Zombies

Lone Survivor: Indie Game Review

For so long I have waited for an 8-bit survival horror game that takes you on a mind-bendingly frightening experience comparable to that of Silent Hill or Clock Tower. This year, our masochistic prayers were answered with Jasper ByrnesLone Survivor. Lone Survivor is a 2-D side-scroller created by Superflat games solo developer Jasper Byrne. The game was released on digital platform STEAM on April 23rd 2012, and will be making its way soon to the PS3 store and the VITA. Lone Survivor follows a nameless character who is struggling for survival in his apartment building where terrifying zombie-like monsters walk the halls and nothing is really what it seems.

Synopsis:

A disease has spread throughout the city causing many of its inhabitants to turn into horrific monstrosities. Starving and alone, you are left with only a flash light, a few simple tools, and your thoughts (which only confuse the player more) to get you through. Throughout the game your character battles with starvation and lack of rest which boil over into hallucinations (or are they?). These add a psychological level to the game that keep you questioning what is real and what is not. For instance, your character comes across other people in the game and in speaking with them learns hints about what is going on in the story, only to wake up from these hallucinations in horror; confused and forced to carry on. Keep in mind that resources in the game are limited so use them only when you have to (ammo is very scarce). Constantly feeding your character can be a tad tedious and annoying at times, but this keeps you on your toes and playing. You tend to feel sorry for the lone survivor and want nothing more than to help him escape this maddening hell.

Control and Feel:

The map system in the game is a little weird at first because the game is a 2-D side scroller and the map is laid out on a flat surface. This takes a little getting used to but is quite simple once you get deep into the game. The controls are simple as well, you use the directional buttons to move your character and X,C,P,M , F, R & space for basically all other necessary actions. The game utilizes a jarring, piercing, yet minimal soundtrack only comparable to that used in Stanley Kubricks “The Shining“, where well placed sound effects induce auditory chaos and anxiety in the viewer. The music in this game creates an eerie and solitary atmosphere to compliment its dark and dilapidated apartment hall ways. Their’s also a healthy helping of blood sprayed walls and gross veiney skin creatures that add to the overall feel.

Overall Lone Survivor is an 8 bit twist on the survival genre with excellent writing, a unique and nostalgic art style, and enough tension to make a divorce lawyer sweat. If you’re looking for a good scare with a great story and have a love for the old school, then you’ll love Lone Survivor.

The Walking Dead Issue #100

the walking dead amc robert kirkman zomibes issue 100 tv show

All i can say is “Holy fucking shit!?”……The walking dead series has been ongoing for quite some time now and i can’t believe that it has come this far! Robert Kirkman continues to deliver some of the best emotional story telling in the modern comic book medium today. This epic tale of the zombie apocalypse has taken us through many hills and valleys and to hell and back again. I’ve only really had deep connections with a hand full of comic book characters (silver surfer/swamp thing/constantine to name a few) where i completely understood their perspective/outlook and feel the pain as they feel it. Its insane that the walking dead has triggered this emotional reaction and has frequently made waves inside the hearts of myself and readers around the world. Kirkman makes you fall in love with every character and when they pass you feel as though your losing a piece of yourself. But it doesn’t end there….You almost feel worse for the people who have to continue on without that character in their life. As people cling so deeply to one another in such dire times their loss would be devastating.

the walking dead twd amc rick grimes zombies comic con robert kirkman charlie adlard 100th issue twd100

I feel as though Kirkman is preparing us for the apocalypse, almost as if to force the reader to tap into the innate “survival of the fittest” part of the human psyche. In this grim world death is a way of life. Survival forces you to keep your distance from the ones you care about most, for it will only make you and the group weaker. We are all however, subject of the human condition. Kirkman is teaching us to let go of everything we thought about what it is to be human, and to become re-acquainted with the part of us that got us where we are today. It would seem things are getting harder and harder for the survivors and that their world is getting even more ugly than they would’ve imagined. All they can really do is try and adapt while retaining their humanity. Rick and his survivors are a drop in the bucket for hope and to return to the way life was. This is important because there is more to human beings then just survival (culture, arts, ideology, progress), and if we are to leave anything behind as a species for future generations or even outer worldly anthropologists to discover then it is important to show that human beings lived with compassion, and were not just bloody savages.

The last 4-5 issues of this series have really turned me back on to the walking dead story. Though i am sad to see one of my favorite survivors go (rip), i am now re-addicted to the franchise and cant wait to see what happens next! If you haven’t read the walking dead yet, i recommend picking up the compendiums online. You can get them for fairly cheap and you will not be disappointed. Issue to issue it will deliver everything from drama, philosophy, sex, violence, politics, great social commentary, and of course …. zombies! TWD has it all…end of story..

In celebration of the release of issue 100 of TWD here’s a look at some of the awesome covers for the issue.

A Good Time for Comics: Swamp Thing/Animal Man…

With it being wednesday and all, I figured id put up a few of the comics from my pull list that i’ve been pretty damn excited about lately. DC’s “the new 52″ has really taken some of these characters to another level and revamped a lot of the personalities we know and love (but in a good way!) My favorites at this point being the new SWAMP THING and ANIMAL MAN, which have come a long way in a mature direction since their inception (i will try not to spoil anything)….

The new Swamp Thing series again follows scientist and slave to the green Alec Holland, who finds himself in an endless struggle against enemy to life itself “The Rot”. This cancerous evil is slowly spreading across the world, causing animals to drop dead and Holland once again finds himself summoned by the parliament of trees to utilize the gift he was granted and to save all life. This particular swamp thing series carries severely dark undertones (not that past themes weren’t dark) but presents them in an accessible yet modern fashion. Though i am a huge fan of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, I think that Scott Snyder is doing a great job with the book thus far!

Swamp Thing The new 52

Animal Man is another book that i have been glued to as of late. The adventures of Buddy Baker and his monotonous life as a family man, washed up movie star, activist, and ex super hero, are quickly stripped from him as he is forced to protect his family from the same plague that effects the Swamp Thing, “The Rot” (i smell a cross over). This rendition of the Animal Man story is extremely cryptic and presents Animal Man in a light we have not seen him in before, while still building on the character were familiar with. The first issue has tons to offer, family drama, horror, action, suspense, and the art style is just out of this world. Sketchy and spastic line work fill the pages of Animal Man, while also creating some of the most disgusting imagery to showcase the Rot’s disfigured sentries. If you like comic books Animal Man is a must have!

Animal Man The new 52 DC Comics

Marvel has also started another book based on the ex-marine vigilante Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Which, despite a lot of pretty weak books and series starring Castle in the past, this one is not so much a shoot em’ up action story but is more a psychological crime story following the detectives who are hot on castles war path. Though it does have a ton of blood, minimal use of gratuitous violence make this a more refined Punisher tale with a progressive story line. I might even go as far as saying this may be one of the best renditions of the character yet! Rucca’s Punisher is a cold and quiet executioner, who’s characterization is mostly summed up by his actions and lack of emotion. I foresee this book reaching great heights!

the punisher marvel comics

One book i still can’t put down (though it’s been a depressing/wild ride/fun read) is The Walking Dead. Though the book in my opinion is much different then that of the television show, i still feel the book has it’s moments where it really shows us what human nature really is and that through solidarity, humanity does have a chance (in a zombie apocalypse). I still really like the show, but have come to terms with its differences from the comic. Not all forms of media can really be interchangeable, so to some degree i understand the need to change plot lines and drag out certain parts. They are trying to make a television show about zombies (which has never been done before) and in my opinion, i think they’re doing a great job with it. However, the roots of TWD are in comic book form. I think anyone who hasn’t read the Walking Dead should honestly just buy the compendium ($60 new, amazon $34), it outlines issues 1-48 and is so good that any reader would be hesitant to put it down. It features some of the most memorable scenes in the book and really gives you that great character development that Robert Kirkman is known for. It’s also got a ton of action, gore, interpersonal drama, sex, more gore, and of course zombies! Kirkman really hit a home run with this series and though the more recent issues have slowed things down a bit i feel the new “A Larger World” story arc may resurrect the series for fans on the fence. The Walking Dead is a great story and if you don’t have it already, you really should find out what all the buzz is about!

The walking dead robert kirkman issue 93 zombies

The walking dead robert kirkman issue 93 zombies

Resident Evil 6 HD trailer

Text Diarrhea or Rage Review

This is my first blog post ever and i know that the average blogger spends most of their time rambling about things they can’t stand and for those of you willing to listen, this post will be no different! For the last few months i have been teeming in anticipation for a certain post apocalyptic shooter by the name of RAGE. Fans of the genre and tons of ad campaigns have been running promoting the hell out of this game. It was even featured in an episode of one of my favorite shows, Breaking Bad. Being a massive fan of ID software’s pixelated blood splattered goodness, it was only natural that i was drawn to their new game. ID is responsible for such titles as DOOM (my childhood), Wolfenstein, and Quake, I (like many others), was extremely pleased to finally hear of this new release.

The story behind RAGE puts the player as a survivor of a project to save humanity after global destruction. Those lucky enough were launched into space and kept in stasis until finally their “Arks” crash landed back on earth to kick start civilization again only to find the world in disarray, and most of their people held captive or exterminated by “the authority”. No this isn’t True Blood. This game was apparently in development for about 6 years which is a lifetime in the video game world and to it’s credit does sport some of the most impressive graphics i have personally seen on the xbox360. The textures and sheer design of the world as well as the character models are fantastic. Sadly, the beauty of the game was the only thing keeping this sinking ship afloat. A lack of good story telling ability and at times obnoxious enemy AI really prevent this game from reaching greatness. The game does capture realistic combat, (except when shooting enemies in each limb they continue to run full speed at you) but overall gameplay never really evokes a positive response from the player, completion of missions also lack excitement and never really feel like you are accomplishing anything. The missions to me felt like tireless work with little reward for the player.

The creators also incorporated wasteland racing into the game, which was a little overbearing for me. In other post apocalyptic games you are forced to walk from town to town, but in Rage you drive everywhere, which can take away from the larger experience of the world around you. After experiencing this first hand in RAGE i am happy that games like Fallout have not incorporated this option into their style. Borderlands does incorporate driving into the game but leaves a lot more room for open world exploration on foot. Rage is NOT an open world game, in fact i’d consider DOOM more open worldly. The game does feature multi-player racing and co-op missions, but after beating the single player and being left with an abrupt/short lived,

RAGE Xbox 360

3 minute ending, one finds them self robbed of time spent playing and cheated out of $60. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, maybe a year from now you can pick it up on gamefly. Or don’t.

rating: 5/10