Monthly Archives: April 2016

Ghostbusters 2016 Video Game — I see dead…tie-in?

Tie-in games are a marketing-must these days.  Even when they’re terrible.   Yep, remember Godzilla?

The Ghostbusters redux is out in theater on July 15.  The movie’s tie-in game comes out three days earlier.  Like John paving the way for Jesus, the game will surely inspire peoples of the world to watch the movie.

Or maybe not.

The announce trailer gives us Slimer.  We also see zombies-ghosts and other aberrations to fry and box.

The gameplay appears to be squad-tactical.  Spacing and position your busters, then Proton-Pack the ghouls to submission.  Is that it?

What would make this game more than just a marketing add-on?

Here’s the checklist:

1) Collectible ghosts, like Pokemon.  Find the ghost, bag it, add it to your collection.  Yeah, laugh away, but you know you’ll spend hours looking for that rare ghost.

2) More than Proton Packs.  More gadgets and cool weapons, the better.

3) Highly customizable characters.  Like Fallout, for example.

4) Open World.  Yes, New York is alive with ghosts.  Let’s look under every trash can, inside every taxi cab.

5) Killer bosses.  Yes, more Marshmallow!!!

Game’s out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on July 12, 2016.

Tales from the Borderlands on Playstation 4 — All 5 episodes in one bundle

Tales from the Borderlands has its own bundle…finally.  All 5 episodes packaged in one hilarious romp are here for Playstation 4.

Buy it on Amazon:

The Telltale Games episodic take on the FPS may not be on the same plane as The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, but it was still game-of-the-year material.

Which episode was best?  Probably Episode 5, The Vault of the Traveler, but with this bundle, you can play them all.

Here are the episodes, all included in this release, published from November 2014 to October 2015:

Episode 1: Zer0 Sum

Deal goes wrong, Rhys and Fiona team up to find the lost money.  They don’t like each other much.

Episode 2: Atlas Mugged

More exposition, more back-story about Hyperion, August, Gortys Projects, crazy bounty hunters.

Episode 3: Catch a Ride

Rhys and Fiona still looking for loot.  They face criminals and go sightseeing in a jungle.

Episode 4: Escape Plan Bravo

Rhys and Fiona get forced to do stuff they don’t want to do.

Episode 5: the Vault of the Traveler

We learn where that fault is.  Yay!

Game’s good.  One of the best games 2014-2015.  Play them all on PS4.

Lichdom: Battlemage on Consoles — Wait, this ain’t Hogwarts…!

The only thing you need to know about Lichdom: Battlemage?

This ain’t Harry Potter.

No, you are a Battlemage, with serious emphasis on Battle. You kick butt and implode it at the same time. Really. It’s fun to watch and even more fun to cast.

The first person caster has been out for a while on Steam. Now it’s available on console. Get it here:

As far as the first-person casting, it’s not significantly different than a first-person shooter other than you’re using your hands rather than switching between weapons. Some of the effects are the same, like the grenade-like spell that shoots out and explodes. I’ve seen weapons like that going back to Turok on N64.

And like Turok, the game is single-player linear. Follow the road, blast things along the way, find cool stuff, beat bosses, win the crown.

But the best part of the game is constructing spells. Using different sigils, patterns and augments to customize your magic for maximum pow!

Nope, definitely not Harry Potter.

Battle on!

Gears of War 4 Tomorrow Trailer — Survive in the Wind

Gears of War 4 won’t be out until October 2016, but the hype has started.

The Tomorrow trailer shows us the passing of the torch – or in this case, machine gun – from father to son.

GoW 4 takes place 25 years after GoW 3.  The hero in this one is Marcus Fenix’s son, JD.  The trailer shows us father and son in the happy days of youth.  Dad plants a tree and carves his kid’s initials on it.  We jump 25 years and the same tree is uprooted, and The Swarm are hunting down JDF, whose too busy blasting to realize it’s his father’s tree.

Some of the new weapons of GoW4 include the combat knife (they didn’t have the combat knife 25 years ago?), and the Dropshot, good for finishing off baddies with style.

Some of the new features include charging the enemy (like an NFL running back vs linebackers), and pulling bad guys from cover (why not just shoot them instead of pulling them out of cover?).

More than anything, I’m looking forward to weather.  The setting is a planet whose climate has been significantly affected by the wars waged on it.  There are major windstorms.  In the game, the wind can be anything from a breeze to violent storms that affect battles.

The trailer shows us the wind and storms raging on this planet as the battle for survival wages on.  How do you adapt to such a world?  How will it affect mechanics and weaponry?  Or even a warrior’s psyche?

Definitely, learn to fight in the wind is the key to survival.

The Coalition’s third-person shooter is due out October 11, 2016 exclusively on Xbox One.

gears of war 4 video game

Titanfall 2 Teaser Trailer — Try not to be a hero because heroes get whacked

The marketing blitz has begun for Titanfall 2.  The new teaser trailer shows us….

Not a whole lot.

But that’s what a teaser is supposed to do, right?  Whet our appetite, let the juices flow, but not too much until the game is released….

No, not even that.  Get us uppity-up until the next trailer pops up on YouTube.

And the next trailer will be the gameplay trailer, which is ultimately what gamers want.  We know the marketing and motion graphics dudes can whip out an enticing cinematic, but how does the game look?  What are the new features?

Unlike Halo and Overwatch, Titanfall’s marketing seems to be all trailers, and no episodic shorts or movies.  But they’re starting early.

It’s April 11.  The gameplay will be out two months later on June 12.  The game is supposed to come out sometime this year.

So what do we get from the teaser trailer?

An alien planet with some badger-looking animal lurking in the jungle.  A crash-landed pod.  Some mech approaches it with a big machete.  Danger, folks.  Yep, lots of danger.

The narrator, some pirate-sounding lad, says something like don’t be a hero because heroes get killed.  More danger, especially if you’re a hero.  So, don’t be a hero!

Eagerly waiting for gameplay trailer…two months….  I’ll do some mediating until then, try not to be a hero.

Ummmmmmmm.

titanfall 2 video game

This is what happens to heroes….

The Bunker Video Game Teaser Trailer — Practical Fear

Horror brings out the best in us. Fear is the #1 survival trait. It enables us to survive in the harshest of environments and situations.

(It also brings out the absolute worst in humanity, but an argument for another time….)

How does horror bring out the best in us? Horror leads us away from it. Without horror, there is no beauty, no peace, no safety. Because of horror, we strive toward good.

After an epidemic, there are efforts to cure. Food tech emerges after periods of famine. Diplomatic relations intensifies after war.

And war, and horror, is at the center of the upcoming video game, The Bunker.

the bunker video game

Wales Interactive, Splendy Games, Green Man Gaming, and All 4 Games are jointly developing the psychological horror. The key marketing point is that it’s all live action. All of it. No motion capture or CGI. It has Hollywood actors, including Adam Brown, who was in The Hobbit, and a practical set – a real bunker. All of that could just be a gimmicky marketing thing – and not add to the overall gaming experience – but it is what it is.

What I find more fascinating is the premise:

1) Nuclear apocalypse in the UK

2) Citizens in a bunker

3) Scary happens in the bunker.

What kind of scary? That’s the mystery, and the trailer’s tease.

Doesn’t look like any monsters (other than what’s inside all of us, perhaps).

Will there be redeeming qualities? Good that rises from evil? Or just a lot of dead bodies?

Psychological horror tells us something about ourselves, especially in the face of fear and evil. What will The Bunker show us?

The Bunker will be out second half of 2016.

Overwatch Animated Shorts — Just Marketing, or a Lesson in Co-Existence?

If marketing is building hype, Blizzard is definitely marketing their new MMO F2P, Overwatch.

They’ve already launched several top-notch trailers, now they’re hyping it up with animated shorts. And if the game is anything like the animated shorts, the game will rock. Check out a couple here:

Of course, these “animated shorts” are actually 7-10 minute commercials, not much different than trailers, and very similar to kids’ cartoons like Transformers and G.I. Joe.

No, these aren’t art pieces. No profound insights on life. But they do have a level of cinematic and artistic quality to them.

The Alive short introduces us to one of the most intriguing characters of the game, Widowmaker. She’s French and she’s an assassin. Like a spider, she swings around on wire, but unlike a spider, she stings her prey from afar, with a rifle.

She’s the narrator, says she used to be afraid of spiders as we see her about to do some widow-making. The target in this scenario is some VIP leader. Like MLK, he preaches tolerance and co-existence. In this futuristic society, the coexistence is not between races or even species, but between living tissue and robots. The VIP himself is a leader. Ultra AI beings who are capable of emotion.

It’s this setting that’s the most intriguing about this world. The animated short spends a considerable amount of time with the assassin and a Brit who tries to stop her. They battle it out on London’s rooftops in repetitive shootout action. But what I really wanted to get to was this world where robots and humans are told to co-exist, and perhaps those who prefer segregation…or perhaps worse, genocide, of one or the other.

We’ve seen it in BladeRunner, Terminator, Matrix, et al…machine and people can’t live as equals. That’s just the way it is.

Or perhaps there is hope, and change coming in the world of Overwatch….

We shall see.

The game’s open to Beta Testing in May.