Episode One: The Enigma
It is titled, The Enemy Within and features my favorite Batman villain (after The Joker)
Spider-Man is my second favorite superhero. My favorite superhero in Marvel. The ratio of good games that the character has had is low. I did enjoy recent efforts such as Web of Shadows but I really haven’t been excited for one in years. That all changed with the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man for Playstation 4. Developed by Insomniac Games, the studio behind Ratchet & Clank franchise. I love that franchise and studio so them being behind this game makes me extra excited.
The gameplay shown is very reminiscent of the Batman: Arkham series. Of course this is with a Spider-Man bent to it as he is a super powered individual and thus moves a lot differently. But you can see the comparisons as well as the differences. The Arkham games are probably the pinnacle of modern day superhero video games so you can’t fault Insomniac Games from taking inspiration from those. But as mentioned previously, this is still a Spider-Man game. You can see Spider-Man just as he uniquely does and takes out bad guys like he should.
Who knows what the plot is? In the gameplay trailer, we see Mister Negative, a relatively new Spider-Man villain. There is also a brief came from Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin. So a gang war does play a role in the game but Insomniac has gone on the record as saying that there is a lot more to it than this. Is Norman Osborn involved? This game seems to be taking cues from more recent comics where Osborn is much more a behind the scenes puller and doesn’t really suit up as Green Goblin as much.
Either way, the game looks great. It looks to be combine the best bits of actual gameplay and quick time events to help you really make you feel like Spider-Man. Hopefully this is a return to prominence for Spider-Man in video games. Some of the best superhero games have featured Spider-Man. So come 2018, I will be getting my copy on the first day of release.
It’s no secret that I am a big God of War fan. By the time of God of War: Ascension, I was still a fan of the series but my interest had diminished. So the series has been on a break since then by last year there was the reveal of the new entry in the franchise. This time an older Kratos would now be on adventure with his young son, Atreus, would be accompanying him. No longer steeped in Greek mythology, this time the God of War would be in Norse land.
The details of how exactly Kratos got here are intentionally being left vague at the moment. Considering he seemingly caused the apocalypse at the end of God of War III, it is something that needs to be addressed. In the trailer above, characters make references to his past and so it looks like it is not being forgotten or will be glossed over. Since this is a more world weary Kratos who at the end of III became aware of what a turd he was, Kratos in this game looks to be more calm. No longer constantly screaming and perpetually angry. It also helps that he has his son with him. Brief instances we saw of Kratos and his daughter, showed that he can be a good father when he wants to be.
I also really liked the stranger in a strange land aspect. Kratos is Greek and so does not understand the Norse language. This is where his son comes in handy especially when they confront the Midgard Serpent whom Kratos cannot understand but his son can. It will be interesting to see how the son plays into the game as he is a support character but is there something more to his character. Can we be looking at a Red Dead Redemption type of situation?
The gameplay looks brutal as ever which is not surprising. The series has always prided themselves on this aspect. Since Kratos does not have his Blades of Chaos but this time an axe, I wanna see how he plays differently. No doubt he will be getting more weapons as is the norm for the God of War series. I really prefer not to know much about the story other than the bare minimum. But I am excited to play the game and see the continuing adventures of Kratos and now his son.
The Marvel vs. Capcom series has never been one for story. What was the plot of the third one? I have no idea. Admittedly this has never been one of Capcom’s strongest suits when it comes to their fighting games. But it looks to be an interesting new take with the fourth installment in the franchise. Ultron, arguably the Avengers’ greatest enemy, teaming up with Sigma, the perpetual enemy of Mega Man X and Zero. It makes sense considering they are both tech villains with little interest in humanity. It will be interesting to see how well they get into the story with this game. I am a story guy. So I would at least like something.
This game frankly scared the shit out of me. So as the return to its horror roots, Resident Evil 7 achieved that.
The game is for the most part a complete departure from everything that has come before. Switching from third person to first person is the biggest. This helped amp up the tension as you never quite knew what was behind you. This is especially true in the earlier elements of the game where this is usually one enemy that is perpetually stalking you and you’re never quite sure where they are.
Keeping with the horror elements, everything is reduced. Ethan, the main character, is someone thrust into this situation. When it comes to weapons, his aim is terrible. There are items scattered that improve aim and health but they are rare. I found myself running away from situations that actively fighting. Ammo is also a limited resource (unless there is a boss fight approaching).
The story is set within Resident Evil canon but is so outside, it would be considered a reboot if not for a few key details. This game details Ethan searching for his missing wife and stumbling upon the Baker estate. The Bakers are to say the least, monsters. They each have their own individual quirks and dangerous in their own unique ways. Special mentions goes out to Lucas Baker as the gameplay takes a unique turn during his section. Other than a somewhat lackluster finale, it is a solid story with some big questions about the franchise left up in the air.
Graphically speaking, this is a gorgeous game. The people do have some of the uncanny valley going on but it is never too much. Sinc the Baker estate is run down, it is absolutely disgusting and in great detail. Just look at the “feast” that they have prepared for Ethan.
Overall, Resident Evil 7 is a solid game. If it wasn’t for the somewhat lackluster finale, it would be great. It is the kick in the pants that the franchise needed. It will be interesting as to where it goes from here. But that is a statement that hasn’t really been said about Resident Evil in a long time.
The first episode of Batman – The Telltale Series has been released. Telltale Games has become synonymous with storytelling in video games…sometimes to the actual detriment to gameplay. So how does this gel with Batman who is a character known for being a great detective as well as a great fighter? Solid.
The game is very much about Bruce Wayne and Batman and how both personas of the same man affect the city? Bruce Wayne is pointedly called a “kingmaker” at one point. Batman is feared and hated in the city except for Lieutenant Gordon who is his sole ally within the Gotham City Police. Though Bruce would like to think his personas are not that tied together, the first episode proves differently.
The plot of the first episode revolves around mob boss Carmine Falcone and his influence over the city. Bruce Wayne wants his friend District Attorney Harvey Dent to become the next mayor while Falcone wants to be included. Dent is the shining knight of the city and so this does not sit well with the criminal element that has prospered in the city. What happens in the ensuing events I will not spoil but the Wayne family legacy is something Bruce Wayne and Batman will have to work on by the end.
The universe of this Batman is familiar yet different at the same time. Harvey Dent, the future Two-Face, is someone who wants to change the city but makes it clear he’s willing to play dirty to get things done. Oswald Cobblepot, the future Penguin, is here a tall and skinny man who was once a childhood friend of Bruce’s. His appearance is small but he outright days he is up to something. Bruce Wayne and Batman both meet Salina Kyle and Catwoman and their relationship is already filled with sexual tension. Gordon and Batman are allies but it’s clear the rest of the police do not share their trust of Batman. Bruce Wayne also meets reporter Vicki Vale who proves to be an ally in both his personas.
The gameplay is familiar to those who have played a Telltale Game before. This one is a bit more action heavy than predecessors but not much as one might think from a Batman game. The more methodical aspects are played up as players are given options to be more physically violent or more intimidating. It is all up to player choice as per usual in a Telltale Game.
Overall it is a solid first episode in a five part series. There is enough mystery and intrigue that makes me wish that the second episode was already out. Telltale seems perfectly suited to handle a Batman game.