To Good Games And More Good Video Game Websites

To Good Games And More Good Video Game Websites

Hi Kotaku Australia readers! Jeremy here, one-half of, a different website that also covers video games! I’ve been told it’s December, and even though I have no memory of May through August, I have been kindly invited to share my 2023 List of Things! All of the things on this list are good, so I would recommend them all to you: the girl reading this.

Alan Wake II

Oh boy, this is one of those “Wow I can’t believe this exists” kinds of games. Breaking down the walls of video games and pushing the medium forward, Alan Wake II works on many levels. It’s not just a killer psychological and supernatural horror game, it’s a gripping detective story, a white-knuckle survival game, and a cinematic masterpiece. Remedy has mastered blending live-action scenes through its gameplay and, somehow, lands the trick of making the live-action scenes feel more uncanny than its deeply surreal in-engine set pieces. 

On top of that, in a sick and twisted way, it’s also really funny? It has this wicked sense of humour, like certain John Carpenter or David Lynch films. It’s almost as if the game knows how you’re reacting to it so it can get that knife just a little bit deeper between the ribs. It’s nothing short of genius.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Much like Alan Wake II, Baldur’s Gate 3 is also a very special game, but in maybe the complete opposite way. Baldur’s Gate 3 manages to execute on every single thing it attempts, seemingly perfectly. It’s more than just an interesting narrative, with some of the best party dynamics moments in all of RPGs — it demands the player interact, push, and break every single system it has to offer. In the hands of a lesser team, this is a recipe for disaster, but not Larian. Like any good Dungeon Master, Larian Studios has catered for what feels like every outcome, with aplomb.

I’ve never experienced a game that encourages me to play in its sandbox more than Baldur’s Gate 3. It is truly a feat of design that celebrates player agency and creativity, and it’s the first video game that completely nails the DnD feeling of ‘Rolling a Nat20 just after suggesting the most stupid and ridiculous thing in the world.’



The most common way I pitch Gubbins is by describing it as a very funny word game for very naughty adults and kids. I encourage you to play it too, you naughty adult.

Playing it every day on the train to work, the rest of my Gubbins thoughts will now be provided to you by some of my Gubbins postcards I’ve made.

Image: Jeremy Bratetich, Studio Folly, Kotaku Australia
Image: Jeremy Bratetich, Studio Folly, Kotaku Australia
Image: Jeremy Bratetich, Studio Folly, Kotaku Australia
Image: Jeremy Bratetich, Studio Folly, Kotaku Australia
Image: Jeremy Bratetich, Studio Folly, Kotaku Australia

Oh, it looks like some Resident Evil thoughts leaked into the Gubbins section.

Resident Evil 4 Remake

You know those moments when you realise you’re playing one of ‘the greats’? Resident Evil 4 is one of ‘the greats’. RE4 Remake is exciting, rambunctious, and terrific. There’s a moment when our twunk protagonist, Leon, walks up to a barn wall, and two chainsaws poke through at him, trying to chop him up. Instead of taking a step back like a normal person, he leaps at the wall, backflips, and lands two feet backward. It’s over the top, sexy, gritty, and a blast all the way through. Banger of a game.

The MIGW→ PAXAus → SXSW Triathlon or as I like to call it ‘Australian International Games Month’

Image: Jeremy Bratetich, MIGW, PAX Aus, SXSW Sydney, Kotaku Australia

Did you know that Games Media folks age three years for every convention they cover? It’s true, but doing the Big Three of Australian games events this year has been a highlight of my life. Some of the most wonderful and talented people in the industry have come together not just to show off the cool things that they made but to celebrate the cool things the person next to them made. If that’s not what it’s all about, then I don’t know what is.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of things that each event needs to improve on. From capacity to locations, and just general growing pains, there’s plenty to be made better every year. But, with the doubleheader of PAX and SXSW Sydney across two weeks, my heart has never been so full.

If you’ve never been, definitely make some time to head to some of the events in 2024. You might just meet the coolest people ever! 

Worker-owned Games Media Outlets

Image: Jeremy Bratetich, Remap Radio, Aftermath, Second Wind, Kotaku Australia

The irony is not lost on me that my first contribution to a ‘legacy’ games media outlet has me praising an alternate path for games media. However, that is because 2023 was the first time my faith in games media was properly shaken. Not in the writers themselves, but in the future of the industry as a whole. If you weren’t aware, an uncomfortable amount of games media sites this year either suffered massive layoffs or shut down entirely. This is largely due to greedy parent companies fuelled by venture capital, a problem that is rampant across the entire industry.

The site closure that hit me the hardest was Waypoint. You see, Waypoint is the reason I got into games media. The people who worked there were sharp, creative, and pushed unrelentingly for a better industry. Without really realising, I tried to base a lot of what I do on what they did, (even the original MiniMap colours were uncomfortably close to the Waypoint teal), and to see them get shut down by their parent company, Vice Media Group, was a massive blow.

Thankfully, sites like Remap Radio, Aftermath, and Second Wind managed to rise from the capitalism-induced ashes of some of the best writers in the industry and hopefully is the beginning of the era of worker-owned Games Media.

Lethal Company

A new challenger has entered! Lethal Company takes the award for “best comedy improv stage” of 2023 because this game is deeply funny in ways that are hard to comprehend without playing it. Four hours, a bottle of wine, and one sunset into my first time playing it rewarded me with the kind of laughter that had my sides hurt, my vision blurred, and the strong desire to be involved in the next funniest moment.

Lethal Company relies on irrational decisions and slapstick death, forcing the player to be the butt of the joke in ways only superseded in games made by From Soft. It’s a tremendous feat, and one that I hope finds continued success through to its full release next year.

And that’s it from me for 2023. It’s now time to rest, finally, while we all wait for ANDOR Season 2 to drop.

(Hi Mum!!)

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