gaming

Aliens Colonial Marines: What went wrong!?

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Aliens Colonial Marines Game Synopsis:

If there is one thing that infuriates me more than anything, it’s a harsh let down (frown). It’s that point where your expectations are so high that your imagination takes over, fantasizing over a perfect ending to something you’ve wanted for so long. Like in 500 days of summer. When your expectations do not meet your reality, the walls come crashing down and you either move on, or your extremely disappointed. Well my friends, the latter couldn’t be more true with Aliens: Colonial Marines. Being someone who grew up loving the Aliens films and universe, i was really excited for this game’s release. Aliens has a large place in my childhood and played a big role in my love for sci-fi and horror. Like most fans, I thought that because gearbox was creating Aliens, that it would be on par or even close to that of the Borderlands series. But no, not only is it nothing like Borderlands, it’s not even a half way decent shooter. Stiff gun play and movement limit the free flow of action, combined with an uneventful story that doesn’t capture the Aliens aesthetic, really hold this one back.

There is a ton going wrong with this game but well keep it to two main components that should have been hammered out way before release.

Artificial intelligence:

The AI between aliens, your fellow marines, and even other enemies is all over the place. Aliens make inauthentic movements, are extremely predictable, and are generally really easy to kill. Your teammates, aside from occasionally helping you in a battle, take an infinite amount of damage and never die. This is unfortunate, because it makes the game a lot less challenging and makes you feel like you can still overcome any fire fight because your teammates will clean house for you. They often get in the way when your trying to run down hallways and have some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard. It would have been better if you were completely alone, with only your communicator as a guide until you team up with friends for cooperative play. This would have maintained the “isolated tension” aesthetic of aliens while still offering those who want to bug hunt with friends the option. Ultimately, Your fellow marines have little to no character development and are mainly just tour guides on your trip through a graphically dated version of the Aliens universe.

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Graphics:

Death animations are stiff and unrealistic. Shooting aliens up close doesn’t yield any kind of enjoyment factor or cool looking enemy death’s. Killing enemies with explosives result in red polygonal chunks, rather than smoothed over blood and gore. (Dead space does a much better job of accomplishing this). During game play you may experience flashbacks to playing Unreal Tournament, you’ll then realize that it’s 2013 (and want to kill yourself). In one area, your forced to walk through an alien infested sewer with water dripping from low ceilings. As falling water meets raw sewage you’ll notice that the water animations are completely pixelated. The game glitches often, if your teammates are too close to you, you can see through their bodies. One time i was actually able to walk through a door without opening it (….without GOD mode on). If your playing on a console, sometimes you’ll notice what looks like a refresh scan move from the top to bottom of the screen. Even some of the worst games I’ve ever played didn’t have this glitch.

Overall:

Aliens Colonial Marines has many more negatives than positives. Running around blasting xenomorphs with your pulse rifle has never been so boring. All that really happens here is you run around with your fellow marines, talk for a while about something uninteresting and kill some Aliens, then rinse and repeat. Colonial Marines doesn’t offer the depth, atmosphere, and story that you look for in an Aliens game. The developers poor attention to detail is what really makes this game suffer, and what will ultimately make it forgettable. Im going to go out on a limb and say that this is probably worse than the Aliens Vs Predator game that came out in 2009. The Aliens franchise does have a somewhat sordid past when it comes to video game renditions, but this game was supposed to be “the one”, our NEO for the Aliens fans, but most of us can’t help but feel a little bit betrayed by this seemingly unfinished release. Though the game looks like aliens, it just isn’t doesn’t live up to the franchises potential or it’s $60 price point. At best this is a red box rental, or a used purchase, once it drops to $15 in a month.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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We at the DK lounge would like to wish everyone a happy and safe thanksgiving!

In the wake of hurricane sandy we do have a lot to be thankful for, and we cant express how thankful we are for you guys! Thanks for all the continued support and check back soon for more fun reviews and photos!

Coming soon:

  • Lone Survivor Review
  • Borderlands 2 review
  • Braid review
  • Pumpkin Beers!
  • Metal Gear time line
  • The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode

Deus Ex Human Revolution Director Announced: Scott Derrickson

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After the release and popular reception of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, many of us said to ourselves “So when’s the movie coming out?” This question might actually be answered! Word has it that director Scott Derrickson who is responsible for such films as (Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose) will be directing the screen adaptation of  the Square Enix game – Deus Ex: Human Revolution. He will be writing the script alongside C. Robert Cargill which should be an interesting team as they worked on Sinister together. The film will hopefully focus on the moral and ethical argument of Trans-humanism, which encourages mechanical augmentation of the human body to transcend human physical and mental limitations.  This debate is the largest part of Deus Ex: HR and opens the player’s mind to the (very possible) reality of this societal situation.

Debate

Those of the pro – trans-humanism debates tend to believe that through advanced technology human beings will not have to suffer the perils of the human condition (sickness, death, limb loss, memory loss, organ failure), that with technology we can become immortal and limitless. The opposing trans-humanism debate tends to  believe that use of this advanced technology will bring a greater social strata of super powerful humans who can enslave those without augments. These people also tend to believe that human beings have not yet reached their full potential in our current physical form and that the human body is pure and is not be to tampered with. Deus Ex shows us how corporations will inevitably exploit this technology, making it readily available to anyone and inserting it into our culture, where it will alienate the masses and make many feel socially inept without it.

Story

DE:HR introduces us to Adam Jensen, an ex swat team member, now working as head of security for Detroit’s largest bio-tech company, Sarif Industries. Sarif Industries facility is attacked by terrorists, who destroy most of their research and development while killing most of their employees. Adam is shot in the head and on the verge of death. To save his life, David Sarif forces him to undergoes surgeries with revolutionary cybernetic augmentations, (which make him a crazy cyborg bad ass). Upon his return after the attack, he finds himself immersed in the politics of the augmentation movement and a much larger conspiracy. Adam then begins his journey for truth, to hunt down his attackers and bring them to justice. As the game progresses, you find out a lot more about the importance of Adam Jensen and how he is a pawn in a much larger chess game then he could have ever imagined.

As far as the movie goes, i couldn’t be more excited but i hope that they retain the dark, noir-ish overtones (blade runner), and overarching message the game sends, instead of just making it a blockbuster ACTION MOVIE with no depth. Deus Ex is first person RPG at heart, where the story is the foundation of a chaotic and strategic shooter. I don’t usually expect too much from video game movies but this one could actually translate very well on-screen. Cyber-punk fans rejoice!

Check out this purity first anti-augmentation advertisement:

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Comic Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

do androids dream of electric sheep header philip k dick science fiction

Science fiction is constantly pushing the limits of our imagination, forcing us to question the paths in which human progress and ingenuity will take us. However, very rarely in history do many works reach levels of such philosophical, social, and emotional depth  that they force us to look not only inside ourselves, but at our society as a whole, and to the core of what makes us human. Philip k Dick‘s work has always brought these things to light, pushing fans to think outside the box and really see the truth through the smoke and mirrors.

Synopsis (spoiler alert):

I recently picked up BOOM studios release of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, which is a verbatim translation of the book but in graphic novel form. Tony Parker‘s dark renderings of Dicks dystopian-noir future, immerse the reader in a world where massive corporate structures reduce the average person to ants, and technological perseverance has outgrown whats left of a post “World War Terminus” planet Earth. Many people have left earth for off world colonies and as an incentive for emigrating, have been given an android companion. Those left on earth live in the remaining city filth, which often does not see sunlight due to toxic clouds that fill the skies almost all of the time. In this future people utilize machines called “mood organs” which allow them to punch in any kind of emotions they wish, for any number of feelings or situations they could be in. Many are reliant on these machines and have forgotten how to really feel, as the world has degraded around them, leaving little in the way of personal happiness.

mood organ do androids dream of electric sheep? philip k dick boom comics

Bounty hunter Rick Deckard awakes to an argument with his wife about her use of her mood organ because she frequently punches in negative emotions like sadness and depression. This has put a strain on their relationship and Rick protests against using the machine. He leaves to go up to his hover car parked roof where his neighbor and him discuss the value and status of owning a real life animal. Many animals are extinct due to the ash left by world war terminus; and since humans have grown a intense sentiment for their companionship. Rick fantasizes about owning a real life sheep some day and will stop at nothing to feel the attachment that comes with a living animal. He leaves for work and is surprised as to what he finds when he gets there.

Upon his arrival Rick Deckard finds that he is now responsible to retire 6 rogue “Nexus 6” androids, which have apparently escaped from an off world colony and have attempted to settle in San Francisco. Rick is to administer the Voight-Kampff test on them, which is a test involving a series of questions to determine empathy, a trait that androids lack. Rick is assigned the task of retiring the androids because his senior officer Dave Holden, was attacked while giving the Voight-Kampff to one and is in a hospital recuperating. Rick sees this hunt as a chance to get enough money to finally afford a living sheep, which he is constantly researching in his Sydney’s catalog. This begins Deckards 24 hr manhunt to find the androids and….himself. On his journey, Deckard finds that the androids have integrated themselves into many aspects of society already and that the nexus 6 is the closest thing to a human he has ever seen.  He eventually catches up with them and learns a lot more about himself then he ever had imagined.

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Alongside the story of Deckard is that of J.R Isidore, who is a “special”, someone genetically damaged and unfit to leave earth and emigrate  to the off world colony. He lives alone in an abandoned apartment complex and is in constant use of his “Empathy Box”, which allows him to completely immerse himself in the pain and struggle of Wilber Mercer. Upon use of the Empathy box, ones mind is transported, along with thousands of other users, into the mind and body of Wilber Mercer. Mercer is an old man, constantly climbing a mountain and having rocks thrown at him. This is a very real experience for those using the empathy box and any pain inflicted by rocks is actually done to them in the real world. This shared mutual pain and struggle has created somewhat of a religious cult called Mercerism. Those who follow Mercer believe in his existence and the idea that no matter how bad things are, you are never alone and that their are others out there like you who feel the way you do. At the same time throughout the story their is an opposing television icon called Buster Friendly who is most likely an android, as his show runs for 23 hours a day and is only off for one hour. Buster Friendly is the force of anti-Mercerism but provides hours of entertainment for those willing to watch. He ends up exposing/debunking Mercerism on live television in a grand announcement which is televised worldwide. Isidore’s loneliess turns into a desperate friendship with android Pris, who uses J.R’s apartment as a hideout for her and the rest of her android comrades. The escaped androids believe that Mercerism is a hoax and discredit Isidore’s beliefs leaving him empty.

Thoughts:

This book was also made into a Ridley Scott film titled “Blade Runner” in 1982, starring Harrison Ford, which received critical acclaim from fans of the book as well as general fans of science fiction. I personally think that the message the book attempts to convey, is not as directly portrayed in the film. The book really emphasizes Deckards aloneness, emptiness, and his questions on the morality of what it means to be human. Many other aspects involving the two major religious themes in the book (Buster Friendly and that of Mercerism) are lost in the movie. Many more things also happen in the book that develop these ideas more thoroughly, while also painting a deeper picture of Deckards inner turmoil, and the desperate cling to empathy to retain his humanity. Deckard questions if he is any different then the androids he is hunting.

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One thing that i found interesting about Dicks character Buster friendly is the channel that one must dial in to view him: 888. In the bible the number of man is 5, the devil 6, and god 7. As i was reading this i wondered if this was Philip K Dicks way of telling us that television is the next religion. Television provides people with an escape from their everyday life by creating dramatic fantasies. It allows them to relate to something imaginary and be controlled and influenced by pixels of light. In a post apocalyptic future where everything has gone to hell, it is not hard to believe that humans would yearn for an escape as simple as this, and we see Buster Friendly’s influence in his discredit of Mercerism.

Overall, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a masterful work and deserves every bit of credit that it gets. This story leaves the reader with many questions of their own and i believe that any writer that can make his audience question what makes them human, well they’ve done their job. If you haven’t read this book pick it up!

Thank you PKD.

NY Comic Con 2012 Photo Gallery

We here at the DK lounge were amped up for this years NY Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center. News that Grant Morrison, Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder, Brian K Vaughan would be attending was a huge draw for us and many other fans. Comic Con is a purely visceral experience, thousands of people from all over the tri state area and further gather to take part in the biggest comic convention in the world (only second to San Diego Comic Con). If your a fan of sci fi, comic books, cult movies, fantasy, super heroes, cos play, action figures, video games or even rare collectors items you will love this convention. Thousands of excited cosplayer’s walk the floor taking pictures for fans of their favorite movie/anime or comic book characters, while others run to the nearest panel, signing, art gallery, or comic booth to make long awaited purchases. For those of you that haven’t experienced the craziness, here’s a glimpse of what it’s like be inside New York Comic Con!

  • If you find yourself in one of these photos let us know! leave a comment!

 

HD photos courtesy of Eric Remly.

Retro City Rampage Now Available on PSN and Steam!

The highly anticipated 8-bit power-house known only as Retro City Rampage was released earlier this month (October 8th), on Playstation Network and Steam. Xbox live arcade will be releasing the game sometime in late November. This game is a tribute to the classic NES fun we all had back in the 80’s and 90’s. The game takes you through about 50 different missions, with 30 different vehicles to hijack, and 20 different weapons to assure a chaotic/nostalgic experience. Retro City Rampage combines 8 bit styles with today’s game mechanics, while also injecting fast paced action and an open world experience into the mix. This is every classic gamer’s wet dream rolled into one crazy arcade style action game. RCR visits many classic levels from famous 8-bit titles like Teenage mutant ninja turtles, The legend of zelda, Super mario bros’, Contra, and Bionic commando. The gameplay of RCR is aggressive as hell, forcing the player to frantically fight waves upon waves of enemies in a pseudo Grand Theft Auto (1997 – PC) fashion. Fans of 8-bit can’t wait to get lost in the chip tune chaos that is this game, and it’s finally here!

Check out the trailer!

Site Launch!

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We would like to formally welcome you to the launch of Thedklounge.com! This is a place for everyone, weather your a casual gamer, an enthusiastic comic book reader, or nerdy late 20’s hipster beer snob; this is a place you can now call home. Frequent updates starting this weekend will include:

  • New York Comic Con 2012 photo galleries and a brief explanation of what to expect and what you will love about the experience.
  • Graphic novel reviews including a review on “The Nobody” and “The Underwater Welder” by Jeff Lemire and various super hero spotlights and fun facts.
  • Video game reviews, photos and video trailers are definitely on the agenda as well.
  • Comic Book and movie artwork and photos.
  • Craft beer reviews and trips to local New York and tristate Breweries

Stay tuned because we have a TON of content on the way for your enjoyment!

Thanks!
.Ralph
the dk.lounge

New: The Dark Knight Rises Movie Posters

Everyone is waiting patiently for the upcoming Christopher Nolan Batman film, The Dark Knight rises. The third installment of this modern batman epic is looking to be pretty interesting and is hopefully just as psychologically stunning as the last two films. An all star cast (Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Anne Hathaway) and a dark, noir styled Gotham will hopefully satisfy fans of classic batman comic books as well as new comers to the character. These promotional posters were just released earlier in the week and look fantastic. Enjoy!

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Metroid Poster Prints

Here’s a little artsy homage to one of my all time favorite video game series': METROID. Our heroine Samus still knows how to kick space pirate ass in style! Included are the sites where you can purchase these great pieces of nostalgia.

metroid splatter poster etsy.com screen print poster

metroid poster joseph harrold poster etsy.com screen prints

Robocop Screen Prints

It’s 3am and i find myself wired on a Saturday night channel surfing only to come across one of favorite childhood blood-fests: Robocop. This movie was one that my parents never wanted me to watch, especially because of many explicitly violent gun battles. It’s funny, in the 80’s did everyone think that Detroit and Seattle would become the most crime infested, dangerous places on earth, where the criminal underbelly ran wild and plotted to destroy the established order? Apparently. Robocop was a movie with a great blend of character development, bad ass action, and hardcore violence. It was every 15 yr old’s dream come true. A lot of artists have posted Robocop screen printed posters, so here they are for your viewing pleasure:

robocop screenprint cult violence action

robocop screenprint cult violence action

robocop screenprint cult violence action

robocop screenprint cult violence action

robocop screenprint cult violence action

robocop screenprint cult violence action

oh yea and here’s the most violent scene in the movie: 

your gonna be a bad mother fucker!