Interview: Kriss Briggs of the Band SHOUT

1.     How did your band get started?

“SHOUT is a pretty recently started band. I had some songs and an idea for a new band so I called some friends that I have known since way back, and they were game! The band and consists of me “Kriss Biggs” (Bass, lead vocals), Rob Raw (lead guitar) Danny Diemond (lead guitar) and Ol´ Hurricane (Drums)  Me and Danny had played with The Scams, hitting the road all over Sweden and Europe for more than ten years – having quite the time. Ol’ Hurricane started out as a farmer boy. He learned to play the drums in a basement and later moved to the city where he met me, Danny and Rob. Rob had been Rocking out playing guitar with his band Danger touring Sweden and Europe and had no plans slowing down when joining what was to become SHOUT.”

 

2.     What inspired you to go into this genre?

“Its what we got hooked on listening to as kids, and we have all played in different bands since our teen years within the rock genre, so it has always come natural to us, its what we love to do.”

 

3.     Who are your inspirations that have shaped the sound of the band and how so?

 

“We have influences both from heavy metal, rock n roll, and punk rock. And are inspired by bands like AC/DC, Judas Priest, W.A.S.P. KISS, Iron maiden, Motorhead, Turbonegro, Rose Tattoo, Ramones, Misfits, Danzig To mention a few.”

 

 

4.     What is the creative process your band takes when making an album?

“We usually write at home or in our rehearsal, sometimes after a few beer at the pub to get the right flow! And usually, we do some changes and the finishing touches in the studio. Have never written on the road I think, but its something that I’d like start doing since its probably easier to get inspired when your out playing surrounded by it all!”

 

5.     Lyrically speaking, what inspires the themes that are written about in your music?

“Well since we mostly write about the rock and roll lifestyle itself I guess its drawn from life and stuff other bands have inspired us with, we write about the usual stuff like fast cars, girls, and rock n roll but also the freedom this lifestyle gives you, and the bond the music gives us and unites all headbangers out there!”

 

6.     Competition in any music scene is high, so how does your band standout compare to other bands?

“Well, we don’t try to sound like any specific band or “sound” too much, we just try to write good songs with a lot of energy and power and hopefully people will recognize that and enjoy our music.”

 

7.     What is your dream tour? Name however many bands you want to create the perfect tour.

“To tour with bands like Iron maiden or Judas priest would, of course, be awesome since they were your childhood heroes growing up, but I have always been a big Turbonegro fan and love their attitude and smart lyrics, so I guess a tour with all of them would be the ultimate one? A bit strange combination perhaps but sure fun! Haha!”

 

8.     If you went into a completely different style of music, what would it be?

“That’s a tough one! Haha! I wouldn’t I guess, it wouldn’t feel right!”

 

9.     With all of the downtime you get as a musician, how do you kill time?

“Haha! Downtime!? What downtime!”

10.     Where would you like to travel to that you have never been?

“Never been to Japan! So that would be cool!”

 

11.     What is a goal that you would like to see happen in your career?

“To spread our music as much as possible and to be able to play all over the world and awaken the party animal and get some heads banging!”

You can visit the band’s Facebook page here.

If you would like to see more interviews, then comment below if you like this one. This is the first review that I have ever done, so I hope you enjoy. If anyone is in a band and wants to do an interview me then my email is in the about section of my website.

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10 of the Many Great Anti-Heroes in Film and TV

A good hero is a joy to watch. You cheer them on their adventures whether it is to slay the dragon, solve the crime, or merely get the courage to ask that girl out. Sometimes as an audience a feeling occurs something different. You want to see someone a bit more complicated. A character who might do some overall good, but their methods are controversial or unethical. With this said we would be looking at ten of the many great anti-heroes in film and television.

SPOILER WARNING FOR SOME ENTRIES MARKED IN BOLD 

#10: Dexter (Dexter)

 

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Image via Showtime

 

Besides the inconsistent quality of the show, when Dexter was at its best, it was one of the best shows in the crime drama genre. Dexter Morgan, excellently portrayed by Michael C. Hall, comes off as an introverted, polite man who works for the police. However, Dexter is a serial killer. That sounds monstrous, but he kills murderers. People who killed innocent people are his primary targets. He devotedly follows a moral code from his father that keeps him in check. It is hard not to love this charming serial killer who gives donuts to his colleagues. Just don’t commit murder in Miami.

 

#9: Walter White (Breaking Bad)

 

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Image via AMC

 

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) develops a lot throughout the events in Breaking Bad. From family man and high school teacher who everyone loves. He is the typical American man living the American dream. When diagnosed with cancer, he goes down a dark path. He is a drug lord and murderer but still tries his best for his family and his humanity. By the end, he confesses that this was for him. Walter loved the power and money. His final act that shows the kind man inside of him is still alive is saving Jesse (Aaron Paul). Bryan Cranston’s performance as Walter will always be his best, and one of the best characters of all time.

 

#8: Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)

 

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Image via Walt Disney Pictures

Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is a pirate, so making him a hero is a bit hard. When his whole purpose is to drink and plunder, it is unlikely that Jack will be the hero. He must act as a hero since mystical villains such as Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) keep cropping up in his life. Our heroic pirate always manages a way to defeat monsters and other evils that comes his way on the high seas. While doing this in his favor by stealing any gold that comes his way and continues to get wasted off of some rum or any other alcohol he finds. Johnny Depp has struck gold with his most beloved and iconic role here. With a few more movies on the way despite the massive decline in quality, we will eventually see how Jack’s story ends.

 

 

#7: Ash Williams (Ash vs. Evil Dead/Evil Dead/Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness)

 

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Image via Starz 

If people start getting possessed by evil and other horrific monsters come to your door, then you need Ashley Williams (Bruce Campbell). If you knew the man as a person and not a demon killer, then he would be the last person you want. A man with a drinking problem, a weed problem, and cannot keep his pants on when a woman gives him the smallest smile. The selfish womanizer is humanity’s best bet against the evil that rises from the Book of the Dead. With his one-liners, charming smile, and incredible skills with a chainsaw, it is hard not to love this despicable character. You know writers and the actor have it perfectly nailed when they can take a character who in real life would be cast away by any sane person, makes them one of the most loveable characters in horror. Bruce Campbell brings out one of the funniest and charismatic performances of his career in the franchise, especially in the tv show, Ash vs. Evil Dead. Sadly, the show got the ax, and Bruce says he is done playing Ash forever. With multiple movies and a tv show with three seasons, there is plenty to watch to enjoy Ashley Williams kill deadites.

 

 

#6: Jamie Lannister (Game of Thrones)

 

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Image via HBO

 

Game of Thrones is full of some of the most complex characters we have ever seen on TV. It greatly helps that the source material is so strong along with brilliant minds to turn pages onto the screen. Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is one of the many characters whose character arc becomes increasingly complex as the series goes on. From someone we see as a villain to someone who turns his back on his sister to fight along the same side, he called the enemy to defeat the White Walkers. By season 8 we might see Jamie as a full-on hero. However, his ultimate flaw that keeps him from that line as of now is his sister. He stood by her side as she commits atrocities. Jamies seldom stands against her until season 7. The turn is happening which will decide the King Slayer’s fate for the final season. Will we be able to call Jamie the Queen Slayer too?

 

#5:  Walt Kowalski (Gran Torino)

 

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Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

 

Walt (Clint Eastwood) might be the hero at the end of the story, but his racist feelings never truly left. Due to his time in the war, Walt Kowalski grew a hatred for Asians. For unspecified reasons, he hates other people of color too. With some of the ridiculous dialog that is more comedic than anything, Walt is a man full of hate. His heart sparks a light as he sees the gangs harassing his new neighbors. The end shows Walt sacrifice himself to send the gang members to prison ultimately. When his lawyer describes Walt’s will to his family and his new friend and neighbor, Thao, we still get a glimpse at the man he became and was. The Gran Torino going to Thao continues to show how much of a better man Walt became. However, the instructions on not what to do with the car shows Walt’s racist feelings never died.

 

#4: Alejandro (Sicario)

 

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Image via Lionsgate

 

The mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) is shown mostly to be a supporting character who helps interrogate for Matt Graver (Josh Brolin). The end reveals he is the sicario, meaning a hitman. He does whatever is necessary to avenge the death of his wife and daughter who were brutally killed at the hands of Alarcon, a Mexican drug dealer, and his men. Nobly avenging the death of his family is the hero thing to do. The methods that Alejandro takes shows a darker side to the man that crosses into anti-hero territory. In the film, he guns down Alarcon’s wife and children before executing his primary target. When Kate (Emily Blunt) finds out what is happening and that everything they are doing is illegal, she threatens to tell the truth. The end shows Alejandro take a gun to her head and forces Kate to sign a paper that will confirm that their mission was done by the book. We will see more of Alejandro on June 29 in Sicario: Day of the Soldado.

 

#3: Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

 

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Image via Columbia Pictures

If you have read my 10 Awesome Female Characters then you know I love Lisbeth’s character. A mysterious, unique, introvert whom possesses extreme knowledge of computers to use to her advantage. As a character who has been wronged in every possible way in life from emotional, physical and sexual abuse, she makes sure nobody abuses her again. A powerful female lead who manages to crush everyone who crosses her the wrong way. Her methods are ethically questionable, but her targets always deserve it. If you have a skeleton in your closet, she will find every bone in there.

 

 

#2: Sandor Clegane AKA The Hound (Game of Thrones)

 

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Image via HBO

 

Yes, another character from Game of Thrones, is that a problem? It should not be because the show is fantastic and is full of complex characters. Sandor (Rory McCann) is one of the many skilled fighters in the show and books. With a world full of trained killers, Sandor is up there. Besides his massive size and can kill just about anyone in his path, he grows to be much more. At first, he comes off as a brooding character who only does things for himself. Defending Arya showed there was some humanity in him. When he reemerges later in the series, after thinking he had died for so long, he avenges the camp that had saved his life. Now we see Sandor standing with an army to fight White Walkers. The fire vision changes him for good which makes his decision to fight against the evilest force in the world.

 

#1: John Luther (Luther)

 

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Image via BBC

Idris Elba is at his best with this gritty crime drama. His character Luther is an emotionally invested detective. The emotional investment is a gift and a curse. As he gets more invested, more time and resources get put to catch the criminal he is chasing. However, his methods cross a moral line. Physically hurting suspects to flat out almost killing some. The show opens with him letting a serial killer fall which puts him in a coma. Luther takes the emotionally connected police drama to the next level with its gritty stories and unique protagonist.

 

 

Those are just ten great anti-heroes. Of course, there are many from all sorts of genres. Be sure to comment below some of your favorites in the comments.

 

Header image via Showtime

 

 

Opinion: How to Properly Create a LGBTQ+ Character

Diversity in any medium is a hot topic right now, especially for video games and movies. Recently at E3, a lot of games have announced female protagonists, choices to let the player choose to be gay or lesbian, and characters that are designed to be gay or lesbian. Of course, people who are misogynistic or homophobic have cried foul against the industry. That is not what I am going to discuss. Some shows, movies, and games create these characters as a statement, which is fine. However, making a statement with a diverse character can be a slippery slope. Doing so can alienate the audience or take away from the cast. The writers need to write a character who feels natural that does not feel forced. That will let viewers adjust and accept a character quicker than forcing a characteristic into whatever medium the character is apart.

Often characters are stereotyped in the worst ways. If done well you might be able to utilize a stereotype that is not offensive. However, too many times we see overly flamboyant characters who fall in line with every stereotype that society has created. In I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a great example of stereotyping in the worst way. Kevin James and Adam Sandler are straight characters who pretend to be gay for their benefit. The way they play off being gay is by overacting on every stereotype. The film tries to give a meaningful point of view by the end, but the film is unable to save itself. Continuing certain stereotypes will keep LGBT characters in particular archetypes without being able to expand to more unique characteristics.

 

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Image via Universal Pictures

 

A universal sin for any medium is when an LGBT character is pointed out for their identity in hopes to show how diverse the show, game, or book are being. The problem is that the character is used as a tool. The main cast of characters will get more development than once a character comes in who is different, the whole point will be to show that someone is not a white straight character. The characters can be any color of skin or sexuality, but when the creators feel the need to shoehorn in someone different, the audience will pick up on what is happening.

A third issue we often see are LGBT characters who are kept a secret in the primary source material. The character is only revealed to have specific sexuality by the creator of the medium, but the audience does not get to experience the character for who they are meant to be. Harry Potter is the best known for having a secretive gay character, Dumbledore. J.K. Rowling has confirmed that he is gay, but never made an effort to flesh this out in the novels. Doing this makes Dumbledore’s sexuality a piece of throwaway trivia for die-hard fans who want to know everything. Making him more apparent with his sexuality would be groundbreaking and help young LGBT readers.

 

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Image via Warner Brothers

 

A way to fix the issue is to treat every character the same when developing them. Taking a character in anything by giving them a backstory, personality, looks, and more to make them as believable as possible should be done for everyone equally. Two great examples being The Last of Us and Day 5Day 5 is a drama from the internet production company called Rooster Teeth where a group of survivors struggles with an epidemic that causing people to die when falling asleep instantly. One of the main protagonists is Ally, a nurse who is alive because of a long night shift. The reveal of her relationship with a colleague Lex is natural. The audience is not subject to any messages or pointing out the young lesbian couple in any disrespectful way. The audience gets to know Ally over time and sees another aspect of her personality, which happens to be her sexuality. After a brief kiss, the show continues its story. The Last of Us has done the same and will continue to expand on Ellie has a character in the upcoming sequel. In the game’s DLC the player gets to see Ellie kiss her best friend, Riley. The quick reveal is interrupted by zombies coming into the room and chasing the two girls. The latest trailer and gameplay video shown at Sony’s press conference this past E3 shows more of Ellie. Her new companion is demonstrated as they dance then eventually kiss. The relationship is not focused on too much allowing the audience to experience the game’s gameplay. Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann crafted realistic characters in a believable apocalyptic world.

 

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Image via Rooster Teeth

 

Characters across the board need to be organically developed just like any other character. When the writers of a movie, game, or book decide to make an LGBT character or even a character of a particular religion or race, they must make a believable character. Shoehorning in someone to have certain traits does not do the character any justice. People who do not want the diversity will shut down much easier if they feel something is forced upon them. Of course, it is difficult to handle the naysayers in any way. The people who will accept a character who is transgender or gay, that person still needs a character well developed to enjoy.

I believe one of the core reasons we get a lack of LGBT characters and so many bad ones is on the writing. People who write are the ones creating a person on paper to put on a screen or many pages of paper. That person needs to know enough about LGBT people to properly craft the character. People need experience in creating a diverse set of strong characters who can help carry the story.

As audience members, we need to voice our opinions properly to creators. I am not talking to those who want to shut down a person’s vision for having a character like Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Ellie from The Last of Us. We do need to make sure to voice when a character feels wrong that makes it feel more disrespectful to the LGBT community. We are a long way away from having an organic set of characters with their backgrounds whether they are straight, LGBT, or anything else. With E3 just passing, the sun is shining bright for the video game world. Players are getting choices in games such as Assassin’s Creed and Cyberpunk 2077 that allow them to choose a character who can be the sexuality or gender of their choosing. While television and movies may need some help in some areas, things are progressing in the right direction.

Header image via Naughty Dog

Song Impression: Erra – Disarray

Erra is easily one of my favorite metalcore bands around. The band’s two first records are great but have some flaws regarding instrumentation. Breakdowns tend to sound all the same and start blending. Some songs were not always distinctive. Since the band’s last album Drift, the group has taken a more mature approach. With new vocalist JT Carvey (ex-Texas in July) and a more clear and mature sound to the instrumentation, the band made their most melodic record yet. Now the group has announced a new album called Neon along with the first single Disarray. The band continues the progression from the last record in a significant way.

The song strikes a balance between melody, speed, and heaviness. JT starts off with mid-range screams that he did throughout the last record. The instrumentation keeps at a steady pace with a focus on technical riffs and keeping a melody throughout the song. Jesse’s cleans frequently come that complement JT’s screams.

Similar to the last record, Drift, the instrumentation shy away from breakdowns and focuses more on the technicality and melody. The band feels more rounded with this style. With more complicated instrumentation gives them an edge over many other bands in metalcore. While the first two albums are great, the breakdowns tended to sound the same. When riffs or solos came in, then those would be more enjoyable and distinctive. Based on how similar Disarray sounds to a lot of the songs from Drift, it seems that Erra has finally found their identity.

JT keeps a mid-range of screams throughout the entire song. At times he puts out a deeper scream, but for the most part, he remains with the same range. This is precisely how his debut to the band sounded with Drift. I hope to see more variety from him in the full album since he does have the ability to show a broader range. The older records from the band showed a greater range of screams from brutal lows and screeching highs.

Jesse’s clean vocals are always enjoyable. Like many metalcore bands, his vocals are a higher pitch that complements the low screams to strike a great balance. The already beautiful instrumentation also is complemented by Jesse’s melodic voice. He uses some more range than he usually does. Some power is used during the chorus while some other parts he sings more softly. The song feels more dynamic with his range along with JT and him singing back and forth.

The lyrical style of Erra has always thought and emotion provoking. The songs are in an ambiguous style that holds enough passion for getting a reaction. A lyric example from the first verse says, “The wolf kicked in the door, intruded in your home.
And you see it as a privilege to be consumed.” As always the music does not feel repetitive in any way. The song keeps my attention with a diverse set of lyrics and vocal dynamics to elevate the emotion through the song.

I am loving the new Erra direction. The band is at their most mature sound to date especially since they are progressing the song from Drift. I sure do miss some of the heavier aspects from the old music, but if a band can be focused on making themselves distinctive as an artist, then that is more important. My only concern is that I hope to hear JT use his range more throughout the album. Other than that, I have high hopes for the new record. It sounds excellent and shows growth within the band.

Neon comes out August 10, and the album can be pre-ordered below:

Image via Luis Descartes

 

20 Best Games of E3 2018

E3 2018 had many fantastic games to announce or to show games we already knew. Microsoft, Bethesda, and Sony, in particular, had the best conferences to me. Everyone had something interesting to show. Sure, there were bumps in the road. Some conferences had technical issues. Sony had some problems regarding their pacing which was awkward and boring at times. When they got to the games, it was terrific. In this list of the twenty best game of E3 2018, keep in mind this is my list. Nothing is in particular order, and these are games I am looking forward to. You may not see games that you are looking forward to, and that is okay. So, let’s not lift up pitchforks and civilly enjoy some amazing games.

#1: Anthem (Release date: 2019)

Bioware’s new game looks quite impressive. Players have these different suits that seem like you are Iron Man to fight off monsters. You can switch between suits for different tactical reasons. The game is supposed to be online in the same way that games like Destiny are set up. I am worried because of that. Games similar to Destiny and The Division I did not like. I felt that the online world did not work that well and overall, I did not have fun. Despite my worries, the game’s world looks interesting, beautiful, and dangerous. The gameplay shown looks tight with various ways to go about any scenario. The ambitious title could lean either way to greatness or a complete embarrassment. I hope for the best since Bioware’s last endeavor with the latest Mass Effect was not great, to say the least.

 

#2: Battlefield V (Release date: October 19, 2018)

The new Battlefield is taking place during World War 2. That should not be a surprise after the massive success of Battlefield 1. The game is taking destruction to a whole new level, which I feel like every game in the franchise says. I hope they are right about that since it has been a while for the games to show off the destruction in an exciting way. The gameplay was shown looks just as to expect from a Battlefield game. The visuals are stunning, and the gunplay is some of the best in modern FPSs. The storytelling from the last entry is making a return along with other modes for online. They say there are no loot boxes, microtransactions, or a season pass. People are skeptical because of these airlifts so we will see. It is hard for gamers to trust EA, especially after Battlefront II. I have high hopes, but I will try to keep them tempered in case something disappoints me.

 

#3: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Release date: 2019)

FromSoftware has announced what the mysterious trailer that had the infamous words “Shadows Die Twice” means. It is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. From the trailer, it appears to be their similar formula that fans of Dark Souls are familiar with. The spin on the formula is how much maneuverability is in the game, and the thematics are set in a samurai world styled world. The trailer was full of stunning visuals and ferocious gameplay. The fresh take with the formula that they have placed in some of their games is one of the best surprises to come out of E3. I am blown away by the game. I had guessed they would announce a new game in my predictions, but I did not see this coming. I cannot wait to dive into this new world and die a million times due to the extreme difficulty.

 

#4: Metro: Exodus (Release date: February 22, 2019)

Why is every game release in February, more specifically the 22nd? Either way, it adds onto a day full of fantastic games. The third installment of the Metro franchise has me excited. The first game was a solid effort. The sequel Metro: Last Light being a masterpiece. This next game continues the adventure in a new way. One of the prominent features is how open areas are. Not that the game is an open world, but each level is bigger with more freedom for the player to explore.  The little bit of gameplay and the trailers we have seen so far shows how beautiful the game looks. The gameplay expands from what we already know. New weapons and creatures are demonstrated fashionably. I feel confident that this will be the best game in the series yet.

 

#5: Days Gone (Release date: February 22, 2018)

I told you, a lot is coming on this day. There are more games than Days Gone and Metro, which is insane. Anyways, this open world, survival, zombie, biker game looks fantastic. I know the developers call them “freakers,” but let’s be honest that they are their version of a zombie. The game looks unique from all of the hundreds of other zombie games. The fresh take gives survival a whole new meaning. Weather, hostile humans, and freakers are all a threat to you. The huge hordes of enemies remind me of that terrible World War Z movie, but in a good way. If the open world has enough activities and variety along with a good story, then this will be another addition to PlayStation’s already massive catalog of incredible single player experiences.

 

#6: Dying Light 2 (Release date: TBA)

What a surprise this is. I liked the first Dying Light. A lot of improvements from Dead Island along with a fun parkour system. The game fell flat in many areas, but the gameplay was excellent. Crafting to make a machete into a fierce blade that will light zombies on fire or making a baseball bat with nails coming through. The open world gameplay was a ton of fun, but the story was a mess. The new game opens the doors to a big open world where consequences matter. Choices are made that will change up the world around you in either positive or negative ways. I love being given options in games; it is one of my favorite mechanics. Sadly, too many games give an illusion of choice. In reality, a lot of games are too set up where choices will not make a difference. I hope that is not the case here. Also, I hope cooperative play stays. Playing with friends in the first game was a ton of fun. I hope improvements from the first game are made to make this a great experience.

 

#7: Cyberpunk 2077 (Release date: TBA)

CD Projekt Red’s new game is quite ambitious. Nobody knows how so, but with their work in games such as The Witcher, we know it will be huge. They have been working on the game for years. Previously our only look was a teaser to show they were working on something. Now we got a fantastic trailer that shows snippets of gameplay. We see the world that they have built, and it looks unbelievable. The trailer might be the greatest trailer I have ever seen. The level of detail along with the stunning visuals is breathtaking. All that is needed to sell me on this game is to see gameplay. I am partially sold based on what we see of the world, but I need an in-depth look at the game. If CD Projekt Red nail their vision, then we might have one of the biggest and most innovative games that the world has ever seen.

 

#8: Doom Eternal (Release date: TBA)

I called it in my predictions. We are getting a sequel to 2016’s DOOM. The trailer is a short teaser that is everything to expect from the franchise. Nobody knows that much about the game, but it appears the story is set on Earth. Buildings are in ruins, and hell has taken over. If they can evolve some of their mechanics and introduce new ones, then it should be just as great as the first in their reboot. Give me graphic violence, heavy metal, and awesome weapons for my killing then I will be happy. More will be announced in August during Quake Con.

 

#9: Fallout 76 (Release date: November 14, 2018)

If I had to make a list of games I am most excited for that consisted of three games, then it would be The Last of Us Part 2Spider-Man, and Fallout 76. Out of major franchises, Fallout is my favorite. I love the world with all of its lore. The games are full of heart with its horror, sci-fi, and comedy. My dream was to have an online game set in this world. Now that dream has come true. All I have ever wanted is to play in the world of Fallout with my friends. Now we get to set up a home and kill other players set in West Virginia. I could not be more excited to play this game. Bethesda always knocks it out of the park with their games and this will be just like everything else they have done on a grander scale. Four times bigger than the already colossal Fallout 4 will give you and friends so many hours to explore this vast world. With a release date set this close, I could not be happier.

 

#10: Rage 2 (Release date: TBC Spring 2019)

I have never played the original Rage. After I saw the first trailer, and now the gameplay from E3, I am sold on this game. If you have not seen it, then imagine Mad MaxDOOM, and Borderlands coming together into one glorious game. The first game did okay with critics by getting 79% on Metacritic. What is surprising is that the game was so long ago, back in 2010. The big gap seems like this will be partially a sequel, but half of a reboot to let newcomers in. The gameplay is all about maneuverability, crazy weapons, and a lot of killing in this massive open world. It is unclear as of writing as to what you will be able to do in this open world besides kill and destroy. Either way, the gameplay looks fluid and satisfying with some gorgeous graphics. Id Software brought us games like DOOM, so I have high hopes for this one.

 

#11: Wolfenstein Youngblood (Release date: TBA 2019)

Wolfenstein Youngblood is a standalone taking place in 80’s after the events of the last Wolfenstein game. I have never been a fan of the series until these latest games. They are brutal with fluid gameplay. Also, how could I not play a game that is about brutally killing Nazis to take back America? The new standalone has you play as one of BJ’s twin daughters. A first to not be being as BJ in a Wolfenstein title. The game will be cooperative with each player playing as one of the daughters. I already knew I would play, but now I get to kill Nazis with a friend makes me want this game even more. With some added features along with the fluid gameplay and excellent gunplay then this will be a highlight in FPSs for 2019.

 

#12: Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Release date: September 14, 2018)

I love the latest trilogy of Tomb Raider games. Now that we get to complete the trilogy this September has me ecstatic. The brutal take on Lara Croft’s adventures is fantastic. She is a brutal warrior who is quite sympathetic. Each game has insane obstacles that are satisfying to conquer. Along with upgrades that make you feel more powerful to take on new enemies gives the games a great sense of progression. The new game is expected to give bigger areas to explore and more tombs that will be deadlier. September is a stacked month already and with this release date for Lara, the month looks even better.

 

#13: Just Cause 4 (Release date: December 4, 2018)

The latest entry in the ridiculous sandbox that feels like Michael Bay’s dream game, Just Cause, is back for more explosions. The game is one of many on this list that was leaked by Walmart Canada. Then Steam leaked the game a few days ago which made it all seem true. The game follows our protagonist Rico on a new adventure. Just like all of the games, the story is fairly similar. A powerful group has taken over a country or region and you must stop them. This time Rico is facing a female antagonist who runs a militia group. The two new features shown at E3 were the new grappling hook and weather system. The grappling hook has new features to give the player more freedom to play around. They also made it so the grappling hook is more intuitive for new players. The weather is deadly from sandstorms to giant tornados. From what we can see in the video presentation, the game looks just as absurd as ever in the best possible way. If you are a fan of open world sandboxes then this is the game just for you. I hope the game does not suffer from the same issues as Just Cause 3.

 

#14: Marvel’s Spider-Man (Release date: September 7, 2018)

Like I said before, this is one of my top games. While The Last of Us 2 is my number one game I am waiting for in general, out of games coming in 2018, Spider-Man is my number one. The fact that Insomniac is making this game is perfect. The company is known for the animations, beautifully stylized graphics, fluid gameplay, and all of their crazy weapons. If you have played Ratchet and Clank or Sunset Overdrive, then you know that there is not a single company better than Insomniac to make a game based on one of the best superheroes around. The open world game will take you on both a Spider-Man and Peter Parker adventure. With the latest E3 presentation we got to see gameplay of the open world along with a story mission which reveals several villains. It appears that they are taking a Sinister Six approach, which beats the movies to it since Sony attempted this before. The game is stunning along with what we see in the gameplay, it looks like it has fluid movement all around. I have been waiting for a game like this to come along with Spider-Man 2. Now that it is almost here, I just have to wait a few more months.

 

#15: The Last of Us Part II (Release date: TBA)

After all this time, we finally got to see some gameplay at E3. Along with incredibly realistic animations, beautiful graphics, and gruesome gameplay, The Last of Us Part II looks like a technological achievement in gaming. Especially the animations, the work on that is to a quality never before seen in video games. A kiss looks like a real kiss. Kills look on a different level of brutality and realism. The game has some UI changes that make that game look better. The way you aim with a bow is more of a traditional cursor which is easier to aim and see. Crafting is back which looks about the same for the most part, just easier to navigate. The stealth is improved greatly when it was already excellent. We did not see any zombie killing action, but Ellie taking down cultists was good enough. I have high hopes that this will be better than the first game. The Last of Us is my favorite game, so if this is better than it will be a dream come true.

 

#16: Ghost of Tsushima (Release date: TBA)

Sucker Punch, the minds behind Infamous and Sly Cooper are coming out with an alternative take on the Mongolian era. This open world game looks beautiful and seems to have wonderful combat. We see various sword fights along with various ways to traverse the area such as horseback and climbing. Out of every surprise, there was in terms of gameplay demos, Ghost of Tsushima takes the cake. PlayStation’s big four games they are pushing are The Last of Us Part IISpider-ManDays Gone, and Ghost of Tsushima. Not much else is known about the game though. Sucker Punch has a great catalog of games so we can expect a certain level of quality. The company knows how to make an open world game with excellent maneuverability from Infamous, so their new title is in good hands.

 

#17: Resident Evil 2 (Release date: January 25, 2019)

Yes, I am putting a remake on this list. From the trailer, we can see the game looks stunning. This is not just a remaster, but a remake from the ground up. As someone who has never touched the older Resident Evil games, I am quite excited. The trailer shows off zombies tearing people apart, Raccoon City is in ruins, and Leon looks young in beautiful new animations. Some more zombie killing might be too much more most people since all I hear are complaints about the abundance of zombie games. I am excited and will take all of the zombie games in the world if they are good. Starting off the year with Resident Evil will be perfect.

 

#18: Jump Force (Release date: TBA 2019)

Bandai Namco’s new fighting game looks like an anime epic. Having characters from NarutoOne PieceDragon Ball Z and more fighting one another. The cinematic trailer looks chaotic and beautiful with these iconic anime characters fighting. Not much is known about the game yet since all we have seen is an announcement trailer to show off an explosive cinematic. Hopefully, we see more soon.

 

#19: Death Stranding (Release date: TBA)

Kojima’s new collaboration with Mads Mikkelsen, Norman Reedus, and Guillermo Del Toro looks weird, to say the least. The latest trailer shows some gameplay, that is almost all walking around. The cinematics is beautiful and give no hint as to what the game is about. Mads has even said that the story has been explained to him many times and he is still confused. This is to be expected from Kojima, but we can expect that the game will be to a certain standard of quality. Elements of the game have been described, but those are also cryptic to a degree. We won’t know what we are getting until we play the game somewhere in the future.

 

#20: Beyond Good and Evil 2 (Release date: TBA)

I have never played the first game, so I am worried. It appears the that Beyond Good and Evil 2 will heavily follow the first game to a degree. Despite not understanding anything I am seeing, I am blown away by the trailers that we keep seeing. The latest trailer at E3 is phenomenal. Alongside the cinematic trailer for CyberpunkBeyond Good and Evil 2 showed off the next best trailer. These two games might have the best trailers in video game history. My big worry is that the game will have too much involved with the first game that will make the story too confusing for me. I might have to find where I can play the first…

 

That is my list of my favorite games that we got to see at E3 2018. I know there are some major games missing, but there are some that I am not looking forward to. That is okay because you might be. Be sure to comment below what you liked the most at this E3!

Header Image via CD Projekt Red

Trailer Impressions: Halloween

2018 is full of some great movies, but there is a lot that I have been worried about. Sicario 2 does not look like it will have the same tone as the first movie. The first was so phenomenal for its slow tension, and the climax had an incredible payoff. This new entry looks to have too much action, but with Stefano Sollima who has worked on the first film and last years Wind River, I have some hope. Predator and Venom look generic and nothing special. I want these movies to be great, but they all look flawed. Now there is the new trailer for Halloween. I have never seen any of the movies, but with the return of John Carpenter who is going to write and produce the film along with Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle to star as the film’s protagonist and antagonist, my interest was sparked.

What the problem was waiting for a trailer to come up with the new sequel to the original Halloween. Not a single movie is canon except for the 1978 classic. Now that we have our first look at the trailer let’s dive into what we have seen and determine if this looks good.

We start off by seeing two investigators going to the prison in which Michael is being held at. They summarize the events of the first film, perfect for any newcomers like me. The man and woman walk into a wide open courtyard with several inmates with Michael at the center. As the man talks to Michael, who is facing away from the investigators, he brings up Michael’s infamous mask. The mask has a brand new look that looks older and more worn out. The look is perfect because this takes place so long after the events of the original film. When the mask is taken out a dog starts barking like crazy. A few inmates are laughing and screaming as the mask is shown up close when it is taken out of the bag. Everything about this scene is tense and well shot. This scene alone is one of the biggest highlights of the trailer, which is full of wonderfully creepy moments.

We see a few teenagers walking down the sidewalk of a neighborhood. The camera cuts to various Halloween decorations and to give us a better look at the community. One of which is a girl who is Laurie’s granddaughter. She explains to her friends that Laurie was almost murdered which is why she acts a certain way during this holiday season. We also hear that Laurie and Michael are not related. That plot point was started by later films in the franchise but is thrown out. As the teens talk we see Laurie open up a secret door down to her basement. That means Laurie has made adjustments to her home in case Michael ever comes back.

Laurie comes in to walk over to some shot up mannequins, which look terrifying. She tells a police officer how much she has been waiting for Michael to break out just so she can finally kill him. After that line we see her shooting a rifle for some target practice. Laurie is not messing around at all.

A boy and his father are driving down a road in which they see a bus flipped on its side and inmates are slowing walking out. They brake hard to avoid running over an inmate. The lighting and the way we see the inmates slowly shuffling towards the car is a haunting image. Laurie gets the news and tells her family about the bus crashing. Her daughter is confused about what the deal is about the bus crash. Michael is out loose and is ready to kill.

The most notable and terrifying moment is the next scene. A woman is in a stall at a bathroom in which Michael walks in. He puts his over the stall and drops bloody teeth. After this horrific move, he then drags her out to her doom. Another kill is shown when a man finds the dead body of a mechanic. Yes, that is how Michael gets his iconic suit by killing a man for the change of clothes. We then get a shot of Michael taking his mask out of a bag to put on. Every shot of him never shows his face. When we see a great image of him with his mask on, his eyes are entirely black. The darkness for eyes and the worn face makes for the grimmest looking Michael to date.

It is Halloween night. Children are walking around with their parents to trick or treat. They are not alone, we see Michael walking amongst the children. Some trick or treaters accidentally bump into the masked murderer. Shots are shown of Michael taking people down one by one. Laurie has her weapon and is trying to save as many people as she can. As she is running through the neighborhood, she looks up at a window to see Michael standing there. She takes a shot but turns out he is on the other side of the room. She just shot a reflection of Michael from a mirror. That is a great wink to the audience since there has always been a question of whether or not Michael can die. The mystery of this film is still up in the air, and this scene stirs up that question.

More scenes are shown of people being terrorized by Michael. A reference shot is shown of a sheet with two holes poked out for eyes is sitting on a chair. The ghost is an iconic scene from the original. As someone who has not seen the original, I am not able to pick out every reference, but we can expect plenty of nods to the classic film.

The last scene to discuss that is worth noting is the final one shown in the trailer. A young child asks the babysitter to close the door. She closes it, but the door won’t close. After a few attempts, she widens the door open to see what is blocking it from closing. Then Michael appears with a knife and strikes down at her.

I am quite impressed. As a newcomer to the franchise, this looks fantastic. I was worried going in, but this could be the worthy sequel that fans have been wanting. I will absolutely watch the original to prepare myself for this creepy sequel. The film looks beautifully shot. A lot of effort is shown to pay respect to fans and give them the film that they all want. Michael is back after 40 years, and he will be killing a lot of people. What do you think of the trailer? Are you excited for the new Halloween? If you have not seen the trailer, you can view it below:

 

Header image via Blumhouse Productions

Quick News: Crackdown 3 Delayed Again + Killswitch Engage Sign to Metal Blade + Spider-Man Spinoff Movies Dropped + More!

    • People have been talking about the possibility of the next Devil May Cry, and now it looks like this might happen. On May 18, Capcom registered a domain for Devil May Cry 5. The domain was spotted by ResetERA. As of recently, the domain was spotted on Capcom’s servers by MysticDistance on Twitter. The site does not direct to anywhere, but these are signs of the possibility of an announcement will be coming soon. With E3 around the corner, this will be our best bet to hear about the next installment in the Devil May Cry series.

 

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Image via Capcom

 

 

      • Sony is starting to build their own films surrounding the iconic hero, Spider-Man. Nobody knows where they are going with these movies because Tom Holland is with Marvel and none of these movies are supposed to have any version of Spider-Man in them. Then there is the animated movie coming out later this year and Venom with Tom Hardy. Recently Sony has taken off one of their upcoming spinoffs, Silver & Black from the schedule. The films were supposed to be released in February of next year, but have been removed from the calendar. The report came in from Deadline who broke the news about the spinoff. Instead of opening on February 8, the film will go back into development. Instead, Tom Hanks’ upcoming WW2 flick Greyhound will release on that date. Initially, Sony had big plans with Amazing Spider-Man 3 and Sinister Six, along with Silver & Black which would feature Black Cat and Silver Sable. The news about the upcoming spinoff will increase the confusion that people have about Sony’s plans for their spinoffs in the world of the web swinging hero.

 

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Image via Marvel

 

 

      • On May 31 at a Ghost concert in Milwaukee, an attendee of the show Jeffery Fortune had died at the show. The band’s fans have come together to help raise money for Jeffery’s family on GoFundMe and shattered the goal. The initial goal of the campaign was to raise $1,000. As of writing, $9,726 has been raised by the Ghost fan base. During the band’s set, Jeffery collapsed and was unconscious. Fans were rushed out of the venue while CPR was performed. Jeffery was transported to the hospital where he had passed away at 52 years old. During the emergency, Ghost had stopped the show altogether and did not continue after Jeffery was transported out of respect. My condolences go to his friends and family.

 

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Image via Jeffery Perilla, Loudwire

 

 

      • The beloved metal band Killswitch Engage have signed onto Metal Blade Records, while their international affairs will be handled by Sony Music Entertainment. This grows and an already strong roster that Metal Blade holds in the metal world with bands such as Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Cannibal Corpse. Metal Blade CEO and founder Brian Slagel made a statement about the band signing on by saying, “I have been a huge fan and friend of Killswitch for a long time, so it is truly an honor to be able to work with them. So happy to welcome them to the Metal Blade family.” Having this well-respected label is not only great for Killswitch but is just as good for the label as well.

 

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Image via John McMurtrie

 

 

      • Earlier this week Kotaku made a report that inside sources of Microsoft have told them that Crackdown 3 will be delayed. A lot of speculation circulated about the story because the game has been pushed back so many times already. As of recently, Microsoft has confirmed this is the case. Microsoft says in their confirmation, “Our fans’ response to the signature antics and explosive gameplay of Crackdown 3 has been incredible. To ensure we deliver the experience they deserve, Crackdown 3 will be launching in Feb 2019. We look forward to sharing more on Crackdown 3 this Sunday during the Xbox E3 2018 briefing.” The news is quite shocking because Microsoft has been quite light on their exclusives for the Xbox One. Now the year is even lighter for Microsoft with one of their most anticipated games being delayed to February of next year. The blow will be significant, so they need to make sure that Crackdown 3 does well. The game was initially supposed to come out back in November 2017, but now the almost two-year delay could hurt them.

 

We managed to get through some highlights of the week today. A lot has happened, so be sure to comment what you think about these stories. How do you feel about Crackdown 3 being delayed again? Are you disappointed or just don’t care about what Sony is doing with their Spider-Man spinoffs? Comment all of your thoughts below.

Header image via Microsoft