Among Rain World's best tricks is that it doesn't end with you. Fall afoul of the reptiles who coil and flop through its moulting, fungal catacombs and you'll be dragged to a crevice and swiftly guzzled. The restart prompt appears, but you're under no pressure to hit the button, and really, what's your hurry? Death is an opportunity to enjoy Joar Jakobsson's chiselled 16-bit aesthetic and the game's AI ecosystem at leisure, freed from the rat-race of its core mechanics.
There may be spoilers for the Dishonored series of games ahead.
Editor's note: Once a month we invite the wonderful Gareth Damian Martin, editor of Heterotopias, to show us what proper writing about games looks like before we shoo him away for making the rest of us look bad. You can read Gareth's pieces on Dark Souls and Resident Evil - and you really should! - before settling into this month's piece about Dishonored and its rats.
The immersive sim has seen a kind of mini-renaissance in the past couple of years. Prey, Deus Ex, and of course Dishonored 2 stand out as games that recently arrived to varying, but all positive, degrees of critical acclaim. But that critical reception was conclusively unmatched by sales - so much so that it is now very easy to draw less-than-optimistic conclusions about the future of the entire genre itself, and indeed the series within.
Arkane co-founder Raphael Colantonio has expanded on his shock decision to leave the Dishonored and Prey developer, suggesting he's burnt out by years of triple-A development.
Arkane Studios founder Raphael Colantonio has departed the company he created back in 1999.