If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to sit at the Sawyer family dinner table in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or stare across from one of the Firefly Family from Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses, look no further than Resident Evil: Biohazard.
The Capcom franchise, which made its debut on the original PlayStation console all the way back in 1996, was an originator of the survival horror genre of gaming in addition to spawning several sequels and a hugely successful movie series that released its concluding entry this past January. Each Resident Evil spin-off has had their fair share of lovers and haters, but following the muted response to Resident Evil 6’s shifted focus towards action gaming tropes rather than horror, it was clear to Capcom that a new Resident Evil installment would need to up the scare factor.
Our friends at WB and LEGO are always releasing outstanding video games that are legit fun for the whole family. In my case, the arrival of a new game like LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game always means sitting down with my little princess in front of our tv and PlayStation 4 and getting our game on.
Princess: Hey, why not the 3?! We also play games on the PlayStation 3.
Oh, hello there. I see you’re sitting next to me as I’m writing this article about the new LEGO Ninjago Video Movie Game that we’ve been playing.
Princess: Ok, yeah.
Out today exclusive to PlayStation 4 is Knack 2. It’s a fun platformer, a sort of cross between the Lego games and Uncharted via Ratchet and Clank, with goblins and robots to keep you punching. The original, one of the first titles to come out for the PS4, was pretty pedestrian. Does the second instalment follow in its predecessor’s plodding footsteps, or does Knack 2 punch above its weight? Meet me after the… wait for it… jump! to find out.
One of the greatest video game franchises of the past decade has been been Uncharted, the PlayStation exclusive created by Naughty Dog. The lead character, Nathan Drake, has become an Indiana Jones for a new generation, and the action-adventure games have only gotten better with every iteration. You can read my rave review for last year’s Uncharted 4 here, but the short form is that it was the greatest video game I’d ever played.
Which means Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has a lot to live up. Thankfully, while not mind-blowing in the way the last game was, it is still an excellent installment.
One of my favourite comic book series of the past five years has been the (mostly) Tom Taylor-penned Injustice: Gods Among Us. It originally began as a tie-in to the Warner Brothers Interactive video game released back in 2013. The game takes place in an alternate DC Universe, where The Joker kills Lois Lane and nukes Metropolis, leading a grief-stricken Superman to murder the Clown Prince of Crime and go about establishing a totalitarian regime around the world, dedicated to eradicating crime before it happens. This puts Superman and his associates against Batman, and the story plays out in fighter-style as the two teams rage against each other.
Taylor’s story became its own thing, adding faces not featured in the game and fleshing out character and motivations. Because it was and is a standalone story, deaths happen, matter, and last, which is a rarity in the regular DC Universe. The series and the original game were huge hits, and while the comic has been an ongoing release, it’s taken four years for a sequel to the game to arrive on shelves.
It was worth the wait.
This Friday sees the release of Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, the continuing adventures of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax The Destroyer, Rocket and Baby Groot. Anticipation is high, and all signs point to this being a massive box office success. Before we get there, though, we’ve got some pretty solid fun to whet our appetites. Among the most exciting Guardians tie-ins is the brand new, multi-part game from Telltale Games and WB Interactive Entertainment.
There is no stop to the LEGO in my house, and to be honest, I’m not complaining at all. And if you’re into LEGO video games, you shouldn’t be either.
The last month has seen the release of two new games based on the venerable bricks, but both are quite different from one another. And my in-house reviewer, my 6 1/2 year old Princess, is enjoying both of them.
What do you look for in a video game? For me, the most important thing is engagement. I want to be sucked in right away. Truth of the matter is, I sometimes have a pretty short attention span when it comes to gaming. If I don’t have a compelling reason to keep playing, it just isn’t going to happen.
Engagement, right? Or maybe even closer to the point, it all comes down to story.
And Horizon Zero Dawn has a hell of a story.
Back in September we wrote about the pretty spectacular Playstation VR – imagine entering the world of a video game, and letting it fully immerse you, sight and sound (I suppose we’re still waiting on smell, which may or may not be a good thing). Playstation VR is a perfect and, in context, a reasonably priced entry way into experiencing what is in all likelihood the future of gaming.
Playstation VR is now available for purchase – if you get the Launch Bundle version, you’ll receive the headset, two move controllers, and Playstation Camera. You’ll also receive the VR Worlds game, allowing you to taste the breadth of experience that comes with virtual reality. It’s hard to find though, but you can find the Playstation VR Core Edition and build up from there.
Playstation also made sure that there was a large assortment of games and add-ons that would be available at launch and slightly post, so it’s not as if you’re stuck with five or six titles at a time. Some of the ones we’d suggest:
This is probably the best game of the bunch we’ve played. You want to be Batman? Well, in this game from Warner Brothers you put on the cowl as you work to uncover who killed one of your closest allies. This game isn’t about fighting; it’s about solving a mystery. It’s a short game, roughly an hour or so, but as far as an experience living out the dream of being the Bat, this game is it.
This past weekend I once more spent multiple days visiting Fan Expo Canada, our country’s version of San Diego Comic-Con. There were celebs galore, and one of the highlights was having the chance to take a picture with my little Princess and her Godfather, BBP’s own JP Fallavollita, and Burt Ward and Adam West, the original Batman and Robin. This was at my girl’s request, by the way. I’m pretty luck, I’d say.
While that moment was certainly routed in the past, another highlight was an amazing glimpse into the future. Our friends at Media Profile, Warner Brother Games Canada and PlayStation gave me the chance to test drive PlayStation VR, the company’s new Virtual Reality head set. It is, safe to say, mind blowing.
This morning I talked about my VR experience with Matt Gurney on National Post Radio on SiriusXM Canada Talks, which you can listen to below.
Thanks again to Media Profile, Warner Brother Games Canada, PlayStation and Touchwood PR for the support and opportunities this year at Fan Expo Canada!