I jiggled my keys, struggling with the sliding door on the front of my house. It’s never opened easily since an earthquake set its rails every so slightly askew. I like it that way, though. I don’t know why, though I ponder the possible reasons every time I come home. Today is like most others, until…
My friends and relatives are waiting for me, with a cake and presents. “You remembered my birthday?” I ask all of them and none of them.
My uncle Norm informs me, “Well that’s a happy coincidence, but no, we just found out Cliff Bleszinski has retired from the game industry! We knew that since you’re a smart person, you’d want to celebrate, so here we are!”
Flattered, I begin, “Aw guys, you don’t need to keep bringing up my genius-level IQ. I mean those tests are…” but my speech is cut short when I read the news on the screen of an open laptop that someone gleefully shoves in my face.
I wish I could share the enthusiasm of this party’s attendees. They’re celebrating fake news. I know that this retirement if fake. And these are the people closest to me, who know how incredibly smart I am. If I reveal the secret here, it will ruin the mood. One might even say that the cake, as the saying goes, is a lie. The ice cream tastes like despair and each conversation carries all the joy of having your head shoved into wet sand and held there as the tide rolls in.
We enjoy our party, but as soon as the last guest is outside of my faulty sliding door, the depression takes over. It took very little of my genius power to deduce that the man the game industry calls “Cliffy B” was just scoring a few attention points, as he is wont to do. I read all over the internet the reactions of people who thought this was real. Fools, every single one, but then again, that has always been Cliffy’s audience.
The universe, however, loves bitter irony. A portion of Cliffy’s audience is also my own audience, and I therefore have to cover every single thing he does, or we lose readership. So, here I go, give you want you want, you damn internet. You did this to me. You did this. And I hate you.
Clifford has posted a new image from his upcoming game project.
My first thought was how similar it looked to The Road, and then, of course, since it’s a video game, The Last of Us comparisons arose. I suppose the kid in this game will get a rocket launcher at some point? Maybe it’s too early to tell.
We all wanted to protect Clementine in The Walking Dead. The Last of Us showed a bond between Joel and Ellie that is likely to score it some Game of the Year awards. And now we’ve got this. Judging by the success of the aforementioned titles and the game industry’s habit of attempting to succeed via blatant copycat design, you can expect this theme to show up more and more often in the next decade or so. Old(er) guardians taking care of comparatively helpless young companions is quickly displacing zombies as developers’ favorite thing in video games. Instead of asking “Yeah, but does it have online multiplayer?” publishers will be asking, “Yeah, but does it have online multiplayer, and a kid to protect in the single player mode?”
Pre-emptive warning: don’t buy games just because they have a kid to protect. Relax. See if they’re really something you want to play, something that looks well made first. And don’t click stories here or anywhere just because Cliffy is beating a drum and releasing vague non-news in search of attention.
You did this to me. You did this. And I hate you.