The Mysterious E3 Revealed

Going to try and  sum up everything I seen from the major conferences on day one..

First Bethesda

Doom – From what I seen Doom is quite the fast paced doom ass game with big fucking guns and lots of gore and exploding flesh demons. Also ripping off arms and kicking them down an Imps throat… yes that happened.

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Elder Scrolls Legends – Do you like Hearthstone? Fan of Gwent? Then I think if you have fandom for Elder scrolls this game will be up your alley.

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Dishonored 2 – Male or kick ass female… Multiple ways to play out this game like first. Hard to say much about this game right now. First game was a good building block to something greater, which we hope this is it.

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Fallout 4 – We have a date, a mobile game, an in game building editor and much much vast and fuller world….. enough said.

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Second Microsoft

Backwards compatibility – yes 360 games will work on your Xbox One. 100 so far with more to come. Awesome.

New Elite Controller – Pc compatible, adjustable trigger, swappable taller analog sticks, switch out the d-pad and a $150 price tag.

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Halo 5 – Bigger and more cinematic. Also the, dude from Firefly and showed off Warzone coop mode…. Halo fans will be pleased.

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ReCore – New Inafuni game, looks like pixar movie set in a post apocalypse world. Cute robot dog too.

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Forza 6 – New Ford GT was lowered from the ceiling. The seem to finally be adding and weather and hopefully night driving.. Great series.

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Dark Souls III – Just a CG teaser. I can wait.

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Rare Replay Collection – A collection of 30, yes 30 rare classics with a hefty 10000 gamer score attached to the bullet points.

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Mincraft Halolens supported – This demo was nuts…. a guy watched a lady play in mindcraft using the AR headset. Using a big table, the game was 3d projected on to the table and he could track and manipulate what he wanted to see while she played in real time. Need to watch this video to see what I mean,… Cool AR shit.

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Rise of The Tomb Raider – They showed a demo climbing a huge mountain face and of course things going awry. Lots of gorgeous scripted events that showcased the graphics and style of the game. ended with a montage of some actual tomb raider. Stoked.

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Gears 4 – Dark, Windy and full of terror, and the sound of chainsaws. We thought it was done… and we were wrong. Time to put the bandanna back on.

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Third Electronic Arts

Star Wars Battlefront – Do you like battlefield? Do you like Star Wars? Well I think you have your answer, that simple. One of the best sounding games at any show this week. And some guy did say Skywater.

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Need for Speed – the definitive edition? really? More customization and flare that the older games had. Seems to be a hybrid of Underground era mixed with new Criterion games racing styles.

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Mass Effect Andromeda – Just a teaser. But a promising one. Galaxy maps, N7 badges and a vehicle representation similar to the Mako tearing up new surfaces. Set in a new Galaxy is hard to wrap my head around, but I have faith in Bioware.

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Mirrors Edge Catalyst – Looks like a very polished game with high speed parkour and hand to hand combat all done in first person. Sure they have learned a lot from the first game, and fans do want this one.

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FIFA16 – I am a huge FIFA fan. seems like they have worked more on the player engines for defensive and attacking, which is needed. The addition of the women national teams. And a mode that helps you on the pitch to show you what to do in situations.

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Fourth Ubisoft

For Honor – New IP, seems to be a mix of a dynasty warriors mixed with a bit of a moba maybe? there are npc grunts to mow down when you want to control zones and take out other heroes. Games main attraction is the unique swordplay. Ubi claims this is a new genre on its on… We will see.

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The Division – We have a date now, and were shown an area called the dark zone. The team worked their way through the city to grab some loot and level up. Met up with some other people and gunned it out for extra loot. Called in a left out and ended up getting greedy and turning on each other for more unique loot and gear I assume.. I just want to see more. Beta with pre order.

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Rainbow Six Siege – We found at the game has a top tier actress, which I can only assume that means there is a single player component. Also they brought back terrorist hunt and showed that off with live stage demo. Beta with pre order.

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AC Syndicate – Male and Female leads, both unique styles and weapons. hard to tell what was game play and what was CG. Looked clean and crisp. Has a gang building experience like brotherhood did but more realized. cars?

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Ghost Recon Wildlands – GR is back but not how you remember it.. I was a huge GRAW fan. Hyper realistic to some degree. Seems like they are turning to a new look for GR. Open world mercenary style game with full co op support. And a lot of coke apparently, watch the trailer.

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Fifth SONY

The Last Guardian – yes it is real and looks fantastic.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn – Life well well past the Apocalypse. Something that really hasn’t been done. Guerrilla games has finally dumped Killzone and moving and a fresh new direction. Robot dinosaurs and chicks with bows. I am in.

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Street Fighter V – SFV looks like a hyped up version of 4, only 6 character have been announced and seems like they are taking their time with this PS exclusive.

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No Mans Sky – The most ambitious game ever conceived. These couple people developing and trying to make this universe a reality are truly modern wizards. Hard to see how this will pan out in the end, Something I have trouble explaining to people, just watch the presentation.

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Dreams – Media Molecule is making a ….. I don’t know what to call this… you can do anything you dream of. Make paintings, movies, puppet shows and more…

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake – People want it, stop bitching cause its coming one day. There is a whole lot of game to be remade here. Quite the task is all I have to say.

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Shenmue 3 – Another game people been asking for since the death of the Dreamcast. They came on stage to announce they would be looking for money of kickstarter. 2 million bones to be exact.. The fact that they raised 1.3 or so in a couple hours seems like people really really need this. No idea.

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Playstation Vue – DO you want to just pay for one channel? and not buy stupid packages? This could be a cable killer. My only hope is that this comes to Canada please!!!

Uncharted 4 – Besides the hicup in the feed, the amount of detail in that demo was mind blowing….. simple as that. I want.

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This is just to sum up day zero and one of the presentations. I have to say I was impressed with the amount of games in development, and especially that big developers taking risks with new IPs. Tons of games, competition and it’s all good to be a gamer in 2015.

Wesley J

@WeskerJ

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Dunununun BATSALE!

Get your Batman on people. With the anticipation of the new Batman game coming, ps3 ps plus users can get some sweet deals on some classic batman beat em up action.

Platform Title Plus Price Regular Sale Original Price
PS4 Axiom Verge $17.99 N/A $19.99
PS4 Injustice: Gods Among Us: Ultimate Edition $7.50 $12.00 $29.99
PS4 Paperbound $7.99 N/A $9.99
PS4 Woah Dave! Free N/A $4.99
PS3 Batman Arkham Asylum $5.00 $8.00 $19.99
PS3 Batman Arkham City Ultimate Ed. $8.63 $13.80 $34.49
PS3 Batman Arkham City: Catwoman Bundle $2.50 $4.00 $9.99
PS3 Batman Arkham City: Harley Quinn’s Revenge $2.50 $4.00 $9.99
PS3 Batman Arkham City: Nightwing Bundle $1.75 $2.80 $6.99
PS3 Batman Arkham City: Robin Bundle $1.75 $2.80 $6.99
PS3 Batman Arkham Origins Season Pass $5.00 $8.00 $19.99
PS3 Batman Arkham Origins Ultimate Edition $9.38 $15.00 $37.49
PS3 Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate $5.00 $8.00 $19.99
PS3 Batman Arkham Origins: Deathstroke Challenge Pack $1.50 $2.40 $5.99
PS3 Batman Arkham Origins: Initiation $1.75 $2.80 $6.99
PS3 Injustice: Gods Among Us: Ultimate Edition $7.50 $12.00 $29.99
PS3 Injustice: Gods Among Us: Ultimate Edition $7.50 $12.00 $29.99
PS3 LEGO Batman 2 $5.00 $8.00 $19.99
PS3 LEGO Batman 2 $5.00 $8.00 $19.99
PS3 Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe $5.00 $8.00 $19.99
PS3 Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe $5.00 $8.00 $19.99
PS Vita Woah Dave! Free N/A $4.99

Now who’s afraid of the big bad bat?

@WeskerJ

And yes, that was a Method Man reference.

A Soul for Souls

With the current  release of Bloodborne on the ps4, I wanna take a second out talk about my love for the past games and what got us to this point. The souls games have been such a staple in the last generation of consoles me. So let me take you through the past games and why me and so many other have such of an infatuation with this series.

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Back in 09 I recall a time at my best friends house scrolling through a popular video game website. My friend told me that I had to check out a video of his up and coming game. That game was Demon’s Souls. His description of the game was that this is suppose to be one of the hardest game on the ps3. From Software was making it with the backing of Sony first party. When the game launched we both picked up a copy and jumped into the world of the souls.

Demon’s Souls was such a fresh and painfully unique experience compared to anything on the market at the time. I remember exchanging texts with my friend or hooking up on Skype on our phones, spending late nights chatting about our progress and the mystique that all souls games posses. One  of the most stand out mechanics was the online mechanics. Players can leave messages on the ground for other players to see. Either helping you with useful knowledge or just straight up trolling you with bad advice. Also the ability to summon up to two other online players to help you with the punishing boss fights that lay ahead. The opposite edge of the summon feature was the ability to invade other peoples worlds/games. Though I never got into this feature, many time I would be on a roll and be invaded myself. You have to kill or be killed to banish the other player or face the loss of your souls that you have collected on that run.

I have a great respect for this game, bar to none. The challenge of the simplest enemy that can kill you at any time if your game is off, the game demands the up most attention and respect. The game featured a safe place called the Nexus where you can port out to levels, ie 1-1 or 2-1. This was a throw back to the old styles of NES games in a sense. I love me a horror game or two for sure, but no game offered the amount of dread I felt, as crept forward with my shield up at all times. The penalty of losing all you gained in a matter of seconds was brilliant, and the now traditional mechanic of only have one shot to reclaim your souls where you left them rounds off the genius of the games design. It may be hard to go back to this game now, but there is no doubt this game is a game changer for modern game design. For that I salute you Demon’s Souls.

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Two years later From Software released Dark Souls under the publishing support of Bandai Namco. The name was changed due to rights that Sony held on the name, but thankfully they stuck to their guns and delivered. Dark Souls has to be one of my top 5 games of the last generation for sure. Like its predecessor it plays exactly the same in all respects with way more features. Dark Souls features an open world design in some respects compared to the past game where it had a hub world that you warped out to levels. You are in the world and anything you can see in the background you will eventually visit. The nexus was scraped as I just mentioned and replaced with the bonfires acting as checkpoints. Bonfire offer the player some sort of safety and the ability to upgrade and replenish on health, The new item called the estus flask was added for the healing item instead of in the first game you would heal yourself with grass, lol i know, and have to grind to find more if you ran out. With the flask every stop at the bonfire refills your flask.

The beauty of Dark souls is in the art and design of the massive world. With the grim castle feel to the beautiful bright forest areas. The change from the standard grey color pallet that the previous game used pays off here big time. The same multiplayer functions were kept exactly in place and always added that extra tension to the game, please dont invade me right now. The npcs were more scattered about the world and offered you tons of goodies if you didn’t kill them by accident. The addition of joining a covenant by making an oath with an NPC, who is also often the covenant leader. You are rewarded for following the rules of the covenant and punished if you break them added a whole new dynamic to the online. You can always have the option to kill a Npc and they might have a good drop for you. The game is heavily based on stats, and the complication of what does what might have turned some people off right from the get go.

The beauty with all of the souls games is that these games are community driven experiences. The first couple weeks to a month these are some of the most enjoyable experiences from a gaming community perspective. You live and learn together and the constant chats and forum threads about peoples experience can drive the game to the next level. The farther you progress in this game the more you realize the brilliance of its art and design. The later game rewards you with the ability to fast travel from bonfires and upgrading high level gear. New game plus is a staple in the series too. This was the first souls game I took a second crack at. Dark Souls scales the enemies so that you can always have a challenge ahead of you. This is hallmark of the franchise and anyone with an interest should give it a shot.

Dark Souls 2 Dark_Souls_II_cover

Three years after the release of dark souls then squeal came out on most of the platforms for once. The game launched with the critic reception of a great game but no Dark Souls. This was mostly because of the addition of more helpful items and features to the game. The ability to fast travel straight form the start is great in my opinion. Also Dark Souls 2 added way more boss fights and mini boss fights, which some claimed was too easy. I have to agree from my perspective beating some bosses in one go did take away from the lure of the series, but also made me feel like had advanced as an overall souls player. The game still featured an open world feel but had a safe zone where all your npcs that you collected on your journey would help you upgrade your gear and such. Some say that this feature took away from the feeling that Dark Souls had. In Dark Souls you were just on a mission always trying to progress forward. In the second you could just zip to and from where you wanted with the fast travel system.

The sense of dread I once felt in the first game seemed to wear off by this point. The first dark souls did for sure offer that sense of suspense. Maybe it was just because I was so use to the formula and what had to be done, that being on my guard was just natural to me. The one main addition some people might not even know about this game was the new game plus features a whole new set of enemies not seen in the first run. I remember firing up a new game and running in only be attacked right off the bat by an enemy I have never encounter. I was simply blown away with that. The rest of game was peppered with harder enemies spread out in place. And npc phantoms roaming places that I was at least expecting them to be. To me Dark Souls 2 is a fantastic experience, once that I played twice and will do so with the re release on ps4 on my birthday next month. Packed with 3 dlc packs, addition of new gear and npcs it is worth it for anyone to check out.

Bloodborne Bloodborne-Cover

Now. I haven’t completed this game, we are less then a week in here and I am still grinding away in my adventure in Bloodborne. This game made me think to myself why do I love this series so much, and maybe I should write about the previous games and why they mean so much to me as a fan. I have to admit I was super skeptical at the release of Bloddborne. The look and feel of the game is nothing like the series has had before. The three previous games have high fantasy feel to them, knights and dragons mixed in with a little demons and death. Where as bloodborne is a straight Victorian Gothic depressing mess of blood, in a good way. The game is dark and only gets darker, there is no light and bright areas that I have experienced so far. The enemies are constantly growing and seem to get stronger as the game goes on.

The one main difference is the loss of the shield and the addition of the gun in the left hand. In the previous game I was a shield and sword guy all the way, where as high level players were always rocking one handed weapons with a fast moving player build. This new addition adds more an action element to the game and makes players get in and get dirty or be punished. Bloodborne is 100 percent a souls game in ever respect, the only difference is name changes that are in place to all the stats and items. Instead of souls to collect for currency we have blood echos… and so on.  It did feel off at first but now am truly emerged in the experience. All I think about when I am not playing these games is where and what to do next, I just want to get in there and get me some more of it. That my friends is the soul hook… More to come on this game soon.

Praise the Sun.

@WeskerJ

Remastering a REmasterpiece

I know what your thinking, is Resident Evil a masterpiece? Well if we are talking about the original Playstation game from 1996, then no not really. In its time it was first of its kind, with the famous opening caption at the start to say it all… “Enter Survival Horror.” That my friends is where this beloved genre started. When I was a kid and finally got my hands on a Playstation the first game I owned was the big boxed version of Resident Evil. Being a young boy, yes the game did do it’s job as advertised. That is where I believe the franchise get all its love from, the roots of it all.

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In 2002 Capcom released a remake to the classic game under the same title. At the time I paid no attention to it, I didn’t even own a GameCube. Seemed funny to me that they would be releasing the horror classics on the Nintendo platform, rather then the more popular Xbox or PS2. When I did acquire a GameCube in the following years, for the soul purpose of playing RE4. My friend handed me a copy of the RE remake and said “you have to play this.” Thinking nothing of it and to be honest going into the experience with no high expectations, I can say that I was one hundred percent blown away by the re imaging of one of my favorite classics. That’s where the word “masterpiece” comes in to play.

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Now here we are 13 years later. We have once again been blessed with another version of the game I once fell in loved with twice, and wondering why I wanted her back in the first place. Stepping back in the Spencer Mansion was all too familiar, and I liked that. Having recently finishing my first play-through I can now say that the nostalgia driven experienced did not displease me. If you have never played the GameCube remake, and enjoy the original this is a no brainier at $20. The changes to the game play and added content is staggering to say they least. The main draw to the game will obviously be the updated textures and resolution, but when I remember playing the GameCube version it was even pretty back then.

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The main additions to the game are as follows. New type of zombies called crimson heads. Basically ever zombie if put down, has to be burnt to a crisp or have their head taken off. If not they transform later in the game, to a faster more powerful killer. Now saying that this changes the whole dynamic of exploring and conserving ammo when coming back and forth through the mansion corridors. Next, the addition of defense weapons. Dagger, stun guns and flash bangs can be used as a fail safe if a flesh eater grabs you. These one time use items are very scarce but can save you in a pinch when you need them. The addition to certain mini bosses and characters is a great way to extend the tale as it was once told, I wont spoil anything there.

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The fact that they took the time to add so many new areas, puzzles and elements to the game can seem fresh to a new player. It all fits in this world like it was meant to be there. The new lighting engine works flawlessly to really bring the tension in the mansion alive. Little touches like the constant lightning flickering as you walk by a window in a dark corridor. The new control scheme is real slick too. You can just use the left stick to point to where you would like to go. That’s of course if you suck at games and don’t understand how to use the classic tank controls, but that’s another debate in itself. There are places in the game where you can see older textures in the background, and the cut scenes are all from the older games and stick out bad. That can add to the charm or take away from it depending on the knowledge of your past experiences.

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The bottom line on this PSN/Live download is  it’s a must by for anyone either wants to relive the old days of gaming with a semi modern twist or for new gamers out there to see what all the fuss was about. The genre has been stale for years now, that’s why we can always turn to the classics, and this in my books…….. is one of them.

Wesley J

@WeskerJ

Play Arts Kai: Venom Snake

Square Enixs’ Play Arts Kai line of action figures has added a new snake to the list. The MGS V Phantom Pain figure line has been launched first with of course Big Boss aka Venom Snake. The figure was released in Japan only so far so I decided to treat myself to one over the holidays.

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The infamous Big Boss is a solid masterpiece of melted plastics. The detail and weight is solid, to say the least. You can tell that Kojima takes pride in his sculpture artists to craft the very best recreations of his most beloved character. Like some other lines in the series you can see the quality control was not set in place i.e. Commander Shepard (Male). Like most Play Art figures Snake comes with multiple joints on his arms and legs, perfect for multiple sets of poses in any fashion. Snake comes well equipped with two sets of hands, two heads (one with the goggles), extra scarf, a pistol, a knife, a ak 47 (or variation of) and of course the iDroid. All hands and head pieces pop off with ease and easily swap-able. It is kind of scary when you first pop these pieces off, not so much the hands. The head for sure is on tight.

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Snake comes with a holster for his knife on the back of his belt and a holster for his pistol. The assault rifle can be placed on his back by using the 2 leather straps from his uniform. All Play Arts figures come with a clear hexagon stand that with a back piece that can help you stand the figure up right. I have never used them, but is handy for some models that aren’t flat footed. The only disappointing thing about some of the MGS lines is that they are way bigger figures then others in the Play Arts lines. I guess that is not a biggy for most, but when you own a couple others figures, this one towers over the others. That being said this is a premium figure, not like the toys we grew up with. This puppy will cost you over hundred bucks to import, and will be released earlier in 2015.  I have no idea if Venom Snake will become as rare as Solid Snake and Grey Fox from the 25th Anniversary line.  If you don’t want to chance it I would grab one now so you don’t have to pay out the ass for it later. I highly recommend this figure to any Metal Gear fan, only if you know who the Patriots are of course.

The Definitive Reboot

Back in 1996 when Tomb Raider first launched we were all marveled by the 3D environments and the triangle boobs, boys let’s be honest here. Through the years the transformation of Lara Croft has been some what one dimension on who she is as a person. Also with the same short shorts, belly exposed shirt and dual wielding pistols holsters. We never really got a sense of who she was as a person from her past. Sure here and there we would read tidbits about her great father and his incredible Nathan Drake like expeditions, but in the end it was all up in the air. She just seemed like a woman with too much money and time on her hands.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

That’s why when Crystal Dynamics announced that they would be making a reboot to the franchise it was a sigh of relief to some fans. The Tomb Raider games over the years , lets face it… might have been getting a little stale. With the same old formulas of climbing, puzzles and combat that we have loved for over a decade. It was a breathe of fresh air to just wipe the slate clean and start over. Some media can benefit from this sort of treatment and needs to be done, Its like a cleansing of the palate. With the majority of big properties falling to their “death” from annual releases it would be a shame to see one of Playstations’ best heroins fall to her death, on the dreaded annual spike.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

In my opinion Tomb Raider the Definitive Edition is one of the best reboots ever made, and was my 2013 game of the year. I don’t know if Jaded would agree with me on that, (Ed- he does) but at least he would agree it is one the best games he missed that year. Like with the Nolan Batman movies, what Crystal Dynamics did was take Lara and show you her beginning from the rubber on her boots up. The quest of her becoming a survivalist and conquering her worst fears and putting that all aside when the time counts. Relying on what her father taught her, become the woman that we all know her as today. Yes, the game is flawed, and yes there is not much of a tomb raiding aspect to the game. You must look at the game as whole complete 360 on what we know and roll with the new.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

The game is honestly stunning and gorgeous to look at. All the detail in the lighting and scenery is breathtaking. Opening the game up to a semi open world with fast travel option was a smart move. The upgrading system was a great addition too. Making Lara stronger as the journey persisted. The Weapon mods and crafting is addicting and changes the dynamic on the battlefield. I get it. I am gushing here. She is no more a killer by the end of the game then Drake is, sure. But that’s where we have that beautiful twist of reality and video game worlds. We have too much of either and its kinda boring to most. We need that blend to give us bit of relation to hook us in and that blend of fictional stuff to set us free in our gaming minds.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Most people were in such a huff about how Lara was portrayed in the game. For one, the attempted rape scene was blown way out of context. Lets set that straight here. A guy touched her leg, she broke free and shot him in the face. Her first human kill… the message is directed at that. A life changing moment that sent her on a hundred man killing spree… haha well lets not get carried away. Second, the constant moaning and groaning can be taken either way I guess, but if you were traversing and repealing off cliff sides, you wouldn’t be silent.. would you? The model of Lara is sexy. I said it. There is no two ways about it. She is stunning to look at along with the motion capture used by the same voice actress. It is what brings this whole play to life for me. She is a strong female lead, but not at first glance. That is the whole point of the Journey. I love female characters in games, some of my favorite characters in video games are women.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

To me, if you have not played this game, it is a must. The game can be found for dirt cheap these days. I own it on three separate systems and have played through it that much also. It is a modern classic in my eyes and one that should not be missed. And come on, TressFX for the win.

Wesley J

@WeskerJ on Twitter