Cooperative zombie games seem impossible to beat. Gathering friends to take on hordes of the undead makes for a fun task while blowing away the hundreds of bodies that charge you to eat your flesh. World War Z is another in that genre, but instead of being outstanding like other titles, the game delivered is a generic shooter with a lot of elements that fall flat.
Rather than basing itself off of the excellent book by Max Brooks, the studio decided to take after the horrendous movie with Brad Pitt. Yes, the film that had the zombies run together like water to pile on any victims that get in the way. The game goes further towards a style similar to other titles like it by having special infected enemies. Think of the average chargers and hunter-like undead from Left 4 Dead, just fewer types.
The only similarity to the novel is that each campaign takes place in a different location on Earth with new protagonists. Each of the four stories has three chapters, except for Japan which will get added at a later date. A variety of tasks from defending points and escorting survivors carry through each section until the next phase, or escape occurs. The missions become repetitive, but with a few friends, it becomes a lot more enjoyable.
The voice acting and writing for the narrative is not only useless, but it is also painful to endure. While most of the game is average, this aspect truly is atrocious. The voice acting ranges from terrible to bearable, while the writing is consistently poor. The tone does not do the narrative any justice since the drama is not compelling and the comedy is embarrassing and out of place.
Before loading into a campaign, first, each of the four players can choose a character and class. The classes seem to not make a massive difference besides their starting loadout of weapons and equipment, but leveling them up for new skills is empowering while requiring currency that is earned after each chapter. Oddly enough, when selecting a character, you can steal other people’s role chosen. If someone is picked, you can snag that character, and the game swaps the two, so you now have your friend’s chosen person.
Combat feels bland, especially with the guns. However, shooting a massive horde of flesh-eaters never gets old, only when there are a lot of them. The explosions feel like firecrackers besides using the rocket launcher. Other than that nothing feels satisfying when shooting or blowing up.
Guns can get leveled up like classes do as each weapon gets more use. The upgrades consist of classes of each firearm. Take a basic assault rifle, with enough experience, a new variation with upgrades stats and attachments unlocks for purchase. Rather than customizing, the gun will have a preset that can be bought. While I wish for personalizing my weapons, this system is easy and rewarding.
PVP is an option, full of the typical game types you find on any other shooter like deathmatch and king of the hill. Every mode pits two teams against one another with zombies in the mix, minus the special infected. Different classes with new loadouts can be selected that differ from the story mode. Other than some differences, this is something I dived into for a taste then went back with friends to play through any of the campaigns.
Updates will benefit the experience since private matches need to be added for parties under four players. Patching up the potholes and placing more content on top of the filled gaps. In a year, this could be much better, I am rooting for the developers to turn it around.
Saber Interactive’s World War Z is a generic option for people needing to scratch that itch for a cooperative zombie adventure that costs less than the average $60 title. While it has plenty of issues, it is easy to pick up and makes up for its flaws with its teamwork based gameplay. Turn on a harder difficulty and grab some friends to have the right amount of relaxation and strategy. If you don’t have friends to play with, then pass on this one.
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The independent band Tarah Who? has recently announced a documentary series called How it All Began. The group will dive into many subjects about their history and various aspects of the music industry.
Tarah Who? was founded by Tarah G. Carpenter, the leading visionary behind the upcoming series and aims to give her fans an in-depth look into the group’s identity and how they formed. The pilot will show how Carpenter came together with her bandmates, Coralie Herve and Joey Southern. The first episode will also go into Tarah’s views on the industry.
“I started playing music when I was 14, and I wanted to play the drums,” says the founding member. “But I remember having to deal with a share amount of sexism, because ‘girls don’t play drums’ we were told. I had teachers who did not take me seriously and made me feel uncomfortable. I started teaching myself because I was tired of having to prove how strongly I felt about learning how to play the drums or the bass to get approval.”
Following episodes will go into a variety of subjects that directly and indirectly involve the band. Topics on women in the music industry, social media use for an artist, and plenty of interviews from other music groups.
One goal of Carpenter’s is to deliver a behind the scenes perspective that will educate viewers on what it takes to make a band work from promotion, writing music, and touring. The positives and negatives will come together to allow for a realistic outlook on how people survive as touring musicians.
Carpenter describes the business end of being in a band, “A few years went by, and I started having the urge to write, express myself. I taught myself how to play the guitar and wrote a few songs,” she says. “In 2006, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my music dreams. Most people listen to bands without really knowing or understanding what it is to be a musician and what the process of making music is. It’s an enormous endeavor, from writing songs, to finding the right people to make your project come to life – you are the CEO of your own business.”
Carpenter talks about how her biggest goal is to show a different perspective on the industry and how musicians survive on the road. She wants to expose challenges from “pay to play” shows and the difficulties involved with festivals.
The series does not have an official release date yet, but the end card on the trailer says it is “coming out soon.”
Watch the trailer below:
Images provided by Tarah Who? and Rogue PR
Fans of metal often hear frustrating statements when people try to claim that metal is “evil,” “always angry,” or any of the many other negative things that get said about the genre. The community knows the truth, and we should educate the outside world that is full of pop music, autotune, and a lack of black clothing. Outsiders, read carefully.
#5: The reason behind the negative lyrics stems from releasing out toxic emotions. Music and any form of art are based on emotions. Sure, not all of it is, but a vast majority. Creators get to take their frustration, sorrow, and anger out with their art, and in this case the metal they create.
Some people need positivity to knock out negativity, but some require a negative to cancel out a negative. Everyone deals with life differently, and hearing an ultra-optimistic tune will not succeed in putting some people into a good mood. Hearing a song like People = Shit by Slipknot relates to pissed off fans so they can positively cope with whatever problems life throws at them.
The same goes for depressing music. Hearing lyrics from your favorite band speaking to you directly helps with loneliness. Another aspect of relating to a song’s words is being able to articulate your feelings. Sometimes it is hard to communicate what is going on in your head, so finding the right song can help unleash those feelings. When listening to a track like Dark Days by Carnifex, plenty of fans will listen and feel better about their situation.
What the negativity comes down to is the taste of music from any individual. Studies have shown that if you like metal, it will make you happy. Nonfans will feel more stress, anger, and frustration when listening to such an aggressive style of music. So, if you despise metal, go listen to what you like and leave us to get hyped about the next Slipknot and Amon Amarth albums in headbanging peace.
#4: Black clothing is a staple that confuses many outside of this scene. I cannot count how many times people ask questions or feel the need to point out about my excessive need to wear black. Every community of any fandom has a culture to the common interest. In this case, wearing all black and other alternative looks is the style that metalheads have chosen.
A lot of themes surround extreme music, one of which is rebellion. Society wants one thing, and some people need to do the opposite. Plenty of which society tells is may be morally right, but often times it is a way to control people. When you look “odd” then people push you away, but in this case, when you get cast out, you find like-minded people to call you a friend.
Shocking the world has been around since the early days of rock and has embedded itself into the punk and metal DNA. Having tattoos, piercings, dyed hair, and wearing all black clothes will undoubtedly get an adverse reaction out of some people. That horror on people’s faces feeds what the rebellious fans want since it proves their point about people’s ignorance and quick judgment towards others.
#3: All metal is Satanic might be one of the worst lies spread about the scene. Certainly, some bands and fans are Satanists, but many are not. This comes from both the shock value from the previous paragraph and the dark nature attracting particular demographics.
A lot of rock back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s had a focus of sexualizing the music and appearances to surprise naysayers then a shift occurred. Metal took the things into something grimmer than men with feminine clothes and talking about sex and drugs. Violence and Satan were used to make the world fear this genre, and it worked. Satan became a part of the natural evolution of the horror element to the scene.
The rise of Satanism and anti-religious mindsets have other hobbies, so when wanting music that matches those feelings from their views, metal became the perfect candidate. The birth of black metal injected a lot of these themes into the veins of metalheads around the world. The new extreme style has done some good and bad for the community due to murders, racism, and church burnings, but plenty of bands like Behemoth and Satanic rock groups like Ghost are good role models for the big guy downstairs.
#2: Metal is causing people to be more violent simply is not true. Tieing together into other topics I have discussed from earlier, metal does not make people into murders.
Violence in this style of music along with other themes like Satan stem from a lot of what I talked about before and more. For non-fans to understand, think of horror movies. We witness murderers and monsters rip people limb from limb and enjoy it. Think of metal as the horror movies of music. Bands like GWAR and Slipknot look horrifying with their costumes while Cattle Decapitation and Infant Annihilator shock the world with their graphic lyrics.
Quickly going back on how negative music makes metalheads into a more positive headspace, same goes for the brutal side of metal. Studies continue to show that if you like the music, even if the band talks about murder and torture, you will get put into a good mood. Metal haters may forget that if you enjoy something, then you will feel joy, even if that thing might seem disturbing.
#1: How can anyone understand what is being said? Any fan will get asked some variation of this question. Compared to some other wonders that the average person may have, this is one of the most understanding because it is difficult to understand someone screaming extremely low or high sounds then trying to comprehend those words. The answer comes from two main factors, adapting to that style of vocalization and getting used to an individual vocalist.
Genres and subgenres within the realm of heavy metal that incorporate screaming are the least accessible styles of music on the planet, so you need to train your ear. Take baby steps by finding vocalists with midranges that can enunciate clearly. A lot of that can be found in hardcore and metalcore, think of bands like The Ghost Inside or August Burns Red. Once that starts to sound clearer, move towards a group like Whitechapel, especially their last few albums, which will increase the challenge while still being manageable. Keep going heavier until most people sound coherent, but not all will since some people are not clear in their screams, it always depends on the vocalist.
Everyone sounds different, whether you can tell or not, which is why one style of metal may not make the difference in understanding the words being belted out by these singers. Someone can start to understand the lyrics from any death metal band then get stumped by someone as low as George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher from Cannibal Corpse or John Gallagher from Dying Fetus. That is why practice makes perfect if someone wants to get into this style of music since our ears will not usually instantly adapt to these unusual sounds.
Hopefully, this clears things up for non-fans of the darkest genre of music. For the fans, what talking points did I miss? What other things drive you insane that the outside world seems to not understand?
Header image via commons.wikimedia/Morten Jensen
- Competition is rough in the music industry, what is your band doing to grow and continue to reach for success?
Social Networking seem to be where it’s at right now. Having a strong online presence is very important and can make or break you as an artist. It is very important to have music and videos up on the net somewhere for fans looking for more. I mean think about it. What is the first thing you do when you discover a new artists you like? You head to the internet and search for them everywhere you can. We have been lacking in the Social Networking area for some time but we are hitting it hard this year and always trying to post new and engaging content.
- If someone goes to one of your concerts, what do you think they should know going in?
If you are looking for a show that will leave you feeling rewarded and fully entertained you will definitely want to come out to one of our events. With our music being very diverse there is something there for most everybody. We are always told by fans and other musicians that it is really cool to see us create the tracks live right there in front of them. Something that a lot of other electronic artists are not doing. The energy projecting from the stage will keep you moving the entire time. As soon as the bass drops TRB comes alive. Between Kristin’s bouncing and crawling around on stage and Michael’s non-stop flow of body-rockin’ dance rhythms you will be sure to have a good time! Not only will our music and energy keep you entertained and dancing but our stage performance will as well. We understand that we are performers and there is more to performing than just the music. We have put some time and dedication into creating some pretty cool visuals from massive arrays of led lights and lasers to mesmerizing graphics on led screens and a 3ft by 10ft led “TRB” marquee. We are constantly coming up with new ideas for stage setups that will complement our sound.
- What is your dream tour or festival?
Dream tour would be one with us and Crystal Castles or INNERPARTYSYSTEM but
INNERPARTYSYSTEM is no longer around. Or to be a part of something such as Warped Tour. Dream festival would be any festival.
- If you could collaborate with any musician, who would you choose?
We would really like to collab with Crystal Castles, INNERPARTYSYSTEM or HEALTH.
- Out of every concert you have been to, who are the best live bands?
Some of our most favorite shows would have to be INNERPARTYSYSTEM, Crystal Castles, as well as Valient Thore, Blink182 from back in the day, Angels and Airwaves, Numerous Punk shows, Deadmau5, and a handful of DJs.
- Who are some of your biggest influences?
There is a lot of inspiration and musical influence to be found in the world and for us as far a music goes there are two major electronic groups that have stuck out the most and helped shape our minds to develop the sounds of The Radio Broadcast and that would be Crystal Castles and INNERPARTYSYSTEM. We love the DIY approach IPS takes when it comes to stage lighting and we love their heavy and raw electronic feel. With CC they come across sort of mysterious. We love their punk attitude in the electronic scene. We really like their lofi gritty electronic sounds. We study these bands and many others to try and better ourselves as a band. We try to align our selves with similar sounding artists but we do our best to remind our selves that other bands and musicians are just like you and I and to tune into them as a reference or inspiration and not as a guide. But as crazy as life can get it is always a good idea to take a step back and take a little time out and immerse yourself in nature and tune in to the frequencies of the planet, clear your mind, and realign yourself. Once your mind is clear and your body is well tuned it will be a lot easier for your creative ideas to flow into more comprehensive complete ideas.
- When did you first start playing music and how did that come together to lead you to where you are today?
We met in a tattoo shop in 2005 and started playing music together in 2008 and formed TRB in 2009. Michael grew up playing drums in punk bands and Kristin grew up playing the piano but at the time when the two met neither of them were involved in anything musically. We had both wanted to create our own punk band but realized after purchasing a guitar neither of us knew how to play nor had the time or patience to learn so we stuck with what we knew, drums and keys. Over the years our sound and style has changed along with the overall setup of the equipment we use. Our style is always evolving.
- What are your plans for the rest of the year for the band?
We started out the year building and pushing our online presence and we are continuing the effort to grow our online fan base daily. There is still a lot more work to do but we are hoping to build a larger online audience. We have already started to see results so that’s a plus. We realize how big of an online market there is for musicians and it is almost as big if not bigger than the “real life” presence of the artist. With the way, life is today for an artist to not make use of the online market is foolish. It’s another workload that’s for sure but if you can build your online presence you will definitely feel rewarded. So we are hoping to grow our online fan base and connect and meet with like-minded individuals. We are also currently working on a new album that we are hoping to release this summer along with a tour later this year to follow.
Images provided by Rogue PR and Radio Broadcast
Fans everywhere were devastated after watching Infinity War last year. Since its followup, Endgame arrives in a few weeks, fans like myself are mentally preparing for more heartbreak and a conclusion that can hopefully mend our demolished souls. Marvel has had plenty of crushing blows to their fans (in the best way possible), and it sounds like a good time to go back down on memory lane and cry together as we relive these moments.
#7: Spider-Man Meets the Date’s Dad (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
The ultimate twist happened in Spidey’s first standalone flick in the MCU. When he knocks on the door to take out his crush, Liz, only to see her father open the door and it is his nemesis, the Vulture. The entire scene with them in the home of Spider-Man’s villain and the car ride to the dance was unbearably uncomfortable. This scene hit me hard, and my heart sank, unlike any other feeling I have ever had in my movie watching life. I felt the same way as Peter as he tried to comprehend what just happened.
#6: Best Friends Fighting (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
The climax of Winter Soldier throws a lot at the audience. Hydra has taken over S.H.I.E.L.D., and now Captain America must face his best friend, who turns out has been brainwashed. His refusal to fight and lets himself get beaten down at the end hurts to watch. A man discovering his friend is alive but turns out he is against him. Hard to get more crushing than that.
#5: Yondu’s Death and Funeral (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
The heroes that fly through the cosmos always deliver some heartfelt beats but focus mostly on humor. Having comedy as the centerpiece of any adventure with the Guardians makes it that much more shocking by the ending of their second adventure. Yondu sacrifices himself and the film ends on his funeral. I thought I would leave that theater laughing; instead, my eyes were waterfalls of tears and I was a broken man by the end.
#4: Mantis Discovering Drax’s Pain (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
Another scene that ripped my heart out in the second Guardians of the Galaxy was when Mantis and Drax were sitting down, looking over at Ego’s planet. Drax talks about his family and Mantis feels his arm to sense his emotions. She truly feels his pain and the goofy Guardian that we love then realize how much of that pain is carried wherever he goes.
#3: Avengers vs. Avengers (Captain America: Civil War)
Nobody wants their parents to fight, and in this case, those parents are our heroes. Split on political opinions and misinformation from trickery in the background, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes go at each other’s throats. People get severely hurt and the team breaks up due to this conflict, and the world is left a lot less safe when the time comes for the Mad Titan.
#2: Tony Discovers How His Parents Died (Captain America: Civil War)
Marvel really did not pull any punches during Civil War, especially towards the end. Tony discovering Bucky killed his parents was not enough of a painful revelation for fans and Tony alike. Now he fights Bucky and Captain America, which is both one of the most violent fights we have seen and emotional. Seeing two of the leaders of the Avengers almost kill one another never gets easier to watch.
#1: Every Death (Avengers: Infinity War)
The fight finally came with Thanos in Infinity War. From Loki’s death right out of the gate to Gamora’s heartwrenching murder to the snap, this film beats its audience and heroes down until they submit.
Many of the dead will come back in Endgame, but plenty has to happen to keep those consequences and the power that Thanos had over the universe. If Marvel permanently kills off enough people or keeps enough dead from the many kills, then this will always hit hard. If they pull back too much, then this will be a scrape rather than a beating to our emotions.
What are some gut-punching moments for you in the MCU? Comment below on what made you cry when watching Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Images and clips via Marvel Studios
The time has come for the current saga for Star Wars to end. A controversial, but satisfying (to me) journey. Finally, the first look at the ninth installment has arrived. I have my worries, but my excitement drowns that out for the most part.
The first scene shown is an epic start to the teaser. Rey (Daisy Ridley) runs through a desert to jump over a ship to attack with her lightsaber. A deliberate focus on the pilot’s hands, which makes me think if this is someone significant, possibly Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Before her stunt, the words, “Every generation has a legend,” appears. Sounds like Rey will be cemented as the new Luke (Mark Hamill). Whether she cuts this vehicle in half or rips the guy out, I cannot wait to see this play out.
As teasers tend to go, we get a variety of different shots showcasing plenty of action, new environments, and plenty of characters. One highlight comes from Kylo slamming someone down with his devilish lightsaber. Plus it appears his helmet is getting revamped with a brief glimpse into someone making some modifications.
Of the many quick shots that fade in and out, what caught me was seeing Billy Dee Williams reprise his role as Lando. He laughs while flying a ship, I only can imagine him shooting someone down as he enjoys his time.
Beautiful shots of explosions and classic characters like C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) merely escaping death followed up by a shot of the late Carrie Fischer holding our new protagonist, Rey. That got me choked up right away, and by this small glimpse, it appears to be one of the scenes she got to shoot before her passing.
The final shot is narrated by Luke Skywalker himself while Rey, Poe (Oscar Isaac), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), BB-8, C-3PO, and Finn (John Boyega) staring at what appears to be remains of the death star along with a laugh from Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) who has returned from the grave, apparently. This twist has me intrigued and my theorist mind going like crazy.
While everything I saw was spectacular, one issue remains. The title, Rise of the Skywalker, sounds like Rey will be a Skywalker since they are all dead. That would take away from Last Jedi and its twist that her parents are nobodies. I know a lot of people hate that film, but I loved most of its choices and the overall product. My faith in Abrams still stands strong, but it is okay to have some worries. Nonetheless, I cannot wait to get another Star Wars.
Watch the trailer below and be sure to comment on what you think of the trailer.
Header image via Lucasfilm