Welcome to SPOnG’s newest columnist Gordon Rennie.
Gordon is an award-winning comics writer and BAFTA-nominated games writer. He writes Judge Dredd
, among other things, for 2000 AD
. Forthcoming games work includes The Club
for Bizarre Creations, Aliens vs Predator
for Rebellion, Highlander
for Eidos and APB for Realtime
Worlds. He’s also working on several… unannounced projects.
And now Gordon’s also going to be contributing words to SPOnG. So, before we get into that – here’s a quick games-tester for you to get to know Mr Rennie:
What are your favourite games of the last year or two? And why?
Gordon Rennie: Bioshock
: for showing what you can do if you put a little - well, okay, probably a lot - of effort into doing something different with the FPS format and game story in general.
Playing it through a second or even third time reveals so many little clues and incidental side-plot details that you probably missed the first time, and Rapture's got to be one of the most original game settings we've seen in a long time. The Fort Frolic level genuinely creeped me out in places.
: It's Scottish, it's independent and it's great fun leaping from tall building to tall building while gunning down roofloads of criminal scum, or picking up a car full of screaming civilians and throwing it at someone. It looked great, capturing just that right feel of comic book art and super-powered mayhem, and it showed that games featuring large muscle-bound men with huge guns don't have to be a grim, serious and growly-voiced. Yes, Gears of War
, I'm looking at you. Lighten up a little, for God's sake. Your story was a lot of bobbins but you did manage the difficult trick of creating a main character who was actually duller than the Master Chief, who - unlike your guy - doesn't even have a name or a face.
Resident Evil 4
: Aaaaiiieee! Zombies! And giant underwater beasties! And big Lord of the Rings
escapee troll things! And those creepy parasite things! And, best of all, none of that boring Umbrella Corporation stuff. I mean, 'the Umbrella Corporation'? Is that actually supposed to sound ominous and scary?
What are your top three favourite games of all time? Any particular memories they evoke?
Gordon Rennie: Speedball 2
: Drunken nights round at friends' houses, seeing who could get the highest number of opposition players carried off maimed and possibly crippled for life. You can't do that in Pro-Evo
, can you? More's the pity… The news that Speedball's back again
makes my hear sing with joy.
: Ah, Lara. I've drowned you, poisoned you, dropped you into lava pits and spike traps, set you on fire, crushed you beneath giant rolling boulders and caused you to be eaten by lions, tigers, bears and the occasional passing T-Rex, and yet we're still together, after all these years. Not even Angel of Darkness
could drive us apart. Although that last one was a close-run thing.
Grand Theft Auto
: I've got a university degree. I'm a responsible parent and pillar of the community. I'm old enough to remember those cheesy 1980s rock ballads and synth-pop songs on the Vice City
soundtrack from the first time around. I should know that driving an Infernus at breakneck speed along pedestrian-filled sidewalks while being pursued by the FBI and every cop in the world, and with a million dollars in drug money and the body of a dead police Informant in the boot, is neither big nor clever. I should know that, but I don't.
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC or Nintendo Wii? Any preferences, and if so can you say why?
As you'll maybe guess from my pick of my favourite recent games, I'm pretty much an X-Box boy, but it wasn't always so. I was a disciple of Sony all the way through the PS1 and PS2 years, but lapsed from the faith with next-gen. The reasons for this are complex and varied, but can best be summed up as....FIVE HUNDRED QUID FOR A GAMES CONSOLE? ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE!!!???
We've got a Wii too, but the severe lack of decent shooty-shooty death-kill games for it pretty much limits my participation to getting the pants beat off me at Wii Sports Bowling
courtesy of my son.
Plus, of course, Super Mario's just got one of those faces that you wouldn't get tired of kicking.