One of my best friends in school was a renowned bullshitter. He was notorious for fabricating some our years most incredulous, though mostly benign stories. For the purposes of discretion, the anonymity of any known acquaintances, and more specifically the identity of this pathological liar, I’ll refer to him as “Brian”. Brian was an amiable guy, not particularly bright nor an exceptionally charming in his demeanour, but harmless. Brian was one of the few people I knew that could engage in long, meandering conversations that were derived from a truth, yet completely distorted by lies. Tales embellished by details so absurd that substantiating the veracity of his claims was a largely a futile endeavour. Evidenced by other more credible testimony that conflicted with his own dubious assertions. He expressed these exaggerations with such a confident swagger and genuine sincerity that you could never bring yourself to question him. But beneath the eccentric declarations and masculine bravado was a sensitive kid that simply wanted to be liked. Desperate to be admired by his peers for who he was. I’d always admired certain qualities of his, especially his integrity as a friend. I recall not doing my science homework, an all too common occurance I’m ashamed to admit, resorting to desperately copying his homework almost word for word, with Brian being punished for replicating my homework! But he never confessed to it. Never ousted me as the forger, but merely laughed at the absurdity of it all.
Throughout school, along with a couple of other degenerates, we formed an unshakable bond, with Brian’s lies being the catalyst for our little school yard menagerie. Brian was essentially Bethesda, except I could rely on him on occasion. We’d listen to his frivolous anecdotes, comparing details and deriving any salient information from his overly rehearsed routines. Most infuriating about him was the way in which he could attract women. It was simply uncanny. Unfair even! He also possessed this uncanny aptitude for getting us into trouble. On more than one occasion I found myself in the middle of some sort of psychical altercation, simply because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut! And I am not a war like person. Yet despite his misguided efforts to solicit respect from his peers, our reliance on his unreliability was really the nucleus of our social group. We bonded over the absurdity of his declarations, waiting to discover what ludicrous situation he had found himself in when we weren’t around. He wasn’t always the easiest person to socialise with, and certainly didn’t help himself with his elaborate tales. But he enjoyed being around people, even if he didn’t always relish his own company.
Its true that you never have the same friends you had at school, though that’s probably a good thing. He annoyed me more than I’d care to mention, provoking the ire of many of my classmates. We drifted apart after school however, with his shenanigans a far less endearing gimmick when you’re in your 20’s. But even though school was over half my life ago I still treasure those times, even though one the most galling aspects of my friendship (the lies) is somehow my most treasured.
Okay, it’s finally happened. The interminable “Uncharted movie” has reached peak “what the fuckery?!” with this incredulous casting. Markey Wahlberger, once designated to play the role of Nathan Drake, has instead been cast as Sully, Nates friend and tutor. In essence the film has taken so long to be made that he is now old enough to play the mentor of the character he could have been playing nearly a decade ago! At which point between the innumerable directors that have abondened the project, as well as the revolving door of horribly miscast actors and screenplay alterations do you just accept defeat, simply put the whole sordid business down to experience and just move on to the next poorly realised video-game adaptation, conceived within the corporate maelstrom of financial exploitation and conceptual ignorance? A rather expansive and convoluted question I’ll grant you, but not one that can be answered by casting Marky Mark!
I’ve always maintained that if an Uncharted movie has to be made then Bruce Campbell would be the only sensible choice to portray the cigar chomping patriarchal treause hunter. Who else could escort a hooker to church with the same beguiling groove? Markey’s attachment to the project, in any capacity is frankly insulting. If we’re honest we already have an Uncharted movie, 5 of them if you include Chloe’s extension to the series, which you most definitely should. A cinematic interpretation of Uncharted is like adapting “Raiders of The Lost Ark” into a novel: Sure it could be done, but why would you want to when the spectacle of the story is already encapsulated, besides money of course. You can’t get blood from a stone and cinema certainly can’t make Uncharted anymore cinematic than it already is.
Stop. Just stop!
Jaws is one of my all time favourite movies. I discovered this when devising a complex algorithm, you couldn’t possibly understand, that could calculate the specific set of parameters required to determine the perfect movie. Jaws matched that criteria. Encompassing a variety of qualities and depth often reserved for more opulant cinematic experiences, Jaws is a thriller with assured performances, singular direction from a filmmakers sophomore theatrical release, imbued with an iconic score and populated with actual humans that resonate on a personal level. Sure “Bruce” is about as realistic as a Conservative manifesto, but its what you don’t see that makes it such a suspenseful and effective thriller. I can quote a plathora of diologue with emphatic precision, much to the chagrin of my colleagues and partner. If I’m channel surfing and I come across it, regardless of where it is in the story, I have to watch it. I was even lucky enough to experience this glorious piece of cinema in all of its “Amity” glory at the theater a few years ago. I became fascinated by its production, watching documentaries that detailed the rigerous adversities that plagued its production. Watching interviews, behind the scenes footage. Seeking every nuanced anecdote or obscure trivia concerning its making just so I could retain this knowledge and recite it to anyone and everyone. You’d think that this kind of fanatical intrigue would be applicable to gaming, my preferred means of entertainment. But honestly I’ve never really taken a keen interest into the complexities of video game design.
There should be something inherently fascinating about the creative process. An intrigue into the manifestation of a concept and how its gestation from idea to development came to fruition. Yet for some inexplicable reason the intricacies that goes into the development process, the anecdotal yarns of those intimately tethered to the project is infinitely less desirable. Perhaps its the immersion. Arresting a disassociation from the product you’ve spent hours enveloped in isn’t really that interesting. Reconciling that detachment between the labour and the outcome of a game is difficult when the game requires a greater investment on personal participation. A movie is more relaxed. Sure the tone of film is to illicit a specific emotion, fear for instance, but its still a vicarious experience. With a game the emphasis is on you being the character. You saving the world from whatever generic menace threatens to conquer/destroy “insert fantasy world here”.
To me there is no production. No behind the scene gossip. No crunch times and delays. Its real. The protagonist, the story, is all being experienced for the first time by me, not a pre-determined set of circumstances and variables designed to create the illusion of autonomy. Personally I don’t think this is a bad way of looking at things.
The world has witnessed and endured some truly mind boggling shit in it’s long and illustrious existence: Dozens of extinction events. Global, environmental degradation. Agricultural plights. Famines. Pestilence. War. Coldplay. Michael Bay movies. A Donald Trump presidency. Liquorice. Automated soap dispensers. Country and/or Western and a Lance Armstrong autobiography that attributes his success to “hard work”. Yet, through sheer perseverance to be publicly revered as the world’s most incompetent game developer, Bethesda, despite a myriad of equally inept competitors, have out done them all. Surmounting the most staggering ascent to the peak of mount “Everyone Disliked That”. Out of all of the confounding decisions made by Bethesda over the years, the decision to implement private servers, as well as other exclusive incentives in a game that by its very nature propegates a social, interactive experience, is probably the most baffling. And quite possibly the most brazen act of sabotage ever committed by a video game developer.
“Fallout 1st” is a premium subscription service that uniquely affords Fallout 76 users access to private servers, as well as other exclusive content for a modest £12 monthly excess. That’s an annual £144 surplus for an open world game, requiring permanent online connection to play, but now with the added support of being a traditional single player Fallout game. You know, the ones that didn’t need to be constantly anchored to a WiFi router! This contradictory philosophy would be alarmingly neglectful if it wasn’t so hopelessly redundant. Seriously, this might be the most absurd, insulting and egregious waste of everybody’s time. You’d think that the extensive issues Fallout 76 has suffered since launch would have prompted some contrition from Bethesda, perhaps even a little humility. The shoddily assembled Nuka Rum bottles. The systemic exploitation of the Atomic store. The pre-order gift canvas bags constructed from cheap nylon, as well as their patented brand of interminable glitches were already inexcusable. Yet the “Fallout” from 76 has become just another symptom of a greater malignancy: greed.
The pervasive consistency of Bethesda’s “ignorance” to glitches and aggressive monetization is far too coordinated to be an oversight. These kind of decisions would be reviewed extensively, with the expressed intention of achieving maximum benefit from nominal effort. Any persistent or lingering issues can be rectified in post when you’ve already recouped the revenue necessary to compensate for it. Which is a cunning expedient in the short term, but an artifice that becomes substantial more volitile once the loyalty of your consumers has been severely compromised. And perhaps the goodwill generated by Bethesda’s earlier successes has inevitably been eroded by the perfunctory efforts of a developer that has taken its fans for granted for far too long. Perhaps we simply underestimated their greed, or merely overestimated our own integrity in ignoring the problems. But if one disgruntled fan’s acquisition of the “Fallout first” domain name, for the purpose of humiliating Bethesda’s interminable idiocy is any indication, then perhaps Bethesda have finally gone too far.
The deceitful parlance and flagrant disregard for fan recognition has been sabotaged beyond refute. At this point their actions are irredeemable. They have routinely proven that they simply can not be trusted. And with the Elder Scrolls 6 in development, you have to wonder if this is their last chance to save themselves!