Ed Smith, Paste Magazine

Ed Smith

Paste Magazine

United Kingdom

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Past articles by Edward:

5 Ways Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Reflects Brexit-Era Britain

This distinctly British game feels like a reflection of the climate that lead to Brexit. → Read More

The Cultural and Personal Legacy of Gone Home

The impact of Gone Home has spawned many imitators, as well as a creative revolution. → Read More

The Surge Is a Bland, Hypocritical Mess

The Surge is a contradiction, both condemning and condoning disparaging treatment of the working person. → Read More

Don't Be Fooled By Outlast 2

Outlast 2 represents the definitive failure of a certain strand of horror game. → Read More

‘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. → Read More

Game Developers Discuss 2016 and the Future of Games

An inside look at the state of videogames as we head into 2017 from those who work on them every day. → Read More

In praise of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's most unusual level

On the Level is a series that closely analyzes individual videogame sections, examining how small moments in games can resonate throughout—and beyond—the games themselves. /// Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare‘s (2007) writers understand brevity. Each loading screen provides a satellite image of the upcoming mission, accompanied by a terse overview. “Good news first,” explains SAS operative Gaz,… → Read More

Five Nights At Freddy's: Sister Location is a glorious return to cheap, nasty horror

One can only sympathize with Scott Cawthon. Once a struggling game-maker, he seems concerned that, just as unexpectedly as it arrived, his recent success might disappear. So he’s been working it while it’s hot—inside two years, he’s put out six different Five Nights at Freddy’s games. But 2, 3, and 4 were all poor. To keep his audience hooked, Cawthon introduced side characters, back stories,… → Read More

The Politics of 'BioShock Infinite' Are All the Worse When Revisited in a Heated Election Year

But while its narrative is politically pessimistic, Irrational's shooter was, and remains, very positive about video games as a form. → Read More

The Politics of 'BioShock Infinite' Are All the Worse When Revisited in a Heated Election Year

But while its narrative is politically pessimistic, Irrational's shooter was, and remains, very positive about video games as a form. → Read More

BioShock’s Jordan Thomas Discusses the Acclaimed Trilogy

An essential member of the teams behind 'BioShock' and its sequels, Thomas tells us about aiming for 'Aliens' but producing 'Pitch Black.' → Read More

The videogame that dared to question the War on Terror

If we can associate genres and aesthetics with film-makers (John Woo and action movies; Stanley Kubrick and deep focus) IO Interactive, especially in its prime between 2002 and 2007, was a game-maker defined by concerns about player agency. By constantly placing her in restrictive and alien environments, the Hitman series challenged the player’s typical experience of casual and unbridled… → Read More

The power of silence in Hitman: Blood Money

War games have consistently failed at making me feel like an invader. Their stories, almost always, involve Western troops on top secret missions behind enemy lines—myself and my AI squad mates are supposed to be interlopers, constantly vulnerable amid a foreign, hostile environment. And yet, we master our surroundings, and our enemies within them, entirely. On-screen objective markers tell us… → Read More

The inglorious nihilism of Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V (2013) is a confidence trick; Rockstar is a fraud. They tell people to distrust capitalism and suspect politics—the entire world, and all its peoples, are venal. In the same breath, they promise sanctuary. “Are you young? Are you angry? Are you an iconoclast, too? Then Rockstar and Grand Theft Auto are here for you,” they seem to say. But it’s a con. Rockstar embraces cynics… → Read More

‘The Magic Circle’ Explores the Dangers of a Life Lived Through Video Games

By examining an unfinished epic in development hell, this indie game exposes the human frailty at the heart of development and fandom. → Read More

Binary Domain and the importance of shooting robots

A third-person shooter in which you destroy thousands of robots using big guns and lots of bullets. That could be a description for both Binary Domain (2012) and Vanquish (2010). They’re both scien… → Read More

The triumph of despair in Life Is Strange

This article contains spoilers for Life Is Strange. There are several moments in Life Is Strange (2015) which, even now, weeks after finishing it, come into my head on a daily basis. First is the c… → Read More

‘Resident Evil,' 20 Years Later: Flawed, Formulaic, but Still a Fearsome Horror Original

Capcom's survival horror followed video gaming logic, but it also subverted expectations, keeping the player thinking anything could happen. → Read More

The desolate mansion of Resident Evil

Resident Evil, for PlayStation 1, is hilarious—it’s so funny. The voice acting is ridiculous, the plot is sensational and the live-action cutscenes look like they’ve come from a porn pa… → Read More

Speak Up, The Order: 1886

This article is part of a series called Shut Up, Videogames, in which critic Ed Smith invites games old and new to pipe down, or otherwise. In this edition, he looks at the genre defying third-pers… → Read More