Picking up where I left off: there’s an alien virus in Manhattan, which somehow causes aliens to invade, and there’s a bunch of enemy soldiers, and I still don’t really get the plot because I was too busy kicking things to pay attention.
Reading the Wikipedia page helps a little. The enemy soldiers are military contractors who want to kill me because they think I’m Prophet, who they were trying to kill because he was infected with the alien virus. So, it’s just a wacky case of mistaken identity that could be cleared up by me telling everyone that I’m not Prophet. Or, you know, I could just keep killing them. I think I’ll do that!
Portal 2: Nope, it’s not out yet, but it is currently available for pre-loading off Steam, which I’m excited about, which is a little weird. All it really means is that I can download some chunks of it but can’t play it for another week or so. But still, the idea of that game-y goodness slowly leaking into my computer, and just knowing it’s waiting there, is a nice warm feeling. It’s like owning a gun and knowing that you can kill someone if you want.
I’ve been on a complete Portal 2 info blackout for a couple months. Valve do great promotion work for their games, but with all the videos and ads and mysterious puzzles they’ve been releasing lately, I don’t want to have seen 95% of the game before I get to play it. I won’t even visit the link I just linked.
Video game reviews are tricky for non-professional (or, in my case, unprofessional) game writers. Unlike career game journalists, the hobby gamer doesn’t get an early look at most games. We have to buy them ourselves, which can get expensive. And, when a game contains ten or twenty or more hours of playtime, it may take us weeks to play through them, trying to find time to play among our other obligations, such as our real paying jobs and visits to our parole officers. Even if we do finish a game in a timely manner, there are already dozens of reviews already online, rendering our thoughts a bit moot.
There’s also the fact that I don’t finish playing every game, or even most games, I buy. Sometimes they’re just not fun, sometimes they’re too hard, and sometimes they start out okay but get boring. Should I even be reviewing a game that I’ve only played partially, weeks after it’s been released?
Quick recap of Sunday night’s entertainment:
We watched episode 2 of The Killing. With an entire season devoted to one case, the information is coming in at a leisurely trickle, which is good, though I admit I’m already impatient for more. I sort of wish we’d missed the season, waited until it was out on DVD, and rented it so we could consume it big, multi-episode gulps (The Wire was much more satisfying that way). Still, it’s very good, and it’s devoting a lot of time to the family of the deceased and how they’re trying to cope, which is both painful to watch and extremely rare for television to show. Generally, the only time you see the reaction of the family of a murder victim is when they’re informed of the murder, and they cry a little, and they mention “She used to hang out with this kid down the street” and then the investigation shifts away from them, until maybe you see them in the courtroom at the end.
Okay, Hollywood, listen up. There are three things nerds have wanted for a while: good movies based on comic books, good movies based on fantasy novels, and good movies based on video games.
I’ll give you this: after some early struggles, you’ve finally made some decent comic book movies, like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Iron Man (the first one), Spider-Man (the first two), and maybe one-and-a-half of the X-Men films.
Plus, you scored twin dunkers with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Harry Potter and the Blankity Blank sevenilogy. Or eightilogy. Whatever.
But good movies based on video games? In my opinion, you haven’t cracked the code. You’ve given us crap like Doom, Hitman, Prince of Persia, Max Payne, and Streetfighter. Where’s our good movie, the one we can point to and say, “Hey, this doesn’t suck too bad!”
You need help, and I am qualified to provide it due to the following facts:
1) I have played some games
2) I sort of remember some stuff about them
3) I wrote the stuff down in screenplay form
You’re welcome. Please note, Hollywood, that if you haven’t played this game yet, there are spoilers.
(The following post originally appeared on my old gaming blog, The First-Person Shouter)
If you follow my Twitter, you already know I’m very excited about a game called Merchants of Brooklyn. [Edit: it's now called Drug Wars.] Here are some excepts from the game’s description:
In 3100 A.D., global warming has caused the sea level to rise and engulf the streets of Brooklyn. The land is gone, but society rebuilds the city on top of existing structures, connecting buildings through a network of sky bridges…
To meet the upper city’s demand for laborers, city leaders contract the Brooklyn Institute of Technology (B.I.T.) to clone a new working class…. Neanderthals were chosen as the main focus of the research based on their physical resilience. The city’s contract called for far more Neanderthal clones than were required, causing the excess and sub-standard Neo-Neanderthals to be discarded to the dregs of the city…
…You take the role of an elite Neanderthal fighter with a taste for blood. Having had your arm unwillingly detached from your body courtesy of a chainsaw, your new prototype biomechanical arm transforms into different twisted and brutal weaponry to aid you in the slaughter…
That is quite simply the most awesome description of a game I’ve ever read. It’s so fucking awesome I don’t even dare check out the game itself, because in no way could it ever live up to that description. I can’t look at screenshots or videos or read reviews or anything that might take away from the perfect concept of cloned cavemen building sky bridges in future Brooklyn. No matter what the game actually is, it will never equal the images flooding through my brain.
But I want to do something with this game, so, I’m going to take the only logical step left: I’m going to write a screenplay for the movie adaptation of Merchants of Brooklyn.
Make four letter words until you’ve filled the four by four grid, then move on to progressively harder levels (seriously, what am I supposed to do with three Y’s and a K?) I made it to 40th on the leaderboard one day, but it’s not unusual I get the message “You’ve placed 1,855th!” Like I’m supposed to be proud of that.