In the Silent Hill story universe, some things are never explained. Those visiting the eerie town are blanketed in equal parts confusion and fog.

Posted 3 years ago by Mark Delaney, 62 comments

Blockbuster or Art House Indie?

If you're anything like me, and who's to say you're not, you spent at least a few minutes watching last night's Academy Awards show and probably had a favorite or two for whom you were rooting. With

Posted 3 years ago by Jonathan Barnes, 17 comments

You Must Choose, But Choose Wisely

Kyle Crane is a drone, an errand boy, and the protagonist of Dying Light. From the outset, he is dropped into zombie-filled Harran on a mission from a generic, quasi-governmental organization to reco

Posted 3 years ago by Jonathan Barnes, 42 comments

Please Sir, I Want Some More

Today's news about Destiny's first expansion shouldn't be a surprise to gamers. The developer (Bungie) and publisher (Activision) had already announced their plans for expansions well before the game

Posted 4 years ago by Jonathan Barnes, 104 comments

The Xbox One - Eighty?

Earlier today, Phil Spencer (like a gamer's Moses) brought down digital tablets from high to proselytize a new gospel from Microsoft. No longer would gamers be required to purchase a Kinect with thei

Posted 4 years ago by Jonathan Barnes, 233 comments