I am by no means a “horror” fan. It’s not that I am necessarily afraid of horror, I’m just not one of those people who enjoys sitting and waiting in suspense for something to pop up on the screen while ominous music is playing and scare the crap out of me. Well, maybe I’m a little afraid of horror, but that’s beside the point.
Earlier today, 4A confirmed via the Metro Video Game Twitter that they have a release date scheduled for the Mac version of Metro: Last Light – September 10.
Although it’s a long while after the May release for the console and PC versions, a positive note is that it definitely isn’t a rushed port, so players on the system can enjoy the same quality of gameplay as everyone else. Developed in-house by 4A Games, Oles Shishkovstov, Chief Technical Officer, speaks highly of the Mac and Linux versions: “…we are very happy with the results. We hope that Mac & Linux gamers will appreciate our efforts to create the best possible version for their machines.“
What’s more, it will release as a Steam Play title, making it available on both PC and Mac once a player owns the game on Steam.
The news comes alongside a statement by Deep Silver CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz that states the company is looking to broaden the Metro series’ audience, firstly “…through the release of dedicated Mac and Linux versions of Metro: Last Light.“
When queried on the Linux version’s release date, they received this response:
Mac owners can finally enjoy Metro: Last Light on September 10, and Linux owners can most likely expect a release in the following few months. In the meantime, why not check out the power behind Metro: Last Light, or the trailer below?
During Gamescom, publisher Deep Silver announced that Metro: Last Light is definitely not the last game in the Metro series, stating that they are looking “…to making it more accessible for a broader gamer audience.” Clarifying in a blog post today, the CEO of Deep Silver, Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, said they will not be “…‘dumbing down’ the game in a bid to woo a wider, more ‘casual’ audience.“
If there’s an announcement fans don’t want to hear about a franchise, it’s when developers or publishers want to make it accessible to a wider audience. Usually this means simplifying the game in some of its elements, or aiming it at a different demographic altogether. Understandably, this is how some fans felt when Deep Silver announced their plans for the next Metro game. However, Kundratitz was quick to clarify that isn’t the case.
“Deep Silver will seek to make the world of Metro more accessible to a broader audience – through a commitment to ever higher product quality; through greater strategic investment in the brand; and, in the immediate term, through the release of dedicated Mac and Linux versions of Metro: Last Light.”
Even in the message boards on the blog a few of the posters express their relief that Deep Silver committed themselves to the Metro series. Moreover, Deep Silver is attempting to convey Metro to a wider audience “…without compromising the product’s strengths.”
Kundratitz continues, stating that “Whatever direction a new Metro game takes (and we are still assembling the drawing boards), it will build on the bleak, post apocalyptic pillars of atmosphere, immersion, challenge and depth that sets this franchise apart from the crowd.“
Taking all of this into consideration, Metro fans can rest easy knowing that the franchise is in very good hands.
Metro: Last Light is available on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, and will release on Mac on September 10th, as well as Linux later this year.
Developer Telltale Games has announced that The Walking Dead: The Game will be coming to the OUYA. The first season and its recent spinoff episode, 400 Days, are set to arrive this winter, with Season 2 coming whenever they decide to begin rolling those episodes out.
The first episode in The Walking Dead: The Game’s first season, A New Day, will be available for free when the game launches. Telltale has yet to reveal pricing for its OUYA version of the game, though the episodes have typically ran for about $5 in the past.
Sound off in the comments if you’ll be getting The Walking Dead: The Game for OUYA this fall.
Since the success of the original Star Wars trilogy back in the 70s and 80s, there have been an incredible number of video games based in the same universe. These games spanned genres from first/third person shooters, RTSs, and slashers, all the way to fighters, action-adventures (LEGO games), and RPGs. Even from that small peek at an incredibly large list, it’s evident that Star Wars games have varying levels of success in most genres – but the point is that they’re in all those genres in the first place.
So why is the Star Wars profile lacking a survival/horror game?
Star Wars is the perfect universe in which to host a survival/horror game. For starters, there are the vast number of planets – explored or otherwise – and the deep vacuum of space in between for locations, not to mention the dozens of threatening life forms that inhabit them. Star Wars: Republic Commando managed incredibly suspenseful and atmospheric gameplay during opening of the mission aboard the abandoned Republic Assault Ship Prosecutor, and that wasn’t even a horror game.
Taking these potential locations and scenarios into consideration, let’s take a look at Star Wars: Death Troopers.
Before I go on, I’d like to point out that Star Wars: Death Troopers has a Facebook campaign page titled “Who Else Wants Star Wars Death Troopers: The Game ?” I highly recommend you head over there right now and like the page to show your support: https://www.facebook.com/WhoElseWantsStarWarsDeathTroopersTheGame.
Joe Schreiber’s 2009 novel, Death Troopers, takes place about a year before Episode VI: A New Hope. The internal flap of the paperback edition features this blurb:
“When the Imperial prison barge Purge—temporary home to five hundred of the galaxy’s most ruthless killers, rebels, scoundrels and thieves—breaks down in a distant, uninhabited part of space, its only hope seems to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting, derelict, and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back—bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours, nearly all aboard the Purge will die in ways too hideous to imagine.
And death is only the beginning.
The Purge’s half-dozen survivors—two teenage brothers, a sadistic captain of the guards, a couple of rogue smugglers and the chief medical officer, the lone woman on board—will do whatever it takes to stay alive. But nothing can prepare them for what lies waiting onboard the Star Destroyer amid its vast creaking emptiness that isn’t really empty at all. The dead are rising, soulless, unstoppable, and unspeakably hungry.”
The book is well written, gripping, incredibly atmospheric, and it slots horror into an otherwise fantasy/sci-fi setting with ease. Considering that the protagonists are, more often than not, on the run, it makes for a terrifying read; a must have for horror fans, and I’d even recommend it to Star Wars fans looking to expand – just avoid if you aren’t into horror themes, because this book isn’t for the faint-hearted.
So how would Death Troopers do as a game? Incredibly well, I believe.
The horror in Death Troopers takes on many different forms, ranging from ‘the unseen horrors’, to psychological horror, to jump scares, to descriptive horror. By blending these different types of horror into one novel, Schreiber has successfully set up Death Troopers as the perfect candidate for a survival/horror game. Many recent horror titles saw mediocre reception because they either focused on one type of horror, or they didn’t include the right type for the feel they were trying to create. Death Troopers has the potential to encompass all these types of horrific atmosphere, and as such will make for a fantastic gaming experience.
Players of Silent Hill (the classic Silent Hill’s, at least) know that atmosphere is everything in a horror game, and Death Troopers is bursting with it. Combining zombies with space is an insane pairing: from the tight corridors of the Purge to the dark and silent hangars of the Star Destroyer, Death Troopers has the prime locations for the setting of a horror/survival game. Gameplay itself could focus on survival aspects and even more running than gunning – if you take away the weapons, players will feel all the more vulnerable.
Case in point: take Visceral’s Dead Space. Slip to 5:56 of this gameplay clip from the opening sequence of Dead Space:
The fact that you have no weapons, witness an attack on your team mates, and then have to run away from the Necromorphs, unable to defend yourself – while only catching fleeting glimpses of them – makes for a terrifying first encounter. This type of focus on survival can work incredibly well in a Death Troopers game, especially considering the sheer number of ‘walking dead’ that the player must encounter.
From gameplay to setting, and even soundtrack, the novel Death Troopers has all the right elements to be blended into a game. I can’t reveal much more without spoiling the plot, so if you’d like to learn more, go and read it. Just take my word that if the book is this immersive, then a game will be far more so.
What’s more is that Visceral is on EA’s team to develop Star Wars games, and – while popular opinion suggests they may develop the previously cancelled Star Wars 1313 – they are the perfect team to develop Star Wars: Death Troopers. Imagine taking gameplay and survival elements from Dead Space and adding crafting, a Star Wars setting, a personal character-driven story, and terrifying set pieces. Such a game would be a perfect blend of action, survival, and horror, with a tense atmosphere blanketing the whole package.
So, should Star Wars: Death Troopers be a game? I believe yes. Death Troopers is the perfect candidate for the Star Wars franchise’s foray into horror.
I’m going to leave you with a fan-made trailer that shows the potential the setting of Death Troopers has for a full budget title. You can make up your own mind about whether Death Troopers should be a game or not, and let us know why – yes or no – in the comments below.
No one likes thinking about the apocalypse. Would we let that kind of world change the person that we are? If you were a nice person, would you be willing to suddenly change you attitude to survive? What if that meant killing as well as stealing from people who are already struggling? It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but yet, this is the world that we’re thrown into with The Last of Us. The world is quiet, lonely, but also painful and extremely violent. When you’re not scavenging for supplies, you’re constantly trying to survive against the infected.
The infected are people who have been taken over by a fungus that takes over a person’s mind. This basically takes over all of their instincts and this turns them into a mindless animal. Infected aren’t dangerous singularly, but as a group, the infected are devastating. They have basically taken over the world due to this epidemic and now the world is a wasteland. What if within a day, your whole life changed forever? The Last of Us starts on the night of this epidemic.
One moment, everything is fine and the next, we witness Hell on Earth. Chaos is visible in all directions and we can hear the screams and cries from all of the families trying to escape. It’s very gripping and since we see how this affects our main character Joel, it can be very emotional. In fact, The Last of Us has the best opening sequence that I’ve seen in a video game in years!
When we meet Joel for the first time, he’s really unlikable. Actually, he’s everything that you wouldn’t want in a main character. This is very uncharacteristic for Naughty Dog because their main characters are usually very likable, but with Joel, that’s just not the case. I can say that he is relatable though because if we were put in his situation, I guarantee that we would do what we have to do to survive. In that sense, Joel has a connection with the players.
He spends his day doing odd jobs with his partner Tess who is just an extremely tough girl. She’s the kind of person that you would never want to upset because she’s so unpredictable. If you got Tess mad, she would probably end your life faster than a horde of infected!
The main plot of The Last of Us involves a job given to Joel and Tess that would give them double the amount of weapons that were recently stolen from them. This job is given to them by a member of the fireflies. They are a group of people whose sole purpose is to defy the government and rebel. There is a group of them further into the city and in order for Joel and Tess to complete their job, they must smuggle a young girl named Ellie out of the quarantine zone and bring her to this group of Fireflies.
Ellie is the biggest highlight of the game. From the moment you meet her, she’s instantly likable and relatable. She was born after the world went to Hell so Ellie doesn’t know that much of life in the past. It’s truly fascinating to watch her light up when you’re exploring and she sees memories from our past. Whether these moments come from deserted stores, to animals, and the outdoors, Ellie is always mesmerized by the world.
Ellie is a girl who tries not to think about the present horrors and instead, she thinks about the future. She thinks about what she’ll do once all of this is over. There’s something very inspiring about Ellie. She longs for the day when everything can be normal and for someone who hasn’t seen what the normal world is, it’s something great to strive for.
What Ellie lacks in strength, she makes up for it in determination. There are moments where Joel can’t make it through a hole in the fence or when he needs to boost her up higher to retrieve a ladder. In these instances, Ellie takes center stage and she always tries her best. Ellie is the type of character that you always want to protect. When she’s in danger, you feel very responsible and rush to protect her. She can’t swim so when you must traverse the water, Joel must always find a wooden platform to transport her to the other side with. There’s a connection between Joel and Ellie that is easy to see through gameplay.
The story has its own ups and downs, but for the most part, The Last of Us holds on to us from the start and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. It almost feels that after every intense moment, there’s another equally tense moment that follows. The most fascinating thing about the story definitely comes in the form of Joel and Ellie’s relationship. There’s a visible growth throughout the campaign and it’s great to see.
There are many side conversations that will further their relationship and how their attitudes change makes The Last of Us really engaging. The other awesome part about the story in The Last of Us is definitely the mystery surrounding all of the events. Why did all of this happen? Why do we need to transport Ellie to the Fireflies? There are so many questions that make our journey that much more interesting.
The gameplay consists of many familiar elements from other third-person action games, but The Last of Us does something different. Unlike other games that just have you killing enemies for no reason, The Last of Us clearly gives players a reason. Sometimes it’s very hard to watch Joel kill someone because Naughty Dog put so much life into our enemies that there’s a sense of emotion in killing them.
Killing enemies was not always something I wanted to do, but it was needed. I had to kill to survive and the gameplay reflects on that mindset. Combat is very tense. While you can sneak around and stealth kill enemies, face to face combat is particularly engaging. You can use your bare fists or you can use items like 2X4′s, axes, bats, crowbars, and pipes. You can also upgrade them with nails and other deadly combinations.
Enemies come in the form of the infected. The infected are made up of four class types. You have the runners which will just run at you with full force. There are stalkers that will try to flank you so you must always be on your guard. Clickers are the scariest enemies in the game. You know they’re around because of the terrifying clicking noise that they make. It’s very chilling. They can’t see, but they hear tremendously.
One false move and they’ll chase after you. The only way to stop them is if you increase some of Joel’s abilities with supplements. If you don’t, Clickers can kill you with one touch. The last and strongest type of infected is called the Bloater. They are huge and shoot spores at you that explode like grenades. What’s worse is that unless you find a weakness, they’ll continue to plow through your attacks. If they touch you once, you will die automatically.
When you’re not fighting the infected, you are fighting hunters. These are other humans that joined together and take out other survivors. They do not ask any questions, they just go and attack. They are vicious people, but in a world like this where you need to survive, can you blame them? I mean, you’re doing exactly what they do. You kill to survive.
While they aren’t as aggressive as the infected, the advantage that hunters have comes in the form of their minds. Unlike the infected, hunters have the ability to think. While it’s tough to fight hunters sometimes because of the weapons that they have, I don’t think that the hunters are particularly smart. This is one of the few places that Naughty Dog messed up on.
Besides fighting, Joel and Ellie are scavenging for supplies. The supplies that you find can be crafted into shivs which can be used to fatally stab enemies and they can be used to unlock certain doors. You can also craft medkits, Molotov cocktails, nail bombs (they’re amazing) and smoke bombs. All the crafting is done in real-time. It’s not stressful in the early parts of the game, but later, crafting can get difficult when you’re overwhelmed by your enemies.
Figuring out when and where to craft is very strategic. It can lead to certain death if executed incorrectly. Scavenging can also lead Joel to find supplements that can increase his health meter, make crafting and healing faster, etc., but this is another strategically placed gameplay element. There is no possible way to fully level up Joel in your first playthrough. After beating the game, you will be allowed to play New Game + with all of these supplements already attached to Joel.
Joel also has a listening mode. This enables you to see outlines of your enemies. You can determine their path of movement and it can help you navigate through tricky situations. It actually feels like a gimmick to me and it takes away from the game. While you can always use Joel’s listening abilities, it feels like a cheat mode. To have a more intense and very scary experience, you should play The Last of Us without using listening mode. Every turn you take will always be unexpected because you’ll never know if a hunter is around the corner, or worse, a clicker!
The Last of Us also sports very impressive visuals as well as stunning audio. From the beautiful outdoor environments to the decay caused by the apocalypse, Naughty Dog put a lot of detail in the visuals. The abandoned homes, warehouses and even the sewers show the horror and dreariness that The Last of Us delivers.
The details in the visuals are perfect. With the audio, the music during the fight scenes bring a lot of immersion. The audio is also spectacular when it comes to the Clickers. Hearing their noises can send shivers down the player’s spine. When you’re in a claustrophobic space, the sound ramps the tension up to 10.
Normally single player games that have multiplayer modes attached to it are hated, but in a complete surprise, The Last of Us has a very interesting and really fun multiplayer. It’s called factions and at the start, you choose either the Fireflies or the Hunters. From here, you’re driven into a story that requires you to survive and expand your community. You do this by collecting supplies and cans of food. The more people you have in your community, the more you’ll need to collect in multiplayer games.
To collect cans of food, you can down your enemy, kill them and pick up cans that they drop. Each time any of this happens, you’ll get cans. If you fall under the limit of food you need in each match, your community can become sick, hungry and ultimately die. There are also missions in-between games that require you to choose criteria to complete in the next three games. It adds depth to the game. You can also customize your character and create four custom loadouts just like in other shooters.
You can play two game modes. Supply Raid involves you and your team taking down the enemy team. You share a pool of 20 lives so it’s important to communicate with your teammates, but it will be tough because no one I played with spoke! It’s an fun game mode that brings the intensity from the single player campaign to the multiplayer. The real-time crafting is here as well as the scavenging. Multiplayer actually feels like the single player experience, but instead of fighting the AI, you’re playing against people who can strategize just like you.
Survivors is basically a death match mode with 7 rounds. In each round, all players only have 1 life so you must be extra cautious. This is easily the multiplayer mode that requires the most skill because one easy mistake will lead to the downfall of your team. Naughty Dog successfully made a great multiplayer mode that’s best experienced with people you trust playing with.
The Last of Us isn’t without faults though. There are very few negatives, but for me, it brings down my overall view of the game. The AI really gets to me. I’ll be hiding from enemies when sometimes Ellie will bump into me and my character will move a little bit. This would cause me to be found out by my enemies and die. Other times, characters would run right past clickers and hunters, but they won’t even acknowledge my AI partner. It takes away from the realism of the game.
While I was glad that I wasn’t found out, it’s annoying that AI characters can just walk around in the open without consequence. There were other times where Ellie needed to jump up on a ledge or go on a wooden board to go across water and she just wouldn’t. The game glitched multiple times during my playthrough causing me to restart. Overall there weren’t that many negatives, but the negatives that do exist in The Last of Us can be very frustrating.
The Last of Us is one of those games that comes at the end of a console’s life-cycle that pushes the limits of that console. This is probably the final BIG game for the Playstation 3 and it’s amazing. The cutscenes are breathtaking, the sound is haunting, the action is intense, the characters are memorable and the story is unforgettable. The Last of Us is Naughty Dog’s best game and it may be the Playstation 3′s best game. If you don’t own a Playstation 3, The Last of Us is the reason to go out and buy one. You won’t regret it!
Although it’s still in production, the pre-alpha gameplay footage the game developer released just recently looks awesome! Players will have to try and survive by gathering supplies for food and the materials needed to build a camp. They will also need to defend themselves from the creepy monsters lurking about in the shadows of the forest.
In other cool news, the game will have full support with the Oculus Rift and if you’re interested in the game, you can vote for it on Steam Greenlight. Currently the link to Steam is down at the moment, but it should hopefully be back up soon!
I’m a movie fan. I don’t judge a movie because of its genre. As long as a movie is good, I’ll have reasons to praise it. I like horror movies a lot and recently there have been more and more respectable horror films. Rob Zombie may not always be loved by critics, but I actually enjoy his films. I thought House of 1000 Corpses was entertaining, The Devil’s Rejects was outstanding, Halloween was an interesting remake and the follow-up, H2 was terrible. I was happy that Rob Zombie decided to go back to an original screenplay for his next movie, but after watching his latest movie called The Lords of Salem, I wished he just made another sequel to one of his existing franchises.
The Lords of Salem is easily the worst movie that Rob Zombie has made and it’s also the worst movie that I’ve seen all year. The movie follows Heidi Hawthrone, a radio DJ who is part of the Big H radio team. They’re based in Salem Massachusetts. Heidi receives a mysterious record at the radio station from The Lords. She plays it with one of her co-workers and the record player continuously plays it backwards which causes Heidi to have a weird dream/hallucination. They play it at the radio station and it becomes a huge hit. After the first time the song played on the air, Heidi continues to have dreams that involve witches, burnings, tortures, perverse priests, a birth/killing and more. It’s unsettling and at moments like this, the movie actually shines. Rob Zombie knows how to be creepy, but they’re dreams and it takes away from the film.
As an audience, we know that something is happening to Heidi and that the dreams/hallucinations obviously aren’t good, but since they’re dreams, I never once really felt the danger that Heidi was actually in. This movie feels weird because in addition to her two co-workers, (Whitey and Munster) there were three sisters (Lacy, Megan and Sonny) and a museum worker/author named Francis who specialized in the Salem Witch Trials… the movie mainly showed Heidi played by Sheri Moon Zombie. Rob Zombie loves to cast his wife as a lead in almost every movie that he does and that hurts his film. She’s an alright actress, but she’s not great enough to be the person who is on-screen for basically EVERY scene.
The acting was actually pretty good. Apart from the scenes at the radio station, (which were horrible) the scenes at the apartment complex and at colonial Salem were pretty awesome. Sheri Moon Zombie had some pretty good scenes as well as the sisters played by Judy Geeson, Dee Wallace and Patricia Quinn. Bruce Davidson as Francis was pretty good, but in terms of acting, that’s all that was good. Rob Zombie’s dialogue lacked any kind of intrigue. In fact, it was usually incredibly boring.
The only other good thing that I can say about this movie is the fact that it is a beautiful looking movie. Rob Zombie does have some talent behind the camera and it shows. Some of the scenes involving witches were very creepy. Most of the dream sequences were horrific and extremely bizarre. Rob Zombie likes to do what he wants and honestly, that’s his downfall. He obviously needed some help while making The Lords of Salem.
The Lords of Salem asks us to care about Heidi throughout her descent into madness and it asks us to be involved with the events of the movie. It’s pretty hard when there’s nothing going on that would make me care. The characters are pretty one-dimensional and all of the “dangers” in the movie are dream sequences until later in the movie. By that time, I honestly didn’t care. I just wanted the movie to be over. Let’s talk about the ending pretty fast. I won’t spoil anything, but even if you enjoyed the movie, it’s such an abrupt and bizarre ending. The ending was so bad that I was so shocked that the movie ended that way. It’s a movie that is made to offend, shock and appall, but the movie was very laughable. The people at my screening were hysterical and that’s not the point of The Lords of Salem.
The Lords of Salem could have been an amazing movie. Rob Zombie returned to an original movie that gave him a great opportunity to make a comeback, but he failed miserably. There were so many things going for Rob Zombie leading up to its release, but he stumbled at almost every turn. I was always a fan of Rob Zombie’s movies, but this is a huge step back for me and I’ll have to really consider if I’ll pay to watch another movie directed by him again. Do yourself a favor and AVOID THIS MOVIE AT ALL COSTS! If you want to really make someone have a bad day, tell them to go watch The Lords of Salem. It really ruined my day.
Shinji Mikami, the original creator of Resident Evil, has teamed up with Bethesda and announced his upcoming game, The Evil Within.
Evil Within is a survival horror game coming to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and next-gen consoles sometime in 2014.
“We’re incredibly proud to announce The Evil Within,” said Mikami. “My team and I are committed to creating an exciting new franchise, providing fans the perfect blend of horror and action.”