Ed Smith

Guns and Games

Video Game Guns Don't Need to Be "Fun" to Be Interesting

What if video game guns were allowed to be tragic or frightening instead of just empowering?
Reid McCarter
Astrid Budgor
Ed Smith
On The Level

Everyone's Talking About Crash Bandicoot, But What About Spyro the Dragon?

The first level of 'Spyro' set the tone for a friendlier 3D platformer.
Ed Smith
rock band

‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ Was a Revolution for Gaming Fantasies

Seeing the very real history of the world’s biggest pop band was a greater trip than journeying through any magical realm.
Ed Smith
On The Level

'Grand Theft Auto III' Was Special Because It Was Mundane

The purposefully dull environment of ‘GTA III’ was wonderfully unlike anything that’d come before it.
Ed Smith
Far Cry 5

'Far Cry 5' Needs to Confront Montana's History of Violence and Greed

There’s a great opportunity here for Ubisoft to use the state as an allegory as much as a playground.
Ed Smith

Hollywood's Most Famous Alien Was Never Scarier Than in 'Isolation'

As ‘Alien: Covenant’ explains more about these monsters’ origins, it’s left to video games to capture their frightening unpredictability.
Ed Smith
Call of Duty

‘Call of Duty: WWII’ Gives War Games the Opportunity to Be Factual Again

By returning to World War II, CoD has the chance to educate and entertain—and perhaps influence the next wave of conflict-set shooters.
Ed Smith
Grand Theft Auto

‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ Shows the Importance of Outsider Perspective

The series’ satirical slant on America is most relatable when seen through the eyes of a newcomer.
Ed Smith
Nier Automata

In Praise of the Graceful Camera Choreography of ‘Nier: Automata’

It’s unafraid to shift perspective even at the cost of players' sense of clarity. And yes, this is a good thing.
Ed Smith
indie games

An Account of Uncommon Darkness: 'Lone Survivor' on Its Fifth Anniversary

Jasper Byrne’s survival horror remains a singular descent into discomfort. We speak to the solo developer.
Ed Smith
On The Level

Celebrating the Uncommon Economy of Kalinatek, from the Original ‘Splinter Cell’

Doing a great deal with very little, the 2002 game’s fifth mission flips and streamlines its prior dynamic to great effect.
Ed Smith
Stories Untold

'Stories Untold' Is an Expression of Anti-Nostalgia

No Code’s game bears visions of the past, but the more you seek comfort in its familiar aesthetics, the more sinister it becomes. We speak to its maker, Jon McKellan.
Ed Smith