Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami's return to survival horror, at least from the ten minutes or so I got to see, could be the best horror movie of the year. Only it's a game. One where I did not notice when the intro stopped and the gameplay began.
The Evil Within features a cop named Sebastian Castellanos (Capcom's got a thing for Latino leads this year) who gets called to an asylum to investigate a crime described over the radio only as "unknown." Does he have to do so during heavy rainfall that also spatters on the "camera"? You shouldn't even have to ask that question.
The premise of Lords of the Fallen is that mankind once served an evil god, but eventually they rebelled and destroyed his forces, called Rogurs. Those five mountains on the cover are rumored to be the remains of his hand, to which I say rumors, my ass - there's gotta be a gigantic man-on-deity smackdown at the end of this game. But storywise, humans have gotten complacent and forgotten, except now the Rogurs are returning.
You can play as a warrior, a rogue or a cleric, depending upon whether you prefer speed or power. Warriors are the most heavily armored, while rogues can move really fast but don't do a ton of damage. Also, each has a special power - rogues can go invisible briefly (when fully charged), clerics can create energy doppelgangers (think Sub-Zero ice clones) and I don't know what the warrior does.
The key to this game, according to its creators, was to have a duel-based system, where you actually have to think about every fight, looking at your opponent's moves and figuring out counter-moves. The way it plays out, it's almost like a combination of button-mashing battles and turn-based RPG combat - though real-time, you have to calculate when and how to strike, with several of your foes - who look a lot like McFarlane Toys' Dark Ages Spawn - boasting one-kill hits in their arsenals.
Levels are also laden with secrets, many of which are unlocked by returning to prior levels after progressing further in the game and gaining knowledge as to what to do in the previous settings. Though there is a linear story, some of these secrets involve finding ways to take on bosses in a different order, or side-step others completely.
This is a screenshot:
One thing that's very clear about all the next-gen console stuff (though this will be on PC too) - the cut scenes are now indistinguishable from gameplay, visually. I wouldn't be surprised if we get photorealism by PlayStation 5.
Also, pretty much every game relishes in particulate matter - ashes, energy specks converging into vortexes...and rain. Lots of rain. Lots of rain splashes on the virtual "camera," (not so much in this game, but others) which I still insist is pretentiously stupid, calling attention to a camera that isn't actually there and shouldn't exist anyhow. It is the new thing, though, that programmers are doing just to show they can.
Anyway, Lords of the Fallen looks pretty cool. Players may miss having some cannon-fodder around - I like to have at least a few easy kills - but it's different. Maybe I'll just need to drink more while playing. Darn it!
The wireless here is ridiculously terrible.
Lunch of clam chowder and a can of Monster was $10.
Took hours to get in as a World War Z sized mass of humanity were slowly allowed entry one by one by one.
First world journalist problems. It's still a blast!
Here are some pictures (these are different from the ones Peter is sharing on our Twitter). More detailed coverage tomorrow.
One of the reasons I was so surprised that the recent World War Z trailer didn't use the word "zombie" at all is that I had in fact already seen the movie, and lines of dialogue featuring the z-word were actually stripped of it to show in the selected clips. Whatever the reason for the movie marketing being so vague, rest assured the movie is not. They say it, and the creatures act like it...more or less.More >>
Seems to me this is almost more of a cross between Christopher Walken and the other terrifying Christopher whose surname is Lee. It's part of an exhibition currently running at New York's Last Rites gallery which features various pop-culture and historical icons, zombified; from Henry VIII and the Mona Lisa to Nyan Cat and Col. Sanders. Most are paintings or drawings, though - only the Walken scores his own terrifyingly lifelike (deathlike?) silicone head replica with rooted hair.
How do you reckon this Walken zombie died? It looks like he "got his ass to Mahs" and got kicked out the pressurized window by Douglas Quaid, or Hauser, or whatever that amnesiac with the Austrian accent is calling himself now.
You don't have to worry about him summoning a backup horde, at least - this zombie roars in dramatic and misplaced pauses, giving you extra time to get away.
Via Chris and Jane's Place, makers of 10.5-inch tall gnomes of the undead, made-of-cement variety, comes Patient Zero Point Five, the younger brother of Patient Zero. He may look semi 'armless, but he can turn your lawn into a real Gnome Man's Land in a hurry. He wants to run through your wicked garden; heard that's the place to find flesh.
If you like him, wait till you see the whole family, who include in their number a bloody makeout couple, and a group of the hat-wearing hellspawns chowing down on the guts of a pink flamingo. Even John Waters didn't go there.
This sinister statue is valued at $47.99, but you can disturb your neighbors at no charge if you win him from me. As this is a higher-end item, let's make this a photo contest. Grab the photo of the gnome above, and manipulate it any way you choose - or not. Post your image in comments below - any questions on how to do that, post them in a comment and someone will help you. Whichever one amuses me the most will win.
You have one week - the contest closes June 12th at 11:59 p.m. Enter as often as you like. By entering, you grant me permission to use your meme on Topless Robot and its affiliated sites (Facebook, Twitter etc).
I don't get it. I really don't.
The iOS game available now (which you can still win from us) makes clear that there are zombies. Yet the official synopsis still only refers to a "pandemic," and nobody will say the word in the trailer...or even show one up close.
I have asked why this is, and nobody seems to know. For whatever reason, the "Z" in the title is not being spelled out.
It might be marketing genius, but it's an odd risk to take. Anyway, how do you like the new trailer above?
I had a chance the other day to get my hands on a demo of the new downloadable World War Z game. It was brief, but I liked what I saw - I would quip that this is as close as I'll ever get to being Brad Pitt, but you don't play as his character - you're some guy named Doug, scoping out a hot redhead in a coffee shop and talking to your son on the phone (he's in Japan, which is where you get to go eventually in the game, though Pitt never sets foot there onscreen). Your son starts saying mom is trying to kill him, and then all things go to hell, as a jet plane plows into the coffee shop and zombies emerge - they're not just the fast kind, they're the super-fast kind (an in-game document explains that the zombie virus is at least thought to be some kind of super-rabies).
Visually, they don't have any kind of unique look - you could tell me this was a game about fighting angry contortionists and I'd believe it - but the way they hurl themselves off buildings and through glass to get at you is different.
Gameplay for touch screens has several different configurations - more expert gamers can use precise controls, while the more casual player can use an auto-fire option, and simply tap where they want to go, a system I picked up on very quickly. The world of the game is nicely rendered, and there are often massive hordes of the infected onscreen at one time (as with some other games, though, in more confined battles you'll know you've gotten them all when the dramatic conflict music stops).
The game is available today on iOS and Android - I have ten iOS codes to give away, and will close this contest Monday, June 3rd at 11:59 p.m.
Here's how you enter: In comments below, choose any previous character played by Brad Pitt, and tell me what you think he'd do and how he'd fare during a zombie apocalypse. Feel free to answer in the form of an image or meme, though that isn't mandatory.
And if you need more details on the game, check out the gameplay trailer after the jump.More >>
Cloning prehistoric animals from mosquito blood trapped in amber? Works in the movies, but as scientists have no doubt had to patiently explain to every subsequent generation of kids, not so much in real life.
But cloning prehistoric animals that actually still have liquid blood and preserved muscle tissue? That could be a bit more possible, and is a tantalizing possibility raised by the discovery of a mammoth from an Arctic Ocean island, whose meaty parts were preserved by being frozen under the water (the parts above the surface likely got eaten by predators).
As Ian Malcolm might ask, though, what would you do with a mammoth once you bring it back? Give it a good shave and make fur coats?
And why aren't we cloning existing endangered species? Humanity will look awfully stupid - more than normal - if, say, we let the tigers all die and we didn't think to preserve blood samples. I'd like to think someone is doing that.
I'd like to think it, because I don't want to look it up.