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Articles by James Leach

    The trouble with writing believable female videogame characters

    Comments 2
    at 03:14pm March 24 2014
    Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

    Female characters in videogames. Can’t think of any? If so, what is wrong with you? There are loads, and there have been for ages. That’s good, of course, and what’s better is that it seems we’ve all grown up and moved on from the arguments about demeaning stereotypes with inflated breasts. Now we all accept that…

    The trouble with hiring celebrity voice talent

    Comments 7
    at 02:00pm February 18 2014
    Liam Neeson

    A few years ago, I was forced to wear a dunce’s hat for being the very last person in the world to realise that the father in Fallout 3 was voiced by none other than Liam Neeson. This was not good because not only did the hat itch, but it spoiled the game a bit for…

    In praise of videogame weirdness, from Myst to Minecraft

    Comments 0
    at 12:00pm January 23 2014

    Remember the weird language used by the D’ni people in the Myst series? It was a thing of beauty, and added an interesting layer to the game. Those are not the main reasons why I liked it, though. What I really liked was knowing that the developers had bothered to create it, and had done…

    The importance of effective audio – and adding diverting nonsense into your games

    Comments 0
    at 04:00pm January 2 2014

    As I drift gently towards middle age, I often look back to a golden time when I was fondly nostalgic about things. And that’s what we’re starting with now. Way back in 2005, I worked on a game called The Movies for Lionhead. During its production, we came up with the idea for having a…

    Exploring player choice and Versu’s realistic, engrossing generated dialogue

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    at 04:28pm November 27 2013

    Life is, in essence, a series of quests. That’s what I’ve decided. There are big, rare ones, such as moving house or getting married. There are also smaller, more common ones, such as renewing your car tax online or going to the pub with Geoff, not because you like him, but because you want to…

    Story-led games should stop aping Hollywood and aim for something different

    Comments 0
    at 10:00am November 5 2013

    By the time you read this, GTAV will be out, and you’ll be raving about it to everyone in earshot. The acting, the realism, the immersive detail and the sheer scale of the thing will be keeping you awake at night, even if you’re not actually on the sofa playing it. The game is expected…

    Far Cry 3 and the never-ending story debate

    Comments 6
    at 04:00pm October 3 2013

    It was a desperate attempt to avoid the latest FPS army games, in which I know I’ll get sniped from 3,000m by an invisible eight-year-old savant with a nifty line in sexual insults. I went to my groaning game shelf (just below my Groening animations shelf) to pick an oldie-but-goodie shooter. Far Cry 3 fell…

    Assessments of character, from Mario to Kratos

    Comments 5
    at 12:34pm September 5 2013
    Assessments of character

    Games writer James Leach deconstructs a few of videogames’ most famous faces.

    The Cthulhu challenge: why hasn’t classic literature been a rich seam of game content?

    Comments 3
    at 07:00pm August 14 2013

    When Poe, Derleth and Lovecraft could chill people so effectively, we can’t make games that do the same, asks James Leach.

    Chilling by numbers: horror clichés for the youngish male

    Comments 0
    at 08:20pm July 30 2013
    James leach

    Writer James Leach considers the merits of Black Ops II’s Die Rise as a horror spectacle, why Silent Hill 2 got it right and some recurring horror tropes.

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