Editor's note: We're delighted to welcome back Gareth, the editor of the fascinating new zine Heterotopias, for another piece exploring the intersection between architecture and video games. You can find his last piece on Resident Evil's mansion here, and find a copy of the second issue of Heterotopias over here.
Editor's note: Heterotopias is a new zine that looks at the intersections between video games and architecture, and I'm delighted to welcome its editor Gareth Damian Martin to Eurogamer for the first of a series of regular articles exploring the same territory. You can pick up the latest issue of the zine over here, and I strongly recommend you do so as it's a rather lovely thing.
"This is the beginning of the game... You police guys stop me if you can... I desperately want to see people die, it is a thrill for me to commit murder. A bloody judgment is needed for my years of great bitterness."
A wind-scoured castle, crumbling into a sun-bleached sea. A towering shrine, rising above a landscape of decaying ruins and moss-skinned rocks. An isolated tower surrounded by vast chasms, speckled with high-arched walkways and overgrown ledges. Though the games of Fumito Ueda may depict delicate relationships, vast beasts and impregnable mysteries, it has always been their distinctive architectural spaces that gave them a concrete form. Ever since Ico's castle hazily emerged from the bloom and mist on the games title screen in 2001, these monolithic structures have become symbols for the sense of scale, mysticism and artistry that have made Ueda's games instantly recognisable and widely loved.
If you've heard of the Amnesia games before, then you've probably also heard that they're scary. I've certainly come across several claims that they are the "scariest games of all time" and even a few people have suggested that the games are too scary to complete. The success of the first game in the series, Frictional Games' 2011 Amnesia: Dark Descent, was contingent on its terrifying nature; its cat and mouse chases featuring in a hundred Let's Plays and streams, where grown adults hid in corners, faced the wall and whispered to themselves repeatedly that "everything is going to be OK".