Uncompetative Comments

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  • Sony PlayStation 4 Pro review

  • Uncompetative 07/11/2016


    I'm sorry to hear of all your problems. I had 3 RRODs with various 360s resolved under their special three year extended warranty, however Microsoft haven't cared about their customers since Steve Ballmer left and just exploit them with shoddy plastic and blind packs of cheats.

    My Day ONE is solid and quiet, but lacks the stable OS and consistent UI of my PS4. None of their exclusives, apart from the Forza titles, have been released in a finished state and my eighth generation would have been far happier if I had never been loyal to the devalued XBOX brand. Anyone picking up the cost cutting S when they could have a PS4 Pro needs to have their head examined and mine is due Thursday

    I did once vow to never buy a Sony product ever again because I had bought a £2,000 VAIO notebook which crashed every time I swapped the mouse for the external floppy.

    They failed to fix it a couple of times under the three year extended warranty I had payed for, despite me telling them that a Linux installer had diagnosed the fault lay with the USB port and them promising to pass my note onto their engineer. In the end they got irritated with me and demanded £90 for them to send it back to me as they thought I was a time waster, so I told them to keep it.

    They returned it, unfixed.

    It took me fifteen years to get over it and see the company as being run by less arrogant and hostile staff. Microsoft used to have very good customer service, but the success of the 360 has led to them being complacent, arrogant, and exploitative this generation. Now some say that Microsoft have learnt from the very poor launch of the ONE with its DRM enforced by an always-online spycam, but don't be fooled into thinking they are for the players all of a sudden and Sony could well get arrogant with a strong lead and then start to erode their trust with the PS4 Pro actually having a UHD Blu ray drive in it, but with the firmware to drive it not patched so that the PS4 Pro doesn't cannibalize sales of their upcoming standalone 4K UHD Blu ray player. Rumour has it that by 2017 all PS4 Pros will get a firmware update to make them able to play 4K UHD Blu rays - but I wouldn't advise people to base their purchasing decision on it until this rumor is confirmed as fact.
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  • Digital Foundry launches high quality 4K video platform

  • Uncompetative 07/11/2016

    Fuck off Reply 0
  • PS4 Pro games list, specs comparison and everything else we know about Sony's new hardware

  • Uncompetative 06/11/2016

    PC gamers will be wondering why they wasted so much money. Reply 0
  • PlayStation 4 Pro unboxed - and what's next for Digital Foundry

  • Uncompetative 04/11/2016


    I'd like to upgrade the HDD in my PS4 Pro to 4TB is this possible?
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  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's campaign is slick, morbid and a bit dull

  • Uncompetative 03/11/2016


    Titanfall 2 is awesome. Better than Overwatch.
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  • Titanfall 2's maps and modes will all be free

  • Uncompetative 28/10/2016

    I had a couple of matches of Titanfall 2 tonight and it was great. Reply 0
  • My Summer Car is the most hardcore driving game yet

  • Uncompetative 27/10/2016

    This is what No Man's Sky needed to be like and still could become. Reply 0
  • Infamous video game movie director Uwe Boll retires from filmmaking

  • Uncompetative 27/10/2016

    I liked Far Cry. Reply 0
  • Zoe Quinn's next game is a far cry from Depression Quest

  • Uncompetative 27/10/2016


    Interesting that you chose an avatar of a rapist.
    Reply 0
  • Uncompetative 27/10/2016


    Pity you can't hide your misogyny as well as you hide your fat face behind that overgrown beard you plaid wearer.
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  • PlayStation 4 hacked again? Linux shown running on 4.01 firmware

  • Uncompetative 25/10/2016


    Bullshit. The Master Chief Collection crashed my ONE so hard I had to turn it off at the wall. PS4 only flaky in No Man's Sky which is pretty well meaningless as a reflection on Sony's OS.
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  • NX is now Nintendo Switch, a portable console with detachable controllers

  • Uncompetative 20/10/2016

    I'm buying one. Reply 0
  • Nintendo to unveil NX this afternoon

  • Uncompetative 20/10/2016

    Nintendo Pu Reply 0
  • Anti-Trump ad alleges candidate "mains Hanzo" in Overwatch

  • Uncompetative 16/10/2016


    You could always vote for Jill Stein.
    Reply 0
  • Watch - Ian plays the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare multiplayer BETA, tries not to die continuously

  • Uncompetative 16/10/2016

    Titanfall 2 Reply 0
  • Rez Infinite review

  • Uncompetative 14/10/2016

    I'm going to have another go after I remap the controls. Reply 0
  • PlayStation VR hasn't tamed VR's strangeness

  • Uncompetative 14/10/2016


    Sony have made the most consumer friendly headset out of anyone and I was impressed by the number of titles I was able to download at launch, far better than both my PS4 and ONE back in 2013 which took a whole year to gain momentum and most of that built upon either last gen remasters or held back by cross gen requirements.

    The presentation may seem rudimentary within the "scope" reminding me of times spent long ago with my N64, but they were simpler times where I had a quick blast of some condensed gameplay (and although nostalgia is a factor in potentially distorting things), I'm pretty sure I had more fun than in most of today's top ten.

    I was a bit wary of reports of motion sickness, so I started off seated in something familiar and won my first race in DriveClub VR. It was a bit too grainy, but not at all blurry, yet it felt like DriveClub and seemed to be a full game with plenty of depth.

    Not wanting to spend too long in Virtual Reality in one sitting I then went straight into playing EVE: Valkyrie which was phenomenal and deserves to be its killer app. The presentation was noticably superior, but people should be prepared that it looks closer to Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter than the trailers they have put out promoting it. This isn't misleading the consumer, as this is what it looks like on the "social screen" – an advantage PS4 / PSVR has over the PC. However, after completing their tutorial I thought that I had been immersed for about an hour and a half continuously and that should be all that I do for the rest of the day.

    I would also recommend that people download their PSVR titles to avoid having to take off the headset in order to see how to swap discs!

    All in all I am fairly impressed, not gobsmacked and I feel that as time progresses this could be seen historically as Sony's ninth generation console as it has its own exclusives which you can't simply play on the PS4 by itself and an opportunity to hit the reset switch and take us back to a golden age of gaming with far lower budgets, more creative and experimental indie titles, and no Microtransactions!!!

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  • DriveClub VR review

  • Uncompetative 13/10/2016


    It reminded me of Beetle Adventure Racing but I had a lot of fun with that and I had a lot of fun with DriveClub VR today. You are getting 360 degree visuals in 3D with 3D surround sound, you can remap its buttons to be like Forza 5. I wouldn't have minded it being a bit less pixelated, but this is the first generation of affordable console VR.

    It's a minor miracle that it works as well as it does. Easy to set up with simple Quick Start Guide and funny Tutorial videos. Simple to put on and take off. Costing a fraction of the total cost of a high end gaming PC and an HTC Vive

    That said, if you have DriveClub and a big HD TV there isn't a truly compelling reason to get this over something truly next generation like EVE: Valkyrie. DriveClub VR is nice, but I wouldn't say it is essential. But don't return your PSVR until you have at least tried out more of the free to download titles.
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  • Crytek's PSVR game Robinson: The Journey is due next month

  • Uncompetative 12/10/2016

    Oooh... just in time to play on my PS4 Pro.

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  • What works and what doesn't in PlayStation VR's launch line-up

  • Uncompetative 12/10/2016

    You need more ice cubes for the cold water you're pouring all over this? Reply 0
  • Watch: Ian and Johnny take on Gears of War 4, Act 1

  • Uncompetative 10/10/2016

    I've always hated Gears. Reply 0
  • Tech Analysis: 4K gaming on PlayStation 4 Pro

  • Uncompetative 09/10/2016

    I'm hopeful that the "tray" on the right might hold an upgradeable HDD.
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  • Building a space sim in a post-No Man's Sky world

  • Uncompetative 08/10/2016


    Seems appropriate
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  • Uncompetative 08/10/2016


    This is worth a read if you want to know some details about the reason for his 1/2 year hiatus

    Reply 0
  • Uncompetative 08/10/2016


    Edge and Jim Sterling gave it a 6/10 which was more than fair. I only gave it a 2/10 for its music.
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  • Watch: 7 games we'd love to play in virtual reality

  • Uncompetative 08/10/2016


    Actually, they already experimented with it in April 2014 but the number of staff injuries put development way behind schedule.

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  • Samsung KU6400 4K TV review

  • Uncompetative 08/10/2016


    Not quite close enough according to this.


    2 feet or closer otherwise you are just being wowed by the HDR which they could put with a larger HD TV if they weren't wanting to force people to make unnecessary upgrades.

    My 42" Panasonic Infinite Black 600Hz HD TV is superior to this Samsung in every way that really matters and I will see a benefit from my preordered PS4 Pro at 6 feet due to its use of supersampling. True 4K60 is overkill and the Project Scorpio will flop in 2017.
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  • Super Mario Bros. speedrunner sets seemingly impossible world record

  • Uncompetative 07/10/2016

    I'm very happy for him. Time to have a nice long lie down in a darkened room.

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  • Our Mafia 3 review will be late - here's why

  • Uncompetative 07/10/2016


    I think people have taken against you here for no good reason, just as they did with myself and cloudskipa. It's a pity that grudges seem to be held from one thread to the next to the extent that, I feel, posts aren't even read, but downvoted in a knee-jerk reaction to a name generally smeared as infamous for some odd reason that doesn't hold up to a dispassionate assessment.
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  • Uncompetative 07/10/2016


    I agree. Streamers do show off far too much.
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  • Here's what's in the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare beta

  • Uncompetative 07/10/2016

    I'm looking forward to this. Reply 0
  • Rocket League free underwater Aquadome DLC today

  • Uncompetative 04/10/2016

    Surprising that the gameplay of No Man's Sky is nonexistent when this is Sean Murray's favourite game. Reply 0
  • What do you actually do in games?

  • Uncompetative 01/10/2016

    But it wasn't all the same stuff was it. It was different. Similar, yes. But not identical. And if you went to one desert wilderness on Earth and then travelled thousands of miles to another erg you would see a landscape so similar that you wouldn't feel rewarded by the effort you had made to travel there. This is the most realistic aspect of No Man's Sky. Even moons within our solar system have similar terrain. Lions, Tigers, Snow Leopards, Wildcats occur in different biomes and basically all look much the same. If anything it is bored videogame level designers that give consumers a false reward for all their minor progress through each level with totally different vistas for moving only a few hundred yards. The world isn't like that. IT IS MUCH MORE SAMEY. Reply 0
  • Advertising Standards launches investigation into No Man's Sky

  • Uncompetative 30/09/2016


    No they shouldn't. As gamers would abuse it. There is nothing wrong in them waiting to see actual gameplay on an extended livestream on Twitch.tv
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  • Uncompetative 29/09/2016

    Sean Murray never lied. Reply 0
  • Uncompetative 29/09/2016

    I don't understand why everyone is complaining about a PC game that looks better than the trailers on its Steam page. Upgrade your PC so it runs better. Upgrade No Man's Sky with your choice of mods so it looks better. You have it in your power to resolve the problem Master Race...
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  • Destiny 2 will launch for PC, characters may be left behind - reports

  • Uncompetative 28/09/2016

    I've only played it for the Crucible so none of this affects me. Reply 0
  • Forza Horizon 3 review

  • Uncompetative 27/09/2016

    I had a lot of fun driving down every road in the game. Reply 0
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with COD Infinite Warfare on PS4 Pro

  • Uncompetative 25/09/2016


    I would prefer 1080p60 in every game on PS4 Pro but the CPU just isn't fast enough. I don't even think Sony could have put in a faster CPU without risk of incompatibility or overheating. I too would like to see next gen games invest in rich AI, teleological procedural generation, and complex physics more so than raw resolution but I would suspect we would need to see the console made out of more specialized chips so that it had a programmable FGPA for AI and an SSD for TPCG and a PhysX CPU for physics as well as an APU (CPU + GPU) for the usual.

    The fact that the PS4 has another chip inside of it just to handle background downloads is a sign that this can be done when the customer is put first. XBOX ONE would be a good deal quicker if it didn't have to multitask so much – a tiny overclock and reclaiming 11% of the GPU by freeing up the reservation for the Kinect is a start but really they should scrap Snap and let you schedule downloads to happen whilst an app is inactive and games are paused or free up background threads whilst in its menus. It might not manage 1080p as often as the PS4, but it would certainly achieve 900p minimum and avoid the embarrassment of 720p.
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  • Earn entry into Titanfall 2 multiplayer mode at US resturant

  • Uncompetative 23/09/2016

    MechDonalds Reply 0
  • Destiny: Rise of Iron launch woes force players into queue

  • Uncompetative 20/09/2016

    How dare they advertise this as multiplayer! I can't hop in my spacescraft and fly to Mars to mine some Iron deposits and then go to Venus to pick some rare Flowers with which to upgrade my Multi-tool. Bungie are LIARS! Destiny is a scam. I demand a refund!!! Reply 0
  • Looking back at Spore in a post-No Man's Sky world

  • Uncompetative 19/09/2016


    I've made an effort with my comments, but I've a sneaky suspicion that no one can see them due to some petty revenge of a moderator based on a tragic misunderstanding.
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  • Uncompetative 18/09/2016

    Imagine if...
    This seems to be the curse of No Man's Sky. Even after its release idiots speculate about what might have been if it hadn't been what its creators clearly intended and demonstrated it would hopefully be. The other day I came across some entitled prick on the Internet who said that it needed some planets to have civilsations with large populated cities you could walk around. I asked Sean Murray early on if it would have cities in the Game Informer Q&A to try to curb the community's rabid speculations about the undisclosed surprise discoveries the developers were assumed to be scattering among the stars – I expected a simple 'No' but got a very long explanation that explained that they didn't want players to abandon their journey to uncover the enigma that lay at the centre by having a reason for them to stay in one place, aiming to aesthetically evoke Tatooine rather than Coruscant.

    How easy would it have been for this "pathological liar" to say 'Yes' and then not deliver on them for some hand wavey technical reason. Even more hype could have been built around this GTA in Space if Sean Murray really was the crook so many have convinced themselves he is. Wouldn't it be easier to keep it multiplayer and then fake a meeting between two staff members early on then claim all the others that failed to happen were due to them being in disjoint instances due to extremely high server population. If Sean really was out to take your money and run why spent the first lot of profits on an external QA studio that had more staff than the whole of Hello Games? Why bother to bring out eight patches in the title's first few weeks> Why not just all go on holiday?
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  • Uncompetative 18/09/2016


    When did Sean Murray ever say that he had put the Higgs boson into it? I've followed everything about its development since its debut at the VGX awards in 2013 to the point of obsession and I'm sure that I would have remembered him claiming that it was all based on a foundation that was a fictional Theory of Everything.

    Sean Murray never lied.

    He naïvely answered questions without his own PR person lurking in the background to ensure that he repeatedly clarified that everything being discussed pertained to the current build and may not make it into the final release for technical, aesthetic, or business reasons.

    He gave demonstrations of prototypal aspects that he fully expected would make it into the final release, but due to them mistakenly taking on a PC version which included support for chips that lack SIMD instructions the huge variety of boxes that the so called Master Race sling together out of bargain bucket components couldn't be fully tested in time for its near simultaneous release.

    This was genuine overreach by this tiny studio, brought about by a rabid PC community that was clamouring for this title. They were most likely to be responsible for the death threats received for its second very necessary delay, so any criticism of it being rushed out full of bugs whilst valid has to be balanced against that fact.
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  • Uncompetative 18/09/2016


    Hello Games could have charged £120 for it if they wanted to, as it is their service that they are providing. You as a consumer don't have to buy it at this amount, or the amount it actually initially sold as.
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  • Star Citizen's first-person shooting changes coming along nicely

  • Uncompetative 18/09/2016

    This looks boring. Reply 0
  • Sony's Shuhei Yoshida on No Man's Sky

  • Uncompetative 16/09/2016

    Sean Murray never lied. Reply 0
  • The Witness review

  • Uncompetative 14/09/2016


    I've recently bought it for my XBOX ONE and it seems to have a lower framerate when turning than it had on my PS4.

    Since my earlier comments from eight months ago I was persuaded by all those here who had said that if I was apparently so obsessed with writing about the shortcomings of The Witness then I ought to do so having actually played it.

    I don't believe that no one should be allowed to criticise a game that they haven't played as there are so many ways to gain an impression of the gameplay (YouTube walkthroughs and Twitch come to mind as well as their extensive online communities), so long as they are clear in their critique that they haven't played it.

    I won't be buying the PC that I would need in order to "gain permission" to criticise Chris Roberts' Star Citizen and yet I won't hesitate to say what I think of it - and lately from what I saw of the FPS gameplay I was surprisingly impressed and felt that the Twitch streamers who had formed a party in order to mount an incursion on a space station were organised and immersed. So far it is the only aspect of it that I have seen that I felt held promise and I expect it will be 2020 before a polished MMO is ready for everyone to play on an average PC.

    So, with all that out of the way here is my own review of The Witness followed by a critique - based on the PS4 version with every puzzle solved except for the randomized challenge. Note: for anyone yet to play this game what follows below is very in depth and contains all possible SPOILERS:

    You are The Witness, insofar as you are the beta tester, insofar as you are one of a team of atheist VR developers seeking to create a meditative space referred to hereafter as The Island in which various techniques of Zen Buddhism are used to suppress their ego whilst drugs are administered to suppress memories of their daily life.

    The Maze Puzzles correspond to the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism as they provide a compulsive challenge to goal oriented individuals which is a deliberately meaningless ritualistic practise intended to distract those who engage with them from themselves.

    The Environmental Puzzles correspond to the Ōbaku school of Zen Buddhism which is related to Rinzai, but also to the Chinese school which promises a land of Ultimate Bliss called Sukhāvat which in time could save the enlightened reincarnated consciousnesses of all sentient beings. There are some suggestions that the team of developers intended to create their own “digital heaven” free from religious dogma and egocentricity. Ōbaku is renowned for its skilled calligraphy which resonates with the path tracing of shapes in and around the island.

    Despite reference to the Sōtō school within the room of architectural models inside the mountain, meditating without objects, anchors or content whilst seated as you allow all stimuli and thoughts to pass through your mind without being dwelt upon does not suit a virtual world such as this Island. One could argue that it is a deliberately unthreatening Island with zero wildlife - except for some stick insects out between the back of the Quarry and the sandy area that leads up to the Desert Ruin - and a very pretty one at that which puts one at your ease as you leisurely walk around it. Also, it has been remarked that the game is made more difficult through the addition of Sprint as one is less likely to notice the Enviromental Puzzles when one is running about taking the “racing line” everywhere as I have noticed that most things are hidden where it can predict you won’t look (off to the side from the direction you are heading), and on the return journey they are generally obscured by strategically placed foliage. As to your specific complaint at 25:26 this fundamental aspect of its design may well account for why I have completed 135 of these Environmental Puzzles, as the bridge moves as slow as it does so that players can complete three of these from two separate locations.

    The lack of a conventional tutorial echoes Zen teachings of Dharma Transmission. Put as simply as possible, a receptive state of mind comes through adapting one’s point of view until it coincides with that of an already enlightened mind, yet this is more profound than learning how to solve Maze Puzzles or how to stand in the appropriate place with a contrivance of the systemic elements around you in The Island, but through that release of dogmatic perception one becomes receptive to the contrasting dialectic of scattered audio logs, the exasperation with their failed pursuit of Truth, and the acceptance that no such Ultimate Truth exists - without being made to feel foolish for clinging to superstition.

    The fictional ‘behind the scenes’ audio logs reveal that these VR developers are striving to create a space which will turn intelligent people who spend significant time in it into atheists - whilst not heavy handedly making them reactionary anti-theists. The story of The Witness is simple. It is about how their lead beta tester is first to take a “deep dive” into their VR and is so drugged that he almost forgets the exit protocol. This could be considered a cautionary tale as to the perils of the compelling immersion promised by VR, or just a bit of levity tacked onto a project overburdened with self-importance.

    I personally enjoyed my time on The Island and don’t regret paying £39.99 for it. When it got impossible to proceed I sought a second opinion, then help from a multitude of very good YouTube videos. At no time did I feel that I was spoiling my own fun because I only did so at the times when it stopped being fun. I played it all the way up to The Challenge which I was unable to complete, and got a lot out of analysing what made it an excellent tutorial free puzzle game stuffed full of unexpected Easter Eggs. I kept playing in hopes it would have some deep Ultimate Truth that would explain all my initial questions as to “Who am I?”, “Where am I?”, “How did I come to be here?”, and “How do I escape?” and I did get all of those questions answered eventually, but to be honest the answers weren’t that impressive:

    Q: “Who am I?”
    A: “The lead beta tester of a VR who has forgotten who they are due to being on drugs.”

    Q: “Where am I?”
    A: “Sukhāvat in the form of a Digital Heaven for uploaded immortal consciounesses.”

    Q: “How did I come to be here?”
    A: “You jacked in”

    Q: “How do I escape?”
    A: “By drawing a snaking line around the sides of three invisible triangles on the panel on the Garden Gate in a 3-2-1 order according to one of the maps found in the boxes under the Desert Ruin should that Gate have been opened already in order to close it, however matters are much simpler if the Gate hasn’t yet been opened as all one is required to do is connect the Sun with its shining periphery to open a magic portal that leads out to the Hotel overlooking The Island that progressively acclimates you back to your real life. Your escape would have been easy had you not taken drugs to suppress your memory of the simple 3-2-1 exit protocol.”

    9 / 10

    Now my critique…

    The Witness is a masterfully crafted collection of tutorial free Maze Puzzles and hidden Easter Eggs all set in a beautiful Island full of restful ambient sounds. You are alone on this Island to focus on whatever takes your interest. There are no threats. As in life you are only a prisoner of your own curiosity and there is no meaningful reward for all your endeavours. It could be argued that it isn’t intended to be a game, but an experience to progressively brainwash you to accepting its clumsily handled atheistic subtext. In this regard the extrinsic narrative (such that it is comprised of only six audio logs amongst a total of fifty - excluding credits - when you include the one that is on the check-in desk of the Hotel), is pushed so far into the background as to be willfully obscure, almost as if it were embarrassed to communicate its central theme. This sits uneasily with the fact that true atheists would reject their notion of Godless Immortality in a Digital Heaven as they prefer to live in Reality - even if that means accepting mortality, and defining their own morality. Therefore, in this thematic aspect The Witness utterly fails as a work of art.

    In this respect it is a victim of its own pretentious creator’s unachievable aspirations. Yet, the fact that I am even discussing its potential as Art means that even this failed step is a genuinely progressive attempt to advance the medium of videogames to tackle more serious, philosophical, topics - and that attempt is welcome.

    I forgot to mention the sculptures, which may represent the potentially futile quest for truth at the heart of the game. A couple argue at the mountain top as one seeks the truth about the other. A couple of men carry a mystery box that once opened provides access to the challenges within the mountain. A chartered surveyor uses a theodolite to find a true line to some geographic point on The Island. A woman assumes a meditative pose with both palms pressed together as she herself reflects on Ultimate Truth whilst she herself is reflected in the form of a landscape of rocks seen sideways in the mirror stillness of the surrounding infinite ocean. A man with a long nose perhaps from years of lying raises his hands skyward to God for redemption, yet in a separate perspective he is seen to cast a shadow transforming supplication to that of a jester juggling the rocks strewn before him, perhaps alluding to the burden of the philosophical dialectic in the juxtaposed audio logs which makes all those who seek an Ultimate Truth in philosophy, spirituality and science in equal part fools. Some figures grouped in alcoves in the Quarry reference Darwin’s stages of the evolution of Homo Sapiens from the stain on the wall that represents the ape, alluding to the development of our own self-awareness as individual sentient beings that question the world around us rather than just sitting in trees eating bananas. There is no reason why a human should consider themselves to be special compared to other living things, and in a sense this sequence alludes to the Ghost in the Machine in which our notion of a soul is but an emergent property of brain complexity and not, as some wrongly conclude, a gift from some sort of God. The lady in the window of the keep which is formed from shadows on a rock may be the Erythraean Sibyl a prophetess from ancient Greece who in some stories learnt the Ultimate Truth at the expense of being able to explain it to anyone else, in a manner akin to a heightened state such as religious mania which is entirely tangible and concrete to those experiencing it and inexpressible to those who do not share that same sensibility, as well as diminishing in its articulacy as their sanity returns. To some extent the same is true of LSD or Mescaline trips, rendering all seekers of deep truth through hallucinogenics social drop-outs who are wasting their time with temporary delusions that they cannot communicate the value of afterward. Prometheus sits atop the burnt out tree stump as a cautionary note to the perils of knowledge of fire, he may also feature because he is a character within the weird spiritual book “The Biggest Secret: The Truth” by András Kovács-Magyar which no one need read, because it is complete postmodern posturing codswallop. It would seem that there is no lack of capacity in humanity to invent delusions and new cults to evangelise their incoherent message and religions to force their established dogma on successive generations at the cost of making a single world in the barrens of lifeless space at war with itself over who has the strongest belief in their own supernatural lies.

    There are many other scuptures, but to deconstruct them all would be too exhaustive. It makes sense that they look like much the same as those poor petrified fools who did not fear the ash eruption at Pompeii, who denied the very real truth of the existential threat from their neighboring volcano. Is the hollow mountain actually a volcano?

    Aside from all of that speculation, there is a recurrent motif of Lotus flowers both floating on the central lake and on cushions and stationery. This refers to the great ancient Greek poem of the Odyssey (as attributed to Homer) in which some sailors led by their captain Odysseus are blown off course onto the island of the Lotus eaters:

    “I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of 9 days upon the sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eaters, who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars.”

    The subtextual resonance should be clear that this echoes Jonathan Blow’s character (i.e. you) who is so doped up with drugs to suppress memory on The Island that they forget all thoughts of returning home and how to effect their return, albeit that this ‘exit protocol’ is exceedingly simple as 3-2-1.

    There is no evidence of a connection to the Odyssey through sculptures of Sirens appearing around The Island as some have suggested as in Homer’s poem the captain orders his crew to strap him to the mast so he can hear their enticingly beautiful song then plug their ears so that they aren’t pulled onto the rocks. His ship does not not become a wreck like that off the coast of The Witness, so any attempt to make this link is tenuous at best.

    Assorted optical illusions are dotted around The Island, but it is safe to say that these have no additional meaning other than being Easter Eggs which are fun to find. Although a largely serious experience rather than being a fun game, The Witness does have some levity and jokes at its own expense to puncture its own self-important bombast.

    These obscure layers of meaning and hidden audio logs do not foreground the theme he intended to convey, and I don’t think ludonarrative dissonance is a decent excuse for pushing the story so far into the background that you can play the whole game and be completely unaware of its theme.

    Harmony can be achieved between game and story, but only if the story is a product of a simulation and not predetermined ahead of time by a writer in which case flexible player agency cannot be fully accounted for. Adventures that write their own stories to convey a coherent underlying theme whilst a player is free to make their own choices within its open world will eventually be developed as they are technically possible. However, they remain almost a decade away and require great strides to be made in simplifying creative production as current tools just aren’t up to the job and no investment has been made in Middleware that supports exploratory live programming.

    I've got a lot of enjoyment out of critiquing The Witness and my earlier disinterest was entirely due to this misleading review taking a game that I had followed for seven years and giving me grave doubts about it.

    So, I would like to thank everyone here who chastised me or persuaded me into getting it despite being crestfallen by this review. As I have attempted to outline here, there is a lot more that could be said to be going on in it, but that could all be in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply 0
  • What if Uncharted 4 on PS4 Pro ran at 60fps?

  • Uncompetative 13/09/2016

    I don't mind 1080p30 in Destiny and DriveCkub and Uncharted 4. What I dislike is games that fail to deliver even that. I want VSync ON and I bought my PS4 Pro to achieve that extremely low bar. Reply 0
  • The Last Guardian delayed again

  • Uncompetative 12/09/2016

    Learning from the rushed launch of No Man's Sky. Reply 0