Born from the blistering cold, barren fields of Michigan and erupting into an internationally recognised and critically acclaimed alternative powerhouse, Of Virtue will release their new album ‘Omen’ on September 29th, 2023, via Arising Empire.
We chatted to vocalist Tyler Ennis about all things gaming.
1. Hello Tyler. It’s a pleasure to pick your brains about gaming. So, let’s start off with an easy one. What is the appeal of gaming for you, personally?
Hello! Thank you for having me. Always love talking about video games! Video games for me are an escape. I enjoy them very much for that because they allow me to just relax even though I don’t relax haha.
2. For some it’s the early Atari days, others it’s the 8-bit/16-bit era of Nintendo and Sega, others it’s the dominance of Sony with the PS1, and others it’s the arrival of Microsoft in the console world. When someone says ‘gaming’ to you, what comes to mind?
Gaming to me is any game that allows you to escape the real world. No matter the system, no matter the game! It’s such a fun hobby and I will always be a gamer. I wish people would stop having this stigma that gaming is bad because it’s not! It’s no different than someone enjoying movies/tv shows/etc!
3. What game would you say defined your childhood?
Oh this is easy! Halo 2 & 3 occupied my childhood and it was the game that made me fall in love with other video games than just sports games! All I used to play was NBA, NFL, FIFA and NASCAR games so that was the first one that I can remember that brought me a ton of joy and made me fall in love with video games!
4. Did you end up picking a ‘side’ early on? Playing exclusively on one console over another and has that stuck over the years?
I used to play just Playstation growing up but then my Mom and Dad sat outside of a store for Christmas and got my brother and I a Nintendo Wii! After that we got a regular Xbox and then ever since I’ve just had all of the consoles because each system has their own games that you can’t play on others!
5. Do you have a genre preference? A certain time of game that always appeals over any other? If so, why?
I mainly just play Rocket League and Apex now but anytime sports come in season I’ll really spend my time playing those games (FIFA for the World Cup/ NBA 2K for NBA Playoffs/etc).
6. Likewise, how about the opposite? A certain time of game that you almost always avoid? If so, why?
I usually like to avoid games that stress me out whenever I am going through a tough time. I’ll play like RPG games (TLOU/RDR) when I just want to play a game and not have to focus too much and can enjoy the games for what they are!
7. What’s a game that you have lost countless hours to and why did you spend some much time with it?
Apex & Rocket League (honorable mention of PUBG). My lifestyle of being in a touring band means a lot of my friends that I’ve made over the years are in different cities, states and even countries and these 3 games have allowed me to stay in contact with my friends and get to enjoy video games as well!
8. Do you think the inclusion of achievements and trophies made gaming better or worse, and are you susceptible to the allure of achievement/trophy hunting?
I think it’s great having an extra thing for gamers to complete or compete for! Anyone that thinks its made video games worse are just haters IMO. Let people enjoy what they enjoy! If it doesn’t hurt you, then let it be!
9. What is an achievement or trophy that you’re really proud of having earned?
Hmmm, I don’t really play video games for achievements, but I will say for someone who is more of a casual gamer now that I’m touring again I’m not playing as much so when I hit Champ 2 in Rocket League and Diamond 4 in Apex, I was really proud of those accomplishments!
10. If you could wipe the memory of one game from your mind, so you could play it with fresh eyes and ears – what game would you chose?
I know I keep saying this but The Last Of Us or Red Dead Redemption are both games I would love to go back and play again for the first time. They’re both SO good and I think very complete games!
11. Gaming is art – what’s an example you would choose to prove that argument is valid?
The simple fact that games are created by people and very talented people at that. Gaming has become one of the most popular hobbies to date and it’s awesome to see others enjoy it for more than just a hobby though! Gaming is just as much art as music is and I’m glad more people are seeing it for that!
12. Do you have a favourite (or favourites) video game soundtrack? If so, what is it and why?
Halo by far but a more recent video game sound track that I have loved was The Last Of Us! I love the apocalyptic feel of the soundtrack but also it accompanies the video game so well. I listen to it sometimes just while I’m driving.
13. Do you enjoy the nostalgia side of gaming – remakes, reimagining’s, and re-releases of ‘classic’ hits? What’s a good example of that being done in the right way?
I haven’t gotten into it too much but Final Fantasy 7 Remake was done very well. I think it’s awesome that these games we loved back in the day are getting the modern graphics they deserve and keeping the same story that you fell in love with back in the day!
14. What was the last game to blow you away and why?
The Last Of Us! I finally finished it after starting it a long time ago. I hurt my shoulder and had surgery in February so I couldn’t move my arm much so I could only play games that were “chill” so I finally decided to put in the time to finish this game and man, WHAT A GAME! It’s one of the best.
15. Likewise, what was a game that was hyped to hell that ended up disappointing you and what was the issue for you?
Fallout 76 & Hogwarts Legacy. I was so excited for both of these games and I think they had so much hype and potential that they ended up being very disappointing. Fallout 4 was such a fun and good game that Fallout 76 just dropped the ball really hard. Hogwarts was a great game but they lost a lot of respect from not only me but from a lot of people because they didn’t put Quidditch in the original game. Very disappointed in that!
16. What’s your controversial game opinion?
I think the whole DLC has truly ruined a lot of video games for me because these companies are releasing games that aren’t finished or they’ll just do add ons and make you pay for it but it should just be free. Like FIFA is a game I love and whenever the World Cup or Euro tournaments come around, you can do a DLC for free which is how it should be. That I think is the only solution!
17. If you could change one thing about the gaming industry that would benefit all, what would you change?
I think this goes for ANY industry… listen to your fanbase or playerbase about feedback. I love Apex Legends, but I fell out of love with it because it felt like they weren’t listening to their player base enough to make those positive changes needed to keep everyone around. Same goes for COD, I know a lot of people stopped playing it because they made changes that weren’t received well. It’s pretty frustrating cause these are the people buying your games and stuff and they still aren’t being heard.
18. What’s a game that nobody has heard of, that everyone should play, in your opinion?
I honestly have only played games that people know so I don’t think I can answer this one!
19. Are there any upcoming releases that you’re excited to play?
Spiderman 2, Starfall (I know it’s out now but I can’t wait to play that)! I really am excited for these because Spiderman was such a great game and I know the second one is going to be amazing! As for Starfall, I am excited to be able to explore the various worlds and universes! Like how can you get any better than that??
20. Three of the best games ever made are?
The Last Of Us
Red Dead Redemption