Almost all stories are lies. Even the true ones are made unreal and larger than life in the telling. Whether it’s in the performance or the way events are structured in the telling, they’re never exactly what happened. Storytellers, it follows, are professional liars. This was understood as far back as the days of Ancient Greece, where actors were treated with the same disdain as we rightly treat real-estate agents today. Every day out in the theatre, they sold something less than nothing: a lie, and expected to get paid for it. Ludicrous!

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a…

Welcome to A COG in My Machine, a retrospective series where I take a look back at Gears of War in its entirety and try to place it within the timeline of mass culture and the medium. This is the last one (for now).

2016 feels like a fucking millennia ago doesn’t it? Back when Gears of War 4 introduced itself to us we thought Hilary was going to be president; Vine wasn’t dead; and I was still failing to get an education. Nothing was the same after 2016, videogames included. Gears 4 was already an anachronism. It was 5…

Welcome to A COG in My Machine, a retrospective series where I take a look back at Gears of War in its entirety and try to place it within the timeline of mass culture and the medium. The quarantine is only making these better.

I’m not the sort of person who wants new things for the sake of them being new. Depending on which day you ask I wax and wane between ‘I guess a bit of variety couldn’t hurt’ and Radiohead’s No Surprises but hold the irony. This is to say that I didn’t have a problem with Gears…

Welcome to A COG in My Machine, a retrospective series where I take a look back at Gears of War in its entirety and try to place it within the timeline of mass culture and the medium. No, I don’t have anything better to do.

Is a man not entitled to the heat of his take? I rarely have opinions that would raise eyebrows or dislodge monocles but I’m pretty sure nobody else thinks Gears of War: Judgment is the Best One. It’s a righteous and correct position, and I’ll take it with me to the grave.

I hadn’t played…

Welcome to A COG in My Machine, a retrospective series where I take a weekly look back at Gears of War in its entirety and try to place it within the timeline of mass culture and the medium. Yes, I do have a job.

In Gears of War 3, Marcus Fenix uses the word “unanimously”. If you had told me that in September ’08 during the credit roll for Gears 2, I would have said you were full of shit. At the time of writing, we’re almost 8 years to the day since Gears of War 3 emerged into a…

Welcome to A COG in My Machine, a retrospective series where I take a weekly look back at Gears of War in its entirety and try to place it within the timeline of mass culture and the medium. Yes, there are better uses of my time,

2008 exists in an in-between space that I’ve yet to process in my own memory. Sometimes you spend half a day at your desk or the hours before you fall asleep thinking about a year, or at least I do, but I constantly come up short for ’08. I know my cat died, I…

Having a bit of planned time off between jobs gives you a moment to ask the important questions about yourself. “Have I made the right choice?” “Will whatever I do next be any different?” and crucially, “What if I played all the Gears of War games because they’re on game pass and don’t intend to do anything productive during my week off?” The latter has been so all-consuming that I’ve decided to play each of the Gears of War games and write about them in a manner similar to Stereogum and the AV Club’s Tom Breihan, who’s style in columns…

Sunset Overdrive is the kind of game we don’t get anymore despite the fact that Fortnite, the biggest game in the world right now, bears more than a passing resemblance. It’s the kind of loud, brash game that you’d expect from a California studio filled with 30-something men, men who had just spent the last few years developing Fuse. Fuse was the result of their irreverent second-coming being ground into a dull grey paste by their publisher, EA. There’s even a side-quest where you face off against waves of corporate robots spouting focus-group jargon, as you violently refute arguments that…

Metal Gear Survive is logical conclusion to a Metal Gear saga which previously ended with fans digging through the code of Metal Gear Solid V to find all the content that was left on the cutting room floor. The legacy of Kojima Productions’ last Metal Gear game is one of compromise, imposed by a Konami less willing than ever to indulge the team’s ambitions, and whose pressure allegedly led to the game’s fragmented story. However, this was ultimately consistent with very themes the game would explore.

MGSV trapped us in a system where we began to view every tank, every…

There’s an incredible conversation in Ghost Recon Wildlands between your player character and Karen Bowman, the CIA agent posing as a charity worker in Wildlands’ coke-fueled, coke-obsessed vision of rural Bolivia:

Bowman: “Are you afraid the Socialists are going to get too big for their britches? You’re such a Cold War antique”
Player character: “Says the CIA spook in Latin America”

At first, this seems in character for Ghost Recon and the Tom Clancy brand in general. Clancy himself traded on quasi-realism for decades, using the uncertainty and paranoia of the late Cold War to animate his airport thrillers to…

Adam Page

Extremely smart and powerful.

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