Maybe it's something to do with Steven Spielberg. The director's Second World War drama Saving Private Ryan has become a dividing line in the history of action cinema. There is everything that came before Spielberg's Normandy beach landings, with their shellshock camerawork and stinging audio occlusion, and there is everything that came after.
From the archive: Marston's pedigree.
The thing that The Witcher 3 does best, better than most other games, is war. This doesn't sound remarkable until you consider the huge number of games that are specifically about war - that make you do war and be in it - and that war itself never appears in The Witcher, at least not directly. We see battlefields and garrisons, occupations and barricades, but never open conflict. War is in a constant state of passing through, enormous and unseen, always at some distant proximity, but written into the land of The Witcher 3 and the people on it, in magic and misery.
This year's E3 was a river of dads, and I am unhappy about it. (I did wonder briefly about the appropriate collective noun for dads: a Wickes, a Touchline, or, for us kids of divorce, an Absence? Just kidding, Dad - and I hope Spain is treating you well).
The original Dying Light was so much fun. Fun in a scrappy, upside-down way. The game hid many of its best qualities behind a skill-tree system that made its headline parkour a shin-grazing drag for hours - until, essentially, you unlocked the skill of 'not being rubbish at parkour'. Because the game dished out XP for every act of mediocre acrobatics - double at night - it gave rise to a compulsive kind of midnight grind, hopping back and forth over a waist-high fence until sunrise. Morning! Halfway to having bendable knees already.
Before it was a rocket launcher with target tracking and devastating cluster rounds, Gjallarhorn - from the Old Norse "yelling horn" - was the instrument sounded by the herald god, Heimdall, to signal Ragnorok. The noise of Gjallarhorn, in other words, meant the end of the world - which, in a way, is just as true of its deadly, wolf-headed descendant in Destiny, a gun which proved so powerful it called down an armageddon on itself.
"When a day you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere."
A thousand things go into making a person and a lot of them aren't football.
We remember in HD. That's the thing high-definition remakes are constantly having to compete against - the fact that, the way our minds would have it, past games that we love enough to conjure back into existence have always looked pin-sharp, beautifully lit, and on a par with their reconstructed, modernised selves. "Remembrance of things past," wrote Marcel Proust, "is not necessarily remembrance of things as they were."
Here are some recent thoughts of mine: I am playing too much Destiny. Also, games might be an expression of the futility of the human condition.
Listen carefully. We may need science fiction sound effects.
I have spent hundreds of hours playing Halo 3, and I'd rank Bungie's trilogy-capping blockbuster in my top five of the last console generation. I know it with an obscene intimacy, from the inside out - its feel, its weapons, the intricacies of its physics and geometry. I have absorbed the game in some essential, comprehensive way, and yet I cannot pull from memory a single certain moment from its story campaign.
Let me tell you the story of the number 33, an American teenager called Marine14, and how I never became a doctor of film.