The biggest game this week is undoubtedly Resident Evil 4, a remake/remaster of a classic that’s been thrilling fans of video games ever since that Edge cover which, to my memory at least, was so gnarly it had to be hidden inside a plastic bag. Am I wrong? Is my mind playing tricks? Possibly – and doesn’t that suit Resident Evil perfectly, and this magical game in particular?
A great game, like a great book or film, creates ripples through culture. This is why, as people often note, Avatar is such an oddity; all those sales, and nobody ever quotes a line or makes a reference to what goes down on Pandora. (It is Pandora, right?) Resident Evil 4 changed big budget games for a long time, with its over-the-shoulder camera and cinematic pacing, and those ripples have spread out into the world beyond all that, to be visible every time someone asks, “Whaddya buyin’?” or whenever someone drops a sick burn about bingo.
Games don’t come much bigger, I guess. But a few do. And that brings us to our actual of the week. Reviews have been appearing over the last few days for the new Tetris movie, which appears on Apple TV at the end of the month, I think, but which had a showing at SXSW recently. This is the story – rather fictionalised, it seems – of the battle over the rights to this strange, compulsive puzzle game that emerged from a computer lab in the Soviet Union. Maxwell wanted it. Various American companies wanted it. Numerous people thought they had secured the rights to it. And then Henk Rogers appears and the rest is Tetris history.