Note: Limited description of gameplay past Chapter 1 (Mia) to minimize spoilers for characters and game-events.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, 25 games after the original Resident Evil’s release in 1996, has returned to form. While the recent Resident Evil games have played on ideas of action and shooter-based horror, Resident Evil 7 is once again focused on the original genre of Resident Evil: survival horror.
Author's Note: This game was played on Android.
Mobile games are one of the fastest growing forms of entertainment in today's gaming marketplace. Most people have smartphones, using them to check the internet, social media, and spend a few minutes at a time playing a game to keep them occupied. Comic books and their related media are also one of the biggest pieces of the entertainment marketplace, and their entry into the world of mobile gaming has been not only extremely popular, but with the introduction of micro-transactions, incredibly lucrative.
The Matrix and its sequels are old, if treasured, news these days, but that same respect is rarely afforded to its imitators. Complaints of bullet time and rampant slow motion have been common critics’ fodder against action movies ever since 1999. It’s a testament to Max Payne’s appeal—or the follow-the-leader nature of shooters, or both—that Rockstar Entertainment decided to buy the IP wholesale from Swedish developers Remedy Entertainment (who are currently known for Alan Wake). Rockstar spent an estimated $105 million and eight years creating Max Payne 3, instead of putting that funding towards a surefire Grand Theft Auto expansion pack or three. If it’s a follow-the-leader gaming fad, it’s passing in appropriately slow motion.
Fanboy Comics' newest contributor, Jordan Callarman, advises gamers about the path to glory.
By Jordan Callarman, Guest Contributor to Fanboy Comics
In light of Double Fine’s epic Kickstarter to fund an old school point-and-click adventure game (which is still happening! Click here to donate!), I’ve been thinking a lot about this style of game lately. I mean, I was raised on classics like the King’s Quest series, so this genre is nothing new to me. But, for younger generations, and even a large percentage of my own, these types of games go unplayed. They’re viewed as antiquated and lumped in with all the other old and obsolete games. This is the future! Why play something like Pong when you can play Mass Effect 3?
Which is not to say that point-and-click adventure games (hereafter known as PACAs, because I am lazy) don’t have their supporters. Telltale Games has been releasing episodic PACAs for a few years now that are set in universes like Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. The genre soldiers on, and it’s a good thing, too, because there are modern gaming lessons to be learned from PACAs, and I’ve got the list to prove it!
I’ve never really understood Facebook games. Everyone’s heard of Farmville and its ilk, all the big time casual games on Facebook that are built to appeal mostly to the middle-aged women demographic. These are video games designed for people who don’t like video games, in that they can only be defined as games in the loosest sense of the word. As an example, Farmville and all of its copycats are civilization sims stripped of most of their gameplay elements: you obtain structures and place them wherever is most aesthetically pleasing to you while you’re working towards unlocking the next thing you can get and place in your farm or town or whatever. The game spurs you on by presenting you with “quests” like “Build a henhouse!” or “Harvest 30 carrots!” and that’s essentially it. Don’t get me wrong, I see the initial appeal. I’ve played a few of these games on Facebook, and they’re great time wasters, but, eventually, I get bored and stop, because I realize that what I’ve been doing is uncomfortably close to cleaning and redecorating my room, only far less productive.
But, Marvel Avengers Alliance is different.
If you’ve been following North American E-Sports lately, there’s a new FPS on the scene that stands out from Call of Duty (a franchise that is fast becoming the new standard indie game makers measure themselves against, or better yet, away from). Tribes: Ascend is the latest release from Atlanta-based HiRez Games, the makers of 2009’s Global Agenda MMO. While both shooters are free to play and feature futuristic weaponry and jetpacks, Tribes: Ascend distinguishes itself from Global Agenda and other sci-fi fare such as Halo:Reach.
Tribes followed on the tail end of the '90s mecha simulator wave. In an attempt to cash in on the success of Mechwarrior, Dynamix released Metaltech: Earthsiege and later, its Starsiege sequel. In 1998, Dynamix and Sierra teamed up to capitalize on the buzz created by Unreal and Quake. The result was Starsiege: Tribes, a well-balanced yet somewhat derivative product, an entirely different genre of game set in the Starsiege universe essentially for the sake of name recognition.
And, that’s when emergent gaming’s invisible hand took over.
Most contemporary game franchises have taken an “every other year” approach to releases. Call of Duty is the biggest first-person shooter today that demonstrates how successful this habit can be. Every other year we’re treated to a Modern Warfare title, interspersed by Treyarch’s even-numbered year offerings. So, when Battlefield 3 comes along five years after its sci-fi predecessor Battlefield 2142, there’s a natural expectation that something special is in store for gamers. The Bad Company spinoffs have ensured that the franchise hasn’t been entirely devoid of new blood in the meantime, but they’ve explored different play styles as opposed to the main series and aren’t comparable. Surely, the logic goes, Battlefield 3 has great things in store for its loyal fanbase.
I was still enthusiastic even after Electronic Arts became more involved than they have been in the past. EA has a notorious reputation amongst gamers that’s mostly deserved as a result of interfering with game development out of short-sighted marketing plots. The major claim to fame for the Battlefield franchise has always been its deep multiplayer and primary focus on its PC-based users. EA has decided to cash in on that fact.
I’ll come right out with it: if you care about good writing in games and you’re one of the few that seems to know that the Warhammer 40K universe did space marines and chainsaw weapons first, Space Marine deserves serious consideration. The rich Warhammer 40,000 (that’d be 40,000 A.D.) dystopia—a mix of Starship Troopers, the Cthulhu mythos, and George Orwell’s 1984, complete with a Big Brother equivalent—and its titular marines brought to bear in the story of a strategic industrial planet that’s under siege by marauding space Orks. You read that correctly. There’s also a space Sauron, but that comes later and really, really shouldn’t be a spoiler if you’ve read any of the advertising (or know anything about the 40K setting).