Monday, 20 March 2017

Tom Clancy's The Division one year later

Actually, Ubisoft's The Division was first announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2013, three years before it was released. To much of everyone who gleefully expected the game, including me, the game was almost what was advertised. Honestly, I first thought it would be a sort of single-player but mostly co-op focused open world third person shooter with role playing elements. As you'll see, it is not that. The graphics weren't as amazing as they were initially presented, but I understand that for two reasons. First, it was in a time when Ubisoft really put ALL their trust in the marketing department and used to advertise their games in a misleading manner. I think they learned their lesson by now, since their newest Tom Clancy game, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, was advertised in the most accurate way... possible. Secondly, these first gameplay footages they are showcasing are mostly done specifically for advertising purposes while the game is still very early in development and they only have the basics of what they strive for in the final version, hence why The Division has an entirely modified HUD. Besides, these first reveal gameplays are always done in a very constrained and linear manner, so that it can be filled with all kinds of effects, details and textures that can't be rendered in a full game with the limits of current technology. Now that I've both defended and criticized a single shitty practice Ubisoft pulled to rack in lots of money, let's talk about how The Division fares after its first birthday.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

What's so great about Logan?

To be able to answer the titular question, let's make a short comparative analysis of Mangold's Wolverine movies.
After the major fail of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a movie that had sparks of genius, in my opinion, the direction of the Wolverine movies shifted to a more serious approach with James Mangold on the helm, who outright ignored the aforementioned film. Both The Wolverine (2013) and Logan are loosely based on two highly regarded and very popular limited series comic books featuring the character. Logan is inspired by the very popular Old Man Logan series and one other that I won't spoil. Before hiring Mangold, executives at 20th Century Fox were so adamant... about making up for the X-Men Origins disaster that they were in real talks with Darren Aronofsky. That must've inpired James Mangold to reach for high standards and a strong artistic tone.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

My thoughts on the Open Beta of Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Three things I learned from playing Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands, that patience pays off, never to piss off Unidad forces and that missing shots gets you killed. Ubisoft had the bravery to showcase their game in an Open Beta, free for everyone, and I had to take the chance and see for myself what the game has to offer. I got to play, roam around, explore, find lots of lore stuff and even pieces of Bolivian culture and history, and watch part of the story in two of the many regions of the huge Bolivian open world map. The Open Beta featured 11 main missions in which I had to destabilize the Santa Blanca drug cartel by shutting down their operations along with three bad guys/bosses, which I thought had fun personalities and backstories. I've played a lot of betas through the years, from MMOs to first person shooters, but I've never played through such a big and detailed world in a beta, and no, I don't play Early Access titles. Before I go into what I think about my time with the game, I have to say that this is in no way a review, but only a few impressions I have about my time with an early version of a soon-to-be-released game.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2 – The return of Baba Yaga

(Warning: minor plot spoilers ahead)

From rags to riches
Before I get into what makes John Wick so awesome, I have to say something about the people who made it happen. Chad Stahelski has never directed anything before the first and second John Wick movies, but he does come from a background of intense action movie history. He only worked as a stuntman at first, an easy job for a former kick-boxer. In fact, his very first uncredited work was Keanu Reeves' stunt double in Point Break. His long career in this field granted him enough prestige to become stunt coordinator and martial arts choreographer, especially after working on a great range of movies, low budget action flicks to huge blockbusters like The Matrix and everything in between. He eventually teamed up with writer Derek Kolstad, who only since 2012 started his screenwriting career with low budget flicks (both of them starring Dolph Lundgren...). They somehow managed to secure about 20 million US dollars from Thunder Road Pictures and a few small production companies for the first movie, probably after they got talents like Keanu Reeves and Willem Dafoe on board. After a rough first weekend in a full autumn of 2014, despite hot critical reception, John Wick managed to double its revenue in just a few months, securing a well deserved sequel.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Mobile games that play great with a controller (Part 2)

It's been a while since my last article on the subject, but it's really tougher than I thought it would be to make these lists. Mostly because I'm very thorough, not just picking titles from the web. I play these games, makes sure they really work at least on my cheap mobile gamepad before making a recommendation. So you can be sure you're informed and ready to go play some games. This time I tried to diversify the list with varied genres and gameplay types, while also keeping the list a bit shorter. I really wish you guys, the readers, would tell me about your preferred genres or what you'd like to play and challenge me to find a game for everyone. I like playing mobile game, experimenting with different genres, but it also feels like I'm not reaching outside my own biased preferences. As long as I don't have alternative opinions, here are the newest mobile games I played and I hope at least some interest you.