What a fucking week. Let’s get video games out of the way. Dishonored 2 came out yesterday, which means press only got a hold of it on Wednesday because Bethesda doesn’t like us anymore. It’s big news, though, because it’s damn good so far, and tomorrow I hook up a PlayStation 4 Pro to a 4K TV and continue to play it. Oh, and god damn Watch Dogs 2 hits Tuesday and Pokémon Sun + Moon three days later. So expect lots of words next week about a lot of different things.
For those in the United States, what happened? For those not, we’re sorry. I’d like to believe things will be okay, but everything points to the opposite. One thing I agree on, however, is this: don’t give in to despair. Don’t be one promising to move to Canada; promise to be resolute. Promise to be strong. You have the power to change things. This is the aging, dying past clinging to desperation. We are the future.
So as frivolous as it feels to say it, let’s make our way to the Trailer Dome and let our eyes and ears guide our brains and hearts for, I dunno, an hour or something. Or go see Arrival. Ugh. This week.
Ghost in the Shell — Mamoru Oshii Featurette
We’re well past the point where criticizing the casting of Ghost in the Shell will get the film fixed, so now we just sort of have to move on to looking at the movie for what it is. (I mean, don’t give up on fixing Hollywood, but this movie is now on a straight, unstoppable trajectory to screens.) And you know what? This looks rather promising.
Scarlett Johansson fits the character well and the production team of writers Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton!) and Jamie Moss with super producer Avi Arad seem to have a solid grasp on what made the manga a timeless classic. And in the strangely attached collection of teaser clips shows a lot of sick inclusions from the source material. So here’s hoping! It hits theatres on March 31, 2017.
RunGunJumpGun — Accolades Trailer
Aside from Dishonored 2, I’m very excited to put in time with RunGunJumpGun. It actually came out on August 31 for PC and Mac but just recently landed on mobile platforms, and that’s apparently where it’s at. Even if you strip out the hyperbole from this Engadget article, you don’t get that sort of praise without earning at least some of it.
Oh, and there’s the RunGunJumpGun (fuck, I hate typing that, but I do love how searchable it is) website, which is a god damn treasure. It’s some sort of dope-ass motion comic setting up the unexpected amount of story it contains and then perfectly flows into all the game stuff. Just fantastic. Anyway, get it now for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets — Official Trailer #1
I don’t think you get to call Luc Besson the “visionary director” of The Fifth Element and Lucy. The former was an overwhelmingly lucky strike of lightning that hit a hot mess of potential and promise and ended up with a strangely potent cult classic, and the latter was just an okay action flick with mild sci-fi overtones. If anything, you point to him with mad creds for Léon: The Professional and La Femme Nikita.
I will agree, however, that the source material Valérian and Laureline does qualify as groundbreaking. It’s such foundational sci-fi, though, that hoping for the film to be just as surprising and fresh seems like folly at this point. Hell, it’s even a sizable influence on everything you see in The Fifth Element. This trailer does make it look pretty good, though, even if I don’t think Cara Delevingne is a good actress. It hits theatres on July 21, 2017.
Mass Effect: Andromeda — Official Cinematic Reveal Trailer
Just in time for this year’s N7 Day, we have this followup to last week’s Andromeda Initiative teaser thing. And you know what? It looks damn good. It does look a bit overly familiar with pair of strong-jawed white protagonists, a helpful Asari buddy, craggy humanoid enemies, and overwhelmingly monolithic alien infrastructure.
But you can’t tell me that doesn’t excite you, even at the very least to wash away Mass Effect 3‘s lingering four-year aftertaste. Hopefully they can strike the same sort of magic of the past entries’ stories, though, with oddly unquantifiably charming heroes building on origins that inform a universe we were then just learning about. But also that huge desert sand robot better be a good battle. The game comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC mid-2017.
My Name is Mayo — Gameplay Trailer
What. In the good fuck. Is this game. If this is what’s coming out of Costa Rica in terms of game development, then we need to support them like we’ve never supported something before. This game makes no sense, I don’t know anyone that’s played it, and all I want is to know more about it.
There’s a god damn leaderboard. What does that even mean for a game like this? All you do is ostensibly tap an admittedly good-looking jar of mayonnaise. I like the idea that it is some parable for finding yourself, though. That seems inexplicably interesting. It’s out for PC, OS X, PlayStation 4, and the PlayStation Vita.
Renoir — Launch Trailer
I worry largely that film noir is gets abused by, well, everyone. It’s a hard thing to nail because the aesthetic is the thing people most overwhelmingly associates with the genre. And that’s not all their fault; it’s a striking visual style, and even going one layer deep nets you gruff, hardboiled voice work and sparse orchestral stings.
Renoir, however, seems to make an effort to drag some of the more amorphous, oblique parts of noir and make them more concrete. By playing as a ghost, for example, the traditional idea your past can haunt you is now made corporeal. I really want to give this game a shot, but with so many high profile releases, it seems like a distant possibility. But it comes out on PC on November 16, 2016, regardless.
Small Radios Big Televisions — Launch Trailer
Yeah, man, good on PlayStation for supporting weird little indie games like this and the above My Name is Mayo. It’s odd that Microsoft, the creators of the original indie platform where Geometry Wars almost single-handedly created the genre, has fallen so far behind. Okay, not, like, unbelievably so, but PlayStation is making their efforts much more known and doing so far more prolifically.
Same goes for Adult Swim Games, a publisher that used to barely be a publisher, much less a website that envied the likes of Newgrounds and Albino Blacksheep. Now they’re in the business of helping things like this and Headlander and Jazzpunk and Duck Game. Pretty nuts. Oh, also, Small Radios Big Televisions looks super cool and is apparently pretty damn good. It’s out now for the PlayStation 4 and PC.
Lantern — Launch Trailer
Yep, Lantern still looks interesting as fuck. The way the text just sort of slips in and out of view in the corner, though, makes this trailer look like some sort of tech demo for a game engine. It might as well say “volumetric smoke” and be ignored.
I guess it’s not hard to blank out the text anyways, though, given that the visuals of the game are so gorgeous. It’s so vibrant and clean and pastoral and bucolic and every other calming, landscape-oriented adjective out there. Still no idea, however, as to what the gameplay is actually like. Perhaps it looks like Flower because it plays like Flower? We’ll find out when it comes out on November 15 for PC.
So Broken — Launch Trailer
I love this trailer so damn much. It’s basically nonsense. The music, the slow zoom. It’s so unnecessarily dramatic when all you see is a totally indecipherable sequence of events where a little dude and a box rapidly occupy and unoccupy the same space. It’s fantastically inscrutable.
And knowing that it’s a Sokoban-based puzzle game where the player is “immune to the undo button” doesn’t really help, but it at least clarifies why this amount of absurdity is possible. Between the premise and the name, you just have to wonder if the game was born out of a bug from some other game where undo was just another part of a very average puzzle game. Anyways, you can download it now for PC and Linux over on itch.io.
Transport Fever — Launch Trailer
If I can’t derail a train or recreate Speed 2 with a ship, I’m out.
Get it now for PC. If you want or whatever.