E3 2016

It’s that time again, gamers! It’s our special christmas. E3 2016 came and went as fast as any other thing we anticipate, and with it there were some soaring highs and plummeting lows. I’m going to go down the line and give my thoughts on all of the companies that presented.

EA’s Press Conference:

You know how they say the weakest animals in the pack are the first ones to go? Well, the same can be said for E3 conferences. Electronic Arts’ presentation left a lot to be desired. I went in looking forward to an actual story trailer, or gameplay trailer for the new Mass Effect: Andromeda game. Now, the Mass Effect series is one of my favorite in gaming. So, obviously myself and millions of other fans were looking for some sort of sneak peak at the new game. Well, what we got wasn’t entirely what we expected.

This is the type of presentation we got for EA’s conference. Just behind the scenes footage of people working on a game. It goes to show that Mass Effect, and EA’s new slew of Star Wars games just aren’t ready for the public to see. If that’s the case, why tease us like this? I’d much rather see some gameplay footage than a video of people saying they’re making a game. We already know that!

EA did something new in terms of presenting their products. This year they had a dual press conference, half it was in London and the other half was in LA and they where both streaming at the same time, handing the limelight off to each other one after the other. It was a bit awkward overall. However, EA’s conference as a whole wasn’t all bad. Titan Fall 2 and Battlefield 1 look really cool. Even if the trailers they showed were just repeats of what was shown earlier in the day.

Lastly, the games that took center stage were the sports games. Madden and FIFA were shown extensively, much to a lot of the audiences’ chagrin. As mentioned, EA had a dual conference going on and what’s funny is they showed the sports games to the wrong audience. They showed Madden (American Football) to the British audience and showed FIFA to the LA crowd. Both presentations were met with more of a whimper than a bang.

I’d give EA’s show a 6/10. I wish more of the games that were presented were actually ready for a presentation.

 

Bethesda’s Press Conference: 

Bethesda did a good job this year. It was really a show revolving around Dishonored 2, which in turn makes me want to play the first Dishonored. There were some great things peppered throughout as well.

First of all, they answered a lot of gamers’ prayers and announced a remastered version of Skyrim. Skyrim, for those who don’t know is the 2011 smash hit role-playing adventure and the sixth entry in the Elder Scrolls series . It was first released on PS3 and Xbox 360 and is now making the leap over to the current gen consoles. Of course, PC is out of this equation because that’s constantly being updated.

A very big surprise was the announcement of a Prey reboot. The original Prey was one of the first Xbox 360 games, and Prey 2 was showcased a few years ago. However, Prey 2 plummeted into development hell and unfortunately never got out. So, Bethesda is now starting from scratch.

The rest of the conference was like a hearty soup. Very filling and with lots variety. Bethesda showed off some new and cool looking Fallout 4 DLC as well as an add on to Fallout Shelter, ad a slew of new Virtual Reality stuff. The future is here!

8/10

Microsoft’s Press Conference: 

Talk about a solid conference. Microsoft opened with a bang by showing off the new Gears of War 4. Last years Gears 4 demo left much to be desired. While it was an exciting announcement, the gameplay trailer they showed was all in the dark, literally. You could barely see a thing. This time around, they showcased Gears 4 in a much more exciting and vibrant fashion.

Along with Gears, the long-since-announced Scalebound was shown, as well as an announcement and trailer for Dead Rising 4. Most of the conference was great, barring a few very cringe worthy moments. But, out of all the new game trailers that were shown, the biggest news wasn’t even about a game at all.

Microsoft announced two new Xbox consoles. First, the Xbox One S. This new machine is 40% smaller than the regular Xbox One and is able to output 4K blu rays. Other than that, it’s virtually the same as the current Xbox One. Then they dropped a bomb with Project Scorpio. This new machine won’t be out until holiday 2017 but it’s lauded as being the most powerful game console ever built. Some of the jargon goes way over my head but I’m pretty sure this thing will be the Superman of consoles.

 

8/10

Ubisoft’s Press Conference:

Wow. Talk about a snoozer. Why did they have to make this two hours long? It’s Ubisoft’s 30th anniversary so I kind of understand if they wanted an extra segment or two in celebration but man, this conference was all over the place.

We start out with a rendition of Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen as a bunch of people dressed in animal costumes dance around the stage. Yup. After that Aisha Tyler, the host and the best part of the whole thing, walks on stage to crack some jokes and get the conference underway.

As it goes on we’re introduced to Watch Dogs 2, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and For Honor Now. They all looked amazing but the main problem was Ubisoft showed way too much. The gameplay trailer for Wildlands felt like a half hour, as their presentation for their VR games. Show a round or two, not an entire match! The rest of it went on with just really long demos and live interviews. It would have been great if it wasn’t over 2 hours.

I like Ubisoft, I think they’re a great company. However, they need to find a better, more constrained way to present at future E3s

5/10

Sony’s Press Conference:

Now this is what I call a video game conference. It started out with a live orchestral band that played whenever a demo was shown or an official walked out on stage. At first, I thought it was a bit hokey because they played solo for the first five minutes of the conference, but once the actual show began I immediately ate my words.

From the very beginning, Sony landed an elbow drop. They started off with the new God Of War. Not called God Of War 4 or anything like that, just God Of War. This new entry to the series finds Kratos a older and more broken man with a son he has to protect. If you’re wondering “what gods will he face this time”?  well… let’s just say Thor better hang on to his hammer…

Other notable surprises included a PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game, and extended look at Quantic Dreams’ new game Detroit: Become Human, and the return of Crash Bandicoot!! Sony Bend, a developer who has been dormant for over five years, finally announced their new exclusive called Days Gone. It looks like your typical zombie shoot em up game except now you’re a member of a motorcycle gang… yay! I think.

In my opinion, Sony’s conference was the best. They just kept on nailing us with game, after game, after game. That’s, personally, what I want from a video game conference. Just new game announcements.

 

10/10

Nintendo’s Press Conference:

This wasn’t a traditional conference, it was more of a live stream via the internet. How was it? Well, to quote a tweet a saw “Nintendo’s Conference was like handing in an essay with large text and double spaced”.

There was no substance to any of it, I actually lost interest and turned it off half way through. All that was shown was the new Zelda game, which does look great, and the new Pokeman game. Great, fun, exciting looking games but the demos for both of them went on for, what felt like, hours.

And that was it… no details about their new system, no new meteoroid announcement (unless I missed it) just Zelda and Pokemon. Cool.

No grade

 

Wrapping Up:

This years E3 was very exciting. It had some lows for sure, but overall they had more exiting hardware and game announcements in this one than any past one that I can remember.

Now, what’s a good ol’ E3 without a cringe video…

 

 

@JayGreen89

 

 

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Justice League Dark Will Be The Next DC Animated Movie

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This comes as quite a surprise to me but the next DC Animated movie after The Killing Joke will, apparently, be Justice League Dark.

Justice League Dark is a team of not-so-super superheroes comprised of: John Constantine, Zatanna, Madame Xanadu, Enchantress and Shade the Changing Man. Members have shifted over the years, like Swamp Thing and even Frankenstein becoming part of the team. The JL Dark crew usually battles enemies of a more exotic and mystical nature. As the regular Justice League is fighting Lex Luthor or The Joker in one of their fictional cities, The Dark team are on the astral plane fields of some other-wordly dimension fighting god knows what.  Now, it seems the team will be making their small screen debut.

There’s one big reason this comes as a surprise: They announced a live action Justice League Dark movie already. Well, it was a “hot rumor” but it kept going and seemed very possible. Perhaps a live action adaptation was dropped in favor of this version because DC Entertainment is course correcting their game plan after the poor response to Batman v Superman. There was also rumors of Colin Farrell playing John Constantine in the live action version. If this live action version was planned, it must have not been easy to drop it in favor to an animated version. No disrespect to DCs animated films, they’re all fantastic in my opinion. However, a live action Justice League Dark could have been DC Entertainment’s answer to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. I mean, you have the lovable rogue in Constantine, the mysterious character in Zatanna, the wild card in Deadman and Swamp Thing could be DCs answer to Groot. I mean it practically writes itself! Not to mention, Enchantress is already going to be in Suicide Squad. That would have been a great way to introduce the Justice League Dark team.

 

All in all, I’m sure the animated Justice League Dark film will be great. As I said DCs animated films are fantastic. Yes, I even liked Justice League War. It’s just surprising to see them scale down something that could work so well on the silver screen. Who knows, maybe they still will make a JL Dark live action film down the line.

 

@JayGreen89

 

John Bodyega Cast In Pacific Rim 2

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This is definitely some unexpected news. John Boyega, the actor who plays Finn in the latest Star Wars film has been cast as the main lead in the upcoming Pacific Rim sequel. Boyega made this news known by sending out an enthusiastic tweet:

 

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As you can tell, Guillermo Del Toro will not be returning to direct. That responsibility falls to Steven S. Deknight, of Netflix’ Daredevil fame. Who will Boyega be playing, though? My money’s on a younger version of Idris Elba’s character from the first Pacific Rim. I mean, they share similar accents…

elba

 

@JayGreen89

Netflix’s Daredevil Story Leak!

Okay, okay okay… brace yourself everybody!

Now I don’t usually get information of this caliber but I recently did from an unnamed source. This source described to me an episode of the upcoming Daredevil series that’s premiering on Netflix on April 10th. Read if you… DARE.

SPOILERS

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Apparently once Matt Murdock is an established hero, running around New York City busting crime, there will be an imposter or two also trying to stand for justice. After dealing with a few, one of them finds their way through the court system.

If you don’t know, Matt Murdock only moonlights as Daredevil. During the day he’s a tried and true attorney. So, he’s gotten word that one of the impersonators has been captured and sent to jail and now Murdock has to defend him in court.

The real kicker here is that the impersonator is none other than the current Batman himself… Ben Affleck! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. It seems that Marvel is poking fun at the previous actor who played Daredevil over 10 years ago. My sources also claim that Murdock will be defending Affleck’s Daredevil saying “he’s just trying to do the right thing”. I highly respect a company that can poke fun at itself sometimes.

Here’s a little reminder of Affleck’s Daredevil

@JayGreen89

And Chris Says… Episode 2

Take a look at another around of me showing my friend dumb things

Check Out My First Web Show!

Hey guys! So my friends and I are gonna do what every millennial these days does and try to get popular on YouTube. The first show we’re making is called “And Chris Says…”

It’s a show about me showing random internet weirdness to my friend Chris and his reactions. It’s like an ink blot test but for crazy movie!

Don’t be afraid to check out my channel, too. Blah Blah Productions. There you’ll find a ton of podcasts my friends and I do. Hope you enjoy!

Dying Light Review

Despite being about shambling, half dead corpses, the zombie genre is alive. Over the past several years the video game market has become enamored with zombie titles – from The Walking Dead to Dead Rising. After awhile one would think “this genre will die out similar to Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero, right?” Well, then a game like Dying Light comes along and shows you just how much this undying genre can really shine.

STORY – You’re put into the shoes of a GRE agent known as Kyle Crane. Going into this game I thought “Well, I’ll just be playing as a silent protagonist who does peoples’ biddings.” Turns out, I was only half right! Crane’s personality is far more fleshed out then I expected. Yes, he still blindly follows people and gets angry a lot, but voice actor Roger Craig Smith does a damn good job putting his heart and soul into Crane. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the other characters as their voice work ranges from mediocre to cringe worthy. There are a few exceptions however, like the main villain and the love interest.

The game begins with Crane HALO jumping down to the fictional city of Harran. Harran is plagued with the zombie virus and he’s tasked with saving the day. As expected, the moment he lands things go haywire and he stumbles upon a large group of survivors. From that point forward he agrees to help them with their needs as well as help fight against an evil faction of humans lead by a drug lord named Rise. It’s a better thought out story then a lot of other zombie games; with a surprising amount of heart and depth.

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GAMEPLAY – The biggest focus here is the Parkour. Parkour is a essentially running, jumping and grabbing at a specific pace along an urban environment. Examples can be seen here and here. Crane is a Parkour master so the majority of the game is spent running, jumping, grabbing and climbing onto rails buildings and everything in between. Think Mirrors Edge but with more zombies. Parkour the main means of traversing the map and a super effective way at avoiding the undead. It’s such a focus that for the first few hours of the game the only weapons Crane has access too are extremely weak ones. The game forces you to Parkour and avoid zombies. As for the weapons, there is a wide range of melee weapons. From pipes, wrenches, baseball bats and swords. Every weapon has its own unique feel and can be crafted with the likes of fire and electricity, along with a few other helpers. There are guns but not until later in the game and the noise they give off can hinder your progression.

There are three skill trees that can be leveled up. Agility, Power and Survival. Agility is leveled up by running, climbing and dodged while Power by killing enemies. Survival is leveled up by completing missions and surviving the night time. Once you reach a new level in any one of the three trees you gain a skill point that can be spent on a new perk in that skill tree. It’s very Borderlands-esque.

The other main focus of the game is the night time. Simply put, when the day turns to night things get worse. A more vile, harder-to-kill group of enemies rise from the depths of the city looking for a meal. These are known as the Volatiles. Once the sun sets and the night hits, you have the choice of finding a safe house and sleeping there until the morning or toughing it out and surviving the night. Doing so gives you double points in every skill tree, just watch out for the Volatiles as avoiding them can be a tricky. Holding down the X button (I played this on a PS4) allows Crane to scan the area for any useful items, but it can also detect Volatiles so you can plan accordingly. That, and they can be seen on the in game map with a cone of sight a la Metal Gear Solid.

Dying Light also sports co-op if you feel like gathering with some friends to kick some undead ass. It feels a bit lazy in the sense that each of the players would be playing as Kyle Crane at the same time. But, honestly it’s pretty entertaining to see your friend drop kick a zombie. Personally, I spent hours and hours doing missions with my friends. The only downside is that if you’re in their game and do a mission or two and go back to your own game, you’ll have to do the same missions again if you haven’t already.

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PRESENTATION – Once you’re given free range to run around Harran and bash zombie heads in, it becomes quite clear how easy it is to be sucked into the world. The crips graphics, disturbing zombie noises and chatter amongst the NPCs, Techland does a remarkable job at making Harran feel real. Even though most of the voice acting (excluding Crane and a few others) is pretty cringeworthy, that doesn’t take away from the bright and bustling display of the city. There are two maps the game gives you access to and they both feel as if they could be actual locations.

VERDICT – Dying Light is a game that, when I purchased it, didn’t think it would be anything that stood out. I played Dead Island (Techland’s other zombie game) and thought it’d be more of the same, just something fun to past the time. A few weeks later and I’ve completed 100% of the game. It’s a fantastic zombie game with a lot of depth, surprising amount of heart, and a ton of guts. Whether you’re running along roof tops, slicing a zombie’s head off or laughing at some of the dialog, Dying Light shines bright.

SCORE – 9/10

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@JayGreen89