I’ve been playing the newest Bioware multiplayer game, Anthem, for a week now and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s stunningly beautiful, easy to get into and incredibly fun to play. The foundational world-building concepts are a fresh take on the magical-artifacts-of-an-ancient-civilization trope with a musical twist that I find irresistible. Despite the occasional lapses in logic, the narrative is engaging and well-executed. Among the substantial cast of characters, not all are rendered with equal depth, but they are all competently written and voiced. Where Anthem doesn’t shine, it’s decent, and there’s next to nothing in it that annoys me. That’s quite an accomplishment! My overall feeling is that this is the game Mass Effect Andromeda was supposed to be, if it only had the time and nourishment to mature properly.Continue reading Anthem: First Impressions
Month: February 2019
Dinner at Deviant’s Palace
By T. Powers
Of the three books by Tim Powers I’ve read so far (the other two were The Drawing of the Dark and The Stress of Her Regard), I liked this one the best. It takes a while to get started, and it took me a while to finish it (about a month of semi-regular daily reading), but it’s a solid story, with no outstanding thematic problems, depicting a fairly believable dystopian future where alcohol is the main currency, cities have turned to warring states, and ancient shells of rusted cars are hauled by horses as a status symbol.Continue reading Dinner at Deviant’s Palace
A New Mass Effect Fic: After Hours
Six years after abandoning an unfinished draft and six months after starting to work on it again, I’m finally ready to publish After Hours.
This is the story I was talking about in Writer’s Intuition. It’s another Saren/Nihlus thing, set between Signal to Noise and the events of Mass Effect 1. It deals with issues of trust in a passionate but troubled long-distance relationship. It’s the first overtly adult story I’m publishing on this site, and I believe the first I’ve ever written to come with a ‘dubious consent’ content warning. A dark story that was difficult to write. Even talking about it makes me edgy.
But it’s done now, and I’m satisfied with how it turned out. It’s a great relief to finish one more work that’s been on the back-burner for years. I hope my hypothetical readers will enjoy it.
You can read it here, or on AO3.
Image: “Unity”, by a dear friend who gifted me this unfinished work of art a long time ago.
The Elder Scrolls Online
I’ve been a fan of The Elder Scrolls (henceforth, TES) franchise for a very long time now. My first contact with it was in 2002, with Morrowind, which blew my mind, and I played every major TES game that came out since. I was very excited by the idea of The Elder Scrolls Online (henceforth, ESO) at the time it was announced, but the demo which I played in 2014 left me unimpressed. I only bought the game in 2016 after Bethesda had made the monthly subscriptions optional.
ESO is huge. In every conceivable way. This is why I’ve been reluctant to write about it. Every aspect of it would need of a post of its own if I was to do it justice. So this is by no means going to be comprehensive and exhaustive. It’s just a collection of random facts and impressions.Continue reading The Elder Scrolls Online