Genius Loci

By Rob Dwiar

A grand tour of video game landscapes and gardens

Friday, 30 July 2021

Playing games for research, exploration, and book additions...

The dust has settled after Genius Loci’s blistering start to its crowdfunding journey, and I’ve been quite busy hustling in the background to try and help things along in other ways.

Sometimes this takes the form of endless note-taking and compiling just so I can record ideas, or collating real-world images from visits or dog walks here in the Somerset countryside that I can use for inspiration. But sometimes this, rather pleasingly, just means playing games. There are some I need and want to revisit to bolster their potential chapter in the book, but also some I need to hoover up, devour and explore to ensure I know them as well as I can from one play to be included in Genius Loci. Recently, I did this with Ghost of Tsushima, playing the PS4 version on PS5 and enjoying some new-generation hardware benefits in doing so (even though a bonafide PS5 version, in the form of Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut with enhanced visuals and features, was announced midway through my journey - thanks, Sony.)

And what a treat it was: developer Suckerpunch has recreated the island of Japanese island of Tsushima with incredible beauty, proficiency, and attention to detail. From peaceful Japanese gardens, to enormous rolling fields of Miscanthus grass, through to autumnal forests and beautiful riverscapes and vistas; the beauty of the landscape is often breathtaking - as you can see from some images I took below. I knew in advance the landscape would be a brilliant one, but perhaps not to the scale it really is once you start playing it: I ended up taking more screenshots on a first visit to a game than I ever have before! I’ve included a couple here to give a flavour of what the game had to offer. I can’t wait to delve deeper into this landscape and hopefully give it the analysis and celebration it deserves in a chapter in Genius Loci...


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Sarah Elkins
 Sarah Elkins says:


posted 3rd August 2021

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