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Posts tagged “us

The Last of Us – Plot, Characters and Moral Dilemmas

Though it didn’t make number one on my top ten list yesterday, I decided to start with The Last of Us, irony, because number one and two on the list have already had so much coverage and didn’t really show anything new at E3.

The Last of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic urban world were the survivors of an outbreak must struggle to stay alive fighting both each other and the infected.  The story follows Joel and Ellie, who aren’t related but share a father daughter type relationship.

In this game survival is the key and can be achieved through a number of ways.  Players must scavenge to find supplies to keep them alive and defend in case of attack.  When other survivors are in the same area you may simply choose to sneak past them and never engage with them, but this luxury comes at a cost.  If you avoid conflict then you miss out on the supplies that you would have found on the body after you kill them.  People you encounter in the game will also be scavenging and every item they find means that there’s one less for you to get.

Characters are designed to feel like real people, which is intended to make it hard to kill them.  Not all of the characters you encounter will be bad, but that’s a risk the player will have to take as some will simply try trick you into thinking you can trust them.  What Naughty Dog are trying to do, and seem to be succeeding in doing, is to simulate a real life post-apocalyptic world were the player will have to decide if they can kill people or not.  It’s a big moral dilemma that is added to by the realistic character ability, meaning that the player will only have the strength and speed of an average human, making each kill a struggle.

Infected people are similar to what you’ve seen in various zombie games.  In recent years we’ve essentially said goodbye to slow moving zombies and I have a feeling this game will make you miss them even more as the fast moving, somewhat intelligent infected hunt you down.  The cause of the infection is a fungus, called cordyceps, that really does exist.  In reality the fungus has the ability to affect the behaviour of the insects that host it.  In the game this fungus had mutated and now controls human behaviour, after they are dead, creating zombie like creatures.

The demo shown at E3, showed an encounter with a group of hostile survivors.  This time the player chose to engage with the group and kill them, but the situation could have been avoided entirely had the player wanted.  The demo gives a really good feel for the game, which looks amazing.  The AI of both Ellie and the hostiles seem extremely realistic.  AI sidekicks have a pretty bad relationship, but Ellie seems to be a massive step forward.  The idea behind her was to make her an asset to the player so they will actually like having her around.  At one point Ellie picks up a brick, holds on to it for a while and then uses it to help when the player ran out of bullets.  As well as helping in combat situations, Ellie will also scavenge and bring you things that you might need, like bullets for your gun.

The full demo can be seen below, check it out and let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.

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Top 10 Things at E3

Now that E3 is over I thought I’d go through some of my favourite things that were shown at this year’s expo.  Starting tomorrow I’ll be going through some of the cool new releases individually, so be sure to check back for that.

10. The Wonderbook

If you were starting to get worried that kids may actually have to start reading then you’ll be happy to hear that Sony has come up with a new and exciting way to keep kids illiterate.

The Wonderbook is pretty much a blank book that, using augmented reality, turns into a variety of cool stories when looked at through the PlayStation Move camera.  The story they showed was Harry Potter, but it wasn’t any of the existing stories it was full of new more child oriented stories of how individual spells were made.  Players can then use the Move controlled to perform the spells and complete a variety of tasks.  Despite my earlier joke, this probably isn’t going to do any damage to child literacy and it looks to be a really fun, inventive game.  That I want.

9. ZombiU

If you ever thought you’d survive a zombie outbreak, I have the perfect game to prove you wrong.

A lot of people have been disappointed by the stream of action packed zombie games that have been coming out lately.  The move away from survival horror and towards action has divided zombie fans, particularly Resident Evil fans, but now Ubisoft are taking a massive step back towards survival horror and filling the demand for the return of that type of game.

ZombiU will be playable only on the Wii U and is one of the games that will be available upon release.  It makes great use of the Wii U’s handheld screen and effectively simulates a zombie outburst.  One of the things that the game does, which helps create a level of realism, is that you only have a singular life.  When your character dies they become a zombie and you have to start the scenario again as a new person, but all the zombies that were killed by your previous character are still dead and all the items that were picked up by that character are gone, plus your old skin is now trying to eat your new skin.  Don’t worry about running out of survivors; there is an endless stream of them.

8. The Wii U

I once called it the Wii’s sexier cousin, a phrase that puts me on top of the Google search, and I’m going to stick with that.

The Wii U looks like it’s going to be a fun, like its predecessor, but it seems to be focusing more on games that will appeal to hard core gamers.  That’s not to say that it won’t include the family friendly favourites that made the Wii so popular, it will, but there is more there for the mainstream gaming community than there ever was on the Wii.

7. Splinter Cell: Blacklist

A game demo so good it made me ashamed to not be a Splinter Cell fan.

Having only ever given Splinter Cell a shot once, I wasn’t particularly interested in the announcement of a sequel, but once the demo started I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed that I hadn’t gotten into the series earlier.  This new game, the sixth in the series, is apparently more action oriented than previous titles.   Hopefully this won’t drive away old fans while attempting to bring in new ones, like me.

6. Watch Dogs

Is Assassins Creed and Splinter Cell had a game baby.

This is the third Ubisoft game on the list, the first two being ZombiU and Splinter Cell, which shows just how impressive Ubisoft was this year, well at least in my eyes.  Watch Dogs is a modern day assassin game were you get to attend fancy parties, hack into phones and kill people.  Like Assassins Creed, it is an open world game, but instead of being set somewhere in the past the events of the game take place in modern day Chicago.  It’ll be refreshing to have an open world game set in a real life modern day city that doesn’t take place in New York.  Another element coming from Assassins Creed is the ability to climb everything, which will apparently be part of the game.

5. Tomb Raider

Every dream of being stranded on an island with no hope of rescue and having to survive attacks from wild animals and gun wielding enemies?  No, must just be me.

This new Tomb Raider game was already on my radar before E3.  The series looks to be getting an extremely impressive reboot and it’s clear that the people behind the game want to give Lara Croft an origin story that will make fans of the series proud.

I think with games that have spanned as long as Tomb Raider, which currently has nine games, are often hard to market to new players.  They have such a rich history that those who play games for the story may avoid the series unless they are able to pick up the previous titles.  However, fans may have been surprised by the reboot as there has never really been a large amount of time without a Tomb Raider game.  The longest gap will be this time, as it will be five years since the last Tomb Raider game was released in 2013 when the reboot comes out.  Before this the longest break was three years, which isn’t really that long when it comes to making a next gen title.

4. The Amazing Spider-Man

A tie in game that serves as more of a sequel, count me in.  That is if The Amazing Spider-Man movie doesn’t suck, which I doubt it will.

Spider-Man movie tie in games are always fun.  They have new enemies, new storylines and you get to swing around New York City like you own the place, which you don’t Obama does.  While all the film tie ins have differed from their movie counterparts, this Spider-Man game takes it one step further and actually takes place after the events of the film.  The plot of the game will actually set up the story for the films sequel, which is a strange thought considering no one even knows if the films any good yet.

3. The Last of Us

Will you survive the… wait there’s a lot of survival on this list.

This game is less about the zombies and more about the story of two people, in a father daughter kind of relationship, that have to constantly struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, which is a refreshing look at a plot that is clearly being used a lot in games today.

The most impressive things about this game, which I didn’t even know existed before the expo, is the gameplay.  It’s smooth and realistic, it suggests that every kill is going to be a struggle, nothing will be simple and it’s not the kind of game were you can just run around taking down large amounts of enemies with ease.  Feeling very cinematic, even during gameplay, the focus on story shows at every turn, which won’t appeal to all gamers.  Making the experience even more realistic is the AI which seems to be miles ahead of what we’ve seen in past titles like Resident Evil 5.  At one point Ellie, the fourteen year old female sidekick actually picks up a brick to aid the player, who was under attack.  Though the AI seems impressive, you may choose to play with a friend instead, which you can as the game is co-op.

2. DmC: Devil May Cry

Weren’t we supposed to get some news?

Now that the game was given a release date, Ninja Theory said they would be giving more information about the game.  Naturally it seemed E3 would be the perfect platform to distribute this knowledge, yet the only new thing shown was a weapon.  They did show off a demo, which really did remind be a lot of Bayonetta, and mentioned that the running time would be about twelve hours, which isn’t as long as I’d like.  Still, as a Devil May Cry fan I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the reboot, though next time Ninja Theory promises news they better provide some.

1. Resident Evil

Action, survival horror and being chased by a giant monster, Resident Evil 6 has it all.

At this point there isn’t much more information Capcom could give us without ruining the game.  The story is split into three campaigns, which can be played in any order.  Leon S. Kennedy and Helena Harper will have a more survival horror experience, though there will be action packed moments, Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans experience a military style action adventure and Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin’s story will be reminiscent of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis which had the main characters being constantly pursued by Nemesis.

What do you think?  Which are you most excited about?  Would you put anything different on the list?  Will you be rushing out to buy any of these?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


Resident Evil: Operations Racoon City; New trailers, new characters and new modes

Capcom have released a new trailer for their upcoming game Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City.  The game takes place at the same time as the second and third games in the Resident Evil series, and the two Outbreak games, a time when zombies were zombies and players were scared.  This time around players control Umbrella’s security team as they try to cover up the outbreak.  The main point of the trailer was to show off the triple treat combat between Umbrella, US Spec Ops, the zombies and Bio-Organic Weapons (B.O.W.s).

The trailer looks amazing and is filled with action as well as some much requested zombie scares.  It looks like there are going to be times when you are seriously outnumbered and have to fight your way out through hordes of real, fully fledged, zombies.  The US Spec Ops look pretty cool too, unfortunately their names don’t match their cool image; Tweed, Dee-Ay, Harley, Willow, Shona and Party Girl.  They sound more like a group of outcast teenagers than a highly trained task force on a mission to uncover the source of a zombie outbreak.

Along with the Spec Ops team, two other new characters were shown.  Another pair of playable characters have been added to the list.  We’ve already met Beltway (the explosives expert), Vector (the recon expert), Spectre (the marksman) and Bertha (the medic), but now Four-Eyes (a scientist) and Lupo (the team leader) have been added to the mix.  This provides more female roles and gives the girls a chance to do more than just heal; they can now do science and boss people around.

Though previous announcements have revealed characters from the first two Resident Evil games would appear in the game, most notably Leon S. Kennedy who shows up as a killable enemy, now players will get to play as these classic characters in a new online feature called Heroes Mode.  This mode is multiplayer and splits people into two teams; the first is team has Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy and Carlos Oliveira.  The second team consists of Ada Wong, HUNK, Nicholai Ginovaef and, Umbrella helicopter pilot, LONE WOLF.  As well as fighting each other players will also have to fight zombies and B.O.W.s.  Though the main game can be played with both on and offline multiplayer, it is unclear whether or not the same is true for Heroes Mode.

The trailer looks amazing and has really got me excited about the game.  Check it out below and tell me what you think my voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe/follow, like this post and then, if you have any time left, head over to Twitter and follow me there.

Operation Racoon City trailer

Heroes Mode trailer


In Time

You may have heard the saying; time is money. Well in the upcoming film In Time, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, this is literally the case.

In the film, scientists have successfully stopped the aging process, which inevitably lead to overpopulation. To counter this they decided to make time, how long you have left to live, currency. Everyone ages until 25, then they must survive on time that they earn through work. This leads to the rich living forever, while the poor must fight to survive.

Will Salas, played by Justin Timberlake, is a 28 year old who is struggling to get by. He rarely has more than a few days. Then he meets Henry, Matt Bomer, a rich man who is tired of living. Henry transfers most of his time to Will, then leaves to die. Unfortunately, this act of kindness leads to Will having to go on the run from a police force known as the Timekeepers, who think that he murdered Henry.

The trailer does a great job of explaining the story. It gives a really clear idea of the movie will be like, which is good because it means that people going to see it will be the type of people who enjoy action/sci-fi films. It’s obvious that the film is making a comment on the gap between the rich and the poor in society. This is something a lot of people can relate to, especially in the recession (that’s right I said recession everybody that a drink).

Not many digital effects were shown on the trailer. All the characters have timers on their arms telling them how much time they have left, but that’s about it. This is unusual because it’s set in the future, which normally means plenty of CGI. There could be a lot more CGI in the actually movie, but keeping it to a minimum would be refreshing. After all, the story really doesn’t require that much, the dialogue should help establish the futuristic setting.

Though the rules of this futuristic world are outlined, they are not explained entirely. For example; if someone under 25 wants to buy something how can they? Time is currency and you are guaranteed not to die (by running out of time) before you’re 25. I expect this, and any other questions, will be answered in the film, but it may not be. You never know.

In Time comes out on the 28th of October in the US and the 1st of November in the UK and Ireland. Personally, I’m excited about this movie, but what do you think? Do you like the trailer? Is the story interesting? Do you think it’s strange that most of the actors aren’t 25? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


The Wii U (The Wii’s Sexier Cousin)

The Wii was made to bring the whole family together to play games and have fun, which it did.  Then fifteen minutes later they all got bored with it and left.  However, it did have a lot of selling power and some pretty good ideas, so naturally it’s getting a sequel.

The Wii U is like the Wii’s sexier cousin.  They have a lot in common, but you know which one you want to play with.  Though it was originally known as Project Café, the new title and the first trailer for the console were shown at this year’s E3.  The Wii U makes use of some of the features from the Wii, for example the remote, but it also brings a lot of new material to the table.

The trailer is all about the new controller and for good reason as it’s the most prominent difference between the consoles.  As well as a controller it also acts as a handheld console, giving players the option to take games from the TV and play them on the controller.  The level of interaction between the controller and other Wii devices is pretty impressive, even allowing players to use the controller with the balance board and the Wii remote.

Players can use the new controller in so many different ways, as you’ll see from the trailer below, some of which are reminiscent of the augmented reality feature on the Nintendo 3DS.  It really seems like Nintendo are making something really good, or at least something with a lot of cool technological applications.  I imagine that it would be a lot of fun just playing around with the different features, but Nintendo are trying to aim the console at serious gamers as well as casual gamers.  This means that we should be getting a nice blend of action and miscellaneous games, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

 Before you get too excited you should note that, in the two days after it was announced, shares in Nintendo had dropped by nearly 10 percent, which shocked the president of the company and me.  It’s strange, expensive new consoles in a recession seems like such a good idea, though hopefully the recession will be over, and we’ll all be rich, by the time it’s released which isn’t until sometime after April 2012.

What do you think?  Do you like the new features?  Are you excited about the Wii U?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe and if you like this post feel free to click the like button it does bite but you’ll get over it.


Space Battleship, Gantz, Movie Release dates and Vampires from Jersey

Rather than give each of these things its own post, I’ve decided that they should be joined together as one post.  It’s not that all three don’t deserve a separate post, it’s just that two of them already have one each and the third is going to have its own, you’ll know why by the end of the post.

There has been a lot of interest in the release date of the live action Gantz movie.  I knew it wouldn’t be long before more details came out, as distributors were fighting over the rights.  I haven’t heard any official announcement, but I did find out that the live action movie will be available on amazon soon.  Amazon has different sites for different countries, it doesn’t has an Irish one get though, but the UK version will stock the DVD from the 3rd of October and the US version will have it from as early as the 30th of August.  It’s unclear whether both DVDs are included or not.

Though it hasn’t gotten as much interest, it’s a movie I’ve personally been waiting for.  Space Battleship Yamato will come to DVD and Blu-ray on the 24th of June.  This news comes from the movies official blog.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t specify if it is a worldwide release.  I’ll be on the lookout for more details so don’t be afraid to leave a comment asking for more information.

The third thing is a solution to all the gaps that my blog acquired back before college ended, that’s right I’m finished for the summer.  All I have to do now is pick which college I head to next year.  Anyway here’s my solution, fake movies.  I recently listened to a radio show were contestants had to mix too movies together to make a different movie.  Inspired by this I will be filling the gaps with movie posters, and small plots, that mix two or more movies, TV shows, games or books together.  Here’s an example.

Snooki Stackhouse is a poof haired girl who enjoys her life of drunken pickle eating in Jersey Shore.  Through the magic of her poof she can read the minds of others, except supernatural creatures like vampires.  It’s the perfect relationship except he has no tan and she’s dying of skin cancer.

What do you think?  Are you happy about the release dates?  Do you think it would work out between Bill (the Vamiation) and Snooki?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Final Destination 5 trailer review

A trailer for the upcoming movie Final Destination 5 has been released and it looks as though producers have taking fan criticism onboard.

Many people have been complaining that the Final Destination series has gotten stale, seriously how many times can you make the same movie.  The first too were great, because they had a link to each other, the third one introduced the photos which was a fun way to get the audience guessing, but the fourth just ditched the cleverness and went for 3D instead.  The result was an overly bright example of how bad some actors are.

The trailer for Final Destination 5 shows that the franchise is going back to its roots.  It’s darker and the deaths are less comical and more cringe worthy.  The opening deaths are always one of my favourite parts.  However, the writers try to make each opening better than the last and number three’s rollercoaster was hard to beat, four failed, but I think five might have succeeded.

Number five’s premonition takes place on a wire bridge.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it looks great.  There’s so much going on and so many characters to choose from, I’m already wondering who survives.  Those that do survive will have a good chance of clinging on to their survivor status, because this movie will see the return of Bludworth (played by actor Tony Todd) who was last seen in Final Destination 2 and last heard in Final Destination 3.  I was worried that he would appear for a few seconds, but from the trailer I can see he gives a whole speech to the survivors.  I’m excited to see how they find him considering that all the survivors from the movies that featured him are dead.

Another good point about the trailer is that, and I could be wrong here, but it looks like the actors can act.  I know I’m as shocked as you are.  I never had a problem with the actors in the original trilogy, I hate to keep picking on it, but it was only four that I thought had really bad actors.  Other people think the bad acting goes back furthered, but I think we can all hope that it ended with number four.  We won’t really know until we see more though, but enjoy the trailer and let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Cowboys and Aliens

When I first put up the ‘westerns’ category, I had no idea if I’d ever get to use it again, yet here I am using it for the third time in five months.  Is this a sign that westerns are making a comeback?  I hope so.

Cowboys and Aliens will hit American cinemas on the 29th of July and then waddle its way over to Irish, and UK, cinemas on the 19th of August.  If you’re a comic fan, you might think that the name sounds familiar, and you’d be right about that.  However, the name is one of the only things that the film has in common with the 2006 graphic novel that it’s based on.  Producer, Robert Orci, has said that they didn’t want fans of the comics to feel like they’d already seen it.  Clearly this guy doesn’t know fans.  The closer it is to the source material the happier the fans are, hasn’t he ever read a Resident Evil forum.  Not even the characters names were brought over; basically they just thought that a familiar name would bring in fans.

The premise of the film is that a loner named Jake Lonergan (yeah that’s right LONERgan), who is played by Daniel Craig, wakes up with a mysterious device on his arm and no memory of his life.  He soon learns that he’s a wanted criminal and is locked up by Colonel Dolarhyde (yes the names are terrible), played by Harrison Ford.  When aliens attack, the two must put their differences aside if they want to protect the world from the invaders.

The trailer doesn’t look all that appealing and I’m pretty sure I seen a wire at one point pulling a guy off a horse.  I’m not saying that the movie won’t be good, but even the names don’t sound western to me.  To make the film more western they shot it on film rather than use digital so why couldn’t they spend a little more time thinking of names.  I hope I’m wrong, I really do, but for the time being, I have to say, I don’t see bright things in this films future.  I think it’s going to have to be really really good to avoid being rip apart by fans of the comic.  However, people might go to see it for the cast alone.  Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde all star in the film and all have a pretty good fan base.  Only time will tell whether this film will sink or swim.

What do you think?  Are western films making a comeback?  Will comic fans tear this film to pieces?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

Was the moon landing faked?  Who cares, all I know is that a spaceship from Cybertron was discovered on the moon way back on the first moon trip to the moon and the US government have kept this a secret, even from the Autobots.  Thank you Obama.

Just a few days ago, a new trailer for the third Transformers movie, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, was released.  It gives a lot more detail than past trailers and I have to say, despite earlier hesitation, I didn’t hate it.  It looks like it’s going to be an action packed adventure from start to finish, which is surprising considering how bad number two did.

By know you probably know that Megan Fox is not longer part of the franchise, unfortunately Shia LaBeouf still is.  Was Fox’s absents felt in the trailer?  Nope they replaced her with some blonde girl.  The blonde girl, also known as Rosie Huntington-Whitley, plays Carly, a character that is actually from the 1984 Transformers animated series.  Finally one of the shows human characters has made it into the movies.  The actress playing her has no prior acting experience though so it could go either way.

The plot explores the final battle between Autobots and Deceptacons.  Each group is trying to get their hands on the ship that the humans found on the moon many years before.  The secrets that the ship holds may well decide the winner of the war.  I have mixed feelings about the plot.  It just feels like they always have to go back and discover secrets.  Didn’t the Transformers ever actually live on Cybertron?  Shouldn’t they know some of this stuff already?

A real tragedy occurred while they were filming.  An extra suffered from permanent brain damage when a stunt, that she wasn’t even part of, went wrong.  A cable broke and came through the front of the car she was in, hitting her in the head and cracking her skull.  She is paralyzed on one half of her body and her left eye had to be stitched closed.  Paramount promised to pay for the medical expensive and her family is suing for seven counts of negligence.  The extra’s name is Gabriela Cedillo and she is 24 years old.  I legitimately hope that she wins the lawsuit.

Another accident happened on the set, this one involving a police officer who clearly was out sick the day they announced that some streets would be closed for filming.  The car that plays Bumblebee was crossing an intersection when a police car came from a different direction.  Unable to stop in time Bumblebee crashed into the side of the cop car.  The officer was not supposed to be there, but at least no one was injured.

What do you think?  Is this film cursed?  Are you glad to see a human from the animated series appear in the film?  Do you miss Megan Fox?  Will this series be able to recover after the disappointing, perhaps racist, second film?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to vote.


Kung Fu Panda 2

If you liked Kung Fu Panda then you’ll be glad to hear that Kung Fu Panda 2 will be kicking ass in a cinema near you this May or June, depending on where you’re from; May 26th for Americans, June 10th for the UK and the 17th of June for the Irish.  As with the first, the movie has an all star cast, but you won’t notice until you see the credits.  The only one you’ll really notice is Jack Black, who plays Po the Dragon Warrior aka Kung Fu Panda.

The film shows Po, now a master of Kung Fu, fight alongside the Furious Five to protect the Valley from a new enemy, one that could potentially erase Kung Fu from existence.  The new evil is Lord Shen, an albino peacock.  The film will also explore Po’s mysterious past, which probably means we’re going to find out (who the baby daddy) who’s Po’s biological father.

The original trailer was short and just showed Po talking to, and having a staring contest with, the camera.  An updated version was released, with featured scenes from the actual movie.  The trailer looks great.  This movie looks better than the first, which was pretty entertaining.  I know I give Jack Black a lot of slack, but I genuinely do like him especially in movies, like this, were he has a chance to try something different.

A game based on the movie is scheduled to come out on the 24th of May in the US.  Let’s hope it does as good as the first game, which got great reviews from critics.  The game will be released on the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii.

What do you think?  Did you like the first one?  Are you glad there’s a sequel?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget that if you like this blog you can subscribe by filling in your e-mail address in the box on the right side of the screen.