Take a load off. Soak it in.
“A vibrant wasteland, a sparkling new way to experience a dull old formula.”
Lovers Rock, one of the films in Steve McQueen’s brilliant new “Small Axe” anthology about the UK’s West Indian community from the 1960s through the 1980s, is full of a palpable and irresistible energy.
“Bury my mother, pale and slight, bury my father, eyes shut tight! Bury my sisters, two by two, and then when you’re done, let’s bury me too!”
Sharing credit shouldn’t feel like sacrificing your reputation or taking away from what you have accomplished, especially when you are sharing it with someone close to you.
Yussef reflects on what loving the peculiarly bristly and uncompromising style of the Souls series says about him.
Animal Crossing’s villagers are carefully calibrated to fall somewhere between comforting, digital companion and glorified gashapon capsule.
Why not have a game that recognizes that in order to have that perfect garden world, that communal utopia, you must endlessly fight and sacrifice for it?
In Death Stranding, players get a chance to parent less a child than the idea of one.
Mobius Digital’s Outer Wilds rebels against the shortcomings of traditional perspective.
Like most Star Wars IP, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order isn’t interested in shaking the status quo of its narrative universe.
In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, tea is a pleasant diversion that holds a deeper meaning.
Mutazione owes its narrative to those who now survive in spite of colonialism and it’s world-ending tendencies.
Yussef sees a reflection of his own relationship with games in others’ deep dives into the minutia of their mythology.
Twenty years later, what’s it like to watch the anime that made you stop watching anime?
One very good boy navigates newfound sovereignty in the upcoming indie game Home Free.
Repeated failed attempts in Sekiro have wide-reaching consequences, but does the player’s persistence leave permanent scars?
Why developers continue to make post-apocalyptic games is well studied. Yussef Cole instead examines why players like himself love returning to their ruined worlds.
With Art Sqool, Yussef deals with his academic FOMO.
In both Bloodborne and The Favourite, wanton avarice rots leaders from within, spreading like a plague to their surroundings.
There is only so much compartmentalization you can do in separating a game from its production process and the worldview it espouses before you, as a writer, become morally compromised.
Paper-thin characterizations and women stripped of their power? Yep, sounds like a Cage game.
Unlike the anonymous nastiness of online competition, “couch co-op” games like Overcooked engender a different, more personal form of stress.
An arena’s gravitas and a bit of Blizzard showmanship make OWL feel like a real sporting event
Cyberpunk stories don’t generally want, or need, to change society. It seems, rather, that they’re perfectly content partying in the rubble.
While much of Destiny 2’s narrative is delivered to the player in bombastic cutscenes, its strongest storytelling can be found in the game’s margins, through the quieter mutterings and conversations of its non-playable characters.
Yussef Cole explores the complex relationship between Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Egypt and blackness.
Mass Effect makes us question our preconceived notions about artificial intelligence.
Titanfall 2, Edge of Tomorrow and the detachment of war as entertainment.
It is uniquely difficult coming to terms with your own identity when parts of your family, whether through language, distance or culture, feel like strangers.
Playing PaRappa now, I feel nostalgic about not only its mechanics and aesthetics but also its place in the long, weird journey I’ve taken with coming to terms with hip-hop and its implications for my own identity.
Assassin’s Creed Origins is too quick to dispose of women of color antagonists who deserved a chance at redemption.
There’s a responsibility that comes with using the art, language and symbolism of another culture.
I see a game that’s haunted by ghosts; the specter of black culture, appropriated first by the minstrel set then by the Fleischers, Disney and others.