Warhammer Lore: The Emperor of Mankind

The glorious Emperor of Mankind

Hello everybody! This is a new segment where I will discuss Warhammer and other Games Workshop games lore. Today we will be begin by very briefly talking about probably the most famous figure from Warhammer 40,000: The Emperor of Mankind.

The Emperor was formed through the powers of all the shamans of Earth, the first people with psychic powers or psykers. The Emperor is thought to be created around the 8th Millennium B.C. While the Emperor was in his mother’s womb, through his sheer psychic power he made himself immortal and unable to be attacked by demons. Not a lot is known about the Emperor’s previous life before the Unification wars on Terra other then the fact that he travelled around the world, helping his fellow man and stepping in as a leader when it was needed. Terra became a wasteland eventually. Technobarbarians, cruel and ruthless warlords controlled Terra and had merciless, bloody wars. The Emperor then stepped up and revealed himself and through his leadership he unified the forces of Terra using his Thunder Warriors to destroy the armies of the Technobarbarians with a bitter civil war that went on from a few centuries to a full millennium, to become the Imperium of Mankind. The Emperor’s mission was to unite all of humanity under one banner, his, and to reject the ideas of religion and gods and superstition and to focus on science and the advancement of humanity, he called this concept ‘The Imperial Truth’. To do this, the Emperor raised twenty…eighteen…legions of his amazing warriors, the Space Marines or Adeptus Astartes.

Each Space Marine was led by a leader called a primarch. The primarchs were created using the Emperor’s DNA or geneseed, basically becoming the Emperor’s sons. But disaster struck, while the primarchs were infants a warp storm took the primarchs and launched them to every corner of the galaxy. The Emperor set forth on a crusade to find his missing children and finally unite humanity. One by one the Emperor found his children and put them at the head of their respective legions. For 200 years, humanity was in a golden age. Conquering previously held regions of space, finding lost colonies and unifying humanity…but the lure of the forces of Chaos was too much.

The Emperor leading his crusade

The Emperor had to go back to Terra to look after an extremely important project that would have greatly helped humanity, the webway project. I will be speaking more about this as time goes on. He appointed his favourite and first found son, Horus Lupercal, primarch of the XVIth legion, the Luna Wolves, as his general and representative on the front. He dubbed him, Warmaster Horus. Under Horus’s guidance, the crusade continued to thrive. But the Chaos gods had other plans and tempted Horus and eight of his brothers to side against the Emperor and cause a galactic civil war, known as the Horus Heresy. The Horus Heresy ripped the galaxy apart and for seven long years, brother fought brother until Horus finally made it to Terra.

Horus launched an attack on Terra and the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor, and invaded with everything he had. For fifty five days, the Imperium seen some of the most brutal fighting it had ever known. Horus stayed on his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit. The Emperor along with a retinue of Terminators, elite warriors of the Adeptus Astartes, Legio Custodes, his personal bodyguards and Rogal Dorn and Sanguinus, the primarchs of the Imperial Fists and Blood Angels legions respectively, teleported to the Vengeful Spirit. It is here that Sanguinus was slain by Horus, but dealt a chink of damage to his armour. The Emperor came upon his two sons, one dead and lying at the feet of his former favourite son. The Emperor fought Horus and even though his power was great, Horus, powered by the four chaos gods found greater strength. The Emperor eventually defeated Horus using the damage that Sanguinus inflicted on his brother, but he himself was mortally wounded. Rogal Dorn found the Emperor, near death and brought him back to the Imperial Palace on Terra. Here, ten thousand years later, the Emperor is trapped inside the Golden Throne, a life support machine that keeps him in a state of undying.

The Emperor facing Horus with Sanguinus dead.

The Emperor is still a shining light to all those who travel the warp, an area of space where ships can travel faster than light but it is also where warp entities such as demons and vile gods reside. The Emperor’s mighty psychic power is used as a “lighthouse” called the Astronomicon. psykers can see this light and know where they are in relation to Terra. Without this, thousands of ships would be lost in the warp along with millions or even billions of lives. The Emperor is also holding back the true power of Chaos by fighting them psychically in the warp. Without the Emperor shielding the galaxy from the powers of Chaos, Chaos would flood the galaxy with everything they had and there would be no doubt at all that all life would extinguish and be consumed by Chaos. But this power does not come cheap, the Emperor must eat a thousand psyker souls a day to feed his power and keep the Astronomicon lighting and Chaos at bay.

The Emperor’s Golden Throne

These days the Emperor is revered as a god, the one thing he wanted to stamp out. He is now referred to mostly as the God-Emperor by the Ecclesiarchy, the religious sect of the Imperium who make sure that the citizens of the Imperium worship and pray to the Emperor everyday through a brutal regime. The Imperium returned to the days of religious zealousness, superstition and intolerance and in turn stopped advancing technologically which went against everything the Emperor taught his people. This is enforced by ‘The Imperial Creed’, a religious doctrine, issued by the Ecclesiarchy and upheld by the Inquisition, much to the annoyance of most Adeptus Astartes who do not see the Emperor as a god being.

There is so much more to the Emperor of Mankind, but I thought I would keep this brief and not overload you in the beginning. I will touch on more aspects of the Emperor’s life and his role in the Imperium nowadays.

I hope you enjoy and as always, thanks for reading!

TV Series Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 1 (Episodes 1-6)

Hello everybody! This is a new segment in which I review tv shows. Some of the shows have a lot of episodes per season, so I will be splitting them into a few parts. Today I will be starting with the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The Clone Wars animated series is set after Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and before Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and it mainly deals with the clone wars in which the clone armies backed by the Republic must fight the droid armies of the Separatist Alliance. The animated series came out in 2008, two months after the tie in movie and has had a fantastic run which produced seven seasons. The show deals more with the actual war and the clone troopers involved instead of just being about the Jedi and the Sith and you learn more about the actual soldiers that fight these battles and more background on characters you would see in the movies.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Ambush: Yoda and his remaining clones

Episode 1 Ambush: The Clone Wars starts off strong with both the Republic and Separatists trying to gain the favour of a neutral planet, Toydaria. Jedi Master Yoda is to meet with the king of Toydaria on Ragosa to form a treaty and have them become members of the Republic. But Sith assassin and apprentice of Count Dooku, Aseej Ventress gets there first and tells the king that he will be better protected by joining the Separatists. Ventress gives the Yoda a challenge. If he can reach the meeting place by nightfall, she will allow the king to join the Republic, which Yoda accepts. Ventress sends a droid army to stop Yoda and his small band of clone troopers, but they fail to stop them. Ventress attempts to kill the king instead but Yoda stops her just in time. Ventress escapes and Toydaria becomes part of the Republic.

It was a gripping story to start with and it had a lot of action. It also showed that Master Yoda knew his men, because when they were losing heart and losing hope he told them all of their individual strengths and how they could overcome adversity, which they did eventually. It was a nice moment as it showed that some Jedi do care about their men. It also showed how strong in the force Yoda was compared to Ventress as he stopped her from attacking only using the force and he kept her in place until he chose to let her go. Overall a good episode and a great starting point. 8/10

Rising Malevolence: Plo Koon trapped with his remaining clones

Episode 2 Rising Malevolence: Jedi Master Plo Koon is leading a small fleet of Republic cruisers looking for a Separatist secret weapon that is capable of wiping out whole fleets of Republic ships. Koon finds the new weapon which is a ship called the Malevolence. The Malevolence fires an Ion Cannon which knocks out all power on a ship and catches Koon’s fleet with it. With all systems down and no means to escape, the Malevolence, captained by General Grievous destroys the fleet. Koon and a squad of clone troopers make it to an escape pod but the systems are fried on the escape pod, meaning they have very little time before their air runs out. Grievous sends out pod hunters, designed to go to escape pods and kill any survivors. Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano believe that Koon is still alive and go searching for him in the debris, much to the annoyance of Anakin’s master, Obi Won Kenobi, as he was ordered to stay on board his cruiser. Anakin and Ahsoka eventually find Koon and his men and they barely escape with their lives. Grievous contacts his master, Count Dooku, explaining that he failed to destroy Skywalker and now the Republic will learn of the secret weapon.

I thought this was a very cool episode. The Malevolence is an almighty ship with awesome power and the fact that it can knock out whole fleets with one shot of its weapon makes it terrifying to deal with. I thought the pod hunters was a nice touch also, showing that Grievous was thinking about all variables and not being cocky enough to assume that everyone was killed. The pod hunters were vicious in the way that it destroyed a pod by smashing the window of the escape pod and letting the vacuum of space do its thing. Master Plo Koon is a competent leader who looks out for his men and commands their respect. Overall a very enjoyable episode. 8/10

Shadow of Malevolence: The Assault on the Malevolence

Episode 3: Shadow of Malevolence: The Malevolence continues to obliterate Republic fleets. Anakin wants to find a way to destroy it and he thinks he has with the new Y-Wing Republic bombers and hatches a plan to use them to destroy the bridge of the Malevolence, killing General Grievous with it. Grievous is planning to go after a Republic medical space station and kill the 60,000 wounded clone troopers that are on it. Anakin needs to catch Grievous so he forms Shadow Squadron and decides to take a shortcut which leads them into a Nebula that is full of Neebrays, giant space manta rays. Shadow Squadron come out mostly unscathed bar one fighter, Matchstick’s, whose ship was damaged. The Malevolence comes out of Hyperspace and fires it’s Ion Cannon at the fighters, taking out half of the Y-Wings. As it is preparing to fire again, Anakin and the remaining fighters attack the weapon itself and forces it to backfire, destroying a lot of systems on the Malevolence, including the hyper drive. Kenobi shows up with his fleet and starts attacking the Malevolence as it is trying to move back to Separatist held space.

The space battles were really exciting in this episode, especially the fighter attack against the Malevolence. Some of the graphics were beautiful, especially when the fighters were flying through the Nebula shortcut and seeing the Neebrays and the different colours that were in the Nebula. The theme of the episode was slightly darker as the whole plot was about Grievous going to attack and kill 60,000 wounded and defenceless soldiers in a hospital, which showed how ruthless he was. Also getting to know some of the clones, especially Matchstick and watching him get killed was also quite dark. I say this in terms of a show that is more marketed for children and/or a younger audience. Another enjoyable episode. 8.5/10

Destroy Malevolence: Kenobi and Grievous face off

Episode 4: Destroy Malevolence: The damaged Malevolence is being pursued by three Republic cruisers. Grievous needs time to repair his ship so Darth Sidious arranges for Padme Amadala and C-3P0 to fly towards Grievous’s ship, thinking they have a meeting with the banking clan. They get caught in Grievous’s trap and their ship gets tractor beamed and pulled onto the Malevolence. Padme, rigs her ship to explode hoping to kill Grievous before she escapes onto the Malevolence, but Grievous survives. Anakin, Kenobi and R2-D2 lead a mission to rescue Padme and C-3P0. Anakin manages to rescue Padme and just before they share a kiss, Kenobi tells Anakin that C-3P0 still needs rescuing. Padme tells Anakin that the hyper drive is almost finished and then Grievous will be able to escape. Kenobi goes to deal with the hyper drive but Grievous learns of his plan and sends droids to stop him. Meanwhile, Padme and Anakin make their way to the bridge, destroy the droids and use the navicomputer to set coordinates of the Malevolence to fly into a close moon. The good guys escape, pursued by Grievous in a fighter. Grievous tells the droids to send the Malevolence into hyper space, but when they activate it they fly directly into the moon, destroying the Malevolence. Count Dooku, contacts Grievous telling him that he is waiting for him and the Malevolence at the rendezvous point, but Grievous cuts contact and escapes.

Another interesting space battle episode. It was fascinating seeing the raw strength of the Malevolence in terms of the fact that even though it was completely battle damaged and on the run from three Republic cruisers, the cruisers could not penetrate the armour of the Malevolence. That is refreshing to see in a universe where most of the ships seem like they’re made out of cardboard and collapse at the slightest breeze. The humour in this episode was silly for one particular part which sort of annoyed me. During a sequence when the Malevolence was on fire, a droid fire crew was sent to put out the fire. Not only did they have firemen hats on, which I thought was ridiculous, but one fell over bringing the hose because the hose was too tight and another droid was launched into the air because he couldn’t control the power of the hose. I thought this was unnecessary and while I know the show was more marketed towards children, it really takes you out of the belief that the Separatist droid army is in ANY way a competent rival to the clone troopers. Otherwise a good episode. 7/10

Rookies: Clones fighting their way out of a sticky situation

Episode 5: Rookies: A squad of rookie clone troopers are stationed in a listening post on a remote moon which is meant to give the planet, Kamino, home world of the clone troopers a warning if a Separatist fleet is on the way. Commander Cody and Captain Rex are on the way to inspect the listening post. A meteor shower arrives and the listening post raises its shields, but the meteor shower has some droid ships hiding in it that are full of commando droids. The droids gain access to the listening post in a brutal fashion and kill most of the clones including the sergeant. Four clones escape to the surface through an air vent. The droids take control of the listening post and contact Grievous, who makes his way to invade Kamino. The four clones who made it are unarmed and they aren’t sure what to do. A giant worm attacks them and kills another member of their squad, leaving only Hevy, Echo and Fives. Cody and Rex arrive, but the rookie clones have no way of contacting them, until they decide to use a flare. Cody and Rex land on the landing platform where they are met by a “clone” which is just a commando droid dressed like a clone and mimicking his voice. The two officers are suspicious of the trooper as he uses the phrase “roger, roger” which is something that only droids say. The officers see a flare going off behind them which confirms their suspicion and Rex shoots the droid in the head. This begins a firefight which ends with the clone ship destroyed. The officers meet with the Rookies and they formalise a plan to pose as a commando droid using the head of one of the droids to gain access to the listening post. The plan works and clones gain access. They take back the listening post but they can’t get rid of the ‘all clear’ signal being broadcast which is allowing Grievous to move ever closer to Kamino. Grievous sends reinforcements and the clones decide to destroy the facility. As the clones are escaping, Hevy realises that the remote detonator isn’t working and goes back to destroy the base manually, alerting the Republic that the Separatists are near, but killing himself. The Republic sends a fleet which forces Grievous to withdraw. Echo and Fives become members of the 501st legion.

This episode was more clone trooper orientated which I really appreciated as we got to see clones acting on their own without the aid of Jedi. I thought the episode had some pretty brutal scenes, especially for a “children’s” show. There is a scene where a wounded clone trooper is trying to crawl towards his friends before he is surrounded by commando droids and mercilessly shot to death by all of them. Another scene in which a clone gets eaten by a giant worm was also pretty shocking to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, these things do not phase me usually but I don’t expect to see them in a Star Wars show aimed for a younger audience. This episode for me really set the precedence of what to expect going forward and I was looking forward to it. ‘Rookies’ was primarily about the war which I wanted to see more of and I felt it was one of the better episodes in the series. A thoroughly enjoyable episode. 9/10

Downfall of a droid: Assassin droid attack!

Episode 6: Downfall of a droid: Anakin sets a trap for Grievous, luring him into an asteroid belt where Anakin has walkers hiding on the back of the asteroids. Between the fleet in front and being attacked from behind, Grievous’s fleet becomes confused, so Grievous abandons ship on his fighter being pursued by Anakin and Gold Squadron. A piece of shrapnel hits Anakin’s ship and he passes out. He wakes up on the Resolute, a Republic cruiser. He is told that he is lucky to be alive but R2-D2 was never found. He tells Kenobi that he needs to find the droid as he never wiped the memory banks and R2 still has all the plans and tactics of the Republic in his memory. Anakin, Ahsoka and a new astromech droid called R3-S6, dubbed ‘Goldie’, go looking for R2 in the debris of the battle. R2 is already picked up by a salvager, Gha Nachkt. Skywalker and Tano boards the freighter looking for R2, but Gha says he is not on board, even still he allows Anakin to take a look around. Anakin hears R2’s beeps and goes to get him but Goldie accidentally activates two assassin droids. The assassin droids are very skilled and extremely fierce but Anakin eventually beats them. Ahsoka tells Anakin that R2 isn’t there and they leave. Gha contacts Grievous telling him that he has the droid. Anakin has to scout to see if Grievous has any listening posts and Ahsoka tells him to bring Goldie so they can bond. While out there, Goldie makes a lot of errors and almost gets Anakin killed including alerting Grievous to his position and destroying his means of escape. Anakin is saved by Ahsoka in the Twilight and they escape though Anakin is not happy with Goldie.

It was interesting seeing a different side of Star Wars, being how the black market and salvagers work by going to scenes of space battles and picking up anything that is useful or valuable. The soundtrack in this episode is really interesting, it is sort of industrial and really fits with Gha’s ship, as his ship is dirty green and grey and there is no happiness or colour to his ship. The industrial music fits into the life of being a salvager, it’s all business. In saying that, the soundtrack to this episode is really good and one of my favourites in the series. It was exciting to see the assassin droids in action and in a way seeing how dangerous the Separatist droids can actually be if they were given half a chance. Yes, they were defeated but they gave as good as they got. Now my problem with this episode; the plot armour, oh my god the plot armour! If you don’t know what plot armour is, it’s basically when a character can’t die because they are too important to a story so they always get out of impossible situations. Now with that cleared up, this episode turns the plot armour up to eleven. So Goldie accidentally alerts Grievous to Anakin’s whereabouts, then the droid releases Anakin from his ONLY means of escape. Grievous shows up with two battle cruisers and launches EVERY fighter he has to take out Anakin. Not only does Anakin not get hit once, but Ahsoka shows up out of nowhere to rescue him in the Twilight, and hyper spaces out of there. Two battle cruisers and whole squads of fighters couldn’t hit Anakin once? I get it he’s a main character but at least make it somewhat believable. Otherwise, the episode was okay. 6/10

So that was the first six episodes. I will be continuing my review over the next while. I hope you enjoyed reading and as always, thanks for reading!

MTG Mondays: What are planes of Magic?

Welcome to a new feature of my blog called MTG Mondays, where I will be discussing the lore surrounding the immensily popular and best selling card game of all time, Magic the Gathering. Magic the Gathering or MTG for short, is rich in lore, but for a game that’s being going for 28 years that is not really a surprise. I will discussing the heroes and villains of the Magic universe, plus the locations, factions, storylines and some special characters that turn up here and there, just to give people a little more background on what is going on in the MTG universe.

But where does it all begin? Well we will start with the physical worlds of MTG and where the weird and wonderful spells and creatures come from. The MTG universe is actually a multiverse as there are multiple different worlds that are seperate from one another called Planes. A plane is its own universe that has its own nature, creatues, people and magic. Most of the planes are spherical, so in a way they are almost like planets, though those spheres could be infinite and have their own space, laws of physics, moons, suns, stars, planets and whatever else you may have. Planes can vary from nothing inside to a vast universe, there is no common law to govern each plane as they are their own seperate entities.

So, how many planes are there in the MTG universe? Well the answer is that there are infinte planes. The thing is, most people do not know of other planes and they think that their universe is the only one that exists or has ever existed. The only people who know any better are called Planeswalkers. Planeswalkers are individuals who have the power to travel to different planes by moving through a void in space called the Blind Eternities. The Blind Eternities is an area that is full of chaotic energy, aether and mana, which is where the planeswalkers draw their power from to cast their spells and deadly creatures.

To really boil it down, planes can be considered as dimensions that exist in their own right, seperate from each other and the only ones who can visit the different dimensions are planeswalkers. There are two types of planes that exist: Natural and Artifical. Natural planes are planes that came into existance naturally over time and from them, planets, people, creatues and everything that comes with a universe in formed. Artifical planes are planes that are created by immensily powerful planeswalkers that I will be covering later on in my blog. These planes usually serves the planeswalkers will but they are unstable due to the fact that they have to be constantly sustained. Eventually an artifical plane cannot or simply isn’t sustained anymore and is eventually destroyed by the Blind Entities.

So that is a bit of background for the worlds and planes of Magic the Gathering. I hope you enjoyed and I can’t wait to talk about more of the lore and stories of this vast universe.

I hope you enjoyed and as always, thanks for reading!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019, Xbox One)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare cover art

The Call of Duty franchise is one of the biggest, if not the biggest franchise of first-person shooter games in the history of video games. From a World War Two shooter made in 2003 to modern combat, the Vietnam war and futuristic sci-fi story lines, Call of Duty has done it all in the first-person shooter genre. Back in 2007, Call of Duty changed the world of first-person shooter gaming with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare raised the bar for what other first-person shooter games should play like and a lot of games followed suit. The Call of Duty franchise eventually became very stale with the same old, same old being done with every game and nothing changing. But in 2017, after thirteen main installments in the Call of Duty franchise, there was new life with the release of Call of Duty: World War Two. People were excited again for Call of Duty and I think that Activision, the publishers of the Call of Duty franchise has seen that people wanted more Call of Duty games that were in the same style of the older games, so Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot came around in 2019 and boy, what a game it was.

“What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh?”

The game is set in 2019 and it starts with you playing as a CIA officer named Alex. Alex and a squad of marines are trying to seize a shipment of dangerous chemical gases headed for Urzikstan. The marines find enemies which turn out to be Russian soldiers and after killing them they eventually find the gas, but as they’re leaving the compound, unknown assailants ambush them and kill the marines. Alex is staring at the assailants and one of them realises that they weren’t shooting at Russian soldiers like they thought, but American marines. The assailants panic and escape with the gas when they find out Americans were involved.

Alex’s handler in the CIA, Station Chief Kate Laswell realises that this situation is bad and the Russians are annoyed that their soldiers have been killed by Americans so to de-escalate the situation, she brings in an expert and veteran soldier, SAS Captain John Price.

Breach and clear

In London, while the SAS are moving through the streets in a vehicle, suicide bombers blow themselves up all around Piccadilly Circus, killing a lot of innocent civilians. The Suicide bombers were from a terrorist organisation known as Al-Qatala. SAS Sergeant Kyle Garrick, along with Captain Price travel through the streets of London killing terrorists insurgents who are gunning people down in London. Price is impressed by Garrick and wants him to go to Urzikstan with him. In the mean time while all of this is going on, Alex is sent to Urzikstan to meet with the rebels who are trying to overthrow the invading Russian army lead by General Roman Barkov. Alex meets Farah, the leader of the rebels and she agrees to help Alex track down the missing chemical gases as long as Alex helps to take out the Russian army and remove them from Urzikstan.

A main member of Al-Qatala becomes exposed, Omar “The Wolf” Sulaman after a raid on a house led by Garrick and the SAS. They find out that the location of The Wolf is in a hospital in Urzikstan which Alex and the marines raid. They find and apprehend The Wolf, but with this another piece is put onto the chess board with Jamal “The Butcher” Rahar, another member of Al-Qatala. After The Butcher realises that The Wolf is in American custody in the American Embassy, he launches an all out attack against the embassy. Though the SAS, American and rebel forces try to hold onto the The Wolf and keep him in custody, they fail to do so and he is broken out.

Alex, Price, Garrick and Farah

While Farah and the rebels set up an ambush to recapture The Wolf on a highway, the Russians attack both the rebel forces and Al-Qatala. It is here that it is revealed that Farah’s brother, Hadir was the one in the beginning of the game who ambushed the American marines and stole the gas. He told Farah that he wanted to use it to drive away the Russians and Al-Qatala. Hadir sets off the gas and kills all the Russian and Al-Qatala soldiers in the area but he almost killed Farah and Alex also. Hadir then escapes.

The game then goes back to 1999 and it shows Farah and Hadir as children when Russia invades Urzikstan. The streets were bombed and their mother was killed in the bombing. Farah was trapped under a pile of rubble but she was rescued. The Russians then start the invasion properly and Farah’s father brings her home, where Hadir is waiting. A Russian soldier breaks in and kills their father leaving Farah and Hadir to fend for themselves. After a game of cat and mouse throughout the house, the children eventually kill the Russian soldier and attempt to escape through the streets of Urzikstan. They eventually make it outside the city where they see a Russian truck with a few Russian soldiers standing outside it. Through teamwork, Farah and Hadir deal with the Russian soldiers and make it to the truck, but as they enter, Barkov catches them and imprisons them for ten years.

Urzikstan left in ruin by the Russians

Farah rises through the ranks in the rebel forces while in prison and with the help of a younger Captain Price, Farah and Hadir break out of prison. Back in the present, Hadir with seemingly nowhere else to go joins forces with Al-Qatala to fight the Russian invasion. Farah and Price find out where The Wolf is hiding, infiltrate his compound and they end up killing him once and for all. Alex is told by Kate that because the gas is still out there, the rebel forces are deemed a terrorist organisation by the American government. Alex is absolutely outraged by this and vows to stay in Urzikstan to aid the fight with Farah.

With Intel that Russia is about to be attacked by Al-Qatala and Hadir, the SAS lead by Price heads to St. Petersburg in Russia. While there they meet up with an old acquaintance of Price’s named, Nikolai. Nikolai has information on The Butcher which eventually leads to his capture by the SAS. The Butcher refuses to cooperate with Price, even under interrogation so Price uses The Butchers wife and child as leverage and eventually he complies. The Butcher tells them that Hadir is on his way to attack and kill General Barkov at his estate in Moldova. Price and Garrick find Hadir at the estate and he tells them about the gas factory that is owned by Barkov, but Kate Laswell drops down and tells Price that Hadir is wanted by the Russian government. Price hands over Hadir but keeps the Intel on the gas factory.

With everyone together including help from Laswell, they all converge and attack Barkov’s gas factory. Nikolai brought explosives to use to destroy the gas factory but in the battle the detonator gets damaged and the explosives have to be set off manually. Alex volunteers to stay behind and set off the explosives. While all of this is going on, Barkov attempts to leave the factory by helicopter but Farah catches up with him and eventually kills him, finishing this once and for all. After all of this, Farah, Price and the rest of the allied forces leave the factory as Alex, sacrificing himself detonates the explosives.

At the end, Barkov was disowned by the Russian government. Captain Price meets with Laswell and tells her that he wants to set up a new task force for called Task Force 141 to deal with any future problems and one in particular called Victor Zakhaev. Price shows Laswell some profiles of people he wants on this task force and they are as follows: Garrick, John “Soap” McTavish and Simon “Ghost” Riley. Zakhaev along with Soap and Ghost are all characters from the previous Modern Warfare games. END OF STORY.

Going dark!

So onto the game, the game was developed by Infinity Ward, who developed all the other Modern Warfare games. The game play itself had me feeling strange. In one way it felt like every other Call of Duty game I ever played. It was fast, a lot of fun, very fluid and an enjoyable experience, though done to death. But in another way, it felt like Call of Duty upgraded. The atmosphere was a lot more tense, the combat felt more dangerous and threatening and because of all of that, the game play felt a lot more exciting. Some of the missions such as “Going Dark” and “Clean House” were some of the most intense first-person shooter missions I have ever played in a video game and they had the hair on the back of my neck completely standing. I was on the edge of my seat and totally immersed in the missions and trying my hardest not to make mistakes and kill innocent civilians. This level of intensity and detail are some things that I definitely feel are needed in a modern combat war game setting.

Graphically the game looked absolutely stunning. The character models were beautifully and very highly detailed. A new engine was used for this game which allowed better lighting, more detailed environments and ray tracing. The landscapes were great looking especially Piccadilly Circus in London. During that mission, with all the chaos and noise, explosions and other things going on, it gave me a slight idea what an actual attack like this would be like, not that I would want to know, but it seemed eerily realistic.

Piccadilly attack

The music in the game composed by Sarah Schachner is absolutely incredible. I loved the soundtrack from the first moment I heard. Their is an element of seriousness and sadness to the main theme song of the game which I feel Call of Duty was sorely lacking over the last few games. When you hear the main theme in this game it gives you the feeling of “take this seriously because it is a serious subject matter” and I did and from taking it seriously I enjoyed the game a lot. I got all this just from the main theme song, the rest of the soundtrack is equally as epic and thought provoking and something that I thoroughly enjoyed while playing the game or just doing my own thing.

Apart from the main story there are also spec ops missions which is a multiplayer cooperative objective based game mode. It follows on from the death of The Wolf from the main story and it’s all about a new leader taking over Al-Qatala and how a combined force of the best fighters around the world called the armistice are coming together to stop Al-Qatala. Other than that, there is the multiplayer mode with Death match, Domination and other such game modes, the bread and butter of Call of Duty games. It’s fine, it’s fun and it is pretty enjoyable but still very same old, same old.

So after all of that I think it is finally time to get into the scoring of the game:

Graphics: Beautifully detailed, very realistic and amazing lighting 10/10

Sound: Fantastic soundtrack full of thought provoking tracks and the sounds of the game are pretty awesome too. 10/10

Game play: Good gun play, fast combat, fun and quite tense but still nothing new 9/10

Worth: Yes, it is worth it even just for the Modern Warfare story line. If you’re looking to play online any other COD game would do the same job. 8/10

Story: Pretty good story with an interesting ending, leaving me wanting more. 7/10

Total: 88/100 B+

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Bioshock (2016, Xbox One)

The beginning of an amazing journey

Bioshock, one of the best first person shooter/role playing games of all time was released in 2007 to an overwhelming critical acclaim. The hellish underwater city of Rapture is known far and wide throughout pop culture and the iconic character of the fearsome big daddy has become one of the most recognisable and popular characters in video game history. Bioshock changed the face of gaming and gave us a memorable story line, gruesome atmosphere, exciting action and so much variety that two peoples play styles are rarely ever the same.

Bioshock was created by Irrational games and 2K Marin and was published by 2K games. The story was written by Ken Levine, who previously worked on Thief: The Dark Project and System Shock 2, two more excellent games if you get a chance to try them out. As I mentioned, Bioshock was released in 2007 but a remastered collection was released in 2016 which I will be talking about. The other games in the collection are Bioshock 2 and Bioshock: Infinite. I will be talking about each game separately.

Would you kindly heed my warning?

The story of Bioshock is set in 1960. The name of your character is Jack, and Jack was just in a plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. As Jack is drowning he notices a giant lighthouse in the middle of the ocean. As you reach the lighthouse you notice a submarine which takes you down underwater to the sprawling and beautiful city of Rapture. Rapture was built by Andrew Ryan during the 1940’s as a break away city from societies constraints. No more religion, no more ethics when it comes to science, no more government telling you what you can and can’t do. It was meant to be a paradise to people who wanted to break away from the norm, it was meant to be a Utopia.

Welcome to hell more like

As Jack reaches Rapture he starts to realise there is something very, very wrong with this place. The citizens of Rapture have all become drug addicted genetically altered mutants called Splicers. The drug that is going around Rapture is called ADAM. It was taken from sea slugs and it was found that it had properties that gave people fantastic powers such as setting things on fire, creating electricity from their finger tips and sending people into an uncontrollable rage.

Splicers

A criminal named Frank Fontaine found a way to harvest ADAM by putting the sea slugs into little girls which were transformed into ‘little sisters’. These little sisters could around to dead bodies and with a special needle they would extract the ADAM from the corpses. Frank Fontaine was making money hand over fist doing this. Andrew Ryan did not like this at all, so he launched an all out attack on Fontaine and killed him. Ryan took over the whole operation, but he also made some genetically altered freaks and stuck them in diving suits, this would be called ‘big daddies’ and these would protect the little sisters through the horrors of Rapture.

From the ashes of Fontaines empire a man came about named Atlas. Atlas is a down to earth, kind Irish man who stirred the working class folk of Rapture to rebel against Ryan. Ryan became worried and created the splicers to protect him and his city. During this, Atlas’s family gets kidnapped by Ryan and this is where Jack comes in, he must get them back.

Thuggish Splicer

As Jack makes his way through the depressing and doomed city of Rapture he meets all kinds of people who have completely lost their minds and need to be put down. There are voice recordings left all over Rapture which were recorded by the people while they still had some semblance of sanity and they paint a bleak picture of Rapture going from a Utopian paradise to a depraved and degenerate hell, full of freaks, lunatics and vile people and what’s worse, they have no restraints.

Atlas keeps asking Jack would he kindly carry out some missions, as I said he is a very polite man. These missions go from killing super powered splicers to getting certain objects and opening certain areas. During the game Jacks also speaks to Doctor Brigid Tenenbaum, one of the founders of the ADAM. She begs Jack not to hurt the little sisters, which you have a choice to do during the game. If you kill a little sister outright you get a lot of ADAM which can be used to buy more powers for Jack or you can choose to let them live which gives you less ADAM but at some points during the game you’re given presents by the little sisters in the form of ADAM or other useful stuff.

A little sister and big daddy

Later on in the game Jack finds Ryan. He is in his office playing golf without a care in the world. Ryan tells Jack that he’s his illegitimate son and that Atlas had him mind controlled to kill Ryan. The phrase “would you kindly?” was the trigger phrase that but Jack under Atlas’s control. Ryan tells Jack to kill him by constantly saying “A man chooses, a slave obeys!”. Jack kills Ryan and Atlas reveals that he is actually Frank Fontaine. He tries to kill Jack but Tenenbaum saves him. Not only does she save Jack but she removed some of the mental control that Fontaine has over him.

Fontaine cranked up to 11

Tenenbaum tells Jack to go and deal with Fontaine and take him out once and for all. As Jack reaches Fontaine he finds out that Fontaine has injected himself with a cocktail of powers and he is now a complete genetic freak. The fight does not last long and Jack is helped by the little sisters who rush Fontaine and stab him to death with multiple needles. Jack takes the little sisters and leaves Rapture for good. The good ending is where the little sisters get to have a nice normal life. Get educated, find love, find happiness and on Jack’s deathbed they all come to him to say thank you for giving them the chance of a normal life. The bad ending is Jack takes over Rapture and unleashes the splicers on the rest of the world and it leaves with an ominous ending focusing on a nuclear warhead. END OF STORY.

Now onto the actual game itself. Bioshock, when I first played it, blew me away, I mean it completely caught me off guard. I thought it was going to be another bog standard horror game, which don’t me wrong I love horror games but some of them are very, paint by numbers shall we say. Bioshock was not like that at all. The story was exciting and interesting. I loved the fact that the bigger picture is told through voice recordings and conversations through out the game. There is a whole world underneath the ocean and some of the tales you hear and very human. Lost love, problems with the boss, people feeling very worried about their looks, just common every day problems. I think this was amazing because it showed Rapture as a lived in city before everything went tits up.

The combat in this game is fluid, exciting, sleek and tactical. You will be dealing with a whole myriad of enemies that all have different ways of dealing with and different weaknesses and strengths and you’ll be fighting them all at the same time. This means your combat and the way you fight has to change and evolve all the time which keeps the game interesting.

The plasmids also change the combat up big time. The plasmids are just another name for powers and as I said earlier you can set enemies on fire, you can freeze them, shock them to death, throw insects at them and so, so, sooooooo much more. This keeps the combat versatile and can make it quite exciting.

Onto the graphics, listen I’ll put it to you this way, I was impressed with the graphics back in 2007 so in 2016 with the remaster I was still bloody impressed. The game looks absolutely beautiful from the 1940’s inspired decor to looking out a window and literally seeing the vast ocean and everything in it absolutely blew me away. The monsters and enemies were stylish and creepy looking and big daddy has got to be one of the coolest looking enemies in video game history. The dark, dreary halls and the utter chaos of broken pipes and destroyed places really adds to the atmosphere and gives you a taste of the chaos that choked and ultimately killed Rapture.

The sound, again my word is the sound good. You can hear old music throughout the game and the soundtrack is made up from real bands and groups from that era. Also listening to the sounds of big daddies walking through Rapture and the sounds of the ocean in certain parts really adds to the atmosphere of the game. The casual conversations of some of the splicers really gives you a look into what they think is going on and some of them even sound normal, if not a little messed up…well maybe a lot messed up.

So with that I’m onto the scores now:

Graphics: Impressive, fantastic styles and design and messed up monsters and atmosphere 10/10

Sound: Amazing soundtrack from the era, humorous but dark conversations that compliment the overall story and eerie ambiance throughout 10/10

Game play: Fast game play, fun, destructive and ever changing 10/10

Worth: Bloody hell yes! If you’ve never played Bioshock, go now and play it. 10/10

Story: Amazing story from the start to the finish! Utterly fantastic story telling that keeps you wanting more 10/10

Total: 100/100 A+

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Resident Evil 3: Remake (2020, Xbox One)

Resident Evil 3: Remake

In 2020 the world of gaming got what they asked for, a remake of the third Resident Evil game. Yes, Capcom released the remake for Resident Evil: Nemesis, the one that has you face off against one of the most badass tyrants in Resident Evil history. You play as Jill Valentine, our heroine from the first Resident Evil game as you try and survive a zombie outbreak on the streets of Raccoon City. With the help of Umbrella security agent, Carlos Oliveira, Jill must succeed against hordes of the undead and Nemesis who throughout the entire game is always hot on her heels.

Arghhhhh! (Zombie groan)

Resident Evil 3 is set around the same time as Resident Evil 2. Jill Valentine is in her apartment still traumatised after the events of the first game. Suddenly and out of nowhere, Jill is attacked in her apartment by a huge creature called a tyrant. The specific designation of this tyrant is Nemesis and it’s job? To hunt down all the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) members in Raccoon City and Jill is one of those members. Jill has to run through her apartment building and try and escape from the frightful monster that is Nemesis. Jill eventually escapes trapping Nemesis in the apartment building and from here she meets Brad Vickers, another member of S.T.A.R.S.

The BBEG himself, Nemesis.

As Jill and Brad make their way through Raccoon City the reality of what is going on really sets in as there are zombies all over the place and people are in a panic. Jill and Brad make it to a bar but zombies are trying to get into the building, while trying to barricade the door, Brad gets bitten by a zombie and tells Jill to leave, which she does reluctantly. Jill finds a car on top of a parking garage, but Nemesis shows up again. Jill uses the car to drive herself and Nemesis off the roof of the garage. Jill wakes up to see that Nemesis is starting to pursue her again and this is where Carlos shows up with a rocket launcher and hits Nemesis a number of times rescuing Jill.

Carlos bringing the heat!

Carlos brings Jill down into a subway where there are other Umbrella agents, Mikhail, Nicholai, Tyrell and a group of civilians. The Umbrella agents plan to use the subway to escape from Raccoon City but the power for the subway is shut off. Jill has to make her way through Raccoon City to turn the power back on and plot out a route for the subway, which she does while trying to escape from Nemesis. Jill makes her way back to the subway station only to realise that she is still being pursued, so Jill tries to buy the Umbrella team some time by going down to the sewers.

Dark and grimy sewers

Jill has to make her way through the sewers while dealing with zombies and other sewer monsters that have massive mouths that can kill you in one hit. As Jill goes to escape the sewers through a hatch, Nemesis catches her and almost ignites her with a flamethrower. Jill has to run through a building site to try and escape Nemesis as he tries to burn down the entire building site. Jill eventually has to fight Nemesis on top of the building site and when she defeats him, she makes her way back down to the city streets. As she is making her way back to the subway, guess who shows up? Yep, Nemesis! Jill must dodge a rocket launcher wielding Nemesis. Jill again escapes and makes her way to the subway which starts to leave with everyone on board bar Carlos and Tyrell who have another job to do. As the subway is moving, Nemesis attacks the subway killing all civilians on board. Jill tries to escape but Nicholai locks the door behind him, locking Jill and Mikhail in with Nemesis. Nemesis pulls Mikhail out of the carriage almost killing him but Mikhail sacrifices himself, blowing himself up destroying the carriage that Nemesis is on but causes the carriage that Jill is on to crash, knocking Jill unconscious.

Nemesis on subway

From here you play Carlos looking for a doctor named Nathaniel Bard, who is rumoured to have the vaccine for the T-Virus. Carlos and Tyrell make their way to the Raccoon Police Department where you see Lieutenant Marvin Branagh (Yes, that Marvin) getting bitten by zombie Brad (Yes, that Brad) which explains how Marvin is bitten when Leon meets him in Resident Evil 2 Remake. Carlos and Tyrell have to make their way through the Police Station looking for Dr. Nathaniel Bard until they come across a video call where Dr. Bard explains that he is actually in a hospital surrounded by creatures and that Umbrella are killing all the researchers and doctors.

Poor Brad, what a way to go

From here you take control of Jill again and she is underground, from here you kill a few zombies until you make your way above ground where you have to fight who again? Who was it? I can’t seem to remember his name, something beginning with N I believe…oh right, Nemesis. You defeat Nemesis for the 50th time so far but not before he hits Jill with a stinger which infects her. As Carlos makes his way to the hospital, Carlos spots Jill and brings her to the hospital and it is swarming with zombies and other nasty creatures.. Going through the hospital Carlos has to kill a lot of zombies, and I mean a lot to find Dr. Bard. Carlos eventually does find him, dead! Yes, Bard was murdered and it is here that Carlos finds a video of Bard saying that Umbrella developed the virus and wanted Bard to make a vaccine, but then they done a complete turn around and wanted to destroy the vaccine and all research for it. Carlos finds the vaccine and gives it to Jill. Tyrell bursts through the door where he shows Carlos a news broadcast that says that Raccoon City is completely overrun and the city will be destroyed by a missile strike in the morning. While this is happening a horde of zombies break into the hospital and Carlos has to defend Jill.

Hospital being overrun

Jill eventually wakes up and realises Carlos is gone. She meets Tyrell who tells Jill that Carlos is gone underground because Dr. Bard stockpiled a lot of the vaccine. Jill realises that Carlos needs help while Tyrell will try and contact someone to stop the missile strike. Jill makes her way underground where there are a lot more zombies to kill. As she makes her way through, Tyrell eventually follows her down and explains that he got through to the government. He tells Jill that if they can deliver the vaccine to the government then they will call off the missile strike. As Jill and Tyrell go to find the vaccine, a heavily mutated Nemesis attacks both of them and kills Tyrell.

Jill searching for the vaccine

Eventually Jill finds the vaccine but Nicholai appears and takes it off her, Jill pleads with Nicholai not to take the vaccine but Nicholai says that he wants Jill to fight Nemesis and he will record it and sell the footage for the combat data and if she puts on a good enough show, he might give her back the vaccine, forcing her to fight Nemesis again. Jill beats Nemesis using acid and basically dissolving him. As Jill chases Nicholai, the final form of Nemesis is shown as a massive tentacle monster. Jill must defeat Nemesis one more time, but this time with a rail gun. Jill beats Nemesis, for good! and both Jill and Carlos catch up to Nicholai who is just about to leave on a helicopter. Carlos and Nicholai get into a fist fight and Carlos restrains Nicholai which gives Jill a chance to shoot him. Carlos and Jill eventually leave on the chopper and Nicholai is left in the city where the missile strike is just about to impact.

Goodbye Raccoon City

So now onto the game play. The game play is pretty good, but I felt it was missing the atmosphere of Resident Evil 2 Remake. The openness of the game just made fighting the zombies a lot easier I found and with that the zombies became less scary and threatening. Now don’t get me wrong, I still had a ton of fun with the game, but there were a lot of sequences where I could just walk around things and that would be that. Also Nemesis. Nemesis. Nemesis. Nemesis. What can I say? Was he as scary as Mr. X? That’s a big no. Nemesis was more of an annoyance to me than anything. I never found him that threatening throughout the game, just another obstacle to get through and that is very disappointing seeing as he is pretty much the hook of the entire game.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some sequences that I found deeply chilling, such as going back to the Police Department and the Hospital. Both those chapters were pretty nerve wracking because I was enclosed again in narrow corridors and tight rooms, which made every zombie fight pretty exciting, but other than that I pretty much walked though the game.

The game keeps the same inventory management system from RE2: Remake, which was fine with me because I liked that system. Again you also had to find hip pouches to increase your inventory slots. The combat was fluid and fun and exciting when I did decide to fight enemies. The zombies were quite tough again, no one shot to the head on these zombies, so the game made sure that you used bullets wisely. Overall I did have an enjoyable experience playing it.

Uh-oh

The lighting! Oh the lighting! The lighting was so incredibly atmospheric. There are scenes where you are running through alley ways and you would see a hard shadow of Nemesis behind you chasing you. The dark empty streets lit up by some street lamps and burning cars and barrels, like RE2: Remake really add to the impact of what is going on, but in some cases it does a better job because you are outside a lot more in this game. The game is full of beautiful, realistic and very fluid graphics and atmospheric lighting. Definitely one to play with the lights off.

The soundtrack, same as RE:2 Remake is absolutely unreal. From unnerving, depressing and stark songs that really drive home that you are in a city full of the undead to peaceful soundtracks that have a melancholic undertone to tell you that while you are safe now, you still must go outside. The boss soundtracks are really exciting too and really add to the urgency of trying to defeat Nemesis, but knowing in the back of your head that you are only going to slow him down, that he can’t be truly stopped.

So let’s get into the scoring:

Graphics: Realistic, fluid and overall supremely impressive 10/10

Sound: Varied and exciting soundtrack. Everything fits and the right music is used at the right times. 10/10

Game play: Great game play but I found it too easy at parts. Still very enjoyable. 8/10

Worth: Oh yeah! A very enjoyable horror experience and especially for those who love zombies. You also get Resident Evil Resistance free with it, which is a 4v1 online multiplayer game. While it’s not my cup of tea, it’s still nice to get an extra game. 10/10

Story: The story was good, not great. Nemesis felt like a bit of a filler to be quite honest and overall I enjoyed it, but it is forgettable. 7/10

Total: 90/100 A

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Resident Evil 2: Remake (2019, Xbox One)

Resident Evil 2 Remake

In 1998, the masters of horror games, Capcom gave the world the masterpiece that is Resident Evil 2. 21 years later, like the undead, they return and with them comes Resident Evil 2 remake and my word did they do a great job with this game. From the unrelenting hordes of zombies and other nightmarish creatures, to the dark and atmospheric hallways of the Raccoon City Police Department, Resident Evil 2 is genuinely one of the creepiest games I have ever played, and I have played a LOT of horror games.

Warning: Zombies are ahead

Resident Evil 2 is set in the year 1998 and almost two months after the events of Resident Evil. Leon Kennedy is a rookie cop that is on his way to his first day as a Raccoon City police officer, but on the way he stops off at a gas station. While there he runs into his first enemy of the evening, chowing down on some good old cops. Leon deals with this threat and on his way out of the gas station he runs into college student, Claire Redfield. Claire is the sister of Chris Redfield, one of the main protagonists from the first Resident Evil.

Claire has come to Raccoon city to find her brother so shes tags along with Leon to see what is going on in Raccoon City. As they head into the city they realise that not all is well and they dead have come back to life to feast on the yummy innards of the living. After a car accident, Claire and Leon become separated, but they agree to meet at the Raccoon Police Department.

Raccoon Police Department. One of the most famous places in gaming history.

The game is played through from both Leon and Claire’s scenarios so I will briefly go into the story of each of them. Both have a lot of similarities, but some differences.

Leon’s Scenario

As Leon makes his way through the RPD he runs into a fellow cop named Lieutenant Marvin Branagh who was bitten earlier in the evening. Marvin explains to Leon what has been going on and gives him some missions to do but eventually perishes to his wounds. During all of this, Leon encounters more zombies, lickers, infected dogs and the now infamous tyrant, Mr. X. Leon is helped by a woman named Ada Wong, who explains that she is an FBI agent. While Leon is searching through the parking garage under the Raccoon Police Department he finds a man in a holding cell by the name of Ben Bertolucci. Ben explains that he is in the holding cell because the chief of police, a man named Brian Irons has put him in there for investigating a company called, Umbrella.

Mr. X

Umbrella, one of the most famous “evil” corporations in gaming history was a medicinal company that went into weapons development. Through this path they came up with the bio-weapon, T-Virus. Unfortunately the T-Virus is the thing that is turning Raccoon’s brightest into brain dead rotten corpses.

Umbrella Corporation Logo

Back to Ben, Mr.X bursts through the cell wall and crushes Ben’s head. Leon escapes with Ada and they head to the sewers where they are encountered by a woman named Annette Birkin, wife of William Birkin, the creator of the T-Virus. Annette shoots at Ada, but Leon takes the shot for her. Leon and Ada agree to find a sample of another virus called the G-Virus to prove that Umbrella is corrupt.

Leon eventually catches up to Annette and finds a sample of the G-Virus in an underground secret lab called NEST. While in the lab, William Birkin appears as he did numerous times during the game. As I said, William was the creator of the virus, but Umbrella wanted him to hand the virus over. Umbrella sent in a crack team of special forces, lead by a man named Hunk to retrieve the virus. William refused to hand over his work and he was shot. In his final moments, Birkin injected himself with the G-Virus and mutated into a hideous monster.

One of Birkin’s hideous transformations

Annette tries to stop William but she ends up fatally injured. Leon defeats William and while he is comforting Annette in her last moments, she tells Leon that Ada is actually a mercenary not an FBI agent. Annette tells Leon that Ada only wants the G-Virus so she can sell it. Leon runs into Ada who eventually confesses to all of this, but she still demands that Leon hand over the virus. Annette, who still isn’t dead yet shoots Ada in the shoulder and the bridge that Leon and Ada are standing on starts to collapse. When Leon goes to catch Ada, he drops the G-Virus into the abyss below along with Ada moments later.

Ada Wong

After all of this Leon goes to escape from Raccoon city until Mr. X shows up in his final form. While on a lift going towards the train that will escape the city, Leon must battle the super tyrant. It is revealed that Ada didn’t actually die and she tosses Leon a missile launcher which he uses to finally and once and for all defeat Mr. X/Super tyrant. Leon makes it to the last train out of town and this is where he meets up with Claire and a child named Sherry Birkin.

Claire’s Scenario

Claire’s scenario plays out pretty much the same, having to go through the police station and what not at the beginning. Claire finds the child Sherry being chased by William as a monster. Down in the parking garage sequence where Leon means Ben Bertolucci, Claire runs into the chief of police Brian Irons. Irons kidnaps Sherry while pointing a gun at Claire and he brings Sherry to an abandoned orphanage. Irons rings Claire and tells her that Sherry has dropped a very important pendant and if Claire doesn’t retrieve it, then Irons will kill her. This is where you play Sherry, trying to sneak around and escape the orphanage yourself.

Sherry Birkin

Irons eventually catches Sherry trying to escape but father of the year, William Birkin comes in and implants Irons with a G-Virus larva, saving Shelly. Claire eventually comes and rescues Sherry. Claire and Sherry attempt to escape, but who shows up? That’s right, Mr. X. Mr. X chases Sherry and Claire into an elevator but William Birkin puts his big meaty claw through Mr. X. This is where it is also revealed that William Birkin is Sherry’s father. William transforms again and charges the elevator knocking it down into the sewers and knocking Claire unconscious.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this

Claire wakes up to find Sherry gone. Annette finds Claire and explains everything about William creating the G-Virus and how he wanted to sell it to the military. She also explains how he got shot and injected himself but through this you find out that rats ingested the virus and that is how it got out into the streets of Raccoon City. Annette explains that because Sherry is the William’s daughter she is the perfect host for the virus.

Claire finds Sherry is a trash compactor and realises that William has already infected her with the virus. Annette tells Claire to bring Sherry to the NEST lab where a vaccine is stored. Claire uses Sherry’s pendant to unlock the vaccine and Claire fights William while Sherry is being cured by her mother. Annette tells Claire that Sherry is free of the G-Virus before succumbing to her own internal injuries and passes away. Claire and Sherry attempt to escape before being confronted by William for the final time. Claire defeats William and boards the train where she meets up with Leon.

Ending

William returns one final time while Claire and Leon are on the train but this time he is a massive, horrid creature. Claire and Leon fight him while trying to unhook William’s carriage from the main train. As they do this, William descends back towards the NEST lab where a self destruct sequence has been initiated. NEST explodes, killing William and any other grotesque mass living down there. Claire, Leon and Sherry leave Raccoon city and never look back.

The Ending

Now onto the game play and my, oh, my is the game play great. Don’t get me wrong, Capcom have went down the third person route long before this with Resident Evil 4 back in the year 2005 but in this game it is absolutely seamless. The third person view really adds to the claustrophobia of the Raccoon Police Department, not knowing what is around every corner and realising how tight the corridors are and how little room you have to maneuver.

You have to do a lot of item management in the game but believe me when I say, it is a lot easier then the original Resident Evil 2. During the game you will find hip pouches which increases the amount of stuff you can carry in your inventory. Also through out the game there are safe rooms where you can save your progress, each safe room has an Item Box which you can store items until you need them, which makes things very handy.

The enemies in Resident Evil 2 aren’t the most diverse roster of enemies in a video game but they are some of the most intense you’ll ever meet. You have your typical zombies, which are actually really hard to take down. No more one bullet to the head nonsense, you could empty your entire clip and the zombie will still be walking, this really brings in a fight or flight aspect to the game on whether you waste ammo to kill a zombie or try and avoid it but it could be trouble later. Also you can’t dodge the zombies, so if a zombie attacks you, unless you’re lucky you are going to be bitten. Lastly, zombies can follow you through doors, which makes it even more terrifying.

Resident Evil 2 Zombie

You will also fight lickers which are grotesque monsters that crawl around with their brains hanging out. The reason they are called lickers is because they have a giant tongue that they attack you with. These lickers make for some really intense moments as they are blind and you have to be super quiet to not attract them. Getting into a fight with a licker is something you must avoid as they are tough enough to deal with. Other than that you have zombie dogs which are what you would expect, fast, agile and hard to hit but they aren’t too strong. Finally you have the bosses, Birkin and Mr. X. William Birkin will show up every now and again to further the story, but Mr. X will show up again and again and he is absolutely unrelenting on how much he chases you throughout the game. You can outrun him if you’re quick enough and there are some safe places but otherwise he will pursue you through this whole game which makes it even more intense.

The lighting in this game is so atmospheric from the dim streets lit only by the fires of burning vehicles and whatever street lamps survived the catastrophe to the couple of bulbs still working in the Raccoon Police Department and sewers the game done a great job of looking really dark, but in a good way and in a way that definitely added to the all round creep factor of the game.

Almost pitch black

The sound track to the game is something you wouldn’t want to listen to in a dark room, alone at night; or maybe you would because you’re mad. The hair-raising and spine-chilling sound track is enough to send any RPD rookie and college student screaming for their mammy. Between this you have epic boss battle music that really makes what you’re doing come alive and makes it very exciting and draws you into the game even more than you would be with the incredible visuals and anxiety ridden game play.

So let’s get into the scoring:

Graphics: Incredible, dark, atmospheric, claustrophobic and horrifying. Superb job. 10/10

Sound: Unsettling soundtrack, horrifying monster sounds and excellent voice acting 10/10

Game play: Amazing game play. Challenging but not the hardest game I’ve played. Enjoyed it immensely through out. 10/10

Worth: Definitely! Even after you beat the game, you get a few extra modes to keep you busy. Really worth it. 10/10

Story: The story was fantastic, one of my favourite horror game stories. 10/10

Total: 100/100 A+

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy (2017, PlayStation 4)

Crash Bandicoot cover art

Woah! Crash Bandicoot is back and he means business. That’s right, the 90’s PlayStation 1 star came back with a bang in 2017. Crash Bandicoot was and still is one of the best 3-D platforming game that was ever made. Originally created by Naughty Dog in 1996 who are now known more for their horrific apocalyptic adventures through a clicker infested wasteland than a strange Australian Marsupial, Crash took the world by storm and to this day still has a great reputation, though Activision and Vicarious Visions have taken over the name and the game.

The N. Sane Trilogy was released in 2017 on the PlayStation 4 and later on the Xbox One, Switch and PC in 2018. The game features the first three Crash Bandicoot games which are, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. That’s right you get three fantastic, beautiful and content filled games for the same price you would pay for just one game, which is an absolute steal. So let’s start getting into the nitty and gritty of it.

You’ve been warned!

So we will start as you would with Crash Bandicoot. The first thing that struck me were the graphics and oh my lord are they pretty. The game still kept the cartoony graphics but they are so much more vibrant and colourful and very pleasing to the eyes. The story of the game is a tale as old as time, the evil Dr. Neo Cortex has kidnapped Crash’s girlfriend Tawna, who is also a Bandicoot. The reason they are walking on two legs is that Cortex experimented on animals and wanted to evolve them into an evil army, but Crash escaped and is going back for Tawna.

Tawna and Crash

So Crash has to go on a perilous adventure through dangerous islands and eventually through Cortex’s factory where he created the evolved animals. All the while Crash has to deal with other evolved animals and bosses such as Papu Papu, Ripper Roo and Pinstripe Potoroo. Crash is not doing this alone though as he has the help of a wooden mask named Aku Aku, which allows Crash to take more than one hit, which believe me is needed! Eventually, Crash comes to the man himself, Cortex and fights him on top of an airship. Crash beats him, rescues Tawna and escapes.

Final fight with Cortex

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back opens from the first one when Cortex gets sent plummeting to the earth from his airship. Cortex discovers crystals and believes that they have immense power but he needs 25 of them. To do this he convinces Crash that he has actually turned over a new leaf and is now a good guy and that he needs the crystals to save the world from an impending solar flux.

Crash starts out on his adventure to find the crystals and Cortex keeps in contact with Crash through a holographic projector, but every so often Coco Bandicoot, Crash’s sister cuts into the feed and tells Crash not to trust Cortex! Oh shock and horror!

Coco, Crash’s sister and Aku Aku

During all this another person named Dr. N Brio tells Crash that apart from the crystals, if Crash collects gems that are scattered all throughout the game, he can power up a laser to defeat Cortex. Crash finds all the crystals and defeats N. Gin, Cortex’s assistant. This is where Cortex’s devious plan is found out that he was going to use the crystals to brainwash everyone in the world to be in his army. Crash eventually defeats Cortex but if you only got the crystals, Cortex remains on his ship in orbit and that’s that. But if you also obtained the gems then N. Brio fires a laser which destroys Cortex’s ship and sends it hurtling towards the earth.

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped takes up from when the second game ended. Cortex’s crashed ship leads to the release of Uka Uka who is Aku Aku’s evil twin mask brother. Cortex and Uka Uka team up with N. Tropy who is a master of time. Their plan is to come together, collect the crystals through time and enslave humanity and again it is up to Crash to stop them. Crash travels through Medieval Europe, Ancient China and Egypt and even into the future, all the while battling robots and Uka Uka’s minions.

Uka Uka

Crash eventually beats, Cortex and Uka Uka and through all of this destroys the time machine. Uka Uka becomes trapped in a timeless prison while N. Tropy and Dr. Cortex and transformed back into babies. With this, it is the end of the three Crash Bandicoot stories.

Now onto the game play. I am going to begin saying one thing, I am terrible at platformer games, so let’s just get that out of the way. Crash Bandicoot is one of the hardest platforming games I have ever played, it drove me absolutely mad at some points, but I never found it unfair. It was challenging and extremely tough but I never felt like the game was purposefully trying to make me lose.

As with all platformers there is a lot of jumping but in Crash Bandicoot you have to have pinpoint accuracy just to make some of the jumps. The other thing you need is confidence and a lot of it. There are some moments that you just need to go for it, because waiting around will kill you and a lot of things want to kill you in this game. Because of this, the game is quite fast paced, there isn’t a lot of standing idle waiting for things to happen, other than trying to figure out the timing of some platforms.

Running for your life!

In the first game all you have to aid you is a jump and a spin, which is fine it does the job but there a lot of moments where I could have done with more skills. In the second game they give you more such as a body slam and a slide which comes in very handy. In the final game they actually give you abilities to help you on your quest every time you beat a boss such as boots that make you run faster or a bazooka that shoots fruit.

The game works off lives. Crash can take one hit with no power ups, he can take two hits with one Aku Aku, three hits with two Aku Aku’s and if he gets three Aku Aku’s then Crash becomes invincible for a short time and he runs while being able to kill everything he touches. Crash can collect up to 99 lives while going through the game, but the other things he can collect are wumpa fruit (No they are not apples) and for every hundred wumpa fruit he collects it gives Crash an extra life. Once Crash runs out of lives, its game over, but you can click continue and it gives you four lives back and you continue from your last mission. Each level has checkpoints throughout so if you die you start from that checkpoint but if you run out of lives you have to start the whole level again.

Crash with a Wumpa fruit

As I mentioned the game is absolutely beautiful looking and the graphics blew me away. The colourful and vibrant graphics really add to how crazy or N.SANE the game is! Each level whether it was in the air, underwater, in an evil scientists lab or on a tropical island done a great job, from the look of the levels and the music used for those levels, it gave a fantastic ambiance to the game.

The boss fights were a little lackluster. Each boss across all three games had a gimmick and once you knew how to exploit it, you were set to win, unless you yourself made a mistake. The sounds and the music in this game is atmospheric at parts, very industrial at others and a lot of fun just to listen to overall. I listen to the soundtrack casually because it is just so good, in fact I’m listening to it right now, Under Pressure from Crash 3, in case you’re wondering.

Overall Activision and Vicarious Visions done a fantastic job remaking Crash for the modern age and as someone who grew up with Crash Bandicoot, I was delighted to see how well they done with it. Also with the N. Sane trilogy they give you a free DLC called Stormy Ascent which is only one level, but it was so tough they left it out of the original game. Could I beat it? No. Lastly with Crash Bandicoot 4 on the way there is no better time to pick this up and play it!

So let’s get right into the scoring:

Graphics: Visually stunning, cartoony, colourful and fun 10/10

Sound: Ambient soundtrack, voice acting was great and a lot of effort put in and sounds of monsters and general atmosphere put you right into the environment 10/10

Game play: Very tough but fair. Challenging and a lot of hair pulling moments, but it makes you want to beat it even more! 9/10

Worth: Absolutely! Three amazing games for the price of one. They will keep you occupied for a while and they never felt boring! 10/10

Story: The story across all three games is a bit meh. I mean it was okay, engaging enough but not the reason you would play it 6/10

Total: 90/100 A-

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017, Xbox One)

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin’s Creed Origins is an action adventure game with stealth elements developed by Ubisoft Montreal, published by Ubisoft and released in 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the tenth main installment of the Assassin’s Creed series that has been going since 2007. The game is set in Ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic period and it tells the story of a Medjay named Bayek and his wife, Aya, as they struggle against The Order of the Ancients, who are the predecessors to the Templar Order seen in previous games. It also delves into the origins of the Brotherhood of Assassins.

You’ve been warned

As I said, Bayek is a Medjay, but what is a Medjay I hear you ask? Well simply put, Medjay were like desert guardians and they dealt with any issues that may have arisen in their particular region of protection. Bayek was a Medjay of a region called Siwa. While he was showing his son, Khemu, what it means to be a Medjay, they were both kidnapped by masked men and brought to a place called the Temple of Amun. The masked men wanted Bayek to open a vault down in the underground passes by giving him an Apple of Eden, an artifact that possesses great power which was seen in other Assassin’s Creed games. Bayek eventually gets free from the masked men and attempts to kill one of them by stabbing them, but the masked man moves aside and Bayek stabs Khemu, killing him. Filled with grief and rage, Bayek vows to destroy the masked men and kill every last one of them.

Bayek and Khemu

Bayek, eventually gets around to killing the five masked men he thought were responsible for what happened the year previous. But after he killed the final one, he was told there were a lot more than he had previously thought. Bayek discovers an even bigger conspiracy when he meets a man named, Apollodorus. Apollodorus is an advisor and friend to the deposed queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, yes that Cleopatra. Apollodorus introduces Bayek to Cleopatra and explains that the masked men are from a secret order called The Order of the Ancients. They removed Cleopatra from her throne and installed her brother, Ptolemy as the new Pharaoh of Egypt. All they wanted was someone they could control.

Cleopatra tells Bayek to go and kill more of the Ancients while she asks Aya, who is supremely loyal to Cleopatra to go to Sicily and ask a roman general named Pompey for aid to get Cleopatra back on the throne of Egypt. Bayek starts to believe that he is only a pawn to help Cleopatra get back in power and that she doesn’t actually care that Bayek and Aya had their child murdered by the Ancients.

Bayek and Aya

Eventually, Pompey gets killed and Cleopatra says that she needs to talk to the main man himself, Julius Ceaser to secure the support of Rome so she can oust her brother. Aya, Bayek and Apollodorus sneak into Ptolemy’s palace with Cleopatra wrapped up in a fine carpet as a gift. Once inside Ptolemy’s palace the ruse is up and Cleopatra introduces herself to Julius Ceaser who is immediately impressed by what he sees. Ptolemy is removed as Pharaoh and Bayek is on the cusp of getting his vengeance, especially on one of Ceaser’s men, Septimius who killed Pompey. But just as Bayek defeats Septimius in battle and about to deliver the final blow, Ceaser stops it and Bayek is betrayed.

Bayek fighting

Bayek and Aya are removed from Cleopatra’s favour, while Cleopatra takes the throne of Egypt back. Septimius is also made an advisor to Ceaser which is a further insult to both Bayek and Aya. Their thirst for vengeance increases ten fold as they vow to bring all these people to justice. Bayek and Aya realises that to do this they will need support as they can’t take on both Cleopatra and Ceaser on their own. During the game you meet a lot of characters and do side quests for them, these characters are later called upon when the decision to get help is made.

Apollodorus is found dying in the tomb of Alexander the Great. There he tells Bayek about the leader of the order named, Flavius and how he took an orb and staff from Alexander’s tomb and is about to open the vault in Siwa, yes the same one that Khemu was killed over. Bayek goes to Cyrene to deal with Flavius and the Order of the Ancients once and for all. Flavius goes mad with power and develops all these new skills such as teleportation, splitting into multiple versions of himself and so on, but Bayek eventually beats him.

Flavius with the Orb

Bayek and Aya come to the conclusion that what they are doing is bigger than both of them and if they are going to be successful in removing corruption from the world they must do it separately. They create a group called the Hidden Ones which is a precursor to the development of the Brotherhood of Assassins that will come years down the line. Aya eventually goes to Rome and in the senate, Ceaser gets stabbed by the senators and assassinated. This then ends with Aya speaking to Cleopatra and telling her to rule her people well and with fairness or she will be back to kill Cleopatra. And that is the story of Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Now onto the game play. The game play is very different to previous Assassin’s Creed games, it is a lot more focused on the RPG side of things, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just different. Also I feel that the game moved a good bit away from the stealth elements of previous games and was more focused on actual combat scenarios then trying to sneak around and assassinate targets. I found it a lot easier to just go into a place and kill everyone then having to sneak around and try not to get spotted. During combat you can choose to either block with your shield or dodge, but most of the time I just dodged everywhere. One, because I was better at that and two, because you could recover a lot quicker to land some blows to the enemy. Once you kill enemies or complete missions, you gain experience, level up and spend skill points, pretty standard stuff for an RPG.

Bayek kicking ass

The visuals of the game are stunning. I found myself in absolute awe just going around ancient Egypt and I feel that Ubisoft Montreal got the feeling down to a T. From vast deserts to murky swamps. From sprawling cities to dusty villages. Assassin’s Creed Origins makes all the areas feel unique and very different to each other. You will also be encountering different animals in these different areas and the animals use the areas to their advantage. For example if you go into a swampy area, there is a 99% chance you are going to run into a Crocodile, but the Crocodile stays in the bushes or under the water just before it strikes and when it does, you better be ready. Another example would be cobras hiding in vases that you smash and then suddenly you are bitten by a highly venomous snake. Ouch!

Mounted Combat

There is also a fair bit of mounted and ranged combat in the game. You will be spending a lot of your time on your camel/horse/chariot and as you are going along enemy soldiers might want to have a word with you…with their blades. There is also a lot to be said about using your bow to get out of tight situations and for picking people off which is very handy. There are various types of bows like predator bows, hunter bows, light bows and the like. Some of them are really handy and good and suit my play style. Others I just found to be ridiculous, like the Predator bow where you can actually control the arrow once you fire it, that was just absurd.

There is a hell of a lot of stuff to do in Assassin’s Creed Origins. There are loads and loads of side quests that will keep you busy and there are also some mini games such as chariot racing and gladiatorial arenas. The arenas I was fantastic at, the chariot racing I was absolutely rubbish at and I could not even pass the first tournament, but it was nice that they added it to the game.

The game like other Ubisoft games, lends itself to a lot of exploration though there were areas that were completely barren. You couldn’t have a game set in Ancient Egypt without exploring tombs and that is something you can do to collect money and trinkets that you can sell later on. The game is also a collectathon, which comes as no surprise with Ubisoft but in this one you will be collecting Stone Circles which opens up a small mini game, having to basically match dots of star constellations, Finding secret Papyrus puzzles, Finding Hermit Locations around Egypt, going through Ancient Tombs and it wouldn’t be an Ubisoft game without viewpoints/towers or whatever you want to call them and this game is chock full of them.

Just take time to take in the stunning graphics

Assassin’s Creed Origins is a smooth game with very little to no technical issues (that I experienced) and I thought the game was absolutely stunning visually. The soundtrack was amazing, epic and it was used at the right moments to convey the messages the game wanted to. The story was very good, deep and meaningful that had a lot of layers, though a bit far-fetched. I know since the first Assassin’s Creed game that there were more elements to it in terms of magic and all that but I would just rather a game where it was set in the era it was meant to be set in and forget about the magic and other rubbish. I mean there is a modern story line to this game, but have you noticed that I haven’t spoken about it? Because it’s crap and I don’t care about it at all and I wish Ubisoft would forget about the modern story line, but that is just me. Desmond Miles story line from the first three was okay, but that is done now. Just stop trying to force the modern story line on us.

Again, I’ll mention that the combat was fine, nothing great, nothing terrible. But the stealth mechanics were definitely sacrificed and it was a lot more noticeable in this Assassin’s Creed compared to previous ones. The tools in and out of combat such as sleep darts, smoke bombs and other such tools I found to be next to useless. I never used them, or more so I never felt like I needed to use them. Lastly, while there are a lot of areas of bristling towns and villages and temples full of worshipers, there was so much empty space in this game. If you go to the deserts of which there are a good few, there will be nothing but sand, sand and more sand…and the sun. You might find the odd place or character here or there, but otherwise, if you like sand, Assassin’s Creed Origins is the game for you. So yeah, Assassins Creed Origins is a good game, a very good game…just not a great game.

Graphics: Visually stunning 10/10

Sound: Great soundtrack, voice acting was fantastic and general atmosphere was immersive 10/10

Game play: Exploration was good, Combat was good, Other Mechanics were decent 7/10

Worth: Fun game but it drags on a bit and it does have issues 7/10

Story: Very good story but with some silly parts and a boring and pointless modern story line 7/10

Total: 82/100 B-

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!