Spider-Man Homecoming

When Marvel announced Captain America: Civil War, the one question on every comic geek’s lips was “What about Spider-Man?”

So Marvel started brokering a deal with Sony and they came to an agreement: Marvel could do two standalone Spidey films and use the character in a few cameos, but Sony got publishing rights to the standalone films and made most of the money (Marvel does, however, finally get to add Spidey to all their MCU merchandise, so they make a little money there). This meant that Marvel got to do the casting, directing and most of the producing. Meaning that we didn’t end up with another flop like the Amazing Spider-Man franchise.

It’s been quite some time since the film came out (my friends and I struggled to book tickets for the release date) and it was glorious. If you still haven’t seen it (where have you been, under a rock?), then I’m giving you a heads up that there are two post-credit scenes… one of them featuring Captain America.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

(it’s been long enough… right?)

(and besides, this one is just too great not to talk about without spoiling)

Remember when Zendaya was cast as “Michelle” and the internet exploded? And then she told us she wasn’t “MJ” and the internet exploded again? I’ll just clear that up right here: she is MJ, just not the one we’re used to.

And don’t complain about Aunt May being too young, the actress, Marisa Tomei, is 52 years old; besides, she’s his aunt, not his grandmother. No, seriously. If you read the original Spider-Man comics, you’ll note that Peter is practically finishing university at the start, he’s in his early thirties. But over the years his origins were changed and he was made younger and younger so that he was just 15 when the spider bit him; but his aunt and uncle didn’t get the same de-aging treatment, they both stayed old (while the rest of the comic universe was either getting younger or simply just not ageing). In actuality, MCU Aunt May is probably the most logical Aunt May we’ve ever seen (I know right, I’m applying logic to comic book characters, but I’m a comic book geek, it’s what we do best).

Then there was that wonderful clip of Captain America in what appeared to be an old video tape the teachers were playing for the students at Midtown High. When that first popped up in the trailers, people were pretty confused… for a while, then we started to pay attention to the old-style font. In Homecoming, the gym teacher actually explains that the tapes are a required part of the schooling system and that he has to play them even though Cap is now technically a war criminal. So that clears some things up.

If you have seen Homecoming, you may have noticed some continuity errors. Those being that the first Avengers film was supposed to take place in the year it was released, 2012, with Homecoming taking place eight years later, which would put Homecoming (and technically, Civil War) in 2020, but in Civil War, Vision says that Tony announced his identity as Iron Man to the world eight years prior to Civil War; Iron Man is supposed to be set in 2010 (in Iron Man 2, Tony states that it has been six months since he became Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Thor are supposed to be in the same year, with Nick Fury stating in Avengers “last year Earth had a visitor”, in reference to Loki, putting Iron Man 2 in 2011 and Iron Man 1 in 2010 – even though it was released in 2008).

With all this in mind, it means that either Homecoming and Civil War take place in 2020 or they take place in 2018.

I’m sure Marvel will just do what they do when this happens in the comics and simply say that Doctor Strange messed up a little when he used the Time Stone, or that it was Thanos when he used the Time Stone in the Infinity Gauntlet (more on that thing some other time, seeing as it made an appearance in the first Thor film). Oh, Marvel; why are your continuities so messed up?

Later on in the film, it is revealed that Liz (the girl Peter spends most of the movie crushing on) is Adrian Toomes’ daughter. Adrian Toomes is the Vulture. Whom Spidey is currently pestering. This may come as a shock to some of you but a few months ago, Marvel threw out two prelude comics (Homecoming Prelude Part 1 and Homecoming Prelude Part 2) which revealed that Liz is Vulture’s daughter (not everyone read the comic, and many of those that did didn’t actually notice, it was one of those well-hidden secrets which was actually out in the open). But either way, actually seeing Adrian as Liz’s father still felt like quite the shocker in the film.

One thing that bothered me was the amount of trailers and T.V. spots there were for Homecoming, but literally only the clips from the first two trailers were actually in the movie, the rest were all shot specifically for other events (one of them was a car advertisement, another featured DJ Khaled but was actually an advertisement for some or other biscuit). Those of you that still haven’t seen Homecoming will be very pleased to know that it is a lot more standalone that many of the trailers led us to believe, Iron Man actually has very little involvement (we see him like two or three times, Tony actually has less than 10 minutes screentime).

But now for the most amazing part of the film: the one scene that pays homage to, possibly, Spider-Man’s greatest moment in the comics, his greatest moment of strength.

Remember that bit where Adrian uses the Vulture wing-suit to (basically) drop a building on Spidey? Then Peter loses all hope and starts calling for help because he’s stuck under several tonnes of building rubble? Yeah, that bit.

Look up the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #33 and go to images. In this issue, Spidey was trapped under rubble and machinery in an undersea base, with the ceiling caving down on him; Spider-Man managed to lift the rubble (and effectively bench press the weight of all the water on top of him as well) and escape.

You might be thinking “But Spider-Man isn’t that strong!” And you’d be right, at current, he isn’t that strong, but physically, and at his weakest portrayal, he’s generally on par with Captain America; at his strongest, there was a time when Spider-Man was the fourth strongest man in the world – right up there with Hulk, Thor and The Thing; but according to the comics this wasn’t his strongest, mentioning that he was just a teenager and wasn’t actually in peak physical condition…

PS: they haven’t retconned this yet so he might actually still be the fourth strongest.

But I digress: that moment in Homecoming is an homage to that moment.

Now onto the film itself. Did anyone notice the change in music for Marvel’s usual opening sequence? Another reference, this time to the old Spider-Man television series.

The dramatic timing and acting in this film was spot on and very much believable. Peter really felt like someone I could identify with, in an effort to get a pat on the back and reach his goal of becoming an Avenger (because at some point in our lives, we all wanted someone to be proud of us, for someone to acknowledge just what we really are capable of, for people to stop treating us like five year olds and to treat us with the respect we feel we deserve, whether or not we actually deserve it).

And Robert Downey Junior really did seem like a mentor, only he was the kind of mentor who would rather leave his acolyte to figure things out for themselves and only tell them what they did wrong, never actually revealing what Peter could be doing right. But that was part of what made Peter’s journey so much better: the fact that he wasn’t really getting any help and he had to decide what to do by himself.

And did anyone catch that Miles Morales easteregg?!?!?! If you don’t know where that one is, I’ll leave you to figure that bit out yourselves.

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The Mummy (2017)

So I was a little late to watch the most recent reboot of The Mummy, the start of Universal’s Dark Universe – which was actually supposed to start with Dracula: Untold (2014) but that was such a flop that Universal has done everything in their power to make people forget about it. Well guess what, Universal? I remember, I remember it ALL.

This time around there is no Imhotep, no Anksunamun, no Rachel Weisz (bummed), no Arnold Vosloo (really bummed) and no Brendan Fraser (really, really bummed about that). This time the mummy’s name is Ahmanet, and she was a princess that the Egyptians wiped from their history because she made a deal with Set (in the film he is described as the god of death, but fans of the 1999 Mummy film will know that Anubis was the god of death, Set is the god of evil, but whatever, Universal reckons that The Mummy won’t be attracting any Egyptian mythology fanatics to the cinemas, so what could possibly go wrong?). She was mummified alive (no flesh-eating scarabs this time around) and her sarcophagus placed in a pool of mercury (Egyptians believed that mercury could trap or destroy evil).

Skip to the present day and someone unsuspectingly sets her loose upon the world.

 

We all saw Dr. Jekyll in the trailer and you’re probably wondering if Mister Hyde makes an appearance… I don’t want to spoil it for you but it’s kind of obvious. Sadly, this isn’t Mister Hyde like we saw him in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, he isn’t a gigantic, hulking beast; he’s slightly taller than Jekyll and is obviously considerably stronger but that’s about where it ends – and that was really disappointing.

Some of the character interactions were a little interesting (mainly between the main character, Nick Morton, and his best friend, Chris Vail). There was some incredibly forced romance which, from what I can tell, was based on a one-night-stand; this was a little funny in the first fifteen minutes of the film but after that, it just got boring and dragged on.

The best actor in the film was Russell Crowe, who played Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. Everyone else’s acting was believable but seriously; don’t put Russell Crowe in your movie if you want the other actors to look good, because he will make them look terrible (same applies to Clint Eastwood, Idris Elba, Sean Connery and Morgan Freeman). I still don’t know why they chose Tom Cruise for the main role but it is what it is and there is no changing it now.

This film changed a whole bunch of stuff around in that the Crusaders were involved, and I can’t explain how without spoiling the majority of the plot. What I will say was that the climax was anti-climactic, to say the least.

 

 

Alright, so this film was supposed to set up the Dark Universe, and in some ways it did. When we first see Prodigium, we are led through what appears to be an anatomist’s laboratory. Seeing all sorts of things on display in vats of what is presumably alcohol. Among these things are a webbed hand (setting up the Creature from Black Lagoon) and a human skull with very long canines (obviously a vampire skull). There was also a rack with skulls on it in Jekyll’s office, one of them very ape-like; this could have just been an actual ape skull or a reference to a very old (and mostly forgotten) movie monster known as Paula the Ape Woman.

Films confirmed for Dark Universe so far include Van Helsing, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, Dracula, Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera (yes, once upon a time it was a monster movie, not an actual opera) and the Hunchback of Notre-Dame; all of these are as yet untitled.

Universal has a massive log of movie monsters to choose from, but with Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and the Invisible Man, I feel like they could do League of Extraordinary Gentlemen while they’re at it.

 

Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters.

Welcome to the Dark Universe.

Creation Club: Are Paid Mods Making A Comeback?

A few years ago, Bethesda tried to make gamers pay for mods – particularly through Steam (note that this was before mods were brought to current generation consoles, it was still under consideration at the time). Some modders wanted to charge for their work and were perfectly fine with the idea, but others, including some of the biggest names in the modding community, were not okay with the idea.

 

Bethesda snuck a little something into their Creation Club reveal at E3 this year, showing that you could download mods using points… points that would either be earned by completing in-game actions or through actually paying with your hard earned cash. There is no official statement on how Creation Club will actually work, even the website for the program is vague on how modders will be paid and how much they will be paid for their work.

What we do know is that Bethesda will allow modders to apply to the site, these mod authors will then be verified (or not) and will be paid for any mods they create and upload to the Creation Club. One of the major criterions being that you cannot upload any pre-existing mods, it has to be something new that you created – this prevents people from creating accounts, somehow getting verified and then uploading someone else’s hard work to the site with their own name slapped on it. And mod authors will have to pitch their mod ideas to Bethesda first, because Bethesda doesn’t want to put time into something that sounds like it probably won’t do well.

This sounds like a pretty safe system but there is something we have to be clear on: this is not the return of paid mods, this does not mean that all mod authors have to charge for their work, just those that want to get paid for what they do. These mod authors will work alongside Bethesda’s in-house developers to create new content for games like Skyrim Special Edition and Fallout 4. Which, when you think about it, makes it easier to understand why Bethesda wants to charge for these mods, because their developers are putting in time that would otherwise be used to develop games for the company – games that would make money.

And that is understandable; at the end of the day, Bethesda is a company and they need to pay their staff somehow. They’re not going to freely host the servers for a site that allows mod authors to work alongside their developers, those developers need to get paid, that site has maintenance costs. Which begs the question as to why they would do it in the first place: because mod authors are putting in valuable time to create something for free.

And that’s it right there: time is money. Many mod authors enjoy what they do but can you really blame them for trying to make a little money off of their hard work? Can you really blame them? Because if modders got paid enough to cover their living expenses and actually have money left over on top of that then they would most definitely be spending their time doing nothing but modding; they wouldn’t only be modding in their free time and it wouldn’t be a hobby anymore, it would be a job. And whether or not it becomes a job is entirely up to the mod author.

But if a mod author wanted to make money off of their mods, it seems the Creation Club is the right way to go about it; Bethesda won’t be employing these modders, they’ll just be paying them for whatever work they put out in their own time. That way a mod author can keep their day job and modding stays a hobby (which it should be), a hobby that earns them a little bit of extra cash on the side.

 

 

 

While I don’t necessarily support paid mods; if I had to pay for every mod I’ve downloaded, I would be way past bankrupt; I’m definitely not against it. Because who am I to tell a person to give me the fruits of their labour for free?

Either way, I’m sure many mod authors will continue to fly the Forever Free banner on their Nexus pages.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales/Salazar’s Revenge

So I watched this just a day after it came out and (weeks later) I’m still not sure if it was all that good or not. It seems more like a nostalgia trip than anything. Ever notice how the PotC films seem to follow a very specific character layout? Being Jack, a woman and another guy. Through the first three films the other two were Will and Elizabeth; with Barbosa constantly changing sides at the flip of a coin. In On Stranger Tides, the leads were Jack, Angelica and the missionary. Now we have Jack, Henry (Will and Elizabeth’s son) and Carina. Or am I the only one who’s noticed this?

And what’s with the different titles? I get that sometimes words don’t have an equal translation in another language and some regions take offence to certain words but what’s wrong with ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’? Why did South Africa get stuck with ‘Salazar’s Revenge’? Did our rating board think the title was offensive? How would it even be offensive? Who even came up with the title ‘Salazar’s Revenge’? ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales is considerably better – and it’s an actual line in the film.

The film picks up quite a few years after On Stranger Tides, and Jack hasn’t quite figured out how to get the Black Pearl out of her bottle, so the crew don’t really even have a ship. They try to rob a bank, by stealing the entire vault itself, but the whole thing goes wrong and in the end they don’t actually have anything to take from the little misadventure. Jack gets caught and is to have his head lopped off with the newly invented guillotine. It is here that he and Carina (who is about to be hanged for witchcraft) officially meet each other. Henry, having previously met both of them, helps them escape and so they begin the search for the Trident of Poseidon – each for their own reasons, of course.

Somewhere along the line, Jack gave up his compass, and apparently giving up the compass will release one’s greatest fear – in Jack’s case, pirate hunter Captain Salazar Armando, who Jack trapped in the Devil’s Triangle way back at the start of his pirating career. This opens up something of a plot hole – seeing as we have seen Jack give the compass away before, but hey, forget about plot holes and just enjoy the movie for what it is: a horrible pirate film that we’ll all enjoy anyway because it’s got Captain Jack Sparrow.

Oh, and if you thought you’d be seeing much of Will or Elizabeth, you’d be wrong; Will gets less than one minute of screentime and Elizabeth only gets a few seconds.

E3 2017 After Action Report – Devolver Digital

Some of my friends thought Ubisoft had won E3 this year, others said Sony won. I told them to watch the Devolver Digital press conference, thinking that maybe they’d change their minds… but sadly I think their brains have turned to mush.

 

Devolver knew no one would take them seriously, this not only being their first time at E3 but also – yeah, I don’t know what to say. Devolver specialises in publishing indie games, which is something that other companies are now scrambling to do, but for some reason, people still look down on Devolver Digital.

Seriously guys, why you gotta hate on Devolver?

 

Devolver Digital knew no one would really take them seriously, so they decided to be as unconventional as they could. Their ‘conference’ was only fifteen or so minutes long and most of it consisted of skits performed on stage. I can’t really say I was canning myself but I definitely found it funny, as did the ‘audience’ (still not sure if that was a real audience or just a bunch of actors). Devolver made sure to reuse clips of the ‘audience’ over and over again, adding to the crazy gag that was their ‘conference’.

Don’t bother opening a new tab to see what they announced because they didn’t announce anything, the games they showed have already been announced. Another highly unconventional business practice.

 

If you’re looking to watch the Devolver Digital ‘press conference’, here’s the link, but seriously, you really do have to watch it.

E3 2017 After Action Report – Nintendo

I’m not much of a Nintendo fan, I played Legend of Zelda and the Metroid games as a kid and that’s about it.

 

Okay, here goes.

 

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a thing. Yay?

Kirby is getting a new game for the Switch.

Metroid Prime 4 is coming. I’m excited for this one.

Switch is getting a Yoshi game (I used to think this little guy was adorable, then ScrewAttack’s Death Battle pit him against Riptor and he friggin won). Not yay.

Rocket League is heading to Switch.

Breath of the Wild is getting two DLCs.

Pokken Tournament DX is also heading to Switch, while an as yet unnamed Pokemon RPG is in development.

And, last but not least; Super Mario Odyssey turns Mario into a demon that can possess anything. Super Mario just got Super Creepy.

Wonder Woman

She really is carrying the DCEU.

 

Directed by Patty Jenkins, this one superhero film, the first female-led superhero film in a while, has quite literally just saved the DCEU from total failure. Joss Whedon, we here you’re doing major reshoots now that you’re helming Justice League, I hope those are worth it.

 

The film recounts Wonder Woman’s days on Themyscira, her defiance of her mother and her introduction to the rest of the world; including her intervention in World War 1.

Diana’s journey from sheltered child, to fierce warrior, to protector of humanity is a tale not many think of when it comes to superheroes. We all know about the death of Uncle Ben, the murder of Thomas and Martha, and the destruction of Krypton, some of us know there is more to Wolverine’s origins than the films let on; but how many of us can confidently say we know Wonder Woman’s origins?

I must say that even though I’ve been reading DC Rebirth Wonder Woman, and I did read her New 52 run, but beyond this film, I don’t really know all that much about Wonder Woman. Up until recently, she was one of those characters who’s story you could just gloss over (but then, the writing in her comics has also improved as of the start of Rebirth; seriously, that’s some recommended reading right there).

And while the film does put a new spin on Wonder Woman and her origins, I can’t really talk about that without spoiling the film.

 

WARNING: no spoilers ahead.

The acting in Wonder Woman was incredible, the characters were believable and so was the world they were in; the environments they moved through, the people around them, the constant emphasis on Diana being a strong and independent woman in a time when women weren’t really allowed to be strong and independent.

The story itself was well written and I’d love to take a look at any previous versions of the script, see how the producers came to the ideas and conclusions that they did; because there are certain things in the film that I would have loved to see go the other way.

 

Does the film deserve the high praise it has received? It was amazing, I’ll give it that and I’d definitely go watch it again, but – oh, you know what, I’ll be honest with you; that was the best superhero film I have ever seen and I can’t find anything wrong with it.

We’ve gotten so used to DCEU films flopping that when a good one comes out, I just can’t resist the temptation to hate on it, but there is seriously nothing bad or wrong with this film. It is flawless.

E3 2017 After Action Report – PC Gaming

I’ve never been all that interested in the PC Gaming E3 conference but this year was different.

 

The show kicked off with an expansion to XCOM 2. War of the Chosen adds three new champions (an assassin, a warlock and a hunter). The expansion is much larger than any other previously released for the game and boasts new weapons, recruitable factions and a campaign.

Age of Empires is something that really didn’t need the 4k treatment, but it is a great way to renew interest in an old game. The units now move on sixteen faces, instead of just four or eight like in the original, so movement will appear much more fluid and the sprites will look just that much more alive.

Then there is Total War: Warhammer 2, which is now confirmed to have four factions, only three of which have so far been revealed to us so far (lizard-men, high elves and dark elves).

BattleTech got some screentime too, showing us a few minutes of the single-player campaign.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War has shown itself to have a DLC, The Blade of Galadriel. The DLC will introduce a playable female elf named Altariel who will also get her own mini-campaign.

Playerunknown’s Battleground will be getting some massive updates to weather and the climbing and vaulting systems, which will affect greatly affect gameplay.

Lawbreakers is getting a final closed beta on June 28 and will get open access beta on June 30. For those who don’t know what Lawbreakers is (don’t worry, I only found out it even existed a week or two ago), think of Quake Champions but with low gravity.

 

This year’s PC Gaming conference wasn’t incredibly eventful, but it definitely wasn’t bland.

E3 2017 After Action Report – Sony

Sony could very well have won E3 this year… if not for the technical difficulties they had at the start, because I didn’t hear anything during that Horizon Zero Dawn DLC trailer.

 

But hey, found the trailer online and I have to say, I’m liking the sound of it. I never really got to play Horizon Zero Dawn but from the gameplay footage I’ve seen since the game’s initial release, it is amazing and the DLC promises on exactly the same thing. So I’m sure it will be no less than expected.

 

Uncharted is getting a spin-off, titled Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Doubtless, the gameplay will be similar to that found in Uncharted 4 but it seems the two protagonists, mercenary Nadine Ross and treasure hunter Chloe Frazer, do not like each other; I’m sure they have good reasons for hating one another and I’d like to find out why, which I’m sure I will when the game comes out.

 

Destiny 2. Okay, so I was hoping for a little more on the single-player campaign but Sony focused the showcase entirely on the multiplayer. Seriously, just when you guys figure out we want single-player, you promise one but then talk about the multiplayer instead; come on, learn.

 

Shadow of the Colossus is getting a remaster for the PS4 and PS4 Pro; apparently, it’s being helmed by the same people who recreated it for the PS3, so they shouldn’t break the game (we hope). Seriously, this game never gets old and I’d love to play it again – although I probably could, if I knew anyone who had it; but still: REMASTER, we gamers love hearing that word. What could possibly go wrong?

 

We got our first look at Call of Duty: World War II’s multiplayer and, I’ll be honest with you, it didn’t show much; but it definitely looks like we’ll be seeing the much grittier side of the war than we have in previous games.

 

The next entry in the God of War franchise has been slated for an early 2018 release, no actual date has been given just yet. The trailer we were shown gives us another look at those glorious graphics and an inside peek into the relationship between Kratos and his son, as well as a little story information. We still don’t know how Kratos ended up in the frozen wastelands of the Nords but we do know that the gods there already don’t like him – oh, and the World Serpent wants to help him.

 

Detroit: Become Human also got a showcase, giving us more story information. Well, not really, it just made the story seem more epic. All we know is that you get to decide whether or not to take part in the robot uprising.

 

With regards to Playstation VR, we got glimpses of TESV: Skyrim, Final Fantasy 15 (I’d love to see how the gameplay would work, or if it will just be the fishing and camping, which would be lame), Starchild, Moss and Superhot VR. I’m interested to see how these games work, but from what we could see of the Skyrim, aiming now looks very finicky and weird, but we’ll see how that turns out in the future.

 

But there are two games that really caught my eye, and those would be Spider-Man and Monster Hunter World. We got gameplay for the one (Spider-Man) and an extended trailer for the other (Monster Hunter World) and I CANNOT WAIT for either of them to come out.

 

Sony did pretty well this E3, but I still somehow feel like they could have done better.

E3 2017 After Action Report – Ubisoft

Ubisoft did really well this year, but they weren’t as amazing as they could have been.

No more Aisha Tyler (still not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing) but the cringy dudes who were actually presenting the stream did make a comeback in the form of two guys who were different to the two cringy dudes who actually presented the stream last year.

That and: opening with Rabbids? Seriously? I get that you wanted Miyamoto on stage right at the start to get people hyped but seriously? Come on, Ubisoft, you can do better.

 

Speaking of Rabbids, Miyamoto gave Ubisoft permission to do something with Mario on the condition that they “did something new with the character” and didn’t make “a side-scrolling jumping game”. Well, that’s not too hard to do; but Ubisoft went with turn-based strategy RPG, with gameplay being eerily reminiscent of XCOM. Which I’ll admit looked kind of interesting but if it were on a convention floor, I probably wouldn’t be too upset if I didn’t get to play it.

 

So besides Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, I’m only going to talk about the three largest franchises to appear, starting with Assassin’s Creed.

 

We all know how this goes. Ubisoft wants to make an Assassin’s Creed game, there are leaks everywhere, and eventually, we know what the main character’s name is before the game’s title is even announced (another thing we generally know before the official announcement).

But let’s be honest, Assassin’s Creed: Origins looks spectacular. Eagle Vision is now based on an actual eagle (still want to know how it hovers like that) and not some sixth sense (I’d still like to see how said sixth sense actually became a thing in the Assassin’s Creed canon) and combat has been completely redone. In previous AC games, if you wanted a cool kill animation or killstreak, you had to counter-kill an enemy and chain-kill the rest, or you would just counter-kill everyone; and that’s what the combat was based on: silent assassinations and countering. But in Origins, YOU have a chance to drive combat, you carry a shield with which to block (and attack) and you have several other weapons to choose from. The combat definitely appears more fluid but the one thing everyone is freaking out for is that mid-air shot with the bow that we saw in the very first gameplay footage.

And from the half hour of gameplay footage after the press conference, we find out that the map is enormous and virtually any surface is traversable. Gameplay is also level-based, meaning that the game will continue to provide a challenge no matter how many hours you put in (no word yet on a level-cap), there are three main areas of skill and you can now loot gear from enemies. For those accustomed to playing stat-based games, you’re going to love the new gear system. This isn’t just “do certain missions to unlock the next level of armour”, loot now has a rarity system and there are numbers to crunch. Then there are the effects that different items will have; certain bows will fire poison-tipped arrows and some khopeshes (a type of sword, this will probably be the main melee weapon besides the glaive) will swing faster than others.

The best part about the levelling system is that it works differently to the way it did in AC Syndicate, now, instead of earning exp through certain activities, you earn exp for most of the things you do (including killing random guards).

The gameplay looks incredible and I absolutely cannot wait to give this game a try. But Ubisoft, you have got to explain that giant snake. If that’s Apep, are we gonna fight Sobek too?

 

After Origins we have The Crew 2, which now focuses on every type of motorsport out there; the trailer showing all manner of aircraft, boats, cars and bikes. The racing game competition just keeps getting tighter this year, with EA throwing out another Need for Speed and another Forza game on the horizon as well. I look forward to giving this game a try, might even buy it and use it to satisfy all my racing needs.

 

And then we have Skull and Bones, the creative teams at Ubisoft got just as hooked as we did on the naval combat in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. So they made a game based entirely on naval combat. Literally; even when you board another ship, you don’t take control of the captain or any of the crew members, you just hope that you’ve damaged the ship enough for your crew to take command.

I’m all for a little bit of virtual piracy (no, not illegally downloading games, movies and music; SHHHH!!!), and this game seems like just the way to do it. And seeing as there’s co-op, you and your friends can terrorise the high seas together.

 

And that wraps up this After Action Report, I would talk about the other games Ubisoft showcased but Skull and Bones, AC Origins and The Crew 2 are the ones that really stuck out. What did you think of Ubisoft’s press conference? Let me know in the comments down below.