There’s a new official trailer for the remaster of the remake of the original Resident Evil game. I’m normally split about whether a remake is a good idea – when it comes to movies, it rarely works out (Dawn of the Dead worked, Evil Dead was sorta okay, but they’re about to remake Day of the Dead again because the 2008 remake suuuuucked). This one I can get behind, though. It feels different with video games. They don’t stray from the source material very much; it’s basically just a prettier version of the original.
The 2002 Gamecube remake of Resident Evil was pretty good, and this is just going to be a spruced up version. I kinda wish they would do this with all classic games. Fans have longed for a Final Fantasy 7 remake for years, but Square is pretty set on not bothering with it. I remember being thrilled by Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels on SNES back in the day, because we got a super polished version of the original game, plus some ridiculously difficult remakes of those original levels. Nintendo kinda lost me as I grew up, since they’ve found their niche in cames for 10 year olds (a market the other major consoles mostly ignore), so I don’t know if it’s been remade again. But if so, I’d sure play it.
This prettied up RE1 will be released in early 2015 in North America and Europe (which means it was probably released in 1965 in Japan – my point is they take a while to import games). It’s going to be available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The game has a nice HD 1080p look for the next-gen consoles, and features a new scrolling camera that flexibly focuses on the characters as they move. You may remember this being kind of a crap part of the original game, that you’d get surprised by zombies that your character would logically see, but that you don’t because the camera is pointing some weird angle, and is fixed until you reach a certain spot.
Some official words:
“Using the latest resolution enhancement and 3D model technology, game resolutions and textures have been significantly upgraded, including 1080p support on next-gen consoles, resulting in characters and backgrounds coming to life in greater detail than ever seen before in Resident Evil. Not only will the graphics impress but the tense sound effects have been fully remastered with 5.1 surround support for a greater gaming atmosphere. Players are now able to choose not only between experiencing the terror at the classic 4:3 ratio or a stunning 16:9 widescreen mode but also the type of control scheme they play with. The classic control scheme remains for fans of the original play style or there’s an alternative scheme where the character moves directly in the direction of the analogue stick, utilizing the standards of the current generation of gaming. Both the control scheme and the display options can be toggled between at any time during gameplay.
The intense horror fans first experienced with the release of the original Resident Evil is back. Taking place in the now notorious Raccoon City, players will choose to take on the role of either S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) team member Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, who have been sent into the city to find the missing Bravo team. When the team is suddenly attacked by a ferocious group of mutated dogs, desperate for an escape they take shelter in the Mansion, but will they ever get out alive again? Players will need to be brave as they adventure through the dark, enclosed spaces searching out the horrors that await them. With limited ammo and survival items available gamers will need to keep their wits about them to survive the various traps and puzzles that greet them at every stage.”
And now, the belle of the ball, the new trailer!
And a few screen caps to whet your whistle.
As I’m sure Capcom intended, each of these images makes me feel super nostalgic. I miss when Resident Evil was still about zombies, and not about biological super monsters! Ah, memories. I’ll definitely be getting this one!
It’s supposed to be a co-op game, and though no platform has been announced yet, we can at least assume a PC version will be produced. Overkill is super big with the Steam community, so it’s a pretty sure bet they’ll have something up on there. I would assume Xbox One and PS4 too, but there’s no official word yet.
And don’t get too excited. It’s not coming until 2016. From the teaser below, it would appear nothing has been made just yet. Other than the deal to produce it, that is.
Without so much as an official guess at a release date for Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season 3, and now this game announced for 2016, it seems fans of TWD games may be in for a long dry-spell. You might want to check out Undead Labs’ State of Decay. If you quint while you play, maybe you can pretend you’re hunting “walkers” instead of “zeds.”
A follow up to the well-received Lab of the Dead, this Flash based game by Sick Death Fiend follows the hero / scientist from Lab after he decides he must leave the lab. Before he goes off on his survival adventure, he decides he should learn to shoot, so he stops on a ridge overlooking a flat desert area, plops down with a rifle, bow, and some grenades, and starts learning how guns work.
This is a mobile game at heart, so the mechanics are simple. They’re also a bit ridiculous.
The first few levels make decent sense; you are trying to shoot zombies 100m or so away, with 0 wind resistance. Just get your aim right and you can score a headshot. Then you have to start allowing for wind – 3kmph or so, which again, makes perfect sense. Bullets have a lot of momentum and force, but they are after all just tiny bits of metal flying through the air, and wind can affect them. Not much, but some. Where it starts to get silly is when, after a dozen or so levels, you have to adjust for wind around 60-80kmph, at which point you wouldn’t have to worry about bullet trajectory so much, since the zombies would most likely be blown over.
This extreme wind resistance means that to hit some of the zombies (all of which are in the center of your screen), you’ve got to fire the gun off to the left or right side of the screen . I’m no marksman, so I don’t know for sure how real shooting works, but it seems absurd that, in high wind, a sniper must turn to his left to shoot a guy in front of him, letting the wind curve the bullet for him.
Of course, in this game, you can – for some reason – influence the trajectory of the bullets. Once the bullet is fired, the WASD keys will move the bullet to the left, right, up or down. It’s not exactly full control, but even influencing its path a little seems like more than you’d get in reality. Since you get, you know, none.
Despite the silly mechanics, the real downfall of this game is its monotonous nature. You can switch to the bow from the rifle for a little variety, and every now and then they throw in a grenade level which is admittedly a bit more fun than the rifle ones. But 100 levels of doing the exact same thing with some slight variation on where you point the cursor? I read people saying they couldn’t get past level 50 or 60 due to difficulty, but I couldn’t pass 20 due to boredom.
he final bit of silly really strikes me because of my geographical location. The main character is heading toward Senoia to gather supplies because its the “nearest town.” Now, there may be other towns named Senoia in this world, though a Google search just brings up a bunch about the one that’s 10 minutes from my house: Senoia, GA. This was likely chosen because a lot of the filming of the Walking Dead took place in Senoia over the past few seasons. But being a local, I know that Senoia is actually little more than a four-way stop between several larger cities. One way lies Fayetteville/Peachtree City, both sizeable towns, another lies Newnan which is a bit larger, and the other lies proper Senoia, a hole in the wall with a few rundown shops. Now if you go out through the woods or take some backroads, you can hit Brooks, which is farm country around here, and if you were outside Brooks but closer to Senoia, then Senoia might conceivably be called “the closest town.” But there’s nothing there. So the idea that anyone would be heading toward Senoia is completely silly. But even the most meager knowledge of geography should inform you that there’s no desert in Georgia!
If you like skill games and don’t require much variety or excitement, this might be a good game for you. I recognize with some games like this one that it might be good for someone else, just not me. But when even the skill aspects seem to operate on faulty physics, I’m not sure how you could find any enjoyment in it.
I rather enjoyed the first season of the Walking Dead game, and liked the second season as well. Not as much as the first perhaps, but it was fun, with an engaging story, and very well-developed characters.
Like all Telltale games, this thing is 90% story, with few interactions outside dialogue choices. But the story is very good, and you don’t really get bored because you’re not pressing a lot of buttons. Anyway, because of that, this review is more about the story than the gameplay, because in general terms, there isn’t a lot of that.
In previous episodes of this season, Clementine, “orphaned” a second time by the loss of her season one guardian Lee, has gone off to survive on her own. She encounters a group of survivors in a cabin in the woods who do not want to take her in initially due to a dog bite that they suspect might be a different kind of bite. She is eventually taken in by the group, who has one big problem apart from the normal survival stuff: a maniac named Carver, who runs a local camp of survivors, wants to take one of their members, Rebecca, because she’s pregnant with his baby. The group was formerly a part of Carver’s group, but escaped because of the afore-mentioned mania. When Carver discovers their house, they leave to find another place, and come across a mountain lodge that seems like the perfect set up. Tons of food, electricity thanks to a wind turbine, and a friendly group of survivors that includes Kenny, a guy from season one who looked like he was going to die, but apparently got out okay. Carver finds them here though, and after wasting a couple of characters, takes the rest back to his fortified hardware store as prisoners (though they’re told they can work off their crimes and eventually rejoin the little society there). Naturally their thoughts turn to escaping a second time, which they do when a horde of zombies (sorry, walkers) descends on the place.
More people die in the escape, and once they are clear, Rebecca is on the verge of giving birth. They search for a safe place to do that, and the best they can find is the gift shop of a local national park / monument. Jane and Clementine find the shop, and have a brief encounter with Arvo, a nerdy Russian kid with a bag full of medicine who Jane disarms and sends on his way (with or without the medicine – you make the decision there). Plenty of walker excitement occurs while securing the place, Rebecca has the baby, and Jane – the kick ass short-haired girl you met at the store – decides to leave, lest she form attachments to the group. When they leave the gift shop, they encounter Arvo again, but this time he’s got a group of Russians with him and they try to rob our heroes. During the encounter Rebecca, who has apparently died fairly unexpectedly due to the strain of the trek (seriously, no one even mentions this beforehand…Rebecca just had a baby, now let’s have her walk for miles and miles in the snow?), begins making walker sounds with the baby in her arms. Clementine either reacts by shooting Rebecca, or calling for help, in which case Kenny shoots her. In either case, the shot fired begins a gunfight with the Russians.
That’s where episode 5 begins.
There’s a standoff with the Russians, during which Luke is shot in the leg, and Kenny is nearly killed before Jane shows back up and saves him. Arvo is taken prisoner when he claims to know a place with some supplies, so they all start following him that way.
They find the place, but it’s on the other side of a frozen lake. So they all carefully make their way across, but the ice cracks and Luke and Bonnie fall in. Clementine refuses to let them go, and tries to save them, falling in herself. She sees Luke dead underwater, and gets pulled out, as did Bonnie apparently. They all get to the house, which is half-built, but has a fireplace and some food so Bonnie and Clementine are able to warm up. Kenny takes out some anger by beating Arvo pretty severely, then goes out to work on fixing a truck that’s parked out front, hoping to take it north to find a place called Wellington, where the group was heading originally, and that might be a safe zone.
In the middle of the night, Mike, Bonnie, and Arvo try to steal the truck, but Clementine wakes up and hears them. She pulls a gun to stop them, and when Mike convinces her to put it down, Arvo plugs her with his rifle, hitting her in the shoulder. She passes out, and wakes up – after a dream in which we see a scene from season one – in the back of the truck, driven by Kenny and Jane. Looks like Mike, Bonnie, and Arvo either ran off, or Kenny and Jane took care of them.
The trio drives, Kenny and Jane constantly fighting about what to do and where to go. They stop where a bunch of cars has blocked off the road, and Kenny goes to see if any of them have fuel. Hearing gunshots, and Jane holding Rebecca’s baby, Clementine takes the wheel, and drives about how you’d expect a little girl too. They end up with a zombie in their windshield, and have to escape the vehicle separately. The plan was to meet up at the rest area nearby if that happened, so Clementine makes her way there, first finding Kenny. Jane is soon seen approaching, but as she does you can see she does not have the baby. Kenny flips out, runs out to see what happened, and Jane takes her quick moment alone with Clementine to tell her that no matter what happens, she needs to stay back. Jane wants her to see what kind of person Kenny really is. So when Kenny comes back in and attacks Jane, angry over the loss of the baby, Clementine can do nothing but stand back and yell, and occasionally try to pry them apart. This culminates in the big decision, essentially your choice of endings: Kenny is on top of Jane with a knife, trying his best to stab her to death. Clementine can shoot Kenny and save Jane, or do nothing (dooming Jane). Three major endings are possible from there:
1. Clementine and Jane go pick up the baby, where Jane stashed him in a nearby car so she could show Clementine how Kenny would react, revealing him for the monster he is. Flash forward 9 days, and they’re back at Carver’s place, where everyone is dead, but now they are the new masters and get to decide whether to let a family join them or not.
2. Kenny and Clementine find the baby and head north to Wellington, which it appears was a real place and indeed a safe zone. But it’s overpopulated, and only has room for Clem and the baby. Clem can stay with Kenny and leave Wellington, or go in with the baby.
3. Clementine can either shoot Kenny or not, and whoever she ends up with, she can decide they suck and go off on her own.
The major character arc in season 2 was Clementine’s. That makes sense, what with her being the main character. In the first season she was a scared little girl, and in this season she has to grow up. This is shown in certain subtle ways – her facial expressions harden a bit as time goes on (you’ll notice a lot less of the “scared little girl” face and a lot more of the narrow-eyed stone face), and she even starts swearing with a certain degree of casualness.
I really loved how the game was able to really put me in her position. I felt like my decisions – which are normally of a light-hearted sort in games like this (I’m always the glowing guy in Fable, never the shadowy demon type) – got darker as time went on. Where I’d normally have run to help Luke on the ice, instead I thought “what, and me fall in too? sorry guy…but could you toss the rifle before you go?”
Then in the end, when I had to decide whether to shoot Kenny or let Jane die, I found it easy to decide. Kenny was Clem’s friend from season one, but Jane was right – he was a damn monster now. So when she took out her knife, I made no move to stop her. And when Kenny was about to kill her, it was an easy choice to waste him. Hell, Kenny even says that himself…that he was out of control, and shooting him was the right choice.
Finally, Clementine can either make the decision to let the family in (if she’s with Jane) or not, or to stay with Kenny or go to Wellington if she’s with him. Both of these endings therefore have a final choice for Clementine to make, marking whether she’s heading down a light or dark path. Tell the family to screw off? Dark Clementine. Let them in? Light Clementine! Ironically, with Kenny, it seems to me the dark choice would be staying with him instead of entering Wellington. She already made the choice to let the monster murder her friend…if she makes a final decision to stay with him, she’s solidifying that decision to be the monster’s apprentice.
The second major character arc in this game is Kenny’s. After losing his wife and son in the first season, he’s started to come off his rocker. He has major self-control and anger issues. When we first see him in season two he’s got a new woman, and seems a little better off, but still easily comes unhinged. When that new woman dies, he’s basically gone. He’s able to snap out of his rage a couple times in episode 4 to be nice to Clementine, but by the final episode he can’t really even do that anymore.
I think that, intentional or not, a parallel can be drawn between Kenny and Carver. Both are capable men who started out well-intentioned, but end up maniacs. Some of this is due to events out of their control, but ultimately reflects on their ability to deal with the tests this apocalypse has thrown at them. Given time, anyone will fail such tests, but I can’t help thinking Lee would have been able to keep his cool better than Kenny if similar things had happened to him.
But most important is how Kenny’s change affects Clementine. In the end, she has the choice to either listen to the voice of reason that is Jane, or let Kenny’s thinking cloud her judgment. Will she become like him, or make the right decisions with Jane?
About the Ending
What surprised me about that last decision was that I was apparently in the minority with my first play through in which I killed Kenny. At the end of each episode you are presented with the choices you made, and statistics on how many people made the same decision. I was a part of the Kenny-killing 30% (you bastards!). I found out strange how few people had made the decision to side with Kenny. I get loyalty to Clem’s old friend, but not only was he a monster…he’s a redneck dude, and the other choice is a cute young girl. The gamer population is largely of the sort that prefers cute girls to middle-aged rednecks, so I’m confused about how that statistic happened.
The third season has been announced, and is currently in the planning stage. So we should expect a first episode around early next year.
The biggest cliffhanger of season two isn’t so much about what’s going to happen next as what decisions Telltale will make for us. Season one would have ended the same no matter what; Lee was going to die, and despite any other decisions, in the end Clementine is alone. But in season 2, there are some real consequences that must follow the story into the next season. This is a bit of a bummer, because the whole idea is that your previous decisions affect the future of the game…but ultimatley Telltale has to decide what happened, and it either will or won’t be what you actually did at the end.
My prediction: Jane’s gone. Even though it’s not the ending I chose, it makes the most since from a narrative perspective.
Clementine didn’t make the “wrong” decision when she didn’t shoot Kenny. She just couldn’t bring herself to do it. When Kenny justifies the act to her, she may be naive in accepting his justification (you can choose not to, but I think in season 3 we’ll see that she did), but he’s all she has left, and because he’s from the first season, he’s a tie to her past, and to Lee.
But most importantly, when we get to Wellington, Kenny pleads with them to let Clementine and the baby in, even if he can’t come. Kenny has been spiralling out of control, and in this ending he does something that redeems himself by sacrificing his safety to save the children. When they let them in, Kenny may be alone, but he’s redeemed, making this a pretty solid ending. I think he rides off into the sunset after this, because the character has completed his arc. I wouldn’t expect him in season 3, even if he’s still out there somewhere; but Jane is dead for sure.
But I could be wrong! Who would you like to see Clem with in season 3?
Auxbrain’s hit mobile zombie game Zombie Highway is getting a sequel this fall. Appropriately titled Zombie Highway 2, it will feature the same core mechanic: hit zombies with a car.
Fans of the game may know that Zombie Highway: Driver’s Ed came out last year, but this was more an update than a true sequel (even though some people refer to it as such). Zombie Highway 2 will be a whole new game, although maintaining that same vehicular zombie homicide edge.
The sequel will feature a few new features. Nitro boosts that increase speed and damage, plenty of new weapons, a Prince of Persia rewind feature after death (that will of course cost in-game gold, or a view of a video ad), and a new expert difficulty. There will also be daily challenges, and a new feature allowing you to kill zombie versions of your Game Center friends!
The game is still in development, but expected this fall.
This video is a one hour live demo of the game by the developers.
A couple years ago I found a game on Newgrounds called Rebuild. I played it and absolutely loved it. I was thrilled to discover soon after that there was a Rebuild 2 also available. Then I heard the developer was planning a 3rd game called Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville. I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign for this game, at a level that got me Alpha access because I couldn’t wait to see what was coming.
The basic premise behind the game series is that you are the leader of a group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse. You start with a small section of your town that has been walled off to defend against zombie incursions. The objective is to explore the unclaimed sections of the town, finding new survivors to join your group, food, fuel, ammo, and building supplies for your base, and clearing them of zombies to make them safe to reclaim. You win the game when you’ve reclaimed the entire town.
The zombies outside the walls regularly group up and launch attacks, and you direct your “guard” survivors to protect the wall in that area. Survivors are sometimes bitten, other groups of survivors will show up with trade requests, and various other random encounters will throw challenges in your direction.
It’s a strategy game; the first two are turn based, and the third is as well but with a real-time mode. The third game also adds some new elements, chief among them being the titular gangs. These gangs are something like “factions” in other games, and represent a new challenge and new decisions to make.
This game is great for the nerds like myself who don’t just want to fight zombies, but wonder about the details of the post-apocalypse. Like…could we ever have electrical infrastructure again? I mean, I don’t know how to run a power plant. Do you? Would we have to find someone who does? What if they’ve all been eaten?
In Rebuild, we get to deal with some of those details. Establishing some order, reclaiming power plants and water treatment facilities. It’s all handled in very basic ways; assign someone with a good science skill to work in a lab, which helps develop new technologies for the settlement. But it does at least address something other than the best ways to stop a zombie with a shotgun.
I have had the pleasure of e-mailing a couple of times with the game’s creator Sarah Northway. She’s super friendly, and very accessible to her fans and supporters. She told me that the lack of thinking-man’s zombie games like this were her main inspiration for creating Rebuild.
I made Rebuild because I felt exactly the same way, it’s hard for me to find a game that’s just right, so I had to create my own!
Go check out the Rebuild flash games. There’s a mobile version too if that’s your preferred platform.
Zombie Trailer Park is one of the most fun Flash games I’ve played in a while, and certainly one of the best zombie ones. It’s a defense game, and a pretty challenging one that should take you a little time to get through. A great way to spend a spare hour!
There’s a pretty fun Flash defense game called Robots vs. Zombies that’s worth a look. If you’re bored and look for something fun to do, give this game a look!
You may have heard the rumor that there’s a Dead Rising movie in the works. Well, it’s true. It’s being created by Legendary Digital Media, the first project of the new digital division of Legendary Pictures (the folk who made Godzilla).
The movie is going to be released initially on Sony’s Crackle. It’s still in very early development, and with no word yet on cast or crew, we probably won’t see it until next year.
I hate to come off pessimistic, but it’s hard to get excited about news like this. Dead Rising is a sweet game series, don’t get me wrong. I’m excited about the prospect of the third game coming out in just a couple weeks. But come on. No matter how bad we want them to be great, video game movies suck. It’s a bit of a paradox; they suck because they’re not made by the gamers who love the games they are based on, but those gamers probably couldn’t make an awesome movie. So unfortunately, it just seems like they can’t make a great one.
When those movies are CGI, they tend to be even worse. Have you seen Resident Evil: Degeneration? Even Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children was disappointing. And I really wanted that one to be good, because hard as I may wish, I’ll never see Cloud, Tifa, and all my buddies in a game again.
The notion of CGI game movies becomes even sillier the better game graphics become. How much better will this movie be than the cut scenes in Dead Rising 3? Probably not much. So what have we got then? Essentially a game that you don’t play. Lame.
When it comes out, you might want to check it out. Never know; it might be the first non-suck game movie in history. But I’m not holding my breath.