Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Trailers in Short - Do You Want To Play A Game Edition

The trailers never stop coming, nor, thankfully, do the game stop coming. And we have a slough of sequels heading our way quite soon. Are we excited? Are we dreading them? Are we bored now?

Let's see how you handle an Alien, how the bricks fit for Batman, Batman's new old toys, a Tomb Raider...rises, and Nate Drake get smacked around for 10's of hours of game play.

Alien Isolation

Aliens (and Predator) games have a shaky history. I've played some at home, and at least one in an arcade, that I've actually enjoyed. But others have just not worked, or won over the gaming community.

But they've got a deal to pull Ripley in one more time. ...It's a different Ripley. Ellen Ripley's daughter, Amanda. You may remember from Aliens that when Ellen gets back to Earth she learns her daughter was long since dead. So this may be how she died, or what she did for part of the time where she wondered what happen to her mom.

The trailer (and as always beware) makes the game look like it wants to recapture the dark sets, cramped conditions, and lurking dread of the original Alien. It's supposed to be a horror survival game, so that does largely fit the feel of the first of the film franchise.

Also it looks like you get to build weapons and tools to find and defend yourself (which fits well with the movie feel...If you haven't seen that movie yet and are curious about this game, you should really go watch Alien now.)

Hoping this proves to be a good one in their gaming franchise.

LEGO Batman 3

Some people are tired of LEGO games. That's not a group I'm in. When a LEGO-based game revolves around characters or a world I enjoy, I am in. It's interesting to see some of the changes they make, and the humor and characterizations they play with. Some of these games work better than others (like with the Marvel game, the some of the humor seems really forced) and some I don't get (Why have they made it harder and harder to rewatch cutscene videos in the games?).

But I am still fully onboard with the DC Comics games. They haven't been technically perfect, but I hope to see them take things to another level this time around. New functions (like shape changing), new characters (such a mix -- like Dr. Fate and Plastic Man and Batmite), and new worlds. And what the video doesn't show is that they will also have a lot of 60's Batman in the game (characters, old Batcave, classic Batmobile). How will it all fit together?

I think it'll be in a fun way.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Back to Arkham, hmm? You know, after the furst two games, I wouldn't have minded a bigger change. We got Origin (acting as a holdover until this game was ready), which has an interesting story, but managed to still come down to Joker. Maybe this games, taking place after Arkham City will finally free us to focus on the rest of Batman's Rogues Gallery.

This time it seems to be about a Scarecrow plot, but the Arkham Knight is also on the move, hunting the Bat...But I am sure their is another secret player at work.

Once again Gotham has gone mad with fear. Batman heads out in the batmobile to take everyone down. Grim, dark, and angry. That is an issue with these games, Batman isn't given a lot of character, he's mostly being grumpy, and super competent. So the story and action has to take up most of the weight. Characters like Nathan Drake and Lara Croft get to be a bit more overwhelmed and opinionated (in their own ways). So, I hope we are getting an interesting mystery with Arkham Knight.

We also have the batmobile added in. It's a rocket, or a tank. That takes Batman to an odd place, where your just letting loose with a lot of ordinance (Not to worry, the villains have been nice enough to deploy mostly unmanned weapon systems.). It's just not very Batman (to me). We have seen Batman in Batman and Batman Returns act like this. In Batman Begins Batman uses some firepower, but  claims there were no fatalities. It just all makes for an odd choice for a game that you want to have a uniquely Batman aesthetic.

Also, as the games have proceeded, Batman has begun wearing more and more outright armor. And now, he's looking a good deal like Iron Man. There has been a shift in the comics (and movies) to have more of a protective suit. But there is still a clear line where it isn't remotely like power armor. (Of course, comic wise, Batman has some forms of power armor around, it's just meant for extreme situations.

But this is a game world. And it's Arkham. So a lot of it is just crazy or extreme. You can go with it, or move on.

I still wish we could have gotten a No Man's Land Game, but I guess Arkham City fits many parts of idea. But a multiplayer game in No Man's Land, where you can have the Bat family face the villain gangs threats would be awesome.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Finally we get the next installment in the new era of Tomb Raider. The first was a great return to the core of Lara Croft and adventure gaming. It took us into Croft's first harrowing adventure, and first triumph. It was a well rounded story was pain, loss, fear, accomplishment, glory, redemption, and fun.

And since the game came out, Gail Simone has begun efforts to continue the story in a new Tomb Raider comic. Apparently, she's worked some with the people who wrote the story behind this next game. All good news.

So, since that dreadful island, Lara has been coming to terms. She's planning. She's prepping. She's just beginning. ...I am not going to say she's rising. That word has been used to a ridiculous extent at this point. What pollster gave the entertainment that buzzword?

Still, I can't wait to see what lies next for Lara Croft as she grows and develops into the best in her field.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Once more unto the breach, Nate? Can't blame you.

I do need to sit down to write about the Uncharted game series, as I do love it. (But most everyone did for awhile there.) I am a slow adopter of new game consoles, so I come to these games slowly, and I've only recently finished Uncharted 3.

The games do a nice job of putting you deep into a action adventure cliffhanger extravaganza. Bailing from sinking ships. Fleeing killer...things. Fighting heavily armed merc forces. But Nate manages to survive it all...after a few deaths on your part.

We are only at a teaser stage now. So we don/t know much about what Drake will be facing, or chasing. But, as usual, it will go rough for him, it's going to go bad, and he's going to be dragging his friends along.

That's also a great part of the games. Secondary characters. You have some you love, and some return in different games. You have some you hate, and are finally happy when they meet their fate at long last. On the other hand, each game can make you tense to know if your favorite secondary characters will make it to the end of the story. One more chance for any of them to meet a tragic.

Eagerly awaiting/dreading Uncharted 4's release.

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