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🎙️ Black Ribbon’s Ramble Podcast – COMIC-CON, JAMES BOND, OVERWATCH, TELLTALE GAMES & MORE

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Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy go Telltale Episodic!

After months of waiting, Telltale have finally released a trailer for their upcoming series of the Guardians of the Galaxy which has received a very mixed response.

Watch it here!

It appears that Telltale have stepped away from their iconic art style that’s prevalent in The Walking Dead and Borderlands releases and opted for a style similar to Disney’s Infinity games. As a fan of the developers, I prefer the scratchy and darker hues that Telltale have demonstrated and feel like GotG is going to be commercially driven – similar to the Minecraft series. We see the emulation of the property owners styles to fit into the mainstream expectations of the younger, more mainstream audiences rather than the comic book fans and hardcore fan bases. The characters appear very long and slender with a lot of block based colours and little defining features to portray itself as a Telltale game.

In all honestly, i feel the trailer demonstrates nothing of significant value. The action and comedy factors that underpin that Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t showing through and it feels more of a show reel of that characters we will be seeing through the 5 episode series.

What do you think of the trailers, are you excited or as wary as us? Let us know in the comment section down below!

Evolve – XBOX ONE – Can the big monster still pack the punch?

Online games are something I tend to stay away from. Not just because of an internet connection worse than a poverty stricken 3rd world continent but due to their lack of diversity and story. However, there are a few games that have worked solely on an online experience such as Titanfall which stands as one of the best online experiences I have had in many years and one of my favourite games to play on the Xbox One when I get bored. You also have the Plants Vs Zombies third person shooter that sits firmly as a fun and creative experience that has very little Cod or Battlefield mentality lurking among their community yet both lack a campaign to engage me into the world even more. As for Evolve, if you watched our EGX trip vlog, you may have picked up on my love and excitement for Evolve. As it stands, I got a hands on with the Kraken and whaled on the 4 hunters. Once the Big Alpha appeared, I got another chance to try all of the hunters which you can also see on the Youtube channel.

Evolve works on a 4V1 system online FPS. If players aren’t found, AI’s will fill in the gaps. Now 4V1 in any situation is bad, however, if that 1 is a hulking monster with an insatiable thirst for power and a passion for killing things and using your spine to scratch that spot you can’t quite reach, its a heart pounding experience. From the alpha and beta demos, I experienced a good build, minor glitches at times and a few full on game breaking bugs. Its only now that we find out if Evolve and 2K studios can stand up and create a game that doesn’t have its fans seething with rage.

Given some time to play around everything else, Evolve is remarkably easy to progress through. With very little time and motivation, it didn’t take me long to to plough through character skills with very little progress through the levelling system. Not that the game needs a prestige system and an overdose of levels to gratify playing it for extended periods but its this length that reduces that games life with little potential for prolonged play without paid DLC. Alongside very few game modes, you get little variation to reduce modes becoming thin and rather lacklustre with little potential to move further. Considering my excitement, maybe I expected a little too much from a game that was an online exclusive like Titanfall but Titanfall came out with a lot to offer from the offset with a lot of fresh ideas. Evolve skipped that and dropped in a horde mode, right at release that with improvement, could have stood as a free inclusion to draw players back. Speaking of DLC, its seems to have taken a huge grasp in recent years and the DLC apocalypse within Evolve is just one example of why these guys need to rethink their plans. Sure, make money, that’s cool by me but clasping for money from tiny extras like a weapon skin pack really isn’t on in any situation. Alongside releasing 44 DLC pieces on release, being greeted by a massive day one patch that is bigger than most of the PC games I download and play and finding that the season pass doesn’t give you all of the content leaves a sour taste in the mouths of those who have paid the extra.

Ignoring the blatant money grabbing and the length, Evolve can be extremely fun. As the monsterEvolve is a preferred character of mine, I was going solo and that often leads to some extremely tense moments that had me shaking from adrenaline pumping through me at a rate of knots when posed against a team that are well choreographed. Its these hairy situations that make Evolve fun. The same can go for for the Hunters but often enough, you play with people who simply want to run off and kill the monster on their own and surprisingly, it is almost always the medic. Given that they are given free reign of the map, they will not partner with anyone and the lack of a medic means those who are actually in the fight are left constantly being battered. As for the support class, they fell very inefficient. Their role doesn’t change the course of a game unless you are trying to run away from the monster. Back to the monster, have to look at the support you get when you start the game. You have to choose how you want to advance from the get-go, go loud and run or stick low and not leave footprints? Its erratic when almost instantly you can be tracked because you’ve drawn or scared the local bird population no matter how you’ve started and its this that means the monsters can often be caught in a matter of minutes giving all the edge to the hunters. If the hunters are sufficient players, you won’t see stage 2. If they split and go solo, you will be looking at an easy win. From here we have to talk about the match making process that comes into play. Is it fair to drop someone in as a monster with no support against a team who are far superior giving an incredibly unbalanced match? No not really. Dropped into lobbies with level 15+ while I’m only 8 was daunting enough adding that I was only a Goliath against a squad of second+ tier hunters ended with me being killed in a matter of 3 minutes flat. Apart from the obvious team balancing issues, the AI is very well programmed. Sometimes they can be a little hard but it has been calmed down since the Big Alpha which means fighting AI’s isn’t impossible. The creatures of the land are unforgiving and generate enough distractions that can be used tactically depending on your situation.

Finally we have the visual aspects of the game. As a next gen game, they are up to standard. I’m not in awe of the work they have done, simply as I haven’t been still long enough to focus on the vegetation of the landscapes. Although there was never a scene that captured me even when I was moving about. In Dragon Age Inquisition, I was caught by the composition and lighting effects within a jail cell while Evolve was more of, “Oh, that looks cool…”. Their character designs are where Evolve stands out. Although the monsters are somewhat generic, the hunters run on irony and stereotypes for certain nationalities that are rather amusing and once decked out, look pretty badass. Although a story mode might enable this guys to flourish, they are funny amoungst themselves.

If you are looking for a bit of fun, something to kill a few hours, Evolve is perfect for that. As a long term commitment, it lacks. Eventually the games multiplayer will become sparse and the newcomers later down the line will find it hard to get a decent start into the world without suffering continuous losses until they level up and gain some perks. Visually it is good, I still have sound issues that make the game sound like a robot, whether that is something to do with latency, I don’t think I’ll ever work it out, but my experience on other online games says otherwise. Pick it up for a little fun, make sure its price is a reasonable £20 or so to get your value for money. All in all, the game is probably a 7/10. I certainly got caught up in all the hype from EGX but the overall outcome was still good and enjoyable except from its large flaws which in some cases, put money ahead of the consumers.

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