looking back to the miserable state of the games industry in the seventh generation, i have to say that the feverish cries to find the citizen kane of gaming - basically paltry, philistine shorthand for the holy grail of the medium, a work that legitimizes the practice and is enshrined in the canon - were super funny, not only because of the obvious nod to that works strengths with relation to filmmaking (which cant be replicated in games wholesale), but also way more specifically because that movie is the direct result of several contextual, social, and political factors that basically 100% mean games will literally never, ever get their own citizen kane. the last of us, for a time, was that 'citizen kane', in the eyes of many. which is insane because this title introduces literally nothing new in the AAA environ through either storytelling, mechanics, or structure (even when it was released it was patchwork pastiche of everything that came before it) and on top of that it was heavily corporate funded focus-tested prestige slush which in effect fully betrays the idea of this game being a ‘citizen kane’ type. a citizen kane of the medium would have to do more than be soulless and perfunctory interactivity Big Video Games decide for you has artistic merit - i'd even go one step further to say that if anything, Big Video Games would probably frown on the citizen kane of video games, similarly to how orson welles legacy was attacked and dismantled by hollywoods vanguard again and again, and again and again and again. it amuses me this is happening yet again with god of war but what can i say i guess it's tough being a sore winner

Reviewed on Dec 13, 2020


5 Comments


3 years ago

"This remark to push it off as soulless corporate trash, even if that stands in contradiction to how writers and directors who worked on it speak of the game now, strikes me as too far off the cynical boat honestly" I get your point on everything else but honestly, fuck Neil Druckman and whatever he's had to say on his own work lol. (Not even really arguing against what you're saying there tho, just having the image of that guy talking about that shit alone is annoying)

Other than that, yeah sure, taking up the head-ass takes with the people that make them rather than the game they are on sounds reasonable.

On a personal tangent, I'll never get myself to finish this game despite being so close to the ending. I've just had a save file stuck on the Ellie section since before the PS4 was a thing. This doesn't even really mean anything, I just think it's funny.

3 years ago

even though the cultural context is the most important point in my line of argument, i'll add since i cant believe i forgot to say: yeah, CK didnt necessarily invent any of its editing techniques (although i believe the utilization of unreliable narrators was new at the time to film, possibly and probably mistaken on this one) but instead melded a wide variety of stylistic influences, editing choices, and directorial decisions to ascribe new meaning to its text. while that sounds like a favourable comparison for tlou, its something which i still dont think is applicable to it considering the content therein, the context of its development, and the manner in which such a comparison ignores instances of earlier games achieving profound results in their craft. theres almost assuredly a dozen more things one could say here but i dont have time nor brainpower to catalogue them all
Definitely a more elaborate response than I was expecting honestly, but I appreciate it. It comes off a lot more clear now, but I wanted to push that I was definitely not simply talking about Neil here, even if he was a lead director. Neil wasn't even alone on directing the first Last of Us, that was just the second game. I'm also in direct opposition to the way the culture 'buries' TLoU, but meh that's splitting hairs, and it's certainly the part you say you find most interesting about the game.
I do want to add that I'm a little interested on your opinions on Kubrick though, if you're very against Neil hugely fine-tuning and focus-testing his works to the last shred while giving his workers shit to the point where both of them drove their workers to the point of harming themselves (an interesting crunch similarity. Ftr I disapprove of both, but to say either is 'soulless' is hm. Also, I am not saying Neil is the Kubrick of gaming god no not even close but this comparison is totally valid). Also I wouldn't say that Neil doesn't emulate film but I will say he has complete tact and understanding in using film language in the medium of games, which I would say is done well here. Either way, I'm not in huge disagreement and I understand your point better, and I retract my animosity whoops.
i know it's just the name of the publication but the phrase "writing on behalf of empire" is so funny to me

3 years ago

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2 years ago

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4 months ago

"Big Video Games would probably frown on the citizen kane of video games, similarly to how orson welles legacy was attacked and dismantled by hollywoods vanguard again and again, and again and again and again"

Reading this in 2024, it reminds me of all the criticism towards Elden Ring and Baldur's Gate 3 from many developpers of big companies. I wasn't following the news much before so I don't know if this was a common thing in the past.