Kenneth on Games: Tracking in “Salt and Sanctuary”

It’s hard to hear anything about Salt and Sanctuary without the inevitable comparison to Dark Souls. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. People love Soulsian design and want to see more of it, but that makes it hard to appreciate SaS for what it is rather than what it mimics. The first major difference is that SaS is a 2D sidescrolling platformer whereas Dark Souls is in 3D, and it’s truly impressive how SaS managed to retain so much of the Soulsian feel despite the perspective shift. But I think that one major aspect of Soulsian combat is tracking, and it got a little bit lost in translation.

WARNING: Boss spoilers for both Dark Souls 3 and Salt and Sanctuary.

Kenneth on Games: Horizontal Scaling in “Offworld Trading Company”

I’m going to confess that I’m a little bit scared of RTS games. They’re always so difficult to get into and you have to memorize so many build paths and then you just get killed by a strategy you didn’t know was possible. If only there was an RTS that was about reactions and decision making, rather than memorization. Luckily, Soren Johnson has been thinking about this problem too, and the result is Offworld Trading Company. This game takes heavy advantage of horizontal scaling to simultaneously ease the learning curve and encourage reactive strategies at the same time.

Kenneth on Games: Recoil in “Overwatch”

The Overwatch open beta was last weekend, so by now there are plenty of first-hand experiences floating around. A lot of people talk about how Overwatch isn’t really a shooter, and they’re partially right. But I would say that it’s still a shooter, just not a modern-styled one. FPS games have changed in many subtle ways over the years, and nowadays there’s a certain feeling that players have just started taking for granted in a shooter. When you play a game like Overwatch and those little pieces are gone, it can be a little jarring. There are plenty of things in that vein that are ripe for discussion, but here, I want to talk about recoil.