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PC | The Gamers Blog

 

As the eighth gen­er­a­tion of con­soles are still rel­a­tively new, new games are hard to come by, and devel­op­ment can be delayed while learn­ing the ropes for these con­soles. As games that are next gen spe­cific like Bat­man: Arkham Knight are see­ing delays, we are see­ing a return of pre­vi­ous gen games that pushed the older hard­ware to their break­ing lim­its. This past Jan­u­ary we saw the re-release of Tomb Raider in the Defin­i­tive Edi­tion for PlaySta­tion 4 and Xbox One. At the end of this month we will see the re-release of The Last of Us in the Remas­tered Edi­tion for the PS4, and at some point this year Grand Theft Auto 5 will jump to the new hard­ware as well. While some may scream that this is sim­ply a money grab from com­pa­nies, I see this as an oppor­tu­nity for peo­ple to play gems that could have taken visual, per­for­mance, or even game­play hits from the aging sev­enth gen hard­ware. I pur­chased Tomb Raider: Defin­i­tive Edi­tion for the PS4 recently and I am sur­prised over how good the game looks and run on the fresh hard­ware. I still have my orig­i­nal 360 copy and that was by no means an ugly game, but their is a stark visual and per­for­mance con­trast. This maybe the con­tin­u­ing trend of HD releases we received dur­ing the last gen, which I was well on board with. Play­ing the game the past cou­ple of days has also given me a new respect for Jason Graves incred­i­ble score. Graves is also known for scor­ing the Dead Space fran­chise, Mur­dered: Soul Sus­pect, and Alpha Pro­to­col. Tomb Raider’s sound­track may have been some­thing I missed in the past ( with the amount of games I play and sound­tracks I lis­ten to, some­thing just get lost), but I am cor­rect­ing that today with a look at its fan­tas­tic score.

 

Secret of the Island Com­plete — Jason Graves — A very per­cus­sion heavy piece, laid with early Japanese/tribal feel; Secret of the Island is a great rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Yamatai, the island in which Tomb Raider takes place. When the strings enter you can feel the sense of dan­ger; the mys­te­ri­ous Storm Guard; the Sun Queen, Himiko; and the deranged cultist led by Math­ias. The per­cus­sion makes this piece, enjoy

 

SOS Tower Final In-game (unre­leased) — Jason Graves — This track was not on the offi­cial sound­track, but thanks to Sound­Cloud and Graves, we get to lis­ten to what is one of the more hap­pier moments in the game. The part of the game where this piece takes place is a huge step for Lara. Still shaky about her sur­round­ings, she is less than con­fi­dent to climb the dilap­i­dated radio tower. She does, and proves to her­self that she can do this, she can become the char­ac­ter we know. The sight from atop the tower is beau­ti­ful, and this piece cap­tures that won­der­ing beauty.

 

A Sur­vivor is Born — Jason Graves — The main theme from Tomb Raider, is sweep­ing, beau­ti­ful piece of pro­duc­tion. Lara’s theme that starts around the (1:25) mark is epic, encas­ing all that Lara has been through on Yamatai and becom­ing the strong pro­tag­o­nist she is meant to be. At the (2:02) mark, the Lara theme is played again but by a solo piano. I love how in the piece there is the same cen­tral theme, the same notes even, played three dif­fer­ent ways, at dif­fer­ent tem­pos; but yet it all fits together so per­fectly. I hope you Enjoy!

 

2014 was look­ing like a great year for games. We had big hit­ters such as Bat­man: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3, Tom Clancy’s: The Divi­sion. The Order:1866, The Elder Scrolls Online (con­sole ver­sion), and many oth­ers. The lat­est title slip­ping in to 2015 is Bat­man: Arkham Knight. Thought this makes my fall release sched­ule a tad eas­ier on the wal­let, this was my most antic­i­pated title of the year. So now I have Des­tiny, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dragon Age: Inqui­si­tion, Evolve, Smash Broth­ers Wii U, Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mor­dor, and the recently announced Forza Hori­zon 2 to look for­ward too. Not a bad line up of games to get me though the cold win­ter, but the Dark Knight will sadly be missed. I agree that game cre­ators should take their time, more time could mean a bet­ter, more fin­ished prod­uct. Here is a list of every­thing that has been pushed back so far.

 

–Bat­man: Arkham Knight (PS4/One/PC) — 2015

- The Elder Scrolls Online (PS4/One) — atleast 6 months, could be Decem­ber, my money is on early next year.

- Tom Clancy’s: The Divi­sion (PS4/One/PC) — 2015

- The Witcher 3 (PS4/One/PC) — Feb­ru­ary 2015

- The Order:1866 (PS4) — 2015

- Steam Con­troller (PC) — 2015

- Mad Max (being devel­oped by Just Cause 2 devel­oper Avalanche Stu­dios) — 2015

- Half-Life 3 — 2054

 

Hope­fully with E3 a week away, we see some more con­crete titles com­ing this fall, and more rea­son to put money down on a new con­sole. Even if 2014 does end up on the weaker side, 2015 should be a smash­ing year for gam­ing. If any other delays are announced I will update the article.

 

The gloves are off as Rock­steady takes one last knock­out punch to the Bat­man fran­chise before mov­ing on, and the new game­play trail­ers made my inner fan­boy scream with glee. The game is sched­uled to be released this fall on the PlaySta­tion 4, Xbox One, and PC. This will not be a cross gen­er­a­tion game and the visu­als show, the visu­als are gor­geous. The bat­mo­bile makes a huge pres­ence in the trailer, as I stated in my first pre­view, it will play a major roll in the game, both for com­bat and tra­vers­ing the envi­ron­ment. The trailer does hint at the vil­lains that will take cen­ter stage; Two-face, the Pen­guin, Scare­crow, and the mys­te­ri­ous Arkham Knight. Also shown in the trailer is Ora­cle, a.k.a. Bar­bara Gor­don. She was in the pre­vi­ous two titles but only in voice, and I am glad we are see­ing her char­ac­ter even more fleshed out in Knight. I am still try­ing to fig­ure out who’s behind the Arkham Knight mask. At the end­ing of Arkham City we had sev­eral vil­lains fall, and for the sake of rep­e­ti­tion, I hope they stay that way. They did hint at a Talia al Ghul, Bruce Wayne rela­tion­ship in Arkham City. Could Damian Wayne make an appear­ance? We also have Hush and Azrael (Michael Lane) that are unac­counted for after City. I hope you enjoy the trailer as much as I did, and it is very nice to have Kevin Con­roy back as the Dark Knight.

 

 

Assassin’s Creed is one series I never tire of. Some may argue that the yearly titles are start­ing to set in fran­chise fatigue, and to a point, I agree. But unlike other yearly releases, they are given ample devel­op­ment time, they are always try­ing new ideas and mechan­ics (some that stick and oth­ers that only appear once), and the sheer amount of con­tent you get can be stag­ger­ing. To me, they are like tak­ing a walk through a his­tory book, but with fun action doo­dles in the mar­gins. I am cur­rently work­ing through Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, since I play these on the con­soles I waited till I was able to play the PlaySta­tion 4 ver­sion of the title to jump in. For a cross-generation title it is quite stun­ning. Black Flag has been a dream come true since I fin­ished Assassin’s Creed 3. One of the stand­out ele­ments from AC III was the naval bat­tles, which in Black Flag, take the fore­front. As a bonus we received one of the best pirate themed games of all time, some­thing Dis­ney (Pirates of the Caribbean) could never deliver. Jes­per Kyd has helmed most of the series as com­poser. Kyd com­posed the scores for Assassin’s Creed, II, Broth­er­hood, and shared duties on Rev­e­la­tions with Lorne Balfe. Balfe scored parts of rev­e­la­tions and Assassin’s Creed III. I have shared Balfe’s work on AC III on a pre­vi­ous Gam­ing in Stereo. Assassin’s Creed: Lib­er­a­tion, a spin off of AC III that landed on the PS Vita (later con­soles and PC) was scored By Winifred Phillips. Black Flag was scored by Brian Tyler, known for the excel­lent Far Cry 3 sound­track. Though some peo­ple, myself included, were a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed when Kyd didn’t return for Assassin’s Creed III, but I feel it was for the bet­ter. Kyd did a great job dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing the sound of AC and AC II, and I feel fresh com­posers did the same for the fol­low­ing titles. Today we are going to look at those dif­fer­ent sounds with some tracks from Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed II.

 

Jes­per Kyd — Ezio’s Fam­ily — Assassin’s Creed II

This track is sim­ply beau­ti­ful. With the piano, stings, and vocals it feels very fit­ting for renais­sance time period. Since the Assassin’s Creed series is a tale of two time peri­ods, one mod­ern and the other a his­tor­i­cal point in time, the track adds an elec­tric gui­tar ele­ment at the (2:44) mark. Eas­ily one of my favorite tunes from this series, enjoy!

 

Brian Tyler — Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Main Theme

Brian Tyler cap­tured the escapades of Edward Ken­way per­fectly with this theme. The drums and vio­lins give a sea shanty feel, breath­ing a sense of play­ful­ness in to the tune. The fran­tic drums at the (1:29) are the high­light, but like the game, this feels fun. You can feel in the music that Ken­way likes his “pri­va­teer” lifestyle, though the game does have its more seri­ous moments as well.

 

Bonus Track: Brian Tyler — On the Hori­zon

I am going to let the bonus track speak for itself. There are epic drum sec­tions later in the piece, so lis­ten for those. This does show a more seri­ous side to Black Flag, enjoy!

 

I’ve always been a fan of EVE Online and as such I’ve played it off and on over the past decade and being a fan of space bat­tles, space itself and huge star­ships why wouldn’t I be? In my opin­ion it’s thee best space sim on the mar­ket today. It has amaz­ing look­ing star­ships, amaz­ing galaxy vis­tas, a huge and thriv­ing econ­omy, huge polit­i­cal con­flicts a galaxy and that just scratches the sur­face of what EVE online has to offer.

The newest trailer though brought me con­sider some­thing that I hadn’t really thought of prior to it. All new games gen­er­ally have cool trail­ers but in real­ity the game rarely ever looks any­thing like or plays like the trail­ers that rep­re­sent them I.E Warham­mer, Mass Effect, The Witcher, etc. The trail­ers are designed to look awe­some and make peo­ple want to play the game and in truth this trailer does just that but it also does some­thing I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in a trailer and that is to show off what the devel­op­ers want EVE to look like in the future not what it looks like now. Hav­ing said that the prophecy trailer is made almost entirely from the in game engine which is impres­sive for how stun­ning it looks. I’ve seen less spec­tac­u­lar space bat­tles on pop­u­lar TV shows.

Is this trailer meant to do what every other trailer is meant to do and draw you in? Yes… But more than that it’s there to show what the devel­op­ers at CCP envi­sion the game to be like in the near future and if that is the future they see I want to be a part of it. Many of the com­plaints I’ve had about the game and ideas I’ve had were pretty much show­cased or improved in that trailer as things they want to improve upon such as local­ized dam­age to star­ships, improved warp in’s, larger scale bat­tles, expanded galax­ies, board­ing par­ties, planet bat­tles, etc.

The vision CCP has for EVE online is incred­i­bly ambi­tious but they are, slowly but surely, pulling it off with the help of over 500k sub­scribers. I’m incred­i­bly impressed with what they’ve been able to pull off over the last decade and I plan to keep play­ing EVE through­out the years. What do you guys think?


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