But what do I think of the game so far? Read on for my early thoughts...
It's Overwatch day! The day that you, like me, rushed home to play the new multiplayer first-person shooter from Blizzard Entertainment!
But what do I think of the game so far? Read on for my early thoughts...
While it has been some years since Sonic the Hedgehog gave gamers any reason to be cheerful, the character's adventures continue to provide inspiration for countless talented artists.
We return once again to the tainted wellspring that is baffling Sonic fan art.
SAD BUT TRUE: SHORTLY AFTER THESE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN, THESE 90s GAMERS DISAPPEARED AND WERE NEVER SEEN AGAIN
Some of you might be old enough to remember the 90s. Do you remember those? Do you remember all the 90s things? So much happened. All sorts of stuff. All between the years of 1990 and 1999. Amazing.
But wait - here's a gallery of some other stuff that happened: specifically, the last moments of all these 90s gamers.
Video game reviewers are not elected officials. They're not running the country, or responsible for the welfare of our children. Heck, speaking from experience... as jobs go it's scarcely one rung up from lavatory attendant or murderer, when it comes to telling people what you do for a living. And, indeed, games journalists are paid accordingly.
And yet many appear to think that games journos are a gilded class - who must prove their worthiness to stand atop the golden dais, again and again. That they somehow have an obligation of accountability, a duty to be "gud" at games - not just competent at writing about games. And that they should somehow possess superhuman integrity which transcends the average pleb.
The level of grief games journalists get if they balls up, aren't good enough at games, criticise the wrong thing, like the wrong thing, or - god forbid - actually do something which is construed to be unethical, appears to be mounting over time.
In short: a lot of people seem to absolutely hate games journalists.
Which is weird for me, because - well - I was a games journalist and nobody has ever hated me ever ever ever... And because when I read games mags growing up the journos were something to aspire to, rather than despise. Back then, we all ran around sporting "Jaz" Rignall mullets, giving everything 98%.
Many years ago, as those of you who used to read my old blog might recall, I visited Chernobyl.
Alas, that's not quite as unique a claim as I wish it was. Shortly after I went there for a weekend, with my dad and a friend, games firms started sending all manner of journos for a visit; freebie trips to support various Chernobyl-set video games.
Ukrainian companies have been running tours for years, and - though the number of people allowed into the exclusion zone at any one time is limited - it's not exactly difficult to get in, should playing hopscotch with patches of contaminated moss be the sort of thing you think you might enjoy.
Pripyat - the abandoned city just a stone's throw from the iconic red-and-white chimney of the Chernobyl reactor - is every bit as eerie as you might expect; a decades-old Soviet time capsule, its skyscrapers and streets crumbling as nature reasserts itself.
And yet Kiev - Ukraine's capital, and most adventure tourists' point of entry for a few days of radioactive whimsy - is similarly strange. Like the rest of its country, the place felt like a setting for a video game; the grey, concrete slabs of housing, the splintered streets, the wild dogs and head crabs everywhere... More than once I thought it could've been a theme park dedicated to Half-Life 2's City 17, a place teetering on the precipice of turmoil.
Inevitably, Chernobyl has been the setting for more than one video game - most notably Modern Warfare - but also one of my favourite games of all time; the strange and atmospheric S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
So here's the good news: at its best, Homefront: The Revolution, with its crumbling buildings and piles of debris, reminded me of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. At its worst, it reminded me of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. running on an old 486 PC with 32mb of RAM.
Most unexpectedly, we actually had a semi-healthy haul of letters this week.
Some of them are a bit long, but never mind. You know what they say: quantity over quality!
If you would like to be immortalised/insulted on this page, all you have to do is shove your comments, opinions, and ask-me-anythings (questions) down this greasy o-hole: firstname.lastname@example.org
WANT TO FEEL OLD? ALL THESE GAMERS FROM THE SEVENTIES & EIGHTIES ARE NOW IN A COMA...
Wow! Gaming has been around a long time, hasn't it?
And to further illustrate the point we have just made, every person you see in this gallery of vintage gamers from the 70s and 80s is now in a coma! Check it out!
"Over the hills and far away, Teletubbies come to play."
Those ten simple words have been enough for many to ring the starting bell on a nightmarish experience.
Much about the Teletubbies seems to disturb those of us who have aged beyond the intended audience - the gurgling sky child, the malfunctioning AI brain of Noo-Noo, the surgically-implanted stomach televisions, the pink goo which they greedily consume...
Indeed, we appear not to be alone. Here are 21 examples of creepy Teletubbies fan art - captioned with actual quotes from the long-running children's show...
"Once you get past air, food, water, shelter, you get to social connections, sense of belonging, you get to self-esteem, overcoming challenges and building self-worth. And you get to self-actualisation, creation in a living world. All of those things are embodied by entertainment."
Not my words, or the words of God... but the words of the next-best-guy: Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts - the fourth-largest games company in the world - speaking to the company's shareholders this week, via his diddy a-hole.
His puckering buttocks continued: "We believe games are the most valuable form of entertainment given their ability to fulfill those fundamental human needs. And I've already talked about the fact that games now are the predominant form of social connection for many of our players.
"We are providing challenge in the games we make, and people are growing inside those economies. In a world of digital content and user-generated content, we are providing self-actualisation for a great many of our players."
All of which might be the single most self-important quote about video games I've ever read.
But what does Wilson mean by "self-actualisation"? If he's referring to what I think he's referring to, it's a term used in various psychological theories to describe an individual reaching their potential. And it's a term that I'm very familiar with, but never expected to hear in relation to video games.
Come with me now as we venture forth on a journey into the wet, calcified crannies of my scarred heart, sweet readers.
WHAT WILL NOLAN BUSHNELL THINK OF ALL THESE MONKEYS WHO ARE TRYING TO LICK HIS BUM?
Nolan Bushnell is one of the pioneers of the video game industry. As the founder of Atari, he created gaming as we know it.
Now aged 73, he was named one Newsweek's "50 Men Who Changed America".
He continues to use his decades of experience with his latest venture; an educational software company called Brainrush, that uses video game technology to create software which Bushnell believes will revolutionise eduction.
Now that he's following Digitiser2000 on Twitter, however, the real question is: what will Nolan Bushnell think of all these monkeys who are trying to lick his bum?
I rarely read books as a kid. It was always comics, or magazines.
Reading 2000AD, I was always fascinated by the "Credit Card" accompanying each strip, which listed the writer's name. Who were Alan Grant, John Wagner, TB Grover, and Pat Mills? How come the artist didn't just make up the words too?
Doctor Who Weekly was particularly important to me, and it was - and still is, as Doctor Who Magazine - the only publication to really shine a spotlight on TV writers.
Planet of Death on the ZX Spectrum was the first game I remember playing which had a story, of sorts. A text adventure, it was potentially the first time I ever read a story told entirely through words. And, as a wise man once said - the pictures were so much better.
So, I suppose I've always had a fascination with writing and writers, but for much of my life it never seemed to me like something I could do, or would want to do. And yet here I am at the ripe old age of 83; a games journalist - of sorts - since the age of 21, and a TV scriptwriter since my late-20s.
I don't tend to write or talk about my day job very often. People tend to have one of two reactions - jealousy, as if the simple fact of saying you're a writer is somehow showing off - or fascination, as if it's the single most exciting job in the world.
The reality is quite different. And as I'd had a few requests from people asking about what we writers do, I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk about how I got here, and lob in a few of the lessons I've learned along the way. I hope it isn't boring!!!!!
REVIEW: DOOM (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
It has been a long time since Doom 3. Longer than you probably realise.
It was released in 2004, for pity's sake, but part of why it has stayed so fresh - in my memory at least - is that it still holds up well today. Graphically, at least, it felt at least a generation ahead at the time, with its shadows, and steam, and Martian sandstorms.
It's fair to say that this new Doom, while undeniably a good-looking game, hasn't had the same impact on my eyes. Admittedly, I'm drawn far more to its gritty environments than I am to the soulless, stainless steel of the Halo series - which frequently feels like being hit repeatedly in the face with a glossy gadget magazine, while wandering around the Apple Store.
However, good-looking games are ten-a-penny these days, and Doom's art design doesn't do enough to really stand out. The gore-soaked space base looks like plenty of other gore-soaked space bases, its depiction of Hell looks like every 1980s Heavy Metal album cover, and the monsters come in two types: shambling cyber-zombie, or giant fleshy thing. Both look as if they've fallen into a butcher's bin.
It's trying to be Doom, of course, but that original Doom - through virtue of limited technological resources - managed to be iconic in a way that this slightly generic-looking reboot never achieves.
THE STAGES EVERY RELATIONSHIP GOES THROUGH, ILLUSTRATED WITH 21 DELICIOUS POO-CAKES
There are two things which unite us all: a need to be loved, and going to the lavatory.
Yet while we will openly discuss relationship woes with anybody who will listen, we are somehow more reluctant to share details of our toilet business - even with those who profess to have fallen in love with us.
However, no relationship stays constant: they all evolve, through ups and downs, and that includes our attitude to the universal matter of doing a poo. Here are the 21 phases of every relationship, which we have kindly illustrated with a number of sweet-looking crap-based cakes.
INTERVIEW WITH THE DEVIL
With a new Doom once again giving us the chance to face off against the demonic hordes of Hell, we've been wondering how real demons feel about the game.
We dropped a line to The Devil himself, and asked whether he'd be open to answering a few questions.
Much to our surprise, he replied straightaway, saying he'd love to have the opportunity to address what he felt was an unfair portrayal of Hell and its minions. Here's the transcript of our conversation:
UNCHARTED 4, METACRITIC, AND THE WASHINGTON POST: THE LUXURY OF BEING AN IDIOT - by Mr Biffo
Here's this week's big gaming drama: an idiot writing for the Washington Post gave Uncharted 4 a negative review.
Also: though the review was published score-less, when it popped up on Metacritic it somehow had been magically awarded a 4/10. Apparently, through a process of complex algorithms, the reviewer's words were able to be distilled into an accurate and definitive numerical grade.
Or someone at Metacritic basically sat down, read the review, and went... "Hmmm... that reads like a four to me."
Cue complete outrage from other idiots, as thousands of Uncharted 4 supporters marched metaphorically on the Washington Post and Metactitic, posting cat food and burnt hospital sharps through the letterbox, and demanding that they retract their contrary opinions.
The reviewer responsible - one Michael Thomsen - has been widely attacked online for his review, precisely because that's probably what he was trying to provoke. His review appeared full of what seemed like deliberately inflammatory statements such as: “A Thief’s End is less a conclusion to Nathan Drake’s story than an affirmation of the inconclusive wreck it has always been."
Consequently, a petition has been set up - as of writing, it has over 6,000 idiots' signatures - demanding that the Washington Post review be removed from Metacritic.
Welcome, friends, to another beautiful day in the games industry.
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