Video Game Review: Detroit: Become Human

PlayStation has been the king of this generation when it comes to their single player exclusives. Just the other month we had God of War, and now we have the new game from Quantic Dream, Detroit: Become Human. The story of androids taking over the world and our advances in AI technology being our downfall has been told so many times. Now we see a different take on the story that we all know to some degree.

The story follows three protagonists: Kara, an android with a single father and his daughter, Markus who serves an old painter to take care of him in his old age, and Connor who helps the police with investigations and other police matters. Each scene of the game will follow one character then the next will switch to the next, and so on. Each character has their own story, but to no surprise, they all connect at some point. Kara tries taking care of Alice, the daughter, to protect her from the abusive father. Markus gets set on a path to lead a revolution to set the androids free from the humans. Connor investigates deviants, the androids who go rogue and go on the path of becoming sentient. That theme of androids wanting to be free and alive is heavily involved and explored with each character.

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Just like other games from Quantic Dream such as Heavy Rain, the game is all about the choices a player makes. The game is an interactive story that has many branching paths. Unlike their other games, this has the most amount of scenarios that can play it. After a scene before leading to the next character, a flowchart that shows all of the branching paths appears. You see what you did and see blank spaces as to where you could have gone. Statistics come up to show what percent of people chose that action. That mechanic is impressive, especially when you think your choice was the majority. I had some moments like that but turned out I was in an 8% minority. You will receive points for the paths which can unlock videos, wallpaper, and other awards to unlock that don’t do a lot but are interesting for people who like those types of prizes. The pacing of the game starts off inconsistent. Some of the stories are exciting right away, but some can be mundane and boring. Markus, in particular, has a great story later on, but starting off things are slow.

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The gameplay can be chosen at a simple level or to go for a more complex experience. The controls will become more elaborate if choosing the more complex difficulty. Just like other Quantic Dream games, the gameplay is centered around QTEs, motion controls, and interacting with the environment. The QTEs are forgivable for the most part since this style lends itself to having a lot of QTEs such as Telltale Games.  However, the controls might not be that responsive at times. Especially for the motion controls. I will always stand that motion controls are the worst idea to have in any game because it never works all that well. I wish the game gave an option to turn motion controls off because it makes for some difficult situations. Some icons to give instructions on how to perform an action are unclear. Using the trackpad on the PS4 controller in some unusual ways leads to some confusing moments. Those are only a few times in the game, but it is worth mentioning. Holding R2 allows you to view the area to see objectives and items to interact with. This is how you will engage with the world, if you are lost to see where to go, and will help gain new options for actions and dialog. Many games similar to Detroit have many items to interact with the world. Most of the time items are worthless and waste your time. Almost everything that can be interacted with has a purpose to the story. Everything you do for the most part moves you forward. The game features dialog choices that will determine how people feel about you and what actions you will take.

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The graphics are stunningly beautiful. The game is full of detail that needs to be given attention. The detail lends itself to the narrative to build the story and characters. A significant portion of the story takes place in rainy weather which offers a particular look to most scenes. The sheen of the water and the lighting makes some pretty moments. We are in an age where we are getting beautiful games nonstop with their own art directions.

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The issues with Detroit comes from all of the other games by Quantic Dream. Their games consistently have issues with controls and the story. Like I said, the motion controls and QTEs sometimes are not responsive that well. That can be damaging to a story that forces the player into a situation that is needed for quick reactions. Another critique is the story. The story and characters are all well written and acted. Especially the acting is quite superb. However, there are a few moments in the narrative that create gaps in the logic of the story. These are only a few moments, but it still hurts immersion and the overall narrative being told. I find it hard to take the game too seriously, even though the story is quite compelling and emotional for the most part. A game that is this story drive and interactive need those points to be almost perfect. The length is left to be desired with the time being around ten hours. The many branching paths can bring a player back for dozens of playthroughs, but the early game is hard to get through regarding the pacing. The issues are not too severe but are quite noticeable.

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Detroit: Become Human is a good game for some people. If you have not liked games like Heavy Rain or any game from Telltale Games, then this is not for you. The story is quite short for only about ten hours, especially for a $60 game. The many playthroughs and options do give replayability, but it is something to keep in mind. The spin on androids rebelling against humans is quite well done. The narrative is enjoyable, and the different options that can happen are amazing. This is one of those games that you will really enjoy or absolutely hate. Detroit is one of the weaker PS4 exclusives in comparison to what we have seen already, but it is still a strong title. Quantic Dream has a particular style, and with Detroit, that style has been refined wonderfully. Seeing a company’s progress as developers is a great thing to see, so expect more games to turn out even better in the future.

Score: 7/10

Images via Quantic Dream and screenshotted on a regular PS4

Buy the game here:

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Quick News: PlayStation 5 is Coming? + Jake Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man? + Boba Fett Movie Gets a Director + More!

  • Since the post-credit scene from Spider-Man: Homecoming, fans have speculated that the villain for the next film would be Scorpion. Now it seems Mysterio will be the villain, and a high profile actor is in talks to play the supervillain. Jake Gyllenhaal is currently in talks to play as the iconic antagonist. Mysterio is a man named Quentin Beck, a special effects expert who uses who skills to commit crimes. The upcoming Spider-Man sequel is set to release on July 5, 2019.

 

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Image via Marvel Comics

 

 

  • Resident Evil 7 is being ported to the Nintendo Switch. The catch is that the game is only going to be available in Japan. To make it weirder is that the game is a cloud version that players can rent. The version will come with the base game and the DLC with some added features for the Joy-Cons. Players will only be able to rent the game for 180 days for 2,000 yen. As of writing, it is unknown whether this version for the Switch will appear outside of Japan, so keep an eye out!

 

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Image via Capcom

 

 

  • After weeks of Avengers: Infinity War dominating the box office, Deadpool 2 comes in to have a phenomenal opening weekend. Deadpool 2 won the domestic box office with $125 million in its opening weekend. Worldwide the film earned $176 million to make for a total of $301 million for the foul-mouthed hero. While the first film earned more on its opening weekend with $132 million, Deadpool 2 still manages to have one of the biggest opening weekends for a rated R movie. This trend is happening more and more with rated R movies smashing the box office. Just last year IT dominated the box office domestically one the opening weekend with $123 million and ended up earning $700 million worldwide by the end of its run in theaters.  We can expect to hear more news like this for rated R movies in the future especially when X-Force and It: Chapter 2 are released.

 

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Image via 20th Century Fox

 

 

  • The past few months have been full of rumors about the next PlayStation. Now we are getting some rough details on what the next generation of consoles will look like for Sony. CEO of Sony Interactive, Tsuyoshi “John” Kodera, says, “We will use the next three years to prepare the next step, to crouch down so that we can jump higher in the future.” While the PlayStation 4 has sold incredibly well with over 79 million units, this is the time we see consoles die down a bit. Usually, a console generation lasts about 5-7 years. The last generation was unusually long, but the standard timeline might be going back into place. Of course, the timeframe for console generations is not an exact science and Sony are making a ton of money off of the PlayStation 4. They had previously said that the console is in its last phase, but it appears the last phase will still extend for at least three years. So, there is no need to bury your PS4 yet to get ready for the next console. A focus will be on exclusives until the PS5 becomes a reality.

 

  • Solo just released and Lucasfilm are already discussing the next spin-off movie for Star Wars. The legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett is getting his own movie. Hollywood Reporter has reported that James Mangold will be writing and directing the next film that will release sometime after Episode 9. James Mangold has earned his reputation for a variety of films, but most recently he directed Hugh Jackman’s last film as Wolverine, Logan. Not much is known about the project, but that has not stopped fans from speculating. Currently, people generally think the film will take place before A New Hope. When news comes out about casting or the story is unknown because there was a lack of marketing for Solo. If this approach will continue is unknown, but we can expect the movie to come out around 2020.

 

  • A Las Vegas show for Life of Agony was canceled after a terrorist threat. The band was scheduled to play on May 19 at the Las Vegas’ Beauty Bar. Las Vegas Now reported that the show had to be canceled after a local high school teacher made some threats to go there to shoot and kill as many people as she could. On May 16, Leslie McGourty was arrested after some of her threatening texts were reported. Some of her texts said, “The timing couldn’t be any better and the irony of it all, it’s all perfect. A perfect plan with my favorite song surrounded by a bunch of fucked up misfits like I am. Imagine knowing exactly the moment that you’re going to die. I know exactly that your favorite song will be playing, by your favorite band. It’s just too perfect.” Her friend who was receiving the texts reported the messages right away to the police. The band is safe and concluded the rest of their tour on May 22. You can see any other future shows coming up here.

 

That is it for this week’s news roundup. A lot of people are not excited about a Boba Fett movie, so how do you feel about it? Were you one of the many people, myself included, who saw Deadpool 2 on its opening weekend? What do you think of Jake Gyllenhaal of potentially playing as Mysterio in the next Spider-Man movie? Comment below on any of the stories here that interested you.

Header image via PlayStation/Sony Interactive

10 Games That Could Have Been Amazing, but Were Not

Developing games is incredibly difficult. The process continues to get harder as technology advances, industry changes, and the community of gamers change too. People have different standards regarding what makes a good game compared to twenty years ago. A game can succeed for a variety of reasons, same with reasons for a game to fail.  Here are ten games that could have been amazing, but were not.

#10: Friday the 13th 

A game taking the iconic killer from the cult classic Friday the 13th series is a brilliant idea. Most of the ideas in this game are excellent and well executed. What makes this game fall short of greatness is its clunky gameplay, glitches, lag, and other technical issues. Playing a good match with some friends is some of the most fun that I have ever had in a multiplayer game. Sadly, the game’s bugs and team killing from random players (which got patched thankfully) killed it. While the developers are constantly fixing the game and adding new content, maybe this will be gold in the future. Maybe with a sequel, the developers can start completely fresh and learn from their mistakes. None-the-less I hope them the best because of the positive experiences I have had, despite a lot of negatives aspects.

 

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Image via IllFonic and Gun Media

 

 

#9: Destiny 2

I should lump the first game in here too, but I am going to focus on Destiny 2. The first game was rough at first. I fell off, but the people who stayed ended up with a solid game after many updates. That should not be the case for a game. A game should come out as close as possible to 100%, but that is not the world we live in anymore. Destiny 2 promised so much more including a better story and more content. However, it felt like the beginning of the first game regarding its quality. Players were given a better story, but the campaign ended up being terrible and short. Players are in a constant state of fury over the decisions that Bungie has made. Every few weeks there is a news article about how something new in the game that is causing the players to be furious. Recently the latest DLC is getting reports of reusing assets and overall unoriginal. The multiplayer sci-fi FPS was supposed to be Bungie’s big franchise after they had left Halo, but that does not look like the case. With the series having its whole history so far is in a constant state of tension, the future of Destiny does not look bright.

 

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Image via Bungie

 

 

#8: No Man’s Sky

With all of the hype and the fantastic E3 presentations, No Man’s Sky seemed like it could have been the most ambitious game ever made. If it succeeded, then we could see the game as one of gaming’s biggest achievements. However, we did not get nearly the content that was promised. Questions about whether or not Hello Games were flat out lying or had some internal issue we did not know about. The company had its fair share of problems such as a major flood. They kept pushing forward and looked to be the underdog. Instead, the game killed their credibility as a developer and have embarrassed so many people. The game ended up being less beautiful, almost no content, and the center of the universe mystery ended up being a huge disappointment. After a lot of updating, the game is supposed to be at a solid state of quality. Some fans still play and remain loyal. However, it feels like the damage is done for good. We will have to wait and see how far the damage from No Man’s Sky will last when Hello Games release another game.

 

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Image via Hello Games

 

 

#7: Call of Duty: WWII

Before going into World War 2, the Call of Duty franchise was dead to me. I had not touched the games in a while, but I decided to go back into the series with this one. While I had fun and liked a lot of what they had done, there were many issues. I will cut it short because I do have a review of the game, I need to discuss it here. The gameplay is solid, and the war game mode is incredibly fun. Sadly, not much is different compared to other entries in the series. A lot of new mechanics are just ripped off of other games such as the Destiny like hub world for players to hang out at. The campaign was not the worst we have seen, but it fell flat and lacked much depth. This might be the best game in years for the FPS juggernaut, but that does not mean we have an excellent WW2 shooter.

 

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Image via Sledgehammer Games

 

 

#6: Star Wars Battlefront II

I don’t think there are any games on this list that are this damaging. EA was being talked about by major media outlets that never cover video games. Social media exploded with a fury that took over any site you went on. Microtransactions and past mistakes from the first game are what made Star Wars Battlefront II a complete disaster. The game had its positives and fixed issues from the disappointing first game, they were not able to be free of criticism. If we got a modern version of the classic Battlefront II with extra content, then people would have been happy. Somehow a game that is over a decade old is somehow better than its modern counterpart.

 

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Image via DICE

 

 

#5: The Order: 1886

PlayStation has been on a spree of excellent exclusives. Especially exclusives that are story based on the ability to tell a compelling story while delivering great gameplay. They have had a couple of games fall flat, such as The Order: 1886. A weak story, with weak characters, and a generic third-person shooter style that made this one a forgotten title in the ever-growing catalog on the PS4. The main attraction the game did have that even the haters agreed upon were the game’s stunning graphics. Other than a test to show how beautiful a game can look on the PS4, there is nothing here. A typical shooter that is full of QTE and bland writing.

 

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Image via Ready at Dawn

 

 

#4: Sea of Thieves

Xbox has been criticized for not having good exclusives. Sea of Thieves seemed like a potential console seller to get everyone onboard. What could go wrong with the legendary developer Rare working on an open world pirate game that is mainly online? You get to be a pirate with friends to hunt for treasure, fight monsters, and fight other players. Sadly, the game lacks any content or satisfying rewards. I listed everything to do in the game more or less. Players do not have a lot to look around at when it comes to activities or other players to fight. A common complaint from many people is that they have a ton of fun for a few minutes when finding a treasure chest or fighting another player’s ship, but then it is a long time of sailing around doing nothing. If you have friends, then it might be worth it. Maybe with several updates and added content then perhaps this can come out to be a real gem. We all know Microsoft needs a gem to come up in their catalog.

 

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Image via Rare

 

 

#3: Outlast 2

I don’t think any game on this list makes me angrier. I love the first Outlast. It has its obvious flaws, but it is one of the best horror games around. The terrifying atmosphere, a great story with many hidden elements to discover and learn about, and the game took some basic mechanics to make for a fun game. The sequel builds on nothing new regarding gameplay. The story is incoherent and does not tie in well to the original at all. Most of all, it is boring and uncreative. Besides looking pretty, for the most part, there is nothing positive to say really. The enemies are less impressive, unlike the first title’s antagonists such as Chris Walker. The violence was over-the-top in the least complimentary way, and I will emphasize again how the story makes no sense what so ever. Little is done to explain itself and does not do itself any justice when the story starts to give answers. This game is an insult to fans of the original.

 

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Image via Red Barrels

 

 

#2: Mafia III

Let’s go into another game that broke my heart. The previous entry, Mafia II, was an empty open world game but had its positive qualities. The game had terrific driving and shooting mechanics. Everything had a weight to it that felt great. Sure some of it was clunky, but the game felt good overall. Plus there was such a great story that was told. When the new entry was announced, I was so excited. The gameplay looked more polished and fluid, with an exciting story. The only good thing I can say about Mafia III is it was pretty fun to shoot, driving was not as good but remained fun, and the story was quite good. Sadly, the gameplay felt not as satisfying, and the missions were dull. Every task felt recycled with only a variety of a handful of different missions. With extra content, none of it was creative. The developers made a few things to do then spread them all out across the map to make it feel like there were things to do. It felt cheap and lazy. I have no idea what could have gone wrong to make this such a disappointing sequel. If any game on this list should have been great, it is this one. If they built upon the last game by taking the best parts of it and expanding on those while improving the problems, then this would have been one of the best games of 2016.

 

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Image via Hangar 13

 

 

#1: Dead Rising 4

I don’t know why I expected anything from this game. I love the first Dead Rising even with all of its flaws. If the series kept the positive qualities of that game and improved the weaknesses, then maybe this could be a great franchise. However, the series forgot how to mix drama and comedy with weak gameplay. The gameplay continued to expand on what they had done in the third title. The same old issues from that game are in the fourth entry. The main problem I have is how we were told that they were going back to the roots of Dead Rising. Besides having Frank West in Willamette, there is nothing that will make you feel like you are back in the origins of the series. Even more ridiculous scenarios with laughing “serious” moments. Not only that, but this is a straight up insult to fans. Not just by the gameplay, but the story. SPOILER: Frank dies at the end, and there is even a DLC of him being a zombie. The way he is killed off does not feel right. Once we get to be in his shoes again, he is killed at the end. I have been burned so many times by the Dead Rising games, but this was the final straw.

 

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Image via Capcom Vancouver

 

 

That is it for this list. These were games that I or others had hoped would be good but ended up not being good. Whether they fell flat because of past mistakes, glitches, or microtransactions, they had all failed in the hearts of gamers. Even if you like any game here, it is hard to argue that the game does not need improvements. Be sure to comment what you think of my list here and what games disappointed you.

 

Opinion: Social Media’s Power to Save TV and Film

Social media has its fair share of issues. We have to deal with fake news, trolls, cyberbullying, and a plethora of other issues. However, there is a light within all of the darkness within social media. Just this year we have seen some positives out of it. One of its powers is to help our favorite TV shows and movies. Without it then we may not have some excellent shows or films. These excellent pieces of entertainment could have never seen the light of day or been canceled to never see the light of day again. Until the fans have an uproar on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites to get the attention of studios to revive the project.

A prime example would be Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Last week Fox announced the show’s cancelation. Fans took to their social media accounts to express their outrage towards Fox. In a surprising manner, this caught NBC’s attention which soon after the cancelation made an announcement about the show’s revival. The question about whether this was the plan all along or not is up for debate. Time must be taken to get everyone’s contracts in order and to make a deal between the two network giants. None-the-less, fans will be getting a new season of the cop sitcom.

Before a phone call or letter would have to be utilized to get a show like Brooklyn Nine-Nine back on the air. Even then, with or without social media, nobody is guaranteed to get the show back just because you want it to. Voicing an opinion may not do anything, but with minimal effort to potentially get a result, then you have nothing to lose at all.

I am not saying that writing letters is less powerful, but this is about the easy access and instant reply that social media can get out of people, especially a studio that canned your favorite show. Back in the 80s, Designing Woman was canceled by CBS after tanking views during the first season. People loved the show and wrote in to call out CBS for setting the show up to fail and that people really did love Designing Woman. The show’s prime time slot was switched over which gave speculation as to why the views dropped. After 50,000 people wrote to express how upset they were about the show being canceled, CBS revived it. The show then went on to go for seven seasons after its revival.

With resources like Twitter or Facebook, there is no need to wait a few days to weeks to see if a letter reaches someone. The phone is still available, but you may not get the response you want. If thousands of people take to Twitter to spam the mentions of a network’s account then those people will eventually get noticed.

Films are in the same boat in many ways. Studios want to make money, and if a project seems like it cannot make a big splash at the box office, then what is the point? Look at the success of Deadpool to show that if something seems like it would fail, might not be true. Ryan Reynolds was fighting for roughly ten years to get the project started, and Fox never wanted to believe in him.

The story of Deadpool has a lot of elements to why Fox was against the project. Superhero movies were secured for a PG-13 rating to let kids and adults all enjoy. The success of Sam Rami’s Spider-Man movies goes to show, well maybe we can ignore the third movie. Still, those movies are a great example as to why it would work to keep the films at PG-13. As the MCU got started, it showed a perfect balance for adults and kids. The universe of Marvel movies has made Disney billions of dollars. So, why make a superhero movie of a guy who is a foul-mouthed murderer? Fox did have valid reasoning behind their decision.

Ryan Reynolds was not the strongest spokesperson to get the project greenlit. Fox did not want a rated R superhero movie, especially if it stars the guy who did Green Lantern which is still an embarrassment to the genre. However, some footage of Ryan as the Merc with the mouth came online. After the leak, people took to social media to let it be known how incredible the footage looked. Fox did take their time because of how worried they were about Ryan Reynolds, and the fear about a rated R superhero flick was still scary. However, once they finally gave Ryan the thumbs up, Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wenrick got to work. The rest became history once the incredible marketing came full speed and the film released to become the highest grossing rated R movie ever made.

Fans who are worried about a project that may never see the light or something that has been canceled should look at the positive side of it. Their voices may not be heard, but they could be. With the resources with have today, anything is possible. Social media is easy access that puts out a message instantly. A studio could get thousands of phone calls or letters which are still powerful. The story is different when fans take to every social media outlet that a company has and spams them to give them back their show. The world is different now, we have new methods to revive shows or movies. If the revival does not happen, at least people went in fighting for that show to come back. Imagine how many more shows or movies could still be around if people just voiced their opinions.

 

Image via Fox

Movie Review: Deadpool 2

With how great the first movie was, how much hype behind the sequel, and a new director, to be worried for the sequel to Deadpool might be wise. Right here, I can already say that this is just as good, if not better than the original film. The film delivers everything and more of what was loved from the first. You will be getting violence that is bloodier and more of the great humor that is expected from a Deadpool movie.

It was a little worrying when the original director, Tim Miller, left because of creative differences. Having David Leitch come in from his work in the John Wick movies then cleared away any negative feelings. With Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick writing to guide the film and give it life then there could be nothing to stop this from being the sequel that fans deserve.

The film takes place with some distance away from the first. We see where Wade/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is at in his life (I will not go into detail for those wanting to know as little as possible) which means him fighting bad guys all around the world. We get some fantastic action and witty dialog from the foul-mouthed hero. After some traumatic event that puts our hero to rock bottom, he finds a kid named Russell (Julian Dennison). He has a powerful fire superpower that makes him a danger to society. Deadpool puts himself in a situation to protect him (yes, he is doing something for someone other than himself) and that introduces Cable (Josh Brolin). Cable comes from the future with a vendetta against Russell. Deadpool then forms a super team of various characters to create the X-Force to protect Russell from Cable’s wrath.

The plot is much more complicated compared to the simple origin story from the first. The direction goes in many places throughout, mostly to build up to the next movie which will be about Deadpool’s team, X-Force. For the most part, the film has great pacing and goes down a path that works. A scene or two felt a bit disconnected in some way. Maybe the way it was placed alongside another scene that felt too quick. Everything, for the most part, does go well, except for a slower final act that feels dragged on for several reasons. A bit happens to be funny but goes on for an absurd amount of time. Including there is a tense moment that does feel slowed down for other goofier moments to take place. That takes away from some of the tension and what is moving the story forward. Not to say the final act is terrible, it is great actually. The final act just saw its fair share of issues, but not to take away from the overall quality.

Having David Leitch come into the director’s chair was a brilliant move. While the action has good choreography in the first film, the sequel does a better job. This is probably due to David’s work on other action movies that are excellently choreographed such as Atomic Blonde and John Wick.

The writing is just as well done with almost every joke hitting the right beat. Some jokes were weaker than others, but the ones that hit, which are most of them, land hard to get you to burst out loud laughing. Some of the funniest scenes that I have seen in recent movies takes place here, even funnier than the first movie’s best moments. The references are also heavier, but not too heavy that it feels too much. Some of the references people may miss, but enough is out there for people to catch. Just like the first film, there is a lot of detail, especially in writing. This needs a second or third viewing to take every joke. Besides the humor being placed in every moment, the story is more emotional. Deadpool goes through a lot and has an emotional bond with his group of friends who help him on this adventure. The tone gets mixed up a bit because of the humor. Serious scenes are hard to be taken seriously, or even if they were meant to be taken remotely seriously. Some of the more emotional beats hit well, but the humor usually distracts from those moments. Going in for the characters, the fun, and the violence, it did not bother me. However, I felt it could have been executed better to blend the different tones.

Visually, the film, for the most part, looks quite good. Cable looks great, while everyone else also has great costumes. However, some of the special effects do look off at times. Nothing seems particularly awful, but it can be distracting for anyone who notices. Even with the parts that look good, nothing looks spectacular.

Outside of the original cast who are all great, the new cast is excellent additions. Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Cable are highlights of the whole movie. Domino is a great strong female character. She feels like someone playing off of the trope of female characters being incredibly strong just like in Batman v. Superman had with Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, the smaller characters were all just as good. I do mean small because the movie does focus on the original cast, Domino, Russell, and Cable.

Deadpool 2 is a worthy sequel in every way.  There are some issues here and there. A few moments with the story that feels a bit weaker at times. The third act does show some blemishes in the plot in ways but manages to end strong. A few special effects are a bit weak and could have used some more attention, which is far too familiar in any blockbuster movie. The jokes land, for the most part, characters are all great, and far better action with more gory violence. If you loved the first movie, then you will love this. If you hated the first, then watch anything else. On a final note, this movie does have one of my favorite after credit scenes of all time.

Score: 8/10

Image via 20th Century Fox

Quick News: Rage 2 Announced + Zombieland 2 Date + No Borderlands 3 at E3? + Jonathan Davis Wants a Metal Musical + More!

  • After some rumors and some mysterious teases from Bethesda, Rage 2 is official. A game that most people forgot or had on the back of their minds, but we have two trailers of the upcoming open-world shooter. The Mad Max looking shooter is full of color and destruction, other than that not much is known about the post-apocalyptic game. Id Software and Avalanche Studios are the developers while Bethesda is publishing. The game is scheduled to come out Q2 2019 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can watch the gameplay trailer below:

 

  • One of the most iconic and popular shows to ever feature on Adult Swim was Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. From its run that started in 2000 and abruptly ended in 2007, the show is being brought back. This time Harvey will have a slightly different job. The title of the new show is Harvey Birdman, Attorney General. Well, the show is not returning for a new series, but the return is a special episode coming this fall that will reunite the original cast of the show. None-the-less the fans of the original will be happy. Also, nobody knows if this is successful enough then a proper show could happen.

 

  • For years since the release of the zombie comedy Zombieland back in 2009, fans have wanted a sequel. A TV series was supposed to come, but after a dud of a pilot, the show was dropped. Now we have confirmation that a sequel to the film will arrive October 2019, just in time for the ten year anniversary. The new movie will bring back the original cast along with the original writers. Zombieland has launched Rhett Reese and Paul Wenrick’s careers. They have been busy with movies like the Deadpool movies, but now they have time to deliver fans what they have been wanting. The original film was a surprise hit that blew everyone away. With a budget of $23.6 million, while earning $102.4 million at the box office, it is a surprise that a second installment has taken this long. Fans are finally getting what they want, and the wait is only a little more than a year.

 

  • Jonathan Davis is quite the busy guy. His solo album Black Labyrinth is on its way soon. On top of that, he is working on the next album for Korn.  With all of that work, the man is looking further down the road for his next project. He is thinking about creating a “dark metal musical.” In an interview with Kerrang he says, “A long time ago, I was talking to Clive Barker about doing a dark, fucked-up musical, but people get busy, and it didn’t happen.” Until this happens, we will have plenty of work to listen to with Jonathan’s solo album and the next Korn record.

 

  • To end on a sad note with these next two stories, we have a new development on what to expect at E3. Gearbox has confirmed that we will not see Borderlands 3 at E3. Last week, a Walmart in Canada leaked that a bunch of games will be at E3. One of those games was Borderland 3. Some of the games on the list were accurate such as Rage 2, but this one has been shut down by developer Gearbox. On Twitter Randy Pitchford, Gearbox CEO confirmed that we would not be getting the game at E3 this year. After announcing the game a few years ago and fans have been waiting nearly six years for a proper sequel, we will have to wait a bit longer. E3 this year will run through June 12-14 to give journalists and gamers all of the information they need about upcoming games.

 

  • A major surprise that came last E3 was Metro Exodus. The reveal of the post-apocalyptic shooter made fans excited that they will dive into this world for the third time. The original release date was meant to come fall 2018. Now THQ Nordic confirmed this in an earnings report that Metro Exodus will be slated for a Q1 2019 release date. The company released a statement to clarify on their website.  In this statement, they said, “The development of Metro Exodus is progressing well; we are all really excited by what we are seeing. We have been constantly reviewing the games progress to ensure that we deliver a product that gamers and fans of the Metro series want and deserve, as well as keeping an eye on announcements from our competitor products. We want everyone to be able to experience what is the most ambitious Metro game to date at its absolute best, and therefore we have taken the decision to move the release date to Q1 2019.” As disappointing the news is, at least it should be out at the beginning of the year.

 

That is it for this week’s news roundup. What do you think of not seeing Borderlands 3 at E3? Are you excited about the idea that Jonathan Davis might make a musical? Will you be playing Rage 2 when it comes out? Be sure to comment on any of these stories below.

10 Heavy Metal Bands with Consistently Awesome Album Artwork

Making a great album is one thing, but having a great album cover is another. I feel like sometimes album art goes underappreciated, especially in a time where music is mostly digital. Buying a vinyl that has the enlarged album artwork is a beautiful thing to own. Sadly, many people don’t buy vinyl or CDs. Even then, the artwork goes usually ignored with people not necessarily talking about how the cover looks like. Here we will be celebrating bands that do it right. Some of these bands may have an album or two that does not have the best artwork, but their overall catalog is full of beautiful, intriguing, and even brutal album covers that need to be given some love. A few of these bands have nothing but high-quality album covers that are all amazing to look at. The groups on the list are not in any order, so I am not saying anyone is better than the other. I am just looking at bands who get the right artist to create such beautiful pieces of art to go along with great music. Here are ten bands with consistently excellent album artwork.

#10: The Black Dahlia Murder (Metal Blade Records)

The Black Dahlia Murder has been one of the best death metal bands that have formed in the 2000’s. Not only do they make phenomenal music, but their album art is beautifully crafted. The first two albums were great, but the album art was not very interesting. Their album Ritual and Deflorate have a different style than their latest albums, but still beautifully crafted. What puts the band on this list for me is the fact that records such as Nocturnal, Abysmal, Into the Everblack, and Nightbringers all have one to two colors with some black for that added detail. The pure blue from Nocturnal, for example, is beautiful. The albums all have a high level of detail that makes you want to look at it to absorb all of the little details. This holds especially true to Abysmal which is full of details of people getting ripped apart from hellish monsters. The Black Dahlia Murder is one of those bands who will have trouble disappointing their fans with excellent music and album artwork.

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#9: Amon Amarth (Metal Blade Records)

The thematics of a Viking metal band like Amon Amarth, it is hard not to have fantastic album covers. With the history of Vikings and Norse mythology at your disposal will make having the right album cover to go with the music should be a piece of cake. With albums such as Surur Rising, JomsvikingDeceiver of the Gods, and Twilight of the Thunder God to be the prime examples of some of the best album art in heavy metal. Whether it is a firey battle from Surtur Rising or an image of Thor from Twilight of the Thunder God, there is something to look at in astonishment. Having an eye-catching cover will always draw in that curious metalhead who is looking for a new band to dive into. Almost every album in Amon Amarth’s catalog is full of extensive detail such as these albums.

surtur risingAmon-Amarth-JomsvikingTwilight of the thunder god

 

#8: A Day to Remember (Victory Records and Epitaph Records)

A Day to Remember is unique in many ways. Mixing a pop-punk style with metalcore is really interesting and works out in a great way. Another aspect that is quite unusual is their album art theme. Every album features a man who is always facing away, so all you see is his back. The art is always stylized and as of lately, features a lot of detail. The best example being Bad Vibrations that opens up (if you have the CD or vinyl) to a whole lot more than meets the eye. References to previous material in this subway station are littered throughout. The biggest fans of the band would have to look at the album for hours to pick out every little detail. The band’s Sophomore album For Those Who Have Heart is much more simplistic with the man facing away as usual with a bat behind is back. The tan color with the silhouetted man is simple as can be but intriguing. Each album takes you on a different experience with the mysterious man to make for an iconic look to every album by A Day to Remember. Once you glance at a record, then you will automatically know who that it is ADTR.

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#7: Cannibal Corpse (Metal Blade Records)

It would be insulting to not have one of the most iconic and influential death metal bands on this list. Not only has Cannibal Corpse been arguably the most influential band in the genre, but they have some of the most iconic album covers in heavy metal. With albums such as Tomb of the Mutilated. Butchered at Birth, and Eaten Back to Life that has brought people so much terror throughout the world. Zombies, disfigured corpses, and deranged killers are all featured throughout the band’s catalog. My personal favorite is Tomb of the Mutilated which shows a man ripped in half eating out a woman who is bound and been butchered. Now that is true metal right there!

tombofthemutilatedEatenbacktolifebutchered at birth

 

#6: Cattle Decapitation (Metal Blade Records)

Cattle Decapitation uses its gruesome and brutal music to provide an important message about how humans abuse animals and the environment. With this, they depict animals in rather positive ways and show humans suffering in the most horrific ways. The Anthropocene Extinction and Monolith of Inhumanity might be in my top favorite album artworks of all time. They are some of the most horrendous and brutal covers that I have seen in recent years. Besides the flashy gruesome bodies depicted in the images below, everything is incredibly well done. Full of detail and beautifully drawn out, well as beautifully as rotting corpses can get. Karma Bloody Karma shows a different side to their artwork by showing something magical of a part man and bull with many arms holding cleavers and knives. The symbolism and message are quite compelling. Not only that, but it is quite different from their other albums that usually show some guy getting ripped to pieces in some fashion.

anthropocene exinctionkarma bloody karmamonolith of inhumanity

 

#5: Job for a Cowboy (Metal Blade Records)

Job for a Cowboy might be a band who have gone quiet for a while, and questions are raised about whether we will get another album from the deathcore group. Despite these questions, what we do have are some stunning albums. Sun Eater can be looked at for hours by how beautifully crafted it is. A ritualistic image showing a woman who looks like she is performing some spell upon a burning city. Every album features a goat skull that has given an image to the band throughout the years. The skull might be slightly shown in records like Sun Eater, but their EPs and other LPs do display the head more prominently. Demoncracy and Ruination are dark and disturbing images that feature the infamous skull. The two albums are much more political by their imagery with the American flag being shown in Ruination or seeing lady justice with the skull on her head. She has an army of police with riot shield behind her as she holds up her scale that holds up some meat. Job for a Cowboy was one of the first deathcore bands that kickstarted the genre and will have some memorable albums to always look back on.

Job-for-a-Cowboy-Sun-Eaterdemoncracyruination

 

#4: Iron Maiden (EMI and Capitol Records)

Iron Maiden is one of the most prominent and most influential heavy metal bands ever. Not only is their music changed the world of rock and metal forever, but they also have one of the most iconic mascots in the genre. Eddie the Head is featured consistently throughout their catalog. Eddie goes from using a hammer to smash someone to pieces in Killers, to an Egyptian theme in Powerslave, or even in some futuristic world in Somewhere in Time. The possibilities are endless and have always been incredible with each new album. It is impossible not to love the iconic character.

final frontierkillerssomewhere in time

 

#3: Skeletonwitch (Prosthetic Records)

Skeletonwitch feels to be quite an underrated band in the metal community. They mix quite a bit of different genres but mostly lean into the black metal world. Not only do they have incredible music, but some disturbing album art to go with it. Skulls and death plague each record just like any extreme band would have. The group lives up to their name by having skeletons and plenty of death to be featured on each cover. Breathing the Fire is one of their most brutal looking albums. Burned bodies and skeletons scattered throughout a firey field. At One with the Shadows is the band’s first album and it might be simple, but effective at being disturbing. The gruesome album features a Grim Reaper looking monster with a pentagram on his chest while holding several severed heads. The band has a theme, and they are sticking to it. A new album called Devouring Radiant Light is scheduled to release on July 20 of this year which will be the band’s first album in five years.

at one with the shadowsbreathing the fireSKELETONWITCH-FOREVER-ABOMINATION

 

#2: The Acacia Strain (Prosthetic Records and Rise Records)

The Acacia Strain is one of those bands who may not be that well known, but they have had continued influence among many groups in heavy metal in the 2000’s. Something I have always loved, especially in recent albums, is their wonderful colors displayed in their artwork that are vibrant and beautiful. Often albums such as Coma Witch and Wormwood feature birds with some other symbols and objects. Or the utter chaos that explodes in your face from Continent. Whether they are going for simple or complete destruction, their albums are always beautifully stylized and well crafted. Almost every record in the band’s catalog is full of color despite being a group that is full of hate and not-so-colorful lyrics.

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#1: Rings of Saturn (Unique Leader Records and Nuclear Blast Records)

The deathcore band Rings of Saturn have some stunning looking albums. Each one is full of vibrant colors that are impossible not to look at. With sci-fi horror themes featuring creatures and bizarre planets that are full of detail, you can look at any of their albums for some time and continue to pick out new details. With each album centered on a particular color, they manage to blend other colors to balance everything out to create a beautiful piece of art. Ultu Ulla has beautiful purple and green with a hint of blue in the mix. Another highlight in the band’s catalog is Dingir that is horrifying and at the same time beautiful. The album is full of various shades of blue and green to create something that is pretty to look at while managing to be quite disgusting at the same time. That is quite a remarkable thing to accomplish.

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That makes it for this list. What did you think of the albums featured here? Who do you think has some of the best album art in heavy metal? Be sure to comment your thoughts below!