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.