05/07/2021

๐Ÿ“– From Gamers Magazine | Issue 1 | Review ๐Ÿ“– @FromGamersMag

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As a gamer of a certain age, print magazines formed an important part of growing up for me. From Zzap! 64 and Crash to Nintendo Power and Mean Machines Sega, there weren't many months that I didn't buy (or get my mum to buy) a new mag to read about the vast universe of games I couldn't afford.

So the new trend of print magazines launching via Kickstarter is a welcome one.  I've backed a few myself and it's always great to get an A4 envelope full of gold through the door. From Gamers Magazine  hit its fundraising target in March and is now being delivered to backers. 

Structurally it's got everything you would expect: a mix of reviews, previews and features from a large number of contributors. There are also a couple of interviews with devs, and some of the concept artists from The Last of Us 2. The magazine runs to 50-odd pages, and for $20 for print copies of the first and second issues that's pretty decent value. But what about the content?

The magazine opens with an opinion piece about gaming becoming a sort of 'cinematic universe', with some developers launching smaller titles within a franchise rather than fully-fledged sequels or new games, such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the PS5 launch title, as well as harking back to Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. It's a good feature that provokes thought, but a bit of tighter editing would have improved the flow. The word 'tentpole', in the context of an important release title, crops up three times, which is a bit jarring.
Next up is a feature about franchises the writer would like to see return, which is always welcome. The danger of these types of features lies in writers picking the usual suspects - Burnout is in here for example (although I totally agree with the sentiment) - but it was nice to see comparatively obscure games being picked out like Advent Rising and Alpha Protocol.

The cover story is a nice preview of Deathloop, coming soon from Arkane Studios, and interweaves the preview with a look back at Arkane's previous work, including the Dishonored games, which works well stylistically. There's a look at the Far Cry series ahead of the sixth instalment, coming soon, although I couldn't help but feel there was scope to go even deeper into the series. The reviews span games across multiple systems, from the Destiny-aping Outriders (Xbox/PS5/Steam) to the Switch-exclusive Monster Hunter Rise, so there's something for most gamers.

Of course, the acid test for a magazine like this is - having read it, would I have backed it? And yes, I think From Gamers is worth a look. It's not perfect, but with a good range of content from a number of contributors and some thought-provoking features, I'll be looking out for issue 2.

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