Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Warhammer 40k Animated Series? Yes Please.

On the 17th of December Games Workshop announced that it has moved forward on the creation of a Warhammer 40k animated series.

Fucking sweet.

Even better is that they have teamed up with the team which brought us the unofficial Helsreach series on Youtube. Considering how protective GeeDubs is with their franchise, it is great to see that they are teaming up with such a creative, and obviously passionate team. Personally I hope this becomes a trend, with GeeDubs working closely with passionate fans, familiar with the lore, to create new projects.

Soul Drinker Space Marine.

The only problem I have with the series is that it is based around the Blood Angels Chapter of Space Marines rather than a less looked at Chapter. The Blood Angels have not been as spoken about as the Ultramarines, but like the Space Wolves it is one of the more well known Chapters, even receiving their own "Space Marine: Heroes" release in Japan (and probably in American soon, like with the Ultramarines release). I would have preferred to see a less well known chapter, such as the Soul Drinkers, or Minotaurs.  I would even love to watch a series based on a cursed founding chapter dealing with the repercussions of their curses, resulting from the alterations made to their geneseeds.

Regardless, I am looking forward to the release of this new project, with all my hopes being that the producers remain true to the lore. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Left 4 World War Z

After I wrote the previous blog about the upcoming World War Z game I felt that perhaps I was being too hard on the game. Perhaps I hadn't seen enough of  what they planned to do, to be making judgement on what they planned to create. Perhaps my comparison to Left 4 Dead was unfounded, and perhaps Saber Interactive actually has a new, fresh, and imaginative take on the zombie shooter. Except, that nah, it's basically a refresh of Left 4 Dead while taking advantage of World War Z's fame.....several years too late.

First, the game isn't 100% like Left 4 Dead. World War Z is supposed to allow players to set up defense points with the use of traps, and machine gun placements. Left 4 Dead did have some levels where machine guns emplacements were fixed in place, usually when a scripted hoard was about to occur, but you weren't allowed to set up your own strategic locations. This makes sense in the context of the game, a group of survivors trying to haul ass to the end of the stage.

Second,  Left 4 Dead is first person, while the World War Z game is third point of view.

Is this enough to make World War Z stand out as this ground breaking new game with something to offer? No.

Watch this video from IGN

At about twenty seconds into the video, Oliver Hollis-Leick of Saber talks about how the first thing they watched was the film, and how the hordes in that movie were "iconic". This is the first issue, when dealing with the World War Z franchise the first thing they should have looked at was the novel, not the fucking movie. The problem with the movie is that it deviates too far from the book, to the point where it basically misses everything that made the book great. It focuses entirely on action, as opposed to the whole "nation rebuilding, humanity adapting" aspect of the book. They also seem to miss the fact that the movie got an unimpressive 63% on Metacritic, which may be a mostly favorable score, but is an overall failing grade. He is literally talking about basing this game on the worst iteration of the franchise, and it's going to show.
Hordes were already a thing guys!

Skip to the fifty second mark where Oliver then literally states that the hordes of the "main" features of the game. If the hordes are the main feature then we have a problem. Left 4 Dead had it's fast paced action directed by its AI director that adjusted the difficulty based on your teams progression. If you did too well Left 4 Dead upped it's difficulty, if you started suffering too much, it eased it a little. The AI director was not the only feature of the game, but one of many combined to work together to create an experience. The inclusion of special infected types also opened up the opportunity for extremely competitive versus modes. If the main feature of this game is the "hordes" then I am doubtful about what else the game has to offer. World War Z's hordes look cool, but it hardly sets the game apart from anything have seen in the past.

Watching the video it is funny how the developer tries so hard to distinguish this game from Left 4 Dead, but it's funny watching as players go down and seeing their body outlined by a glow just like in Left 4 Dead. In fact, it's funny watching at the four minute mark where Oliver brags about how the game reacts based on the players progression. He talks about this reactive feature as if though it's something new, and although Saber's system may be different in its own right, one can't help but draw a comparison to the AI director of the Left 4 Dead games. Again, we see nothing to set this game apart from the game which it is obviously taking influence from.

It's hard not to see the similarities when there is even a strong resemblance in the settings of the levels shown in the trailers for World War Z to those seen in Left 4 Dead 2.

At the 5:47 mark they begin talking about "special infected" and their roles in zombie games, where Oliver then begins to list the special infected which may be found in the game, from the "Big Heavy", "Sneaky Stealth Zombie" "Toxic Zombies with Stink Cloud" and "Screamer which attracts more zombies". I wonder where we have seen such special infected before? This is Left 4 Dead, down to the special infected types.
What's that about a "super heavy" zombie?

At this point in time this game doesn't seem to offer anything new, instead it offers old features and play styles with new coats of paint. That's not enough to make me want to buy it, and it shouldn't be enough to make you want to buy it either. It's not new, it's not refreshing, it's lazy. On top of being lazy, it capitalizes off the success of a great novel, while the same time missing everything that made the novel great in the first place, like the movie it is just another bastardization of the World War Z series, this time in the form of a Left 4 Dead clone. We'll see how it goes when the game is finally released though.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

World War Z - The Movie Sucked, Will The Game?

 Back around 2007 or 2008 I came across an action packed image of U.S Military soldiers engaged in a combat with a large horde of zombies. This was around the start of the huge "Zombie-Kick" where suddenly every game, book, comic, and movie had something to do with zombies. I was intrigued by the overall hopelessness of the image. Soldiers fighting fiercely, against an ever advancing army of decay, filled with warriors of rot which were unaffected by the soldier's "shock-and-awe" tactics.
Look at all those fucking Zombies tho.

This image was an illustration of the so-called "Battle of Yonkers" from the book World War Z by Max Brooks. The book was creatively written as a collection of people's oral histories as they survived the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse. The book progresses from the beginning of a zombie outbreak, through to the rebuilding of society. It shows how people must adapt from their  regular everyday way of being, into a more survivalistic society, where individuals must begin considering the betterment of the whole over the individual. The book also mentions how societal roles began to shift towards a population set on not just fighting the zombie threat, but also rebuilding humanty's now shattered nations. It shows how these societal shifts could lead to situations where people like plumbers, carpenters or others with the skills needed to rebuild a nation, might rise to become more valuable than former CEOs or celebrities. The book was all about how humanity had to drastically adapt in order to overcome a threat that could potentially lead to its extinction.

Whack ass movie really.

The movie? The movie was an action packed blockbuster, with nothing in common to the book other than there were zombies, and they shared the same name. Starring Brad Pitt, the film focuses on Pitt's character scouring the world in search of the source of the zombie outbreak, as the origin of the virus is instrumental towards the development of a vaccine. They then discover that the zombies wont attack injured or sick people, because these individuals would not be suitable hosts for the zombie virus, or some stupid shit like that. Basically the movie dealt with non of the survivalist, society-rebuilding, individual stories which we get to see in the books. Essentially the movie lacked everything that made the book interesting and unique, and is easily forgotten. I might as well have been watching I am Legend or some other zombie flick as the World War Z movie really had nothing to set it apart from other zombie films.

This brings me to the game. Based off of the trailers, and teasers which can be found on YouTube, I can honestly say that I am not too excited about the potential release of the game. Many of the footage, and trailers which have been released seem to focus a lot of the combat, but there has not been much mention on the story, the characters, etc. They brag about the "Dynamic Horde Mechanics" or whatever, as the zombies tumble over each other, or over the corpses of downed zombies. It just seems that like the movie, this game misses out on a lot of the themes which made the book so interesting and unique in the first place. It has been said that this game will be a coop zombie shooter game, and that is fine, but why even call it World War Z when it doesn't seem to share much with the book? I mean, we already know why, money. I also don't see why I should be excited over a coop zombie shooter, when I have already paid for, and played two games exactly like this in the past in the form of Left 4 Dead, and Left 4 Dead 2. Hell if you are just interested in capping a few undead, why not just pop in one of the many zombie gimmicks already attached to several of the Call of Duty titles.

I'm sorry if I seem like I'm just being a pessimist, but honestly... this game doesn't seem to have any of the things that made the book unique, it's just another zombie shooter, so what do we really have to be excited about?

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Monster Hunter - Another Video Game Movie

Let's be honest here, video game movies are usually pretty fucking terrible.

Since the Super Mario Bros. movie back in 1993, almost every single video game related movie to be released has been incredibly sub-par when compared to the source material. In fact, many films went ahead and simply took incredible liberties with the source materials, creating films which were only related to the source material in name. In fact, when looking up a list of video-game related live action movies, the highest rated movie only rates at a 53%, a straight-up fail. If the film is in anyway involved with Uwe Boll, then it's pretty much 100% guaranteed to be a piece of shit.

Given the history of failure with video game movies, is it any surprise that I am not even a little excited about the Monster Hunter movie? I mean sure, the first time I heard about it I was a little excited, but let's talk about it. Recently articles have been popping up around the web which talk about ten or twelve things which fans should be excited about, such as how the armor design is straight out of the game, or how the weapons are true to the source material in design, and even how the grind of "hunt, kill, craft" will be included in the movie.

What I expect though, is that we are gonna see happen, what we saw in movies like Dead or Alive, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat where they try to cram as much of the video game content into two hours. This usually happens as the filmmakers try to introduce new viewers to the lore, and universe of a world which they may have never heard of prior to watching their film. I am also not excited about the fact that one of the main actors in this film is Milla Jovovich due to her involvement in the dreadful adaptation of the Resident Evil franchise into a shitty, over-extended film series.

Given the synopsis which was released along with IGN's exclusive first look, I can only say that it already looks like they will be taking some liberty with the source material. As we have seen with other films though, this just confirms my pessimism about the project. Even the things that appear to remain loyal to the project, such as the armor, doesn't really look realistic enough to create the sense of immersion that helps to really get me invested into a film. The great sword is cosplay quality at best, meanwhile, Milla's armor doesn't even meet Party City Halloween costume quality.

Sorry, but I am not excited about this film, and will most likely not be watching this on launch day. No Thank You.