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Ethos and Riddles talk about video games...
            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Best Atmospheric Exerience 2010 – Lameish

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Heavy Rain

Every time I sat down to play this game, I walked away craving a stiff drink, a cigarette, and even the most remote sign that my actions had any consequence against the crippling omnipotence of a human propensity for the rape of innocence. No HUD, no score counter, just you and the most claustrophobic urban wasteland imaginable, where the broken make their homes and the naked hide from light. You’ve failed as a father and a man, allowing your life and the life of your one surviving son to sink in to disrepair, until he is stolen out from under your crippled hands, taken to a place that, in all likelihood, is better than the rickety tin-roof you’ve managed to raise over your head. The nights are black and the days are gray and the rain floats the sewage out in to the streets and its all you can do to bend to your antagonist’s will in the desperate hope that you might return your son to the bleak life you’ve carved out for him. Hookers, trench coats, and typewriters all decorate the walls of this grizzly jouer-noir. I’d sign a petition to get a surgeon general’s warning put on the box and little travel pack of Prozac placed inside. Gold star.

Runner Up: Mass Effect 2

Every planet, space station, and starship bears its own individual architecture, customs, and practices. Where other games struggle to assemble an effective atmosphere, Mass Effect 2 pulls off dozens. Just another brilliant example of the level of detail and creativity that went in to this game’s construction. Unfortunately, it suffered from being a jack of all atmospheres, master of none. In fairness, its hard to compete with a game that makes you take a serious look at dropping your un-paid, part-time videogame journalism gig to work the homicide beat.

-Lameish