Pairing food with the right drink elevates both the beer and the food, and enhances the eater’s experience. Same goes for gaming: The right beverage should always serve your gaming like a plate of food. One should play off of and enhance, rather than overpower, the other.
After months of beer testing/zombie killing sessions, Drinks writer and lifelong gamer Billy Brown and walking beer encyclopedia Jason Ballard discovered that certain drinks pair beautifully with specific games.
Their new mission: to search out the right booze to enhance your gaming experience.
Tough work, we know.
Next up: Sucker Punch Production’s Sony-exclusive inFamous: Second Son
Sucker Punch’s third entry of the infamous series is similar to the first two in many ways: It’s still an open-world sandbox where you play a protagonist with fantastic comic-book style super powers, and it’s chock-full of action. But the consequences of your moral choices seem to weigh much heavier in this game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Hero (or villain) Delsin Rowe suddenly receives superpowers and becomes the target of a shady government organization. Rowe travels to Seattle to get to the bottom of his fantastic turn in life. Destructive antics ensue.
The graphics are jaw-dropping, with the various lighting effects casting glows and shadows as you lay waste to your opponents. And lay waste you will: the Seattle backdrop is designed as a glorious battlefield, built to give you, playing as protagonist Delsin, a testing ground in which you can flex your ever-changing and highly destructive powers. My biggest complaint in most open-world games is having to travel from point to point, but zipping around at light speed and flying around on digital angel wings was more of a pleasure than a slog.
“It’s like Grand Theft Auto, if it was bitten by a radioactive spider.” – Billy
The morality is where things get interesting: as you make decisions that affect how other people perceive you (killing civilians, obliterating soldiers who surrender, attacking street musicians), the game’s NPC characters will treat you differently and the powers available to you will change.
I found it more rewarding to play as the hero, as city inhabitants start to cheer you on and attack your enemies as the game progresses, but there’s something sweet about sending a burning missile into a group of people who are picketing you.
“You can punt people across the street! YES!” -Ballard
The storyline is straightforward and simplistic, but the side missions are fun diversions, the characters are well-acted and the gameplay is spectacular. Considering that you can play the game as both a hero and a villain, Second Son is going to suck up a lot of hours.
So what are you going to drink while you play it? There’s a lot more margin for error in this game, what with the huge explosions and your ability to fly the hell away when you get overwhelmed, so you can go with a higher ABV here. And while I like to think I’m a good guy in real life, I decided to sink into The Abyss.
Deschutes Brewery The Abyss Imperial Stout, specifically.
The Abyss Imperial Stout looks evil when you pour it out of the bottle: dark and syrupy, like motor oil…or vampire blood. Dark chocolate takes up most of the flavor, but molasses and licorice add complexity to the mix.
The variety of taste might detract from other games, but Delsin’s powers are more shotgun than sniper, so you can let your mind wander a bit as you drink.
I actually let the drink sit on my tongue and swish around in my mouth as I flew from building to building, savoring the taste and the thick, viscous feel. So. Damn. Good.
The 11% ABV opens you up to more and more reckless taunting of the villains in the game; I found myself waiting for cars to line up so I could cause a chain-reaction explosion with a well-placed Cinder Missile.
“Ka-BOOM! And…a lot of people…just…died. Yikes.” -Billy
And this is why the Abyss is especially appropriate for the villain setting. The high ABV and smooth drinkability can make you a bit reckless with your powers, like a bull in a china shop. Which, in this game, means a LOT of civilian casualties. And a significant lack of mercy when the bad guys surrender, apparently.
Bottom Line: Infamous: Second Son is as close as you’re going to get to being a superhero/villain in a videogame, and The Abyss Imperial Stout’s complex flavors and high ABV will complement your various abilities and incite a sense of reckless abandon.
But for Seattle’s sake, be more careful than I was.