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The penultimate big game of 2020 could have been smaller
Immortals Fenyx Rising: Inventive art direction, derivative title.
[Hi, I’m Chris Plante, and you’re reading Postgame, a weekly newsletter collecting the best games, stories, and videos in the video game community into a fun, digestible package on Sunday mornings. Learn more on the Postgame About page. Want to support Postgame? Please share it with a friend! Or even better, visit my work-home at Polygon.com!]
[Note: I’ll be publishing the newsletter first thing Monday mornings in December so I have a little extra time to collect links on the weekend!]
Twas the week before Cy’punk, and all thro’ the house,
Not a gamer was stirring, except for their mouse.
Oh who am I kidding, twas loud as a horse,
I dared to load Twitter and saw the discourse.
The PCs were ready, put together with care,
All drenched in Hue lights, aside gamer chair.
Yes it won’t be delayed, the timing is right,
So book a day off and play through the night.
Two games to play
Immortals Fenyx Rising
“Immortals Fenyx Rising may sound like a chewed-up heavy metal tape your dad found at a car boot sale, but it’s actually a charming open-world adventure where you bounce around the heavens solving problems for the gods.” (Tom Bramwell, The Guardian)
“Maybe open-world games don’t need to boast 175 hours of playtime even while torturing developers with months of crunch. Immortals, and by extension Ubisoft, isn’t immune to this problem, but there are pieces here that argue for a shift in the scope of a genre that has historically been more interested in simulating the minute details of a horse’s genitalia than caring for the people who worked on them.” (Tyler Colp, Polygon)
“In Haven from The Game Bakers, main characters Yu and Kay have left their old lives behind to escape with one another. It’s up to you to decide whether or not their choice was the right one to make. Are they really meant to be, or did they take a leap of fate in the wrong direction?” (Becca S., GameSpew)
“With an unusual approach to roleplaying games that focuses on the relationship of its protagonist couple as not just the story but also its mechanics, Haven stands out from every other sci-fi adventure I’ve played.” (Kyle Campbell, IGN)
Three stories to read
Listen to Maya’s advice: download this wholesome nordic Advent calendar game. (Maya Kosoff, Medium)
Patricia summarized her Vtuber story perfectly on Twitter: “This year sucked for everyone EXCEPT video game-playing anime girls and honestly that's beautiful.” (Patricia Hernandez, Polygon)
Three videos to watch
The ocean of video games is so deep you will never reach the bottom.
This is one of a handful of recent touching recaps of a bad year and the good games that helped us get by.
And dear reader: if you watch one YouTube video this month, please make it this gem from Pat Gill.
The best of the rest
The crabs of PC gaming, ranked. (PC Gamer)
“Why is the PS5 outperforming the ‘world’s most powerful console’?” (Tom Warren, The Verge)
“The uneasiness of ‘easy modes’ prompts creative approaches from game developers.” (Elise Favis, The Washington Post)
“The forgotten Flash Website movement (when websites were 'the new emerging artform')” (Nathalie Lawhead, Gamasutra)
“How Hade’s actors made the internet horny for their voices.” (Elizabeth Ballou, Vice)
“It sucks that Cyberpunk 2077’s edgelord marketing worked so well.” (Stacey Henley, Polygon)
“Hulu’s Animaniacs reboot can’t survive a BoJack Horseman world.” (Joshua Rivera, The Verge)
“How old, ambient Japanese music became a smash hit on YouTube” (Catherine Sinow, Ars Technica)
The fourth year of Vanity Fair doing the same interview with Billie Eilish. I love this series. (Vanity Fair)
What would a Covid-19 memorial look like? (Ian Bogost, The Atlantic)
Sports. This will surprise you, but they’re still good!
But what do you think?
Send links, tips, comments, questions, games, and favorite Christmas ornaments to @plante.
That’s a wrap. See y’all next time. Wear a mask!