We should probably be past the point where YouTube videogame walkthroughs and Twitch streams seem weird or confusing. People have been making—and watching—them in ever increasing numbers for years now. Yeah, I don’t get why people would rather watch hours of some stranger playing a videogame instead of, I don’t know, Netflixing Frasier, or something, but it’s clearly a thing that happens and is popular and resonates with millions of people.
It might seem like a strange niche to those who aren’t into ‘em, but streaming is already a form of mainstream entertainment with a massive fan base who will grow up with no outdated distinction between YouTube and “real” TV. Random overacting yahoos with webcams are already bigger stars to “the kids” than television legend Ted Danson. It’s a small thing to fret about within the larger societal collapse that we’re currently living through, but c’mon, using a computer to watch other people play games on their computer is definitely some kind of low stakes dystopian sci-fi nonsense.
That’s what Casper Kelly, the creator of Too Many Cooks, and co-creator Nick Gibbons latch onto in their new Adult Swim short Final Deployment 4: Queen Battle Walkthrough, which premiered very early this morning on the TV station. Framed as a YouTube Let’s Play, it slowly reveals its true nature, reaching a prolonged absurd height about two-thirds of the way through that does for videogame streaming what Too Many Cooks did for TV opening credit sequences. One could argue it would be stronger without the longform walkthrough parody that opens the video—YouTubers are so formulaic and obnoxious that making fun of them is just too easy, like mocking Morning Zoo-style FM radio hosts—but the fake in-game footage of life after the war for its Marcus Fenix stand-in is hilarious in its depressing banality, and it’s also important to establish this world before folding everything up and twisting it around like a Möbius strip.
Final Deployment 4: Queen Battle Walkthrough isn’t available on YouTube, ironically, but you can find it online at Adult Swim’s site.