Tom Chick

Finnish developer Remedy is finally at home with Control’s nightmare power fantasy

, | Game reviews

I couldn’t tell you much about the national character of Finland. Unlike their Scandanavian neighbors, Finns don’t often express themselves in my preferred media of movies and videogames.  Some of the world’s best and boldest filmmakers are from Denmark. Swedes have made some of my favorite videogames, and a couple of my favorite movies. Even Norway has gotten into my head.  But Finland? I’ve seen two Aki Kaurismaki movies and I can’t even remember their names. I just remember concluding Finland is a bleak place with strange ideas about humor. For a sense of the deadpan minimalism of Finnish humor, look at the website for My Summer Car.  Better yet, play My Summer Car, which might be a prank.  

One of my touchstones for Finnish storytelling is a movie called Sauna, historical horror about a joint Finnish/Russian expedition to map the border between the two countries.  It sounds like an oddly specific subject if you don’t appreciate Finland’s fraught history with Russia, especially during the 20th century. This fraught history is why Finland is one of two countries whose name is also a verb (Vietnam being the other).  Finlandization means trying to not get swallowed by a hungry, vast, ruthless, bureaucratic nightmare crouched right next to you. The geopolitical equivalent of standing completely still and hoping the T-Rex doesn’t see you. So perhaps it’s a matter of national character that Control is a horror story about a hungry, vast, ruthless, bureaucratic nightmare.

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Children of Morta isn’t just an effective and borderline twee action RPG. It’s a sentence.

, | Game reviews

The elevator pitch for Children of Morta isn’t exactly encouraging.  A pixel-art action RPG. From the creators of nothing you’ve played, because I’m pretty sure you didn’t play Shadow Blade or Garshasp.  Hold on, let me make sure I spelled that right. Yep. Garshasp.  

You can see a screenshot up there of Children of Morta in action. Like I said, not exactly encouraging.  It doesn’t help that Steam is lousy with these things.  

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Divinity Original Sin 2 just whalloped Pillars of Eternity

, | Games

The other day I decided it would be pretty awesome to play Rebel Galaxy Outlaw on the big screen, with surround sound, leaning back on the couch. Since it’s built to be played with a gamepad, it’s one of those PC games that transitions seamlessly into the living room, thanks to Steam’s Big Picture mode and a Steam Link. So I booted up the Steam Link, set up a controller, opened Steam’s Big Picture, and started scrolling through my installed games. This was gonna be good.

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