Trailer Tuesday: Uncharted Tombs

Something a bit different this week (hey, the movies are getting enough hype in the run-up to the Oscars), and following yesterday’s promising Geek-nip in the form of new X-capades – but it’s not all about TV resurrections, because two of this boy’s favourite video game franchises are getting retooled and all next-gen shiny at the end of the year.

Yep, the original raider of tombs Lara Croft will be running, leaping, climbing and shooting her way through an Xbox One vs. PS4 battle with her younger, hairier successor Nathan Drake – who himself is not averse to a copious amount of running, leaping, climbing and shooting. But who to choose?

Of course, it’ll be both (bearing in mind I don’t own a single next-gen console yet, hmm) but this does feel more personal than most console clashes, primarily because these two series share so many gameplay elements and are both being released just before next Xmas. A whiff of Blur vs. Oasis, if you ask me. It’s a hard one to judge: ‘Uncharted’ has just got better, more ambitious and more fun with each entry and, following Naughty Dog’s awe-inspiring ‘The Last of Us’, it’s likely that ‘A Thief’s End’ (a true end for Drake?!) will be darker, unpredictable and more cinematic than ever; meanwhile, the stalwart ‘Tomb Raider’ series may have shown signs of having raided one too many tombs by the mid-2000s but a couple of recent strong entries, namely 2012’s spit-and-polish reboot, mean ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ could mean the girl comes out on top.

Both trailers suggest EPIC, with stirringly scored teaser trailers that manage to do what movie trailers no longer seem to want to do: tease! Although I grew up with Lara, my allegiance is currently with Drake, purely because of the odd decision by the developer (based on a new Microsoft partnership) to release the game exclusively on Xbox first of all, despite the character beginning life on PlayStation. My dutiful sense of nostalgia there, but then again I can understand the lack of business sense in releasing two action-adventure exclusives on the same machine, days apart – especially when both involve a hella lot of cave-ransackin’.

Either way, the two trailers have me starting my next-gen funds already. Which one is your winner?

VS.

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The Last Picture Show

I’ll be bringing you news of 2014’s San Diego Comic-Con later this week, following its weekend wrap-up today.

However, news of an official movie adap of PS3 survival horror hit ‘The Last of Us’ is too exciting not to babble about before then…

maisie williams ellie

Announced at the start of the annual event, which attracts an ever-increasing geek pilgrimage year on year, a movie version of 2013’s ‘Game of the Year’ will be written by the game’s original scripter, potentially star Maisie Williams (Arya Stark herself!) as heroine Ellie, and – most notable for fans of cult movies and gore – will be produced by ‘Spiderman’ and ‘Evil Dead’ helmer, Sam Raimi.

Could this be the turnaround video games have been waiting for when it comes to game-to-screen updates? Sure, it would be nice if the original voice cast could translate to the movie, but the difference in age unfortunately means Ashley Johnson won’t work out as a teen Ellie in Hollywoodland.

Still, the credibility suggested by the CC announcement is enough to get fans tensed up for the nerve-jangling human vs fungus-people zombie apocalypse – even if it’s not out for another couple of years!

Never Seen Star Wars?

star wars

We all have that friend who shakes their head at us when we tell them we haven’t watched that TV show/seen that movie/read that book/played that game that they’re so enamoured by. We’ve all felt inadequate and out of the loop when receiving this reaction, so much so that we rush out to buy the raved-about boxset or whatever it is to appease our friends and sate our souls.

Exhibit A: the droves of people inhaling ‘Breaking Bad’ via Netflix after the slow-burn cult fave suddenly exploded into ‘Homeland’-style watercooler TV during its final season. Walter deserves the following, sure, but when did friendly critical recommendation turn into guilt-trip binge watching in an effort to bridge the cred-diminishing gap?

The thing is, in this media-blitz age, we can’t all have watched/played/read every well-received entertainment property – unless you don’t have a job (even then), it’s just not realistic. Sure, you can spend your weekends devouring ‘Mad Men’ boxsets but for every Don Draper, you’ll have to sacrifice a Tony Soprano or an 8-hour ‘Skyrim’ blitz.

So, as McGeek, what is my dark and dirty secret? There’s plenty on my Sky planner and Netflix ‘to watch’ list, plus a small fortune of CDs, books and games on my Amazon wishlist (even prior purchases on my shelves that I’m yet to touch). As a self-professed geek, I should probably feel slightly ashamed – heck, you may even spurn this blog upon discovering – that one small little space saga sits at the top of my unwatched list.

Yup, that’s right: I’ve never seen ‘Star Wars’.

Holy shit beans. Put down your lightsabers though, guys; my geek ignorance may astound you, but it’s just something I haven’t gotten round to. I haven’t wilfully spurned the series, instead simply going through life without returning to the Jedi after a primary school showing of ‘A New Hope’ had me glued to my seat but not necessarily crying out for more.

star wars stormtroopers

Of course, as a wisened geek, the original saga is definitely something I intend to catch at some point, especially now the franchise is getting the JJ/Disney treatment in the next few years. One weekend awaits in my future where I’ll sit down with a family-sized box of Maltesers and gorge on both that and George’s galaxy.

Of the new trilogy, through some mishap I ended up seeing ‘Attack of the Clones’ at the cinema but I admit to having no idea what was going on during its flurry of a final hour. Maybe I wasn’t invested enough, maybe my ignorance of the originals rendered a prequel redundant, maybe it was just a bit shit (surely, some ‘Star Wars’ fanatics agree here?); whatever the case, I’m sure a sit-down with the most recent entries will occur at some point too but maybe without quite as much as guilt on my side that it’s my first time.

The thing with ‘Star Wars’ is that it’s one of those few cultural entities that is so all-pervading that perhaps part of the reason I haven’t seen it in full is because I feel I don’t necessarily need to. Storm troopers, ewoks, the Death Star, the true identity of Luke Skywalker’s father… I feel like I’ve been there and back already, such is the frequency that the universe’s iconography is referenced in all manner of TV, film, games and music.

With the new phase of ‘Star Wars’ looking like a mighty Marvel makeover – a new film every year, character standalones, etc. – it’s an apt time for any newcomer like me to make nice and get acquainted. The casting rumours are flying thick and fast, with relative unknowns like ‘Girls’’ Adam Driver to the original Hamill/Ford/Fisher cast, being bandied about.

However, before I get all excited and offer opinions about what the new movies should or shouldn’t be, I should really visit a galaxy far, far away. Anyone got a boxset they wanna loan me??

Next Gen Bat to Fly in 2014

rocksteady batman

Are you one of the purists still sore over ‘Arkham Origins’? Well, get ready to chill the F out following the announcement that Rocksteady is returning to the series finale ‘Arkham Knight’.

Set roughly one year after the events of ‘Arkham City’, Rocksteady’s last adventure in Gotham, this is set to be the geek’s choice of game for next-gen players in 2014. Prepare to do the Batdance over the fact that you can drive the Batmobile – oh hellz yeah!

The Last of Us News: Left Behind on Valentine’s Day

If you’re not into the dinner-and-a-movie Valentine’s routine, then you’re in luck – that is, if your girl/boyfriend appreciates the fine art of video games.

left behind

Even if they don’t, they may just have got drawn in as you played Naughty Dog’s PS3 epic ‘The Last of Us’, easily one of last year’s best games. Following that game’s gut-punch ending, the prospect of DLC has been something for fans to savour until – or even if – the sequel arises like an infected clicker.

Well, today those fine folk at Naughty Dog have released a full opening cinematic trailer for ‘Left Behind’, which charts an episode of Ellie’s pre-Joel life. For fans of the game, it’s likely this scene between Ellie and estranged friend Riley will develop into a harrowing struggle for survival.

And, what’s that? It’s out Valentine’s Day? So, flowers and chocolates it is for the other half – Friday 14th is reserved. Just make sure you have enough ammo…

14 for 2014: Game On, New Doctor Time

Are you one of the lucky geeks who got a next-gen console off Santa this Xmas? Of course I’m jealous, but then again the game line-up so far has been underwhelming even if the very idea of a PS4 makes my mouth fill with saliva.

Thankfully, gamers have a lot to look forward to this year whether your hardware is upgraded or not. Highlights abound and, for shame-faced PS3/Xbox 360 owners like myself, some of the more exciting titles are available on the old kit.

Sure, PS4’s ‘The Evil Within’ looks like good scary fun, but the console crossover likes of ‘Watch Dogs’ (‘Remember Me’ done right?), rad reboot ‘Thief’ and epic-in-waiting ‘Destiny’, from the makers of ‘Halo’/’COD’, lead the way in an exciting fashion. Meanwhile, crowd-funded point-and-click adventure puzzler ‘Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey’ is set to be a favourite of old-school fans and PC gamers nonplussed next-gen advancements.

game lineup 2014

As for the next thing on my list, I don’t think much needs to be said. Forget your annual GP visit, this year it’s all about one Doctor and his name is Malcolm Fucking Tucker. I feel Saturday nights are about to get unpredictable…


(props to the genius creator of this video)