The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 126 – Gerald the Witcher Boy

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

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Big News

This week we chat about Bethesda’s Fallout 76 problems, Farcry New Dawn, Black Panther’s Golden Globe nominations, and the new Captain Marvel trailer.

No Screentime this week!

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam Milkman by Anna Burns/rewatching 30 Rock/The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PS4
IanMoon’s Artifice (Empire of a Hundred Houses Book 1) by Tom Lloyd/The Office/Dark Souls Remastered on Nintendo Switch

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 114 – E3 2018 Spectacular

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

This week we chat about Star Wars trolls, the His Dark Materials casting for the upcoming BBC adaptation, and Chloe Dykstra’s abuse story that has been connected to Chris Hardwick.

Screentime – E3 2018

This week we talk for a long long time about this year’s E3, the big yearly video games expo in California. We go through our general thought on the expo, and each of the big presentations and what we liked (or didn’t like!). Here are the links to the presentations and the specific games we spend time talking about!

EA: Anthem (gameplay), Sea of SolitudeUnravel Two

Square Enix: Final Fantasy XIV x Monster Hunter WorldBabylon’s FallShadow of the Tomb Raider

Ubisoft: Beyond Good and Evil 2Skull & Bones (gameplay), TransferenceMario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure,  Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (gameplay), Starlink: Battle for Atlas

BethesdaWolfenstein: YoungbloodDoom EternalSkyrim Very Special EditionFallout 76The Elder Scrolls VIStarfield

Nintendo: Fire Emblem Three HousesSuper Smash Bros Ultimate

Xbox: Halo InfiniteMetro ExodusWe Happy FewDevil May Cry 5Jump ForceGears 5Cyberpunk 2077SekiroTunic

Playstation: The Last of Us Part IIGhost of TsushimaResident Evil 2 remakeSpider-ManDeath Stranding

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge/Atlanta on FOX/Destiny 2 Expansion II Warmind on PS4
Kii206 Bones by Kathy Reichs/Queer Eye on Netflix/The Darkside Detective on Steam

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

5 Games to Look Forward to in 2016

Nath sometimes writes for the site. This is one of those times.

2015 was a brilliant year for gaming. Fallout 4, Arkham Knight, MGSV:The Phantom Pain to name a few. But what have we got in store for us in 2016? This article will show the games I am personally looking forward to this year. Some may be from my list last year as release dates may have been pushed back or we will have been lied to.

I won’t lie this is a tough article to write as there are a lot of games coming next year that have piqued my interest. However I believe these top 5 are the ones I believe will hopefully make 2016 another fantastic year for gaming.

5. Quantum Break

From developers Remedy Entertainment (Max Payne), this game starts off my top 5 for 2016. Xbox One exclusive, where the main character is able to stop and manipulate time in order to try and correct a failed time travel experiment. It features Dominic Monaghan (Merry from LOTR) as the main character Jack Joyce which is a promising start, but the unique feature about this game is that it comes with a TV show as well. The live-action show plays at the end of each segment and it will be personalised depending on the choices you have made throughout that segment.

This game has a high risk, high reward factor within it. It could be seen as the next step in gaming or seen as gimmick that never takes off, but regardless of that, the gameplay trailers for it look absolutely spectacular.

The release date is 05/04/16 in the UK. It will be safe to say that I will be reviewing this game at some point in the new year, just hope it doesn’t disappoint.

 

4. For Honor

Firstly it’s spelt Honour but I will skip over it for the time being. Developed by Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed) it is a 3rd person melee game that pits Vikings, Knights and Samurais against each other. It looks like a Dynasty Warrior type game but with MMO thrown in.

Ubisoft have said that each faction will have it’s own unique special abilities. They have also said it will use the analogue sticks to control movements and actions in battle. Could be complicated to handle, but we all enjoy a challenge. I do have one question though: do I choose Viking or Samurai? No one wants to be a Knight, they suck.

There is no official release date yet, but apparently it is sometime in 2016. It will be available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.

 

3. Battleborn

The only way I can describe this game is complete and utter madness. Developed by Gearbox Software (Borderlands) it is an online 1st person shooter where you choose between 25 characters and then go all out crazy to destroy each other. Each character has their own abilities, for example, 1 character has a mini-gun but is slow to move, another character has a sword, but is quick and nimble.

The gameplay trailers look amazing, definitely a game I will be purchasing next year, just got to hope that everything isn’t one-sided with certain characters.

It is expected to come out on 03/05/16, however it has already been pushed back once. It is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC, however PS4 users will hopefully have a Beta to play early next year.

 

2. Final Fantasy 15

This was on my list last year, however it wasn’t released. To be honest I will be surprised if it is released in 2016. However nonetheless, it is still a game to look forward to.

The game will be set in an open world which means you can freely travel about in a car or on a Chocobo (yay). There are also day and night cycles in the game and 1 day equals to 1 hour of gameplay time, you can sleep in hotels and campsites however to change the time. Also the monsters you encounter depend on the time of day too.

The game will be available on Playstation 4 and Xbox One and the director has said the release date will be before 2017 but I’m not pinning my hopes on it.

 

1. Doom

Yes I know it’s another one from last year, but still it should be out this year according to Bethesda.

If you’ve seen the gameplay trailer for this game then you’ll understand why it’s number 1. I remember playing the first Doom when I was younger (great parenting by the way) and I loved it. When Doom 3 came out, I was so excited about it and loved every minute of it as they didn’t try and change anything. All it needed was a fresh coat of paint or in this case, more up-to-date graphics.

There will be a single player and mulitplayer mode, but it’s the single player I’m looking forward to the most. The trailer shows the main character, shooting, chainsawing, punching and kicking demons until they die. Apparently there many different ways to melee the demons in this game. I really hope it’s much like the Doom of old and that they haven’t changed much because it could be a huge disappoint if they do.

Release date is apparently Spring 2016 and it is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Nath

Adam’s Top 5 Video Games of 2015

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be sharing our top 5s of 2015, from everyone who writes here at The Lost Lighthouse. This time Adam will go through his favourite 5 video games of the year.

I’m taking a quick break from the depths of writing my PhD thesis to write about some of the things I actually cared about this year. This time it’s my favourite video games released in 2015. Of the various things my misguided attempt at a doctoral level qualification has taken from me, the spare time to actually play video games is probably the most felt. Also video games are expensive and I’m incredibly broke. As such, I’ve only actually played five games this yeah (at least that came out in 2015. I also played the incredible Transistor). So this was really just an exercise in picking which order they go in for me. All of these games were played on PS4.

5. Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks)

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The above is part of the reason why Bethesda’s latest installment of everybody’s favourite huge, sprawling post-apocalypse sandbox game is only number 5 on my list. After months of rumours and speculation, details of a new Fallout began to emerge and in November it was finally released. Now due to my heavy work load right now and general state of being very busy (and leaving my PS4 in London over Christmas), I haven’t finished the main story yet. I have however pumped a lot of time into the game, completing a lot of side missions and doing a large amount of world exploration.

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Let’s talk about that world, as a way of kicking off with the good about the game. The world is stunning, as long as you look at it from a distance. While the post-apocalypse trope of a colour palette heavy in browns and greys is definitely present, ‘The Commonwealth’ is densely packed with a lot of interesting scenery and locations to interact with. The storyline so far has been relatively engaging. I don’t really care about my missing son, but the shadowy Institute is intriguing and the return of certain organisations on unprecedented scales is an interesting inclusion. The world really lives through the side missions though, many of which are not only engaging but incredibly enjoyable too (my favourite so far is The Silver Shroud).  The combat mechanics are unchanged for the most part, so the V.A.T.S. system is back and still a lot of fun.

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Now for what I don’t like, and I’m just going to rattle through them. Feel free to discuss them in the comments! The UI is not great, and any changes have not improved things from Fallout 3 or New Vegas. The graphics, while not the be all and end all of a game, should really be better at this point especially for the character models. The dialogue system, previously a big part of Fallout, has been stripped back to make you feel like a passenger in what is largely otherwise a shooter, rather than a participant in an RPG. I have yet to see the point in settlements, and the user interface in building and interacting with a settlement is horrible, likely the reason why I have no desire to spend any more time doing it. While I do enjoy the crafting aspect for weapons and armour, having this and the base construction in the game means that almost every piece of junk in Fallout is worth keeping, and every location contains more crap than you and your companion can carry. As such, I’ve spent probably about 40% of my playtime hefting junk around and either selling or scraping it.

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But for me the biggest issue with Fallout 4 is the glitches and bugs. There has been a lot of comment online about this, which largely seems to boil down to this being something you expect and accept in a Bethesda game. I don’t really see it like that, and this is probably the first time I’ve really had a problem with it. With limited time and money to play games these days, having a full price game be released as a bit of a glitchy mess doesn’t hold water with me. Weapons disappearing, enemies floating, corpses janking around ruining the desolate quiet of a vault. This is why it bothers me. These games are about immersion, and every time I see my companion get stuck in a wall or I fall through the world it takes me completely out of it. Sure they’re working on fixes all the time, but I’m reaching the point where I want games to just be finished properly when they come out.

 

4. The Order 1886 (Ready at Dawn)

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Speaking of a game that was finished, The Order 1886 was the first game I played this year (I reviewed it over here). I liked it a lot. The gameplay was a bit heavy and reminiscent of a clunkier Gears of War, but it wasn’t bad. The story was interesting, succinct and well-paced and while it ultimately didn’t quite deliver on the promise of alternate steampunk Knights of the Round Table supernatural beast hunters, with the very few instances of actually fighting monsters either shockingly easy and repetitive or relegated to quick time events, while the rest of the game was spent shooting ‘rebels’ and other humans for reasons that were never made abundantly clear other than waving around the word ‘conspiracy’, it was a satisfying plot that I enjoyed.

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The game wasn’t particularly long, in fact many said it was far too short for a full price game. I clocked in around 7 hours for my playthrough, and I was fairly defensive about the length in my original review, while also decrying the debate as generally oversimplified. However, since I completed it I really haven’t felt any compulsion to revisit the game. I’m not really sure what that says about it or it’s value. Saying that, it remains the best looking game I’ve played so far on the latest console generation. Despite it being a largely drab and grey trudge through Victorian England, it was stunning to look at and I really enjoyed it.

 

3. Mad Max (Avalanche Studios)

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This one snuck up on me, as it would probably have totally passed me by if I hadn’t been swept up in the Fury Road fever this year. Instead, I actively made the decision to pick up this new Mad Max game over Metal Gear Solid V, due to it’s reasonably positive if not stellar reviews and the fact that I was fairly sure it would be an easier game to pick up and put back down for short gaming stints, making it better for taking breaks from working and avoiding getting so engrossed that I waste hours on it. Fortunately I turned out to be right about that, but more fortunate was how much I ended up loving this game for all of it’s simplicity.

Mad Max_20150913102303

Set before Fury Road, with a somewhat tenuous link to characters in the film, you play as Max after having the Interceptor stolen and being left for dead. You ally yourself with a mechanic, and slowly modify a rusty frame to an armoured ‘Magnum Opus’ capable of driving across the Plains of Silence to freedom. The game is another big sandbox environment, as you drive around finding scrap for your car, fighting off raiding parties, taking down War Boy camps with your fists and limited shotgun ammo and helping your allies thrive, while trying to outrun sand storms and stop Lord Scrotus and his minions. In essence, you just drive around and blow stuff up. And it is incredibly fun. The game’s only real let down is that it is very repetitive. The map is studded with scavenging locations, and each of the 4 allies you meet along the game require the same things from you. A lot of it is extraneous, but useful for completing the game. That said, there are some very fun and unique missions, like driving through the Underdune – a network of tunnels that was once an airport, now home to the nocturnal Buzzards.

 

2. Bloodborne (FromSoftware)

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Second from top for me this year is the PS4 exclusive Bloodborne from ‘Souls’ creators FromSoftware. A grueling, Groundhog Day style trial-and-error endurance experience where you spend most of your time dying. A lot. But it’s the sort of game that makes you think tactically, commands your full attention, tests your ability and ultimately rewards you for it. As a hunter, you wade through scores of the crazed residents of the town of Yharnam, feral beasts and huge, hulking monsters. Each time you finally figure out how to beat a boss and ‘Prey Slaughtered’ pops up on your screen, you feel an immense satisfaction and a real feeling of earning it.

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The game itself is beautiful. Well, beautiful if you like heavily gothic surroundings and grotesque monsters. Halfway through the game you enter a sort of nightmare realm, while everything takes on a deeply Lovecraftian slant, including horrific beasts that cling to the huge buildings around you that you can’t attack… but get close enough and they can attack you. My flatmates described this as the game they’ve enjoyed watching me play the most, I expect in part because of the surroundings, but likely also due to my reaction to the difficulty level of the game – swearing my head off every time I felt like I was unjustly killed, even thought it was probably due to me not paying enough attention. It happened a lot.

 

1. Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios)

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My favourite game of the year is likely a little predictable for me. As a huge Batman fan, I’ve always been extremely impressed by the Arkham games (at least the Rocksteady ones) for not only capturing the ethos and feeling of a mixture of the best Batman comics and Batman: The Animated Series, but also managing to create gameplay that makes you really feel like you are being the Batman. Easy to control combat that looks brutal yet elegant, stealth that combines technology and fear to take down foes, and detective work to put together a case. This third installment from Rocksteady is their final Arkham game, though there isn’t a doubt in my mind that WB will be back with more.

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Scarecrow is working with the mysterious ‘Arkham Knight’ and his militia army, and using an overwhelming force and seemingly hundreds of drone tanks they bring Gotham to it’s knees. Batman must prevent them from poisoning the city with fear toxin, while figuring out the identity of the Knight and putting a stop to their plans. Along with a few new tricks, like the hugely satisfying fear takedown, Bats also finally has the Batmobile – less a car in this incarnation and more of the personal tank of the Christopher Nolan films, able to speed around at huge speeds before transforming into a combat mode complete with missiles, stun guns and a huge cannon – to be deployed against drone tanks only. While feeling hilariously overpowered, the Batmobile has been successfully deployed in much the same way as the hand-to-hand combat was for the first time in Arkham Asylum – it’s very easy to feel like a total badass with it. The one drawback? I get the feeling Rocksteady were very, very proud of their new toy. So much so that the Batmobile is shoehorned into missions and situations that feel totally unnatural, to the point that it is essentially overused.

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The main plot is an exercise in escalation, in an understandable trajectory from the first game until now. But it’s a very enjoyable superhero tale with some very well deployed twists, some less well deployed twists (I may have seen the identity of the Arkham Knight coming a mile off due to my familiarity with the comics, but it’s telegraphed very clumsily and out of nowhere a couple of hours before) and a huge climax. The side quests are even better than they were in Arkham City, once again drawing from the extensive rogues gallery (some of which were extensions of side plots set up in that game). For every one that fell a little flat, like the Hush sequence, there were excellent scenarios like ‘The Perfect Crime’.

The only issue I have with the extra content like this, which was the same as the previous games, is that while I can suspend my disbelief in general for superhero antics, it is physically and temporally impossible for all of this to occur in one night. Equally unbelievable is that with the city in such dire peril, you’d take some time out of saving it to capture Man-Bat or train Azrael. Maybe leave them to tomorrow Bruce? Or even just have the plot take place over a couple of days. Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight go to ground for a day or two, and while the Batcomputer checks up on some leads you start cleaning up some other problems in the city? Whatever. It’s really a tiny and slightly pointless complaint, really just brought about by overthinking things. Ultimately, this was a great game. Unless you tried to play it on PC.

 

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 41 – Pretty Rad (E3 2015 Spectacular!)

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we mostly chat about everything we thought looked particularly good at this year’s impressive E3 conferences, and we go through what our favourites were in the Xbox, Sony, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix and Bethesda conferences from this year’s show, while Gary hates on Kingdom Hearts, Adam thinks a lot of games look ‘rad’ (because he is some sort of vampire surfer-bro now) and we really earn that explicit warning with a particularly high volume of swearing.

Here is all the footage we talk about!

Xbox

Halo 5 gameplay, RecoreRise of the Tomb Raider gameplay, Gears of War 4Hololens with Minecraft

Sony

The Last Guardian gameplay, Final Fantasy VII remake reveal, Uncharted 4 gameplay, Horizon Zero Dawn, Star Wars Battlefront gameplay (1 & 2), No Man’s Sky

Nintendo

Star Fox ZeroXenoblade Chronicles X Yoshi’s Woolly World

EA

Mass Effect AndromedaUnravel

Square Enix

NierDeus Ex: Humanity Divided

Ubisoft

South Park: The Fractured But HoleFor HonorTom Clancy’s The Division

Bethesda

Doom gameplay, Fallout 4 gameplay, Dishonoured 2

Let us know what you liked and didn’t like from E3 this year!


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If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions on anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 40 – An Oddly Specific Request

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat about the Fallout 4 reveal trailer, Konami going ‘mobile first’, Rise of the Tomb Raider and a Jack-Bauer-lite 24, while Gary talks about his apocalypse boner, and Adam makes a clumsy attempt to talk about feminism and sounds like an idiot in the process.

The main talking point this week was Mad Max: Fury Road, with minor spoilers included. We talk about how much we enjoyed it, the development hell leading up to it and the refreshing gender balance brought to the film (and the morons that complained about it being ‘feminist propaganda’). If you haven’t seen it, make sure you check it out!

Also this – http://feministmadmax.tumblr.com/


Download this episode (right click and save)

If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions on anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

20150522_110543

 

EGX Round Up – Part One: Alien Isolation and The Evil Within

Adam and Kii went to EGX in London on Friday. Here is Adam’s coverage.

This Friday Kii and I had the privilege of receiving press passes to the EGX show, taking place from the 25th-28th of September at Earls Court, London. EGX is a huge gaming expo in which developers bring along demos of their upcoming games. Aside from sprawling sections for the big developers and gaming systems, there were also dedicated areas for indie teams too, as well as developer talks, stalls selling games merchandise, gaming charities and competitions. This will be the first of a couple of articles covering the games we played, my thoughts on them and the convention itself.

 

Alien Isolation

The new Alien game from The Creative Assembly (published by Sega) is one of the games I have been looking forward to the most this year, as I feel I have been missing out on survival horror recently, and the trailers and footage so far for the game seem to be hinting at that gameplay style, as well as tonally being very much in line with Ridley Scott’s original film. We took the lift up to the 18+ area of the expo, and joined what looked like a reasonably long queue leading out of the large walled off black area surrounded with the game’s logo. Joining the back, we were furnished with a free prequel comic. While this is a great bit of promotion and generous, to me it set off alarm bells as if to say ‘you are going to be here a while, here’s some reading for you’.

However, these fears were totally unfounded as they let the whole queue in one chunk, showing us a trailer and filling us in on the details of the demo and our objective, and that we had 10 minutes, while the previous group finished up. We were then led in and allowed to choose PS4 or Xbox One. I have to say I wasn’t expecting how well equipped some of these demos would be, as at a guess it looked like they had at least 30 of each system running the game. We sat down in the dark, green tinted booth, provided with some beefy headphones for full immersion, and started up the demo.

 

The objective was simple – get from point A to point B without being horribly murdered by the xenomorph. As Ripley’s daughter, Amanda, you start in a small room with only your motion tracker to pinpoint where it is, and a nearby flamethrower for defence. On the first attempt I missed it, going straight through the door into the access corridor. Creeping by as the alien stomped past, I thought I was clear but he turned and my brain briefly failed and tried to apply the tactic for dealing with clickers in The Last of Us, standing totally still. The alien is not a clicker. Rushing forward, the xenomorph was on me in a split second, right up in my face. Killing me in an instant, it felt like the monster had me personally and the second mouth was about to go right into my face.

Loading up the second attempt, the gravity of the situation had sunk in. That was how easy it was for grizzly doom to occur. I had been a little spooked by the atmosphere before, but now my heart was in my throat. I looked to my right, and Kii had already quit after her first death, Survival horror is not her deal, and this game seemed to be delivering just that. I remembered the flamethrower this time, but did not remember the controls for using it so fared no better at all. The death sequence was longer this time, with the highly evolved killing machine pinning me down before murdering me horribly. Grim.

Third attempt, I took it slowly and snuck around every crate and wall, but he still saw me. This time I hit him with a short burst from the flamethrower, and he scuttled off into a vent. Picking up the pace a bit, I made it to the end of the section and through the next door. Following my objective marker, I got to what I naively thought must be the exit and the end of the demo. Victory!

 

LOW POWER. FIND GENERATOR TO RESTORE POWER TO DOOR.

 

FUCK!

 

As I turned, I saw him drop from another vent into the corridor my objective marker now pointed me down. I proceeded with my motion tracker out, still seeing him in the distance. Suddenly, I lost him. The blip got closer and closer and he seemed to appear out of nowhere. I aimed the flamethrower again, but it was empty. I didn’t even bother to run. Game over man.

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The Alien Isolation demo was, for me at least, a perfect glimpse of a game. The tone and atmosphere were exactly what I wanted from an Alien game. I was almost too terrified to move for most of it, and the total lack of supplies and the feeling of being completely outmatched by your adversary made the game very much seem like true survival horror. This wasn’t you trying to figure out how to defeat a difficult boss fight. This was you trying to avoid a predator that was hunting you, and was very good at it. The self-contained nature of the demo gave nothing away about the story, the graphics were excellent and controls were fluid. The game is out in just over a week, and I am very much considering finally getting a PS4 to play it on. The release date of October 7th just so happens to be my payday, and I’m reasonably sure I can survive a month without food.

 

The Evil Within

Next we checked out another one of my most anticipated games, The Evil Within from Tango Gameworks, Bethesda and original Resident Evil architect Shinji Mikami. The promise of more survival horror, the pedigree behind its creation and the footage seen so far has also placed this on my list of ‘if it’s good, finally go next-gen for it’ games. We queued for a bit longer this time, maybe 20 minutes. Bethesda had provided cardboard versions of a safe to put on your head, with a flap for the door, based on one of the monsters in the trailers (most people used these boxes to carry around the rest of their merch). We were again given the choice of PS4 or Xbox One, with a decent number of systems on hand, and sat down in front of the game. Kii was very clear with the attendants that she wasn’t playing. Fool her once horror games? Shame on you. Fool her twice? Shame on her.

 

First was a short series of clips from throughout the game, all out of context so no spoilers. I couldn’t hear any of the dialogue through my headphones, which were quite quiet and fuzzy. I wasn’t sure if this was intentional so as to not give away any story, or if the headphones were just broken. Probably the latter. Anyway, after a tantalising clip show, the protagonist Sebastian Castellanos (an excellent name) was dropped outside a large ominous looking mansion (Mikami loves his mansions). After testing out my revolver on some crows (which dropped shotgun shells for some reason. Maybe they were shiny, but survival horror games should probably have fewer ammo pick ups and drops than that), I arrived at a grand courtyard area with a fountain. Being very used to similar third person games, I fastidiously looked around the courtyard for ammo and collectibles despite having a limited time to play and collecting items being meaningless for me playing a demo.

Entering the mansion, there was a brief glimpse of what looked like a patient on a gurney being rushed through a huge metal door by some doctors, slamming shut behind them. After a bit more exploring, I encountered my first enemy, being some form of zombie/wight/maniac. When you kill an enemy, as well as looting ammo or other pick ups, you can also drop a match and set the corpse on fire. I’m not sure what function this plays, maybe they can reanimate if you leave them? Presumably this is something that will be clearer after more time with the game. Needless to say I did it to every enemy just in case (even killing one with fire after knocking it down with a shotgun blast), to the point where I seemed to run out of matches. Admittedly, I probably didn’t need to set the dead crows on fire. Lesson learnt.

When the second enemy appeared, the screen started to distort in a combination of a hallucination and static, and a hooded man appeared and stalked towards me. I ran, tail between my legs, and he disappeared. Next, I found a room containing a severed head with the brain exposed, surrounded by tools and probes attached for study. A mini game started, playing a recording to give hints at where to insert the probe. Getting it wrong damaged your own health somehow, and one of the attendants tried to explain the section to me from behind despite the fact that I was wearing noise cancelling headphones. Moving on, I went up the stairs in the atrium and ended up in a large library. A few of the enemies looked particularly grotesque, some being wrapped in barbed wire of with part of their face hanging off. Heading up a ladder, the hooded man appeared again, This time I tried shooting, with no effect, and then decided to see what would happen if he reached me. Maybe it really was a hallucination and he would just disappear? I was wrong. Before disappearing he knocked me down and nearly killed me. I then got the hell out of there, and started to continue into the mansion, but our time with the game had ran out.

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The Evil Within demo wasn’t quite as close to classic survival horror as I would have liked (thought this may be unrepresentative of the rest of the game, and I still have high hopes), but it certainly captured the atmosphere of the original Resident Evil and that is definitely a positive. There was a really freaky resonance that felt familiar and new at the same time, with effective if standard gameplay mechanics. The trailers and some of the character design indicates there may be some over-reliance on gore over genuine scares, but that remains to be seen in the context of the game. Regardless, my excitement for The Evil Within has not dulled at all after playing the demo, if anything it has gone up and I’ll be looking forward to the October 14th release.

 

Come back tomorrow for some more ramblings about some games I played at EGX!

Adam