Tuesday, June 27, 2023


I found This is the Zodiac speaking browsing across discount games in a Playstation store sale. Didn´t know it existed before that. What called my attention was the use of the name of a real serial killer (The Zodiac murdered 5 people between 1968-69 and was never arrested). That is uncommon in videogames. Digging into it, it's a reconstruction of two of his real-life attacks, as part of the game´s main plot about a journalist obsessed with those crimes

What I found interesting is that there is an existing sub-genre for similar works in TV and movies. It´s called True crime, and it´s fairly popular (just some months ago Netflix ran Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer story with great results). But there are no similar products in videogames. Why?

Probably because in the VG industry we still have genres to discover, mostly those falling outside of the “family market”, which is the preferred environment for the big consoles (Playstation, Microsoft and definitively Nintendo). There are rarely any political games, no true crime or anything involving real people, and barely any erotism

I believe we play too safe in videogames. We tend to pivot around existing genres and rarely venture away from them. That´s why I found interesting This is the Zodiac speaking: They took a shot. It was made by a small group of Polish developers, and it´s plagued by small issues: Some obvious visual bugs that even affect gameplay, control issues (it was obviously developed for PC/mouse, it´s difficult to aim precisely with a console pad), some achievements could not be completed and the killer sections could use a better user experience

But still, they tried something new, and I value that. You definitively feel it´s unique, and that´s something that rarely happens nowadays. We need more of that

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