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Game of the Week: Luigi's Mansion 2 is the rattliest game ever made

Shaking and quaking.

Luigi's Mansion 2 HD key art.
Image credit: Nintendo

I don't think we talk enough about texture in video games. Not textures in the sense of art assets placed on surfaces to create the illusion of three-dimensional spaces, but texture as a thing that emerges through the whole of the game experience. Weirdly, though, when I think about a lot of really good games, my first thoughts aren't images or words, but exactly this texture thing: a sort of memory of how the game as a whole feels, what the over-riding sensation it creates seems to be.

Before this gets too murky and cosmic, here's an example I've used before. When I think of Hades, I don't initially think of eternal sixth-former Zagreus or the three-headed dog you can pet or all the wild ways you can flare a specific run in unexpected directions. I don't even think of that shield that feels like it's on an elastic ski pass as it flies out and returns to you, only pausing briefly to smash someone up along the way.

Instead, I think about what movement feels like, movement combined with visuals that love glass and cut gemstone and marble smoothed to a polish. Polish is where it's at, actually. When I think of Hades I think of sliding in sock-feet over polished parquet flooring, that same sense of slightly indulgent freedom, coupled with the heady potential for disaster. Slide, smash. That's Hades.

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