Tag Archives: Video Games

Sluggish Reaction: Tomb Raider (movie)

Image result for tomb raider

So I’ve been catching up on my video game adaptations recently!! I’ve had this on my Netflix watchlist for a while and finally got around to watching it. It was a fun ride and I was glad to hear from Movie News Net that a sequel is in the works.

Plot

Richard Croft

After her father goes missing Lara abandons her life as an heiress and makes a living as a courier while keeping up her martial arts and agility as well as her keen mind and ability to solve puzzles. The latter comes into effect when she is compelled to declare her father dead in-absentia  and uncovers a puzzle that leads her to an ancient tomb where an ancient Japanese Empress with the power to kill with merely a touch is said to be buried.

I thought the plot opened up well and built up to the final confrontation as well as setting up for a larger conflict, which again I’m relieved to hear is going ahead.

Lara Croft

Image result for tomb raider movie lara

I liked Lara’s portrayal in the film by Alicia Vikander. She struck a good balance between posh and relatable with her character having seen how the other half lived. Also, reflecting the change in direction for the game franchise Lara is tough but certainly not invincible, she is agile but not superhuman and she is skilled but not infallible and when she took up her bow it was refreshing to see her miss some shots rather than turn into Hawkeye with no context.

All her skills were set up by either flashbacks to her life at Croft Manor or by her street-smart life as a young adult. She looked scared when things were scary and acted out of necessity. The more down to earth approach worked well for the film.

Action

Image result for tomb raider movie oh come on

For the most part the action was fine. As I said Lara didn’t abruptly become some sort of superhero and the fighting felt realistic for what you’d expect from an inexperienced yet very capable and determined young hero. The one downside for me was the set-piece with the broken plane which just went on for far too long – in fact I shouted “Oh, come on!” at the exact same time as Lara, which just took me out of the movie.

Verdict

The movie was good…not great, but good. Unlike Assassin’s Creed I couldn’t put my finger on any major flaws and I perfectly enjoyed it. It didn’t blow me away, but then I wasn’t asking it to. I enjoy the games but I’m not a diehard fan so I don’t have any attachment to them for this film to fulfil or disappoint. What I was expecting was an engaging action film with a strong female lead and on that score it absolutely delivered.

Advertisements

Species of the Week: Isu

Isu

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Earth

Notable Members: Juno, Minerva, Jupiter

Fandom: Assassin’s Creed

Appearances: Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed III

 

More commonly known as the First Civilization or ‘Those Who Came Before’ the Isu were an advanced race who rules the earth for millennia. They created humanity and used their technology (now referred to as Pieces of Eden) to control them. An uprising led by Human-Isu hybrids known as Adam and eve coupled with a solar cataclysm led to the end of their culture though they continued to influence events and  guide the Assassin Brotherhood through their technology centuries later. 

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed III which is why I picked this race for this week. Obviously I’m waaay behind on the series so I don’t want to research much more for risk of spoiling myself – in fact, learning the name Isu was a spoiler for me!! Anyway engaging with the real-world quests and uncovering the technology of the mysterious First Civilization has always been a favourite part of the game for me and I may come back to this race when I’ve uncovered more of their secrets.

My Two Credits: 2 reasons you should play Republic Commando and 2 things you might want to know

Image result for republic commando

Star Wars: Republic Commando is this month’s Games with Gold title on Xbox Live. Here’s my take on the game and why you should get it…other than it’s free!!

1. The Squad System

Image result for republic commando squad commands

Usually I’m all for story over gameplay but the squad system on Republic Commando  was particularly memorable. You play as the leader of a squad of four clone commandos. As you look around you can use the d-pad to direct clones on your squad to perform specific actions, such as breaching doors, manning turrets and  engaging enemies. I acknowledge I don’t play many games but I haven’t played anything like it apart from Halo 5.

2. Live the Clone Wars

Related image

The game puts you in the heart of the Clone Wars, battling the Seperatists and other enemies such as Trandoshan Slavers across a variety of planets. The campaign was relatively short but each mission was challenging in a fun way with a variety of enemies to fight and mission objectives to complete. The game itself is Legends now but there’s nothing I’m aware of that contradicts the new Canon so you can really put yourself into the Clone Wars.

Ok these are two reasons to play the game, here are two things you should know.

1. The game is a tie-in to Episode III

Image result for republic commando tarfull

One of the missions has you rescue Tarfful, the leader of the Wookiees seen in Revenge of the Sith. It felt awesome to play this game and then see the results of one of your work on-screen at the cinema!

2. The games spawned a series of books

Image result for republic commando novels

The characters in the game continued on in a series of books written by Karen Traviss, which explored their role in the Clone Wars, their Mandalorian heritage and how they dealt with Order 66.

OK, just a quick one today. But like I said if you’re a Star Wars fand and an Xbox Live Gold account holder you can get this for free so, honestly who not?!!

It’s no longer free but you can also see my review for Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy HERE

 

Sluggish Reaction: Anthem Demo

Image result for anthem

I had a brief hands-on with the Anthem Open Demo this weekend and I wanted to share my thoughts on the game. In short it was a lot of fun – I’ve genuinely not smiled as much while playing a game from sheer enjoyment!

Gameplay

Image result for anthem range ultimate

Waiting for that ultimate ability is sooooo worth it!

The gameplay was a lot of fun and, for the most part, fairly intuitive. After a mission briefing I hopped into my Ranger Javelin and was out in the world. On the fly pop up messages got me throwing grenades and unleashing special attacks amid the variety of enemies available to fight.

Image result for anthem

The one control I struggled with, at first, was flying. The only control guide that was available took me out of the game and opened up a web browser, which was confusing. So I went back into the game and tried various combinations but ended up just double-jumping assuming I hadn’t unlocked flight yet!

Eventually I figured it out (press/hold left stick) and the game became incredibly fun. Flying is seamless and while I did crash into things…a lot, it was definitely because of me rather than the controls and within a few minutes I had the hang of basic flying.

The Story

Image result for anthem matthias

I was prepared for an engaging story from Bioware but what I wasn’t prepared for was just how bonkers the world and story would be!! The mission has you retrieve an artifact for Matthias who turns it on and is immediately split into three versions of himself each with a distinct element of his persona!!

The short time I had with the game managed to take me by surprise in a lot of ways with unexpected moments happening organically as I played.

The World

As much as I was awed by the crazy happenings in cutscenes I was itching to hop back into my Javelin and get back into the world, which is so rich. It’s hard not to compare Anthem to Destiny or to want to be ‘better’. I won’t weigh in on that debate as I enjoy both but Anthem is definitely not the same as Destiny.

For one thing there are more human factions. Freelancers are not the only ones with access to Javelins and powers. One mission got my squad into a rumble with the Dominion, the enemy human faction who want to control the Anthem of Creation. Another sent us to reinforce some Sentinels, the peacekeeping force in Anthem.

Image result for anthem sentinels

What also makes the world great are all the creatures. They add not only danger but a sense of the unexpected. My first mission I was looking all around to see what enemy was attacking me – I eventually looked up to see three Wyverns (dragons) hovering above me. Later I did my usual practice of throwing a grenade out at random (oh come on, you know you do it too!) and awoke a pack of Anrisaurs (giant crab thingies – see below) who attacked me squad.

Image result for anthem Anrisaur

My only complaint was that it was hard to visually distinguish a lot of the enemies who seemed to blend into the background and you had to get suicidally close to get a proper look at anything or see what they were called.

That said Anthem seems to be set up with an excellent lore system, which is BioWare’s forte and I’m sure we’ll get some hi-res shots of all the enemies after launch.

 

Like I said nothing has genuinely made me smile like the fun, crazy dangerous world of Anthem and I can’t wait to get back into my Javelin for the full game

Worlds Slowest Gamer: Achievements update January 19

A Happy New Year to you all!

 

Here’s a catchup of the achievements I’ve unlocked playing Halo 5:Guardians recently…ish!

As I said in the video I’ve embedded a guide to get the skull I unlocked in the game. The tutorial comes at the skull from a different angle to what I detailed ( I don’t jump over the pelican) but I realise it’s probably easier to follow as a video. Do check out their channel for more helpful guides

Sluggish Reaction: Anthem Trailer

BioWare recently dropped their Anthem trailer at the game awards as well as an unexpected teaser for a new Dragon Age game – which gives me hope for the future of Mass Effect.

Anthem7

At first viewing the trailer didn’t seem to offer much we didn’t already know, but the more I’ve watched it the more I’m intrigued. We get additional shots of Javelins taking down various monsters in the world.

Anthem2

We see some of the faces we’ve already seen, but we start to see some more of their capabilities. I’m still struggling not to see comparisons with Destiny with characters harnessing the power of the Anthem seeming a lot like the Traveler’s light.

Anthem8

We also glimpsed a few more new characters including this woman, who seems to be a leader of some sort, perhaps of one of the factions in the world.

Anthem1

I liked the references to ancient civilizations and exploring groups that have come before but been wiped out by the Anthem of the Gods is intriguing and feels very BioWare.

Anthem3

The idea of a walled city again seems very Destiny but actually seeing the city defend itself in-game is very exciting. I also spotted something interesting on second viewing.

Anthem4

At first glance I thought these were some giant monsters attacking the city but looking again the vehicle on the left looks a lot like a Strider – the vehicle your character uses to get about in the world when not in their Javelin. Anthem’s world isn’t just ‘one last city’ but a number of human civilizations, who aren’t always at peace.

Anthem6

And with the we see the Moniutor, the enemy leader of the Dominion – a human faction intent on controlling the Anthem. Realizing this, especially with the trailer literally having an unreliable narrator, makes the game come alive. A world full of monsters but the main enemy is human?! Yes, sign me up now!

Anthem5

I say human, but some of his followers look pretty freaky, wonder what the power has done to them.

I was already sold on this, but now I can’t wait!!!

World’s Slowest Gamer: Achievements update November 2018

Here are some achievements I’ve unlocked in Destiny

Also here are the details from the Grimoire card I unlocked after finding the Dead Ghost

Grimoire Jupiter.jpg

Lord of worlds, massive Jupiter and its moons must have been a cornerstone of Golden Age civilization. But the nature and extent of human presence there is now unknown. Old records refer to cities in ice and world-spanning oceans, but perhaps this is only poetry.

Grimoire GF Jupiter.jpg

Dreams of Alpha Lupi

Even the largest body lets itself be pushed where it needs to be, seduced into nice, warm loving orbits. Persistence is the key.

Seafloors transform and then yank themselves skyward, shattering the icy crust. New worlds awaken in the swirling depths.

You build homes around this half-born sun ripped by storms and supersonic wind.