Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Star Wars: Squadrons Is Exactly the Kind of Game the Series Needs Now

It takes the few good impulses of Disney's TV expansion and combines them with the best kind of Star Wars worldbuilding there is.

The Top Stories That Shaped Video Games in 2020

There's a lot—good, bad, and everything in between—to look back on this year. I don't know about you, but I'm mostly feeling tired.

Are the PS5 and Xbox Series X Fated to Suffer the Same Hardware Problems as Their Predecessors?

If you've managed to get a new console, you might worry about a sudden failure blindsiding you. Here's what experts think about the longevity of the new machines so far.

Starting Screen | Now Is a Perfectly Good Time to Tackle Tough Subjects in Games Coverage

This terrible, historic year has also seen an uptick in interest around gaming. That's exactly when our best writers should follow their instincts.

Please Stop Calling Bugsnax a Horror Game

The hyperbole surrounding the story of Bugsnax is a bit much, don't you think?

Empire of Sin's Prohibition-Era Escapades Are All About Its People

Brenda Romero and her team are close to launching their take on 1920s Chicago, and it's shaping up to be full of storytelling potential.

Apex Legends' Design Director on Next-Gen Upgrades, the Switch, and Crunch at Respawn

Ahead of Season 7's launch, Respawn's Jason McCord also fills us in on Horizon, map design, and Respawn's new studio.

Tetris Effect: Connected Brings Some Competitive Edge Back to the Chillest Tetris

Enhance and Resonair are expanding upon Tetris Effect with new co-op and competitive modes, but the biggest draw might end up being a 1989 throwback.

Starting Screen | Facebook Just Can't Resist Meddling With Oculus

If Facebook wants to become a serious gaming fixture, the least it could do is not squander its VR credibility.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Almost Justifies the Augmented Reality Rat Race

Nintendo's experiments with AR and Toys-to-Life games don't pay off in full here, but there's still some fun to be had.

Nour's Creator Shares Its Recipe for Next-Gen Cuisine on PS5

We caught up with Tj Hughes to see what fresh surprises his playful food game has in store on PS5.

Airplane Mode Promises an Experience So Banal That It's Sublime

Developer Hosni Auji tells us about the sim for the frequent flier set.

The Master Chief Collection in 2020: Passion, Tech Debt, and the Heartbeat of Halo Fandom

With today's release of Halo 3: ODST for PC, USgamer sits down with 343's Michael Fahrny to talk about the always improving (but not-yet perfect) Halo compilation.

Nintendo Has Had a Strange Year Even by the Standards of 2020

As the pandemic wears on and next-gen consoles approach, the Switch's release schedule is one big question mark.

Weird West: Making an Immersive Sim From With a Distributed Team, and Without Chris Avellone

Former Arkane president Raphael Colantonio talks going indie, incorporating his band's music, and sheds light on how WolfEye is working on Weird West together, apart.

Super Mario Maker 2, One Year Later: Springy Highs and Bottomless Pits

With the help of some streamers, we take a moment to reassess Mario Maker 2's merits.

How Realistic Is the No Loading Screen Benchmark For PS5 and Xbox Series X? We Asked the Devs

Developers working on games for PS5 and Xbox Series X weigh in on what we can expect from those new solid-state hard drives.

Burnout Paradise on Switch Is Exactly What I Needed it to Be

Same collisions, smaller console.

Bugsnax: Behind Its Story, the PS5 Controller's "Big Difference," and That Catchy Song

Philip Tibitoski of Young Horses tells USG about working with the PS5, moving beyond Octodad, and teaming up with Kero Kero Bonito.

Why Ghostrunner Is Being Developed With Speedrunners in Mind

For developers One More Level, this first-person action game can only slow down so much.

How Surgeon Simulator 2 Is Trying to Be More Than a Medical Mayhem Machine

Bossa's building this sequel with co-op, puzzles, and user-created content in mind.

The Future of Destiny Looks More Interesting Without a Destiny 3

Destiny 2 may cycle through growth and pruning forever, though.

Why Pac-Man Still Delights Us 40 Years Later

Decades later, Pac-Man's thrill of the chase is still exhilarating.

How Documentaries Are Helping Preserve Gaming Culture We're at Risk of Losing

USgamer spoke with six filmmakers about their work and how it makes gaming history accessible to viewers.

Tabletop Simulator Isn't Perfect, but It's Keeping My Board Game Night Alive

Board game night has moved online. Could it ever be the new normal for my group of friends?

The Pandemic Could Be the End of Your Favorite Arcade

We talk to the arcade owners battling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disintegration's Single-Player Is a "Leap of Faith" for Former Bungie Director's New Studio

Marcus Lehto, co-creator of Halo, tells USG why single-player is vital for V1 Interactive's flagship title.

Meet the Teacher Who Turned Half-Life: Alyx Into a VR Classroom Amid the Coronavirus Lockdown

This 7th grade teacher, now stuck teaching online, has found a way to spice up his lesson plan with a trip to City 17.

How Doom 64's New "Lost Levels" Connect to Doom Eternal

In bringing the oft-overlooked N64 entry to new systems, Bethesda, id, and Nightdive have canonized its story.

Kosmokrats Looks Like the Puzzle Game That Space Communists Need Right Now

Workplace mishaps reach the one place that hasn't been corrupted by capitalism… space!

Mike Shapiro, Voice of the G-Man, Says the Next Game He's in Will Be Like Seeing an Old Friend Again

Shapiro chats with USgamer about the return of Half-Life and another "blast from the past" game project that's on the way.

Half-Life: Alyx Behind the Scenes, Part 2: "We're About to Pitch You This Ending, and You're Gonna Hate it"

We talked with Erik Wolpaw and Chris Remo about Jeff, some beloved Half-Life characters, and Alyx's shocking final scene.

The Best Half-Life: Alyx Streamers to Watch If You Can't Play It Yourself

If you don't have a VR-ready PC and a headset, one of these might be the right streamer or let's play series for you.

Half-Life: Alyx Behind the Scenes, Part 1: How Valve Found Its New Alyx

Writer Erik Wolpaw and designer Chris Remo on casting characters old and new, Campo Santo's influence, and more.

What To Read, Play, and Watch Before Playing Half-Life: Alyx

Writer Erik Wolpaw shares his syllabus (of sorts) for Half-Life: Alyx.

The Five Best Half-Life: Alyx Easter Eggs and Callbacks

Half-Life: Alyx doesn't go overboard with its nostalgia plays, but it has a few. These are the best of them.

Stay at Home, Play These Free Games, and Literally Save Lives

Whether made available because of the coronavirus pandemic or not, here are some free games you can enjoy in the coming days.

Nintendo PlayStation Grabbed Headlines, But Support for Preservation Remains "Dismal at Best"

We talk to game preservation experts about what's been preserved, what's been squirreled away, and what's already been lost.

Exclusive: Doom 64 Devs Reveal the Port Will Include a Brand New Chapter

We asked Nightdive Studios about what's new with Doom 64, and whether the Unmaker is a better weapon than the BFG9000.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Able Sisters Shop Sells More Clothing Than Ever Before

On top of sorely needed improvements for inclusivity's sake, New Horizons just gives you way more freedom in character customization.

For Black Mesa's Developers, the Reality of Launching After 15 Years Is Still Setting In

At PAX East 2020, we caught up with Black Mesa project lead Adam Engels less than a week before the official release of the long in-development Half-Life remake.

Fuser Isn't Harmonix's DJ Hero, and It Won't Need a Plastic Turntable Either

Harmonix's latest, and its first big release for the Switch, is both in-line with the studio's past and feels brand new.

The 8 Best Entries From Global Game Jam 2020: These Indies Want to Repair Our World

Meditations on the theme of "repair" with robots, relationships, and more.

From PS1 to PS5: A Brief History of the PlayStation Logo

The PS5's new logo isn't groundbreaking, but there's value in sticking to what works.

Mat Olson's Top 10 Games of 2019: 99 Geese Drop Into the FBC...

Hey! I'm pretty new here. These are some games I liked this year.

How a Dreams Creator Makes Mo-Cap and Pool Tables With Just Controllers, Tape, and String

Tyler "TannicAlloy" Whittaker's creations in Media Molecule's Dreams are like Labo but cooler—and he has advice for anyone who wants to follow his lead.

GTA Online Producer on Its New In-Game Arcade: "We Wanted to Look Back At Our Own Past"

We talk GTA Online's new games-within-a-game with Rockstar Games' online producer.

Why It's So Much Easier for Half-Life: Alyx to Just Show Hands

It all hinges on the elbows (sorry).

USgamer Holiday Gift Guide 2019: For the Music-Loving Gamer in Your Life

GIFT GUIDE | Perfect presents for music collectors, aspiring composers, and rhythm game fanatics.

Five Lingering Questions Half-Life: Alyx Needs to Answer

From the Half-Life story to the future of Valve and VR, there's a lot to cover.

Inside Neo Cab, the "Nowpunk" Noir Indie That Is One of 2019's Most Underrated Games

We speak with Chance Agency's Patrick Ewing about the twists and turns of the studio's "Nowpunk" noir.

Half-Life 2 Celebrates its 15th Anniversary Today. Here's Why its Rushed Ending is Now its Biggest Strength

It had an annoying cliffhanger, no doubt. Then, Valve made things worse.

The Creator of Mario Maker 2's "Most Improbable" Level Knows His Cryptographic Creation is Bizarre

The "Longest Passcode Level" isn't a troll. It's art.

Ring Fit Adventure Wants People Playing (and Exercising) for the Long Haul

Ring Fit starts adding its deeper mechanics after players have conquered the hardest exercise challenge of them all: sticking with it.

"How Big Is This Going to Get?“: The Future of Killer Queen And Its Console Counterpart

Talking with developers and a few members of Killer Queen's dedicated New York arcade scene about the new multiplayer spin-off.

Stardew Valley's Creator on Self-Publishing, the "Everything" Update, and His Future as a Solo Developer

Talking to Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone about the future of the popular farming sim.

Starting Screen | A Great Port Is Always Worth the Wait

Whatever time it takes to make a game feel just right on a new system is well-spent.

Ring Fit Adventure Is a Fun RPG Until It... Stops Being an RPG

Nintendo's new fitness game excels when you're actively on an adventure.