This is it. This is the time of year where you have to be incredibly diligent. Once you start falling behind, you will never be able to catch back up until next year when the industry release cycle goes into one of its many lulls. But if you haven’t already gotten all you wanted to get out of Battlefield 1, you’re not gonna be ready for today’s Titanfall 2 or, hell, next week’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
This is also the week for live-action trailers, apparently. Both the aforementioned Infinite Warfare and the soon-to-follow Dishonored 2 dropped trailers full of real human beings, which is a rarity when it comes to video games that aren’t FMV-based. Although I will say Bethesda has a history of doing this sort of thing; they’ve actually done a lot of live-action stuff for Skyrim.
But why are we talking about them? Let’s watch ’em!
Dishonored 2 — Take Back What’s Yours
Aside from how effing cool this trailer is and how enchanting the eyes of the actress who plays Emily are, the most noteworthy thing about this is that those robots sure do go down easy. She gave them one good swipe and they crumble? Sure, Emily is a badass and whatnot, but come on. Are you guys making those fellas out of balsa wood?
But seriously, this really does make me want to see more of this. Like, specifically I want more live-action Dishonored. The Verge suggests a movie, but I agree with co-director Harvey Smith in that it should be a TV series. Just go ahead and let that notion steep in your dream pot—err, brain. Whatever. The game comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 11, 2016.
Tonight We Riot — Reveal Trailer
The weird thing is that while he doesn’t specifically sound like Deus Ex‘s Adam Jensen here, you can still hear the potential for that character in Elias Toufexis voiceover. And speaking of more aural highlights, that soundtrack, when it kicks in, is totally banging. How do we get more of that in our lives, Sixixix?
The game itself looks a bit like Coffee Powered Machine’s Okhlos, which isn’t a bad thing. I’m always up for more mob-based side-scrolling brawling. The premise is definitely interesting, given that you are rioting against the establishment. (Also, you should know that the topic of global capitalism is an old yet hot one and is immensely fascinating should you find some time to read about it.) It comes out next year for PC and OS X.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life — Official Trailer
I realize this won’t be for everyone and that it’s incredibly weird to have this directly adjacent to Tonight We Riot, but growing up with a sister who had a preternatural awareness of where the remote to the TV was at any given time, I find myself invested in Rory Gilmore’s love life. The whole series wavers in and out of being anything between decent, great, and fucking god awful, so don’t worry about catching up on it yourself. It’s probably not worth it.
But if you have seen it and you don’t think Jess is the right one for Rory, then you can go straight to hell. Dean was a bummer and Logan was a righteous jackhole. I would have preferred she ended up with Kirk; at least that weirdo was interesting. Also, side note, it’s kind of sad Alexis Bledel’s career never reached any remotely close heights. Anyway, the whole season hits Netflix on November 25, 2016.
3% — Official Trailer
This is pretty much an Earthbound Elysium, right? With hints of The Running Man or The Hunger Games? And, for some inexplicable reason, a Star Trek-inspired wardrobe color scheme. But all the superficial stuff aside, this does seem fairly interesting.
Knowing that this is from Brazil, it’s not hard to make the immense cultural connection that this show is largely representative of either unspoken or brazen desires to escape the many and crumbling favelas of the country. It’s a nation that, despite somehow “successfully” hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, continues to charge straight into decay and trouble. It adds a bit of metaphysical weight to the somewhat rote concept. The whole series comes out to Netflix on November 25, 2016.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare — Screw It, Let’s Go To Space
Okay, so I lied; Infinite Warfare actually put out two live-action trailers this week. Neither one is all that good, but of the two, this one at least has explosions. (Although the other one does have a lot of Kate Micucci, so it is a rather close race.) In fact, look at the thumbs-up/thumbs-down ratio. It’s actively dropping. I can refresh and watch it go down.
And as these trailers are want to do, there are a lot of celebrities for nearly indecipherable reasons. I guess Danny McBride was funny and one of the few sources of genuine energy in the entire 106 seconds, but it never stops being weird how many marginally famous faces they try to cram into these things. And why get Peter Berg to direct? Not only can you not tell, but the guy has only a competent eye for these kinds of kinetic moments (his best action even in Lone Survivor and the like was more tension-ridden and contemplative). The game comes out on November 4, 2016, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Final Fantasy XV — Omen Trailer
It’s a weird trend of modern days that publishers put out several trailers all at once. Bethesda does this a lot and now it looks like Square Enix is following suit having blasted out four different trailers in the past 24 hours. This one in particular is pretty weird, following protagonist Noctis as he goes from being a bad driver to a bad friend to a disruptive civilian before eventually becoming a slick, efficient fighter.
Cynicism aside, this is a pretty cool trailer. It certainly instills a lot of the ethereal, oddly placid dream stuff you got in that Platinum Demo. The others aren’t as interesting since one involves watching a moogle pretty much die and is a weird promotional video for an Amazon.com tie-in, not to mention they wholly lack this badass white wolfdog. The game comes out for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 29, 2016.
Titanfall 2 — Become One Official Launch Trailer
I’m still very interested in seeing how they humanize and dramatize the relationship between a pilot and his Titan. With Master Chief and Cortana, it was relatively easy because Cortana was ostensibly just a tiny, digital person that just happened to always be in his head. These Titans are, at best, AI-enhanced but not AI-run mechs that the pilot mostly gets inside of and drives.
But that’s not to say it’s not possible, which is what the trailer does a mighty fine job of selling. Playing the first game, you even experience the same emotions of mutual reliance between the two. They’re two independent but communal entities that exist only together, even when they’re apart. That emotion is already there. I guess they just need to capitalize on it for the story. The game comes out today for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Batman: The Telltale Series — Episode 3: New World Order Trailer
Speaking of falling behind, I never got around to playing Episode 2: Children of Arkham. But also I haven’t felt quite compelled to keep up. The first episode was pretty good, but when the second one came around, the interest just wasn’t there. I hadn’t heard terribly good things and the ending of the series’ debut wasn’t all that compelling.
Seeing this trailer for the third episode, however, I’m kind of leaning towards getting back into it. The exploding complications of intrigue surrounding Bruce Wayne being ousted from Wayne Enterprises sounds really promising, and seeing Batman fall at the hands of a masked villain is definitely a good tease. I just gotta get a version that doesn’t have performance problems. The episode is available now for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PC, and OS X.
Stray — Reveal Trailer
I watched the trailer. No idea what it is. I read the press release. Still no idea what it is. I know what it wants to be, which is a “cinematic platformer” about a dog trying to find his way back home. But what does that even mean? How do you turn live-action-based footage into a platformer? Is it going to be Mortal Kombat-like sprites?
I’m not saying any of this as a negative. I’m just full of a nigh dangerous amount of curiosity about this project. There’s no release date announced and all we have is this incredibly enigmatic trailer. We need to know more, Robot Gentleman, we need to know more!
Weeping Doll — Launch Trailer
Listen, if you open an email with asking me if I want to try a VR horror game called Weeping Doll, my answer will always and forever be no words, just me running away from the keyboard and enshrining myself in every spirit-warding material of every folklore possible. It’s not that I necessarily believe in ghosts or whatnot, but dolls in horror games are something of a kryptonite for me, so naming a game after exactly that thing does not put us at a great start.
But then again, I’m hearing very tepid things about it anyways. This Reddit thread is perhaps overly and casually damning, but it is indicative of the overall mood I’ve gathered from those that have played it and are more capable of expressing complex opinions in subtle and nuanced ways. Anyways, it’s out now for the PlayStation VR.