Posts Tagged 1
Courtesy of IronHammers
Zombies. Sluggish, meandering creatures who roam post-apocalyptic cities in a relentless search for human brains. Maybe that’s not the case – you might be a fan of the Z-On-Crack reimagining shown in films like 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead. It’s the same in video games – whether it’s the lumbering biters of Resident Evil or the suped up runners in Left 4 Dead, the undead are constrained to convention. Ever since Call of Duty: World at Snore brought wave-based zombie killing to our screens, developers have been obsessed with raising the dead wherever possible.
Never you mind whether they fit the genre that they’re appearing in – that doesn’t matter to the hordes of mindless executives who think it wise to blend game mechanics together. In fact, you could argue that they’re as zombified as the digital representations they petition for. After all, who thought it’d be wise to bring a zombie mode to DiRT 3?
Is it not bad enough that the rallying title went all Mad Max with its sequel? Over-energetic professionals like Ken Block are happy to do doughnuts over McRae’s grave as long as it makes the attention-span lacking millennials happy. OK, that’s overly harsh – DiRT 2 is a fantastic game, it’s just that it’s not DiRT – it’s been muddied by the unrelenting drive for simplification. It doesn’t matter if your dashboard is as lit up as a Christmas Tree, you’ll still clock up world-record leading times.
That said, I can forgive DiRT for its GRiD’ifying. I can’t however understand Codemasters’ choice to bring this so called zombie mode to what was once a hardcore simulative franchise. According to Kotaku:
In that multiplayer mode one car becomes undead and has to infect the others before time runs out. The designers had considered putting zombies — actual (virtual) shambling, undead people — on the track. Maybe you’d drive right through them, they thought. But the car manufacturers they were working with didn’t want their cars hitting anyone that looked human. Thus, no zombies to drive into, just cars that can sort of act like zombies. Coleman said a driver of a zombified car will notice their screen change color. It will look like the windshield has some green slime on it. The player/driver is meant to feel infected.
Seems serious and realistic doesn’t it? Zombie Driver has shown that zombies and cars can mix, but only because it focussed on running them down. How about the developers fix the issues with over-happy collision junkies that ruined DiRT 2′s multiplayer? Or maybe some more tracks and rally stages to relieve the repetitive campaign fatigue?
Of course that’s too easy. Gimmicks work wonders on the sheep of the gaming world. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see ranking and prestige in DiRT 3 when it finally sees release.
Leave me a comment about your thoughts on DiRT’s zombie mode. Likewise, drop me an @ on Twitter if that’s too time consuming.
Courtesy of Criminales (The Real Mesrine)
Jacques Mesrine. Now he was a nasty piece of work. Hobbies? Robbing banks, seducing women, murdering people who got in his way. He had guts that rivalled the best; regularly breaking out of prison and running around the world in typical French fashion – swagger, sublime charm and all in all, one crazy S.O.B. He eventually reached France Public Enemy 1.
His life is portrayed in full dramatic detail in a pair of films that were released in 2008. Mesrine: Killer Instinct (Part 1) and Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (Part 2) are essential cinema. If you can get past the stumbling block of subtitled films (which I implore you to even if it’s for only film in your life), then what you’re rewarded with is an engrossing, engaging and compelling story.
Brash, yet meticulously understated, both films are your modern day Scarface. While the production undeniably takes liberties for dramatic expression, it’s completely grounded in a real man’s life. You follow the character of Mesrine, portrayed by the fantastic Vincent Cassel, as he jet-sets through time bulldozing everyone who dare get in his way.
This was a particularly viscous man, yet thanks to the charm (helped along by the seductiveness of the French language) of Cassel / Mesrine, you can’t help but root for him. It’s only towards the end of the second film where a particularly nasty incident reminds you that you’re watching a criminal who shocked the world.
It’s only £6.49 for both films on DVD. Go Watch Them Now. The icing on the cake? My dad was blown away and he’s notorious for being a harsher critic than The Sunday Times, Total Film and Empire combined.
Courtesy of Gamerant
This weekend saw the annual VGAs (Video Game Awards) over on Spike TV. Along with the cringe worthy celebrity appearances (complete with ignorant endorsements), the usual roster of new games were revealed. For actual gamers, the awards themselves are pretty nondescript (unless you hold a certain affinity to a winning game for online crusading purposes). The usual Call of Duty Black Ops, yada yada, spiel went on as the rest of us eagerly awaited the ‘new game reveal trailers‘. Typically SSX and Thor represented the indifferent category while Forza 4 and Insane (a game from director Del Toro due out in 2013) decided to show nothing of what they actually represent (i.e. no gameplay engine footage). There was a quirky Portal 2 trailer and for PS3 fans, news that Uncharted 3 and Resistance 3 were in production.
There were only three titles (due to platform restrictions) that actually interested me. Most exciting was the announcement (finally!) of Elder Scrolls V, titled Skyrim – while the trailer didn’t actually show anything, the very fact that it’s in development is enough to get me excited. The Elder Scrolls series has always been one of my favourites and I’m hoping that it’ll move the graphics engine forward (though if it’s on the current generation consoles, I’m worried it won’t be as good looking as it could be). Still, with the reveal that it’ll be released (delays willing) on 11.11.11 – 2011 looks to be a fantastic year for gaming.
Hugo Strange appearing in Batman: Arkham City was also great and the Mass Effect 3 trailer was enough to get me playing the original again with the aim to finally finish it. Mass Effect 2 is sitting in my pile as well, so I’m playing catch up there. Thoughts on that when I’m done.
Still, could have been better, could have been worse. I can’t wait for Kinect to see some development and E3 2011. Let the good times roll.
Good to see Daniel Lipscombe also enjoying Mafia II (which I finished on Sunday). Full thoughts soon.
Update 12.12.10: This tweet suggest that Skyrim is going to be using a brand new engine.
Update 30.12.2011: Oh, is it good…