THERES NO GOD BUT CONCRETE

Welcome to my indifferent place,
I'm a lover of brutalism.

This is a list of my favorite brutalist media (mostly games, but possibly books, films etc.). Don't worry, I'll keep it spoiler-free.

But firstly, what is brutalism?

'New Brutalism' [...] has an etymological proximity with béton brut – raw concrete. [It refers to] poured concrete buildings with imprinted board forms [and] offers a neat aesthetic justification for cheap no-frills modernism [...] in which things like pipes and air circulation ducts can be left exposed and the cost of installing ceilings can be avoided.

From "The Modern Urban Landscape" by E. C. Relph
Painting by Wenceslao Robles

BLAME!

Type: manga - Date: 1998

You can't talk about brutalism without mentioning the work of Tsutomu Nihei.

In his cyberpunk manga BLAME! you follow Killy through an infinite brutal construct. Endless corridors and concrete buildings shape the eternal landscapes of this work.

buy online

MIRROR'S EDGE

Type: game - Date: 2008

If you haven't played this timeless classic yet, now is the time.

The architecture in this game serves a specific purpose: parkour.

play on steam under 10€

kairo

Type: game - Date: 2013

I'll be honest, I don't know what kairo is. I never finished it.

The puzzles in this world seem to fade into the background and the atmosphere is the protagonist (if that makes any sense).

play on steam under 5€

NAISSANCEE

Type: game - Date: 2014

When you see this infinite architecture, do you feel like you want to discover it first-hand? You can!

Inspired by BLAME!, the french Indie developer Limasse Five created NaissanceE.

play on steam FREE

The Beginner's Guide

Type: game - Date: 2015

Source Engine is good at making blocky hallways, right?

The Beginner's Guide is an insight into the often abstract levels of an indie game level designer: Coda.

Davey Wreden frequently utilizes brutalist architecture for oppressive atmospheres to support his narrative.

play on steam under 10€

NORTH

Type: game - Date: 2016

Where NaissanceE is nasty, NORTH is aggressively hostile.

I do not recommend anyone to play it, yet I think it's a piece of art. You are the stranger in this weird alienating bureaucracy.

play on steam under 5€

FUGUE IN VOID

Type: game - Date: 2018

Indie game artist Moshe Linke challenges the term "video game" with this one.

When I played it, I imagined this solid architecture is trying to communicate with me. It's a strange artistic experience, a little weirder than your usual game but that's to be expected.

play on steam under 5€

CONTROL

Type: game - Date: 2019

Control is weird. Not so weird that I can't be mainstream but it is weird.

The idea seems inspired by House of Leaves: An old(est) House that keeps changing. New layouts, new hallways. And most importantly, Control is built on concrete. Partially destructive. Partially with real-time raytracing reflections. A true eyecandy.

play on epic

MANIFOLD GARDEN

Type: game - Date: 2019

"A tangle of fields and dimension. The height of time, the width of space."
-and then we'll be okay, short story by exurb1a

Gravity, as you know it, is forgotten when you play this game. Infinities will be understood. You will be send to sleep with Escher-esque geometry in your dreams.

play on steam


Oh, you made it to the bottom! Gratulations :)
I will add more stuff. But don't be shy and tell me what's missing in this list: jakob[at]bambusource[dot]de

Last update 14.2.2020.

credits:
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