E3 2014: MY TOP PICKS

Greetings all!!!

So, for a while I couldn’t think of anything to talk about because…not much interesting happened this week.

I did see Edge of Tomorrow, but there was no point in reviewing a film that has been out for a while, because everyone has probably already seen it. I wasn’t going to talk about the World Cup either because I don’t blog about sports.

But then in a conversation I had with my friend who was sent a code to try out the Destiny Alpha on PS4, I remembered..,

E3 HAPPENED!

So I’ll talk about the games I saw and picked the ones that peeked my interest…

Assassin’s Creed Unity

I’m not a die hard fan of the Assassin’s Creed games. Yes, I do have fun with them, but no, I have never actually completed them. In my opinion, Assassin’s Creed games are always a lot of hard work and require an enormous amount of patience.

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I was playing Black Flag on my PS4 the other night and I had to make a long ass journey by ship to my next destination, which left me sitting there thinking: “Why am I sitting through simulated sailing for the past 10 minutes when I could be doing something else?”

But maybe because Black Flag wanted you to be fully engrossed in the pirate experience.

I don’t know…

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But what makes me excited for this new installment is that it’s the first in the series made specifically for next gen and just because there’s no other game coming out on next-gen for a while to look forward aside Destiny.

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The time and the setting, which is Paris during the French Revolution, adds to it’s appeal. I also loved that, as demonstrated in the single player trailer, everything is seamless. You can go into a random building without having to load it up.

It’s the little things…

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat on the next gen platform…Need I say more?

This installment of the series is everything the Mortal Kombat series should be. Energetic, fun and brutal. And it looks like there’s exactly what it’s doing.

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What’s more is that it seems that some of the mechanics from Injustice: Gods Amongst Us have been incorporated into this game. You can grab objects from your surroundings and use them as a weapon.

There’s not a lot I need to say about this one, because the trailer and the gameplay speaks for itself.

The Order 1886

It was great to see more footage for The Order 1886, but for some reason I’m still on the fence with it.

It looks absolutely amazing. There’s no doubt about that. However I am not completely sold on it. I’ll probably wait for a hands on first impression before I decide to buy.

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Maybe it’s because of the premise of the game, or the fact that this is the start of a possible gaming franchise. Because it’s a stand alone release and hasn’t had a previous installment to establish that it’s worth getting I can’t put my faith entirely into The Order 1886.

Okay, yes, the guys who developed this game developed the God Of War PSP games but that’s not enough to go on.

Like I said let’s see what happens…

Tom Clancy’s The Division

This game has continued to impress me everytime new footage is released. It looks visually stunning. The gameplay looks superb.

I just can’t wait to get it for my PS4 and see it on my TV in all it’s glory.

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My only fear would be that it’s focused mainly on the multiplayer campaign, but I’d love it if it had a great single player campaign because it looks promising enough to warrant a playable story.

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Like Mortal Kombat X, the footage speaks for itself. Yes, I did mention that with The Order 1886, it wasn’t an established franchise yet, but considering The Division is being developed by Ubisoft, I have little to worry about.

No Man’s Sky

I didn’t know what to expect when the trailer for this game was about to play during E3.

Then it played…

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…and boy oh boy. I was surprisingly impressed.

I wasn’t expecting it to be impressive and I wasn’t expecting to be so interested in it. Because I’m not an “indie gamer”. I don’t play indie games. I play the big mainstream blockbuster releases, the games everyone has been hyping up for months.

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But this game, as an indie game, heck, as any type of game, looks impressive. And the scope of it sounds incredible. The fact that no two players will start in the same place and you can travel to anywhere and it’s infinite in quantity really excites me. And it seems so immersive.

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I can forgive it for being released in December next year. That much promise needs more developing time. So I can wait, and I have a feeling the wait will be worth it…

Batman: Arkham Knight

From the moment this trailer began actually showing the gameplay my jaw hit the floor.

THIS is the game that really impressed me at E3. It’s the Arkham games, so I expected no less. But it looks so amazing. From the gliding to driving the Batmobile.

And the Batmobile…

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It looks like a hell of a lot of fun to drive. I was slightly skeptical when it was announced that the Batmobile was a playable mechanic in the game, but this trailer ended those doubts.

The city of Gotham has never looked so beautiful, so real. At first, I was annoyed it got delayed, but after seeing this, all I can think is:

“If it looks this good now, how is it going to look when it’s finishing touches are done?”

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And I think we all know the answer to that…

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Also worth mentioning:

The really two big games also worth mentioning and I will gladly let them take my money would be Uncharted 4 and Rise of The Tomb Raider.

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Unfortunately, neither of these games exhibited any sort of gameplay footage but luckily their predecessor’s speak for themselves. The Uncharted series has always been a stand out, and if they carry on how they have done previously, like the Arkham games it should work out quite nicely.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…

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The same applies to Rise of the Tomb Raider. With the first one I was skeptical with playing it, but when I did get round to it, my mind was blown. It was one of the best games of 2013. It didn’t get the credit it deserved to be honest. But I have high expectations now for Rise of the Tomb Raider.

The last game worth mentioning, yes, I know it’s been out for nearly a year and I’ve already played it on PS3, but Grand Theft Auto V for PS4 is one for some reason I look forward to.

GTA5_mediumIt’s probably because I’m carrying the same logic I have with Assassin’s Creed Unity. Nothing big and new is coming out for a while so I’ll gladly give my money to GTAV. I’m sure a lot of people with a PS4 will be doing the same for The Last of Us.

So, what did you think of E3 2014? What were your top picks?

Comments please and I’ll see you on the next post!!!

 

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X-MEN: AND HISTORY REWRITES ITSELF…

Yes, I know, I’m a week late but I’ve finally seen X Men: Days Of Future Past

And before I give my view on it, I have but one word for what I saw: AMAZING!

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(***SPOILERS AHEAD, SO IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE YET, YOU HAVE BEEN FOREWARNED. DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN THE MOVIE OR YOU DON’T CARE IF THE PLOT OF A FILM/SERIES IS RUINED FOR YOU***)

First off, the performances from every single actor or actress in this movie was on point. Every one of them who have ever been in one of the films from the X-Men franchise brought their “A” game.

And before I get to the original and current cast, I first have to give props to the newcomers. The new cast that played the future X-Men did well. And as per usual, Peter Dinklage pulls out another terrific performance.

To the regulars…

James McAvoy as young Xavier did really well, pulling off Charles’ transition from being a broken and isolated man to rediscovering the path he needs to take to become the Patrick Stewart incarnation of Xavier we all know and love.

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In terms of Magneto, once again, the Fassbender portrayal of the character is a lot more cooler than Sir Ian McKellen’s one, but that’s only because the older Erik Lensherr is more in tune with his abilities and wiser. Young Erik is still so full of rage, so when he uses his powers he does it in an aggressive manner, whereas older Erik is well resided in the place between peace and tranquility.

Jennifer Lawrence’s incarnation of Mystique is one that fans will love because she is a lot more like her comic book version than she was in the original films.

In the earlier portrayal by Rebecca Romijn, Mystique was definitely cold and calculated and yes she was pretty cool, but she was so robotic because she didn’t have a lot of dialogue. Everything she did was through action, so audiences could hardly empathize with her.

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But this edition of Mystique takes what was great about the previous display of the character and adds the emotion to her. This time, Mystique is part of the film’s soul. Like Charles, she has lost her way, but like Erik, she is filled internally with a lot of conflict.

There was a lot of emotion…

The events that took place between First Class and Days Of Future Past, which include historical events like the Vietnam war hit everyone hard, as losses were suffered from all sides.

As Hank mentioned, most of the students and teachers from the Xavier Institute were drafted in, and one by one they died, and it broke Charles.

It was sad to hear that some of the characters that, even though they were not incredibly relevant, from First Class, met tragic fates including Emma, Angel and Banshee.

Erik, Raven, Hank and even Alex have all been broken like Charles. What’s more is how they have all decided to take different approaches to get over the losses.

It’s no wonder why we find young Charles a damaged man to the point that he tells Logan that everyone dies some day.

And the film didn’t just deal with the emotional state of the characters, but also about their relationships with each other. About trying to repair what was broken or about characters trying to find their way. Especially the Young Charles/Erik/Mystique element.

The scene on the plane ride to Paris in which Erik and Charles argue about who abandoned who summed up a very delicate relationship.

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It’s clear that they both still care for each other, and it’s why Charles selfishly rages at Erik that he abandoned him and took Raven away. Taking away the things that mattered most to him. But Erik is not just angry about Charles’ abandonment but also at the fact that him abandoning Erik cost the lives of so many allies they hold dear.

Hugh Jackman as always, kills it as Wolverine. Even if people don’t like Logan’s stand out films, you can’t help go see it because of Jackman. The character is already the most popular of the X-Men, and Jackman’s portrayal of him keeps that favouritism in place.

Even though I don’t like the fact that Wolverine is always central to the plot of the Singer films, in Days Of Future Past I was glad he was the central character thread that kept both the timelines together. I felt Logan’s pain and impatience when he was trying to convince young Charles that he was telling the truth.

Especially when he grabs Charles and tells him that he has come a long way and has lost a lot of good friends who were good people. And what’s more he tells Charles that if he doesn’t listen to him he too will suffer the same losses and they hurt just as worse.

The scene with Logan that really got me was when he tells young Charles on the plane to Washington that even though when he saw tragic memories, there were also good ones and begs Charles to promise him that he find the X-Men. To find Storm, Jean, Scott.

I keep saying that the film is filled with emotion because that’s as best how I can describe it. Yes, the matters at hand and the action are important, but they weren’t the factors that stood out to me. It was the emotions that kept me locked into the film.

Alongside Wolverine, young Charles and Mystique were essentially the heart of the film, keeping it emotionally engaging. Even Hank, who you can see was still quite saddened by Raven’s departure added more to the tender serving.

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In fact, a lot of the characters brought so much emotional energy, but it’s the first three just mentioned that really stick out.

Heck, even that one scene that we saw Alex Summers in tugged at the heartstrings, especially when he gets onto the plane and asks a disguised Raven if she was coming home. I would have liked to have seen his character have a full stay in this movie and have a lot to do.

Will he make a possible appearance in Apocalypse? It would be interesting to see how they tackle his relation to young Scott. It’ll probably be like the Magneto/Quicksilver elevator scene.

It was also touching to see that the film wasn’t just about Charles finding hope again, but it reached out to audience members to tell them that no matter how dark things get, there’s always a bright side and that we have to keep hoping.

I think what a lot of the fans will take from this film is what happens at the end, and I’m not just talking post credits…

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The creation of the sentinel programme happened at the same time as the original trilogy, so while the films were taking place sentinels were being built and modified to be more adaptable in combat against mutants.

By putting an end to the Sentinel programme it means the X-Men aren’t going to meet the fate they end up in at the start of the film.

And with it comes changes to the current timeline.

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Logan didn’t join Charles’ team until the first film (I was going to say he didn’t meet Charles until the first film, but we all remember that scene from First Class). But by meeting him in 1973 that means (and this is me making an assumption), he will be a part of Charles’ X-team for the next installment, which was hinted at when after the events in the 70’s Hank asks Charles of Logan’s fate and when Logan meets Charles in his office in the new timeline, Charles tells him he’s got a lot of catching up to do from 1973.

It would only make sense…

Not to mention when Logan wakes up, all the beloved characters from the original movie reach a happier fate, and what’s more, like Logan, we feel such joy and relief and happiness when we find that both Jean and Scott (yes that Scott as in Scott Summers as in Cyclops), is still alive.

You’re not just happy to see that they’re alive but you’re happy to see that with all the pain and loss that Wolverine suffered, he’s finally got a peaceful and happier resolution to his story.

With Scott and Jean alive again, it now means X-Force is gonna be a go, because there’s no X-Force without Cable, and Cable is the son of Scott and (a clone of) Jean Grey. If they don’t exist, neither does he.

Up next, for those who didn’t see the post credits scene is Apocalypse. Rumour has it that it’ll be set in the 80’s and young Scott will be in the team, as well as Quicksilver. If that be the case I will be incredibly excited, especially on the Cyclops front.

My reason for this huge bias towards the Summers kid is that if you have a general knowledge of the X-Men comics, you’d know how vital and important of a character he is to the series.

And I’d say that that’s my only beef with Singer’s franchise. No one sees how important Scott is to the X-Men. When you think of some of the most important and iconic stories in the comics, from the Dark Phoenix saga to Age of Apocalypse, Scott is in some way connected to them.

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Scott is connected to Age of Apocalypse. How? Because his future child is fighting for survival in that timeline.

Scott is connected to the Dark Phoenix Saga. How? Simply because he and Jean are the love of each other’s lives and Jean being overcome with the Phoenix Force puts a strain on their marriage.

Not to mention, in recent events (Avengers Vs X-Men), Scott is at the centre of the story as he comes to understanding what Jean went through and kills Charles at his own hand.

The transition made by Scott from Charles’ prodigal son to having Magneto as a close ally is one that determines the fate of the entire X-team and it’s one of those issues that I feel should be brought to the fray.

Also, with the timeline changing, it now gives Singer the chance an attempt to make a Dark Phoenix movie, an opportunity tragically missed by The Last Stand.

It was clear that at the end of X2: X-Men United, Singer had plans to make a Phoenix movie, so changing the X-universe would probably allow him to make the Dark phoenix movie he probably planned since 2003.

There were so many things about this movie that I loved, from the story, to the action, to the characters and to the actors that played them. This film demonstrated why Bryan Singer was the right man to direct the X-Men films.

It’s as if the last few films in the X-Men franchise (with the exception of First Class) didn’t take place and that he picked up where he left off from the second film.

This film is like a hail to his return but also a sentimental last goodbye to the original cast.

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I believe Days Of Future Past is a film in the franchise that would rank highly amongst fans. For me, it’s the best one, and I loved the original movie from 14 years ago.

It’s very rare for me to say that the newest installment of a highly established franchise is the best addition.

5/5