The Sunday Papers is our weekly roundup of great writing about (mostly) videogames from across the web.
Sundays are for curling up like a shrimp in your chair while browsing good posture practices. Let’s sit upright together and read the week’s best writing about videogames.
For Inverse, Diego Arguello had a natter with IO Interactive about Hitman 3’s mission set in Argentina. I’m a sucker for insights into how they create these intricate levels, and this is well worth a glance if you’re interested too.
They also had insider help, thanks to associate producer Pablo Prada. ”I am from Argentina, and I remember discussing with Martin about our experiences in the country, preparing a playlist for him with popular tangos, and also giving references to the environment artists of landscapes and type of construction for the region,” Prada explains.
For Eurogamer, Dan Whitehead revisited Under the Skin, Capcom’s forgotten arcade stealth game, now that Hitman’s doing the rounds. I thought I was the only person on the planet who’d played this, so I was shocked to hear there were others. It’s an interesting look at how this bonkers game bares somewhat of a resemblance to Ian Hitman’s murdery travels.
Under the Skin casts you as Cosmi, a young alien from Planet Mischief, a world that is predictably based around hijinks, tomfoolery and slapstick gags. Every young inhabitant must prove their worth by undertaking a series on trials on Earth, and it’s here that you step in. Stranded on Earth after crashing his spaceship into a TV news satellite, alerting the humans to his presence in the process, Cosmi must demonstrate his pranking prowess by catching out as many homosapiens as possible within a strict time limit.
Another one for Eurogamer, this time by Luke Kemp who plays his way closer to nature. I must give Robert Macfarlane’s Underland a read sometime.
It is, above all, a book about how we shape the world physically, and how the world moulds us back mentally and spiritually. Although I was thrown into this incredible experience in a way that no book has managed for many years, something at the back of my mind was clearly taking notes all the while. Halfway through one of thousands of Underland paragraphs, Paper Beast leapt into the fray.
At Defector, Patrick Redford wrote about convoluted cheating scandals in virtual cycling game Zwift.
Zwift is an online game and social hub where cyclists hook their bikes up to smart trainers and race against each other. Riders must use trainers with power meters to measure their true energy output over the course of a race, and Zwift displays everyone’s avatars jostling next to each other like it’s a real race. If this sounds like a reskinned Mario Kart with an actual bike as a controller, well, even riders at the first-ever world championships could use temporary powerups. The first Zwift cheating scandal on my radar involved a potentially wonky path to obtaining a rare in-game item.
Nate forwarded me An Oral History of The Emperor’s New Groove. Written up by Bilge Ebiri for Vulture, this story is wild.
Anderson: I believe it was the wrap party that was the first time I saw [the finished film]. It was a little bit of, “Oh, we made that.” It’s like a Looney Tunes cartoon more than a Disney cartoon in some respects. And even now when I’m flipping channels or something, and I see it on, I can’t believe it. I remember finding it on TV, the scene of Yzma in Pacha’s village, where she bursts out of the closet and she gets tarred and feathered as she’s going down the hill and then becomes a piñata at the end. I was like, I can’t believe we got away with that. Somebody said they heard the leadership of the studio say, “We’ll never make that kind of movie again.”
Music this week is Ben Howard’s What A Day. I’ve always been a big fan of his, and he’s only recently popped out of nowhere with new material. The title of this track was my reaction to the news.
I enjoyed this article by Ali Morris, who gives us a look at a series of train station interiors based on forms and patterns in nature. My favourite is the design for Jincheng Avenue Station, it’s very pleasant on the eyes.
Okay, I’m off. Have a great weekend all.