This is cool. Guy Cihi, who you may recognize as the voice and face of James Sunderland, recently played Silent Hill 2 for the first time ever. I can’t imagine being a part — a big part — of such an influential video game, horror or otherwise, and not trying it at least once, but until recently, Guy hadn’t played the game he helped make so memorable.
Silent Hill 2 was one of the first horror games I ever played, and it was definitely the one to hook me into this genre. In a way, I owe my gig here at Bloody Disgusting to this game. Thanks, Guy!
I’ve embedded the first part of his lengthy playthrough below. If you want more of it, head on over to the Play With Friends Hitbox channel.
Evolve, the newest game from Turtle Rock Studios, is a 4-versus-1 first-person shooter in which soldier “Hunters” team up to battle a human-controlled monster in a variety of alien environments. It has all of the expected characteristics of a multiplayer-focused game, including perks and skins, but what separates it is the main conceit: Asymmetrical multiplayer.
That is itself an interesting design choice, not entirely new but part of a growing trend in the industry. In that way, this game is basically an end-boss battle played over and over again.
Even though the concept hasn’t been done to death, Turtle Rock Studios has a proven track record worthy of making Evolve a major 2015 release. The team’s most acclaimed effort, Left 4 Dead, still boasts an engaged online community, so it should go without saying that Evolve is blessed / cursed with high expectations.
The game showed really well at industry and fan events, but as with any online-focused game, the question remains: will it hold a player base well beyond the initial grace period of its release?
Despite some issues concerning the game’s longevity (and DLC plans), Evolve nevertheless remains a challenging, stable, well-realized gaming experience.
In Evolve, players choose from one of four Hunter classes: Assault, Support, Medic, and Trapper. Assault is your basic soldier, while Support protects the team and offers additional firepower. The Medic class is tasked with reviving injured comrades, and the Trapper tracks down the monster. Each possesses its own strengths and weaknesses, and the dev team has made sure to balance the game so that you can’t just choose a class and then go in guns-a-blazing, unless, of course, you have no real desire to defeat the Monster.
In addition, players can choose to be the Monster, and the variety of monster types ranges from the Godzilla-esque Goliath to the Cthulhu-ian Wraith and the classic Kraken. Like with each Hunter class, the Monsters possess different abilities. Goliath breathes fire and pummels hunters into submission, the Kraken rains down lightning on hapless warriors, and the Wraith uses teleportation and subterfuge to kill off Hunters en masse.
Besides evade and kill the Hunters, the Monster’s function is to level up by killing and devouring the less domineering creatures in the game. Monsters begin at Level 1 (relatively killable) and end at Level 3 (nigh upon invincible), so the element of time becomes extremely important.
As players progress in each class, they unlock new characters, whose powers and abilities differ from their “classmates.” Unlocking them in multiplayer modes requires players to master the current character’s abilities, measured through hitting certain numerical benchmarks (6600 damage, and so on). The progression tips the odds in favor of the hunters, but at no point does the struggle become easy for the hunters. It’s a continuous struggle.
Regarding upgrades, the way that the game engages players with numbers, too, is kind of fascinating. It has a pretty in-depth system for interpreting data from matches and using that data to reward or encourage players. After each match, for example, your performance is compared against the worldwide baseline, which then informs how your play stacked up.
During matches themselves, the Monster is so overpowered, to defeat it will require a concerted effort from the Hunters. That goes for each of the three (currently released) Monsters. As mentioned above, a gang of single-minded vigilantes is much less likely to take down one of the creatures than a cooperative unit. It really comes down playing the class.
If everyone plays the character as intended and the team works together — and they manage to track down the monster before it reaches Level 3 — it’s not impossible to earn a quick kill.
However, let the monster reach Level 3, and it becomes a lot — a LOT — less pleasant to track down “the target.” If that happens, you’ll spend a lot more time watching other players from a postmortem position, waiting for the Dropship clock to wind down so you can rejoin the match. Not only that, but the ultimate maguffin for each level comes in the form of a reactor that can be destroyed by a Level 3 Monster, so players are encouraged to take the thing down anytime before that final evolution occurs.
All of this is to say: if you’re the Monster, the game is a whole lot more simple. Your job is to evolve (level up) and destroy every single thing in your path. I will say that I found myself more excited to play the basic Hunter than to take on the responsibility of tormenting the four-person team, but I also cannot deny that I’m probably in the minority on that.
In addition to the seismic destruction put forth by the Monsters, each environment is filled with an abundance of hazards, including man-eating plants and other creatures. Even if finding the Monster requires some tracking, you’re not going for an idle walk in the woods. There’s still plenty to kill and maim you within the confines of the arena.
Logistically, the matchmaking works well, based on my personal experiences, and it seems to do a fairly complex job of evening out the fairness of play in each individual match. No Level 20 player is going to be paired with a Level 1 beginner. The dev team boats on the Evolve website that balancing is one of their main concerns, and so far I think they’ve done a fine job of keeping games interesting.
That process is further streamlined by the way the game front loads user preference in choosing a Hunter class. New players are required to rank the classes 1-5 (including the Monster), and the matchmaking attempts to accommodate those wishes. I’m sure class popularity might complicate that somewhat, but I’ve managed to be Hank (Support) at least 75% of the time, which was, honestly, surprising for me.
Furthermore, I didn’t experience any lag or slowdown, even when the game warned me that my internet connection might cause some issues. The load times might guard against that, but it’s definitely nice to play the game without a drop in frame rate.
The game looks awesome, from the highly-stylized Hunters to the environments, which are definitely modeled on the game’s influences. One arena, for example — The Aviary — is reminiscent of, say, the jungle from Predator. The cartoonish character designs are somewhat reminiscent of Team Fortress 2, and that’s not the only place where one could draw those kinds of inferences, but the overall aesthetic works.
Evolve is serious but doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is definitely a plus.
Its only real problems, in my opinion, extend from the time players will potentially spend waiting. The load times are nowhere near those of, say, PS1-level, for sure, but being a multiplayer-only game, the wait times will be more significant. The game runs efficiently in a lot of ways; all I’m saying is, maybe have something by your side while you wait for matches to begin.
That fact is compounded by other non-action-oriented aspects of being in-game in Evolve. The discrepancy between the time spent hunting down the Monster and actually battling it can be quite wide, depending on the skill of the Hunters / Monster. That particular factor can account for much more actual playtime than one might expect. A few matches have dragged on far longer than necessary merely because the Monster successfully evaded our searches.
Ultimately, Evolve is a solid multiplayer experience, but it is also quite ambitious. Putting out an ostensibly multiplayer-only game plants a seed in the minds of gamers, and that question is: What is this game’s shelf life? For much higher-profile brands, like Call of Duty, the question doesn’t matter, precisely because the series is guaranteed to have players. For a new intellectual property, the uphill battle is acquiring and keeping users.
Still, Evolve is, despite the controversy over its DLC plans, an extremely solid and stable game experience. I’ve had zero problems connecting to servers or engaging in the game’s various play modes. The sort of repetitive maps can be problematic down the road, I’m sure, but for the time being, I’ve hardly noticed it.
The Final Word: Time will tell if it holds players’ attention the way it wants to, but judging by the studio’s plans for supporting the game through DLC, it appears that Evolve will continue to garner attention long after this week’s initial release. In the meantime, I’ll be hunting Monsters.
The Monster In Box has created a speed painting that will give you chills.
Check out this beautiful fan art for John Carpenter’s 1982 The Thing that shows R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell), shotgun in hand, approaching an alien-infected corpse.
In the classic, scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.
“Frankenstein Underground” #1 could have easily proved to be an embarrassment of riches, but thanks to an incredibly tight script and haunting art it not only succeeds in adding depth to the titular character but cements itself as an essential part of your pull list.
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Mike Mignola
Publication Date:March 18, 2015
Hellboy, for me, has always succeeded on the depth of its cultural insight. At its best it took all of our fears about the monsters of urban myth, and pitted them against humanity. When nothing else would defend humanity, the sheer form of prince of darkness rises up to guide us back to the light in the world.
Mignola captures a monster’s heartache through the opening pages, taking us through the monster’s storied history. His script is quick to remind us, Frankenstein is not a man, he is nothing, or at least perceives himself to be nothing. Yet, he is a marvel, a wonder, a guardian, and he is being hunted.
The brisk narrative brings us up to speed on what the monster is, and just how in the world he gets underground. The walls between worlds are thin, we’re reminded, and as the story goes on Ben Stenbeck does his best to push the world to new heights.
The history of the monster is a visual tour-de-force. Showcasing just how amazing Dave Stewart’s colors are with every panel showing us a different style in a different era. It’s a intoxicating way to open the book, but the work of Stenbeck and Stewart remind you that not everything you thought you knew about Frankenstein was true.
I was truly unsure of how I was going to feel about this book. I couldn’t fathom what else could be said about this character, and I wasn’t sure where the story could go. Luckily, all my fears were quelled within a few pages, and I was left in awe by the final panel.
The comic doesn’t concern itself with exposition overload, instead Ben Stenbeck is left to fill in the blanks of the Monster’s own troubled past. While Mignola carefully moves the pieces of the puzzle you thought you solved into a terrible mess while making you feel for the monster, a monster unlike anything we’ve every seen. There is humanity left on the page, because the struggle feels natural and compelling.
So where do things go from here, I can say that I didn’t expect the title to be so literal, but I can’t really say much else other than buy this book. This is another homerun for Dark Horse, another incredible chapter to Mignola’s world, and a story unlike anything you’ve ever seen from both. It’s compelling from cover to cover, and manages to exceed expectations with haunting art on almost every page. I wish I could read #2 right now, and frankly damning myself for reading this one so damn early.
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with New York production duo The Disco Fries to bring you the exclusive music video premiere of “Ramuh”, their brand new single which they say is inspired by Final Fantasy as well as The Walking Dead. The duo state very simply for this video, “Shout out to the indoor kids.”
The video, which is 100% animated in a very “Cartoon Network” style, shows both Nick Ditri and Danny Boselovic leading a beachfront concert when they’re suddenly pulled into their laptops where they must battle against hordes of zombie ninjas, monkeys, and regular people.
The title is a reference to Ramuh, who is a recurring character in the Final Fantasy universe. In the video, there is an old man who fights beside The Disco Fries and he looks incredibly similar to character from the game series, specifically FFIX.
Head onwards for this exclusive video premiere!
2/21 – Stage 48 – New York, NY
3/7 – Whiskey Bar – Portland, OR
3/13 – Ruby Skye – San Francisco, CA
3/14 – Luna Nightclub – Pomona, CA
Bethesda has released a painfully brief teaser trailer for The Assignment, the first of three add-on packs Mikami and Co. have in the works for their survival horror game The Evil Within. This DLC will follow Sebastian’s partner, Juli “Kid” Kidman, and I’m sure it’ll involve copious amounts of gore, barbed wire and glowy-eyed walking corpses who’s hobbies include long walks on the beach and skinning people alive.
The Assignment arrives in March, so expect to hear more about it in the coming weeks.
Pablo Larcuen claims his Hooked Up is the first ever feature film shot entirely on an iPhone (I’m pretty sure we reported on one about a clown last year). Either way, it will arrive on VOD and DVD via Uncork’d Entertainment April 7, 2015.
Stephen Ohl, Jonah Ehrenreich, Julia Molins all star in the found-footage horror that has the best plot synopsis ever: “Party, alcohol, sex & blood… in Barcelona!”
In the pic, “Two young friends from New York travel to Barcelona to get over the break up of one of them. But things won’t go as expected and they will end up trapped in a house where they will have to fight an evil girl and the evil inside them.”
Orphan and House of Wax‘s Jaume Collet-Serra produces, too!
Developer Ready at Dawn’s Steampunk action horror game The Order: 1886 hits this Friday, and yet there are some people who have already wrapped up its tale of an ancient battle between humans and shape-shifting “half-breeds”. One such player is YouTuber PlayMeThrough, who managed to upload a full playthrough of the upcoming game after having beaten it in just five hours.
Their channel has since been suspended and the video removed, but not before it could be shared by enough people who are now worried that The Order doesn’t come with enough content to justify its full retail price. If it can be completed in five hours, without any sort of multiplayer to pad its content, is it worth its price tag?
Obviously, value is relative. It’s also worth mentioning that this player rushed through the game, but even if it wasn’t, this is the same old “quality vs quantity” debate. For me, it’s about the experience. I’ll take a shorter, more memorable experience over one that’s longer and full of fluff.
Ready at Dawn is refusing to talk about it. They even seem a little defensive, though I suppose that’s understandable when you’ve spent several countless hours over several years pouring your blood, sweat and tears into what looks like a very intriguing and undeniably gorgeous game.
The Order: 1886 releases on Feb 20 for the PS4.
NECA continues their action figure domination with a very special new Predator that commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Dark Horse comic book!
The Dark Horse mini-series followed NYPD Detective Schaefer (Dutch’s brother), whose investigation of a string of brutal murders leads him to an army of Predators ready to converge on the city. This 8” tall figure recreates the Predator’s appearance on the cover of issue #1, and has all-new deco in comic book colors and shading.
Featuring plenty of articulation and a new ceremonial staff accessory. The deluxe window box packaging uses original comic book art and comes with a special bonus: a commemorative mini-comic reprint of Predator #1!
A shocking piece of informations was hiding within an in depth interview with “The Walking Dead” producer Gale Anne Hurd, who tells THR that the Robert Kirkman spinoff series has yet to be picked up, leaving “The Walking Dead” fans in shambles.
Hurd noted that she had just finished the pilot to a “Dead” spinoff on Feb. 6, but shocked us when she said, “We haven’t been picked up to series yet.”
It’s the middle of sweeps and AMC not picking up the spinoff is sort of shocking, especially considering “The Walking Dead” is record-breaking television. I’m on the outside looking in, so my guesses are as good as yours. My thoughts range from AMC brass wanting the show to be different (and better) than “The Walking Dead” (assuming it’s similar) to them fighting producers over budget (again). Who knows, but at the end of the day it would be shocking to see them pass.
The pilot script was reviewed here a few weeks ago, and it sounded pretty cool.
Per Deadline: The untitled “Walking Dead” spinoff, code name “Cobalt,” takes place during the same zombie apocalypse depicted in the blockbuster mothership series but in a different location (Los Angeles). It revolves around a divorced teacher (Curtis) and a guidance counselor (Dickens), who are working together and are in a relationship. The counselor has two children from a previous marriage, played by Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey. She looks like the girl next door but has a darkness to her, a troubled past that will come back to haunt her.
Creator Robert Kirkman talked about it here.
Next week we’ll find out whether or not Resident Evil Revelations 2 is everything fans of the series want it to be with the debut of its first episode. The original Revelations is arguably the most well-liked entry in the series in some time, not counting remasters, so it’ll be interesting to see how Capcom builds off that.
Back in January, I wrote about some of my favorite horror game sequels, and with the launch of Revelations 2 just around the corner, I figured I’d turn the question to you.
What’s your all-time favorite horror game sequel?
It’s a tough question to answer, especially since there are so many great sequels to choose from in the horror genre. Silent Hill 2, Dino Crisis 2, Resident Evil 2, Condemned 2: Bloodshot, System Shock 2, Dead Space 2, Diablo II, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, the list goes on…
Uncork’d Entertainment will release the critically acclaimed Avenged (read our review) in theatres and on VOD on March 6, 2015, and on DVD on April 21, 2015.
In a very The Crow-esque story, after a gang brutalises a deaf girl (Amanda Adrienne), her lifeless body is inhabited by the spirit of a revenge-seeking Apache warrior.
A lethal injection of scares, thrills, romance, and the supernatural, director Michael S. Ojeda’s confronting revenge film “delivers on all levels” (Bloody Disgusting) and “deserves to be viewed, discussed, and then viewed again” (The Horror Honeys).
“While traveling across country, Zoe, a lovely deaf mute woman, stumbles on a horrific crime – a gang of rednecks slaughtering two Native American boys. Zoe’s brave attempt to save one of the boys seals her fate. She is captured, raped and left for dead. When an Indian shaman finds her clinging to life in a shallow grave he attempts to save her – but something goes horribly wrong. The spirit of an ancient Apache warrior takes host of Zoe’s dead body. So now she walks amongst the living, hell-bent on getting revenge. One by one she slaughters the men who brutalized her, while the clock ticks away on her quickly decomposing body.”
Amanda Adrienne, Rodney Rowland, Marc Anthony Samuel and Tom Ardavany star.
Check out a ton of stills and the cover art below!
Last February, an allegedly haunted mirror sold on eBay for $155. The sellers claimed that the mirror hung in their London flat for five months and during that time, they suffered terrible misfortunes and witnessed supernatural activity like flickering shadows reflected in its surface. One owner claims he woke up with red scratches on his midsection. That was the final straw and the duo put the bastard mirror up for sale on eBay, fully disclosing the experience they’ve had with it.
Edward Boase’s The Mirror is apparently inspired by this story. In the film, three London flatmates purchase an antique mirror on eBay and set up 24-hour cameras to capture whatever may go down. They’re doing so in hopes of winning a prove-ghosts-are-real contest with a hefty cash prize being offered by the James Randi Foundation (a real life magician and sceptic who has fiercely challenged paranormal claims throughout his career).
Despite some solid performances from the three leads (Jemma Dallender, Joshua Dickinson, and Nate Fallows) The Mirror is as mundane as found footage can get. There are SO many found footage flicks nowadays that the envelope really needs to be pushed to stand out amongst the dung heap (Open Windows and Exists are two recent examples). The Mirror brings nothing new to the table and even manages to snake some beats from more successful entries like Paranormal Activity. The film actually starts out pretty hopeful, with a sense of unease from the start, but this quickly dissolves into a tedious story where it feels like nothing happens for painfully long stretches.
Much of the film’s 80-minute running time is consumed by the three flatmates bitching one another out. Their dynamic is boring: one wants to believe in ghosts, one doesn’t, the girl whines and cries a lot. It’s deep characterization, man. There are some moments of decent gore, but for some reason they chose to spoil the goriest moment on the movie poster. There’s also an attempt at providing the mirror with some mythological backstory, which would’ve been interesting if it was explored further. When the crux of the film is a haunted object, I wanna know more about its history, dammit! Take The Possession for example. It wasn’t the greatest horror film, but at least it was interesting thanks to all the backstory surrounding the Dybbuk box. I would’ve loved to see more of that detective work in The Mirror. Instead Boase on flirts with its history.
The Mirror is available now on various VOD outlets.
To celebrate the UK release of The Babadook (review, review #2) on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, the monster himself flew half way across the world to haunt the streets of London. We have pictures to prove it.
“Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her out of control 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a sinister monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the creature in the book is the monster he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control and as he becomes more unpredictable and violent, Amelia is genuinely frightened by her son’s behaviour.
But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about – The Babadook – may be real after all…“
Directed by visionary first-time director Jennifer Kent, The Babadook looks set to be the most terrifying release of 2015, as well as one of the most critically acclaimed.
Images: ©Rex Features / Tom Dymond
Graphic designer Nick Barclay found inspiration in his hatred of Interstellar.
“I came up the idea while sitting through Interstellar and hating it,” Nick tells My Modern Met when we asked him how his new series came about. “It got me thinking about how in 2001: Space Odyssey a circle could be a main character in a film. So I wanted to see how many popular movies I could break down into circles and still be recognizable.”
The result is a series of minimalist posters for famous films created using only circles. And it’s wonderful.
All are available for purchase here, while other link will take you to the entire series.
Directed by Marie Lechevallier, check out this gorgeous stop-motion animated short that was created old-school using puppets.
“Frankulstein,” a reimagining of the 1931 Frankenstein, was done in cooperation between Volda University College (animation department) and ULSTEIN (a provider of ship designs, shipbuilding and solutions in power and control systems, heavylift, crane & barge services).
Check out some behind the scenes photos.
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with electronic group KNTRLR to bring you the music video premiere for “Halogen”, a grindhouse-style video that is definitely NSFW. The track comes from the band’s upcoming album The Great Filter, which comes out February 24th via Goodnight Records (pre-order via iTunes).
The video shows a man who becomes obsessed with a gorgeous woman (portrayed by model Sarah Varacalli) at a bar/dance club. He then pursues her to the local motel, where things become a bit violent and naughty. The video is NSFW due to nudity and strong sexual themes, so be careful where you watch it.
If you dig the track as much as I did, it’s available for a free download. Just click on the download button on the Soundcloud stream below and it’s yours!
2/18/2015 Wednesday Los Angeles CA The Lexington Theater
2/19/2015 Thursday Long Beach CA The Prospector
2/21/2015 Saturday San Francisco CA Submission
2/28/2015 Saturday New York NY Gutter
Mike Pereira raved about Big Game (review) when he caught the World Premiere at this past September’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Said to be like a PG-13 Ambling adventure film, “The fate of the most powerful man in the world lies in the hands of a 13-year old boy. Plunged into a deadly game of cat and mouse with only hours to spare, Oskari and the President must team up to survive the most extraordinary night of their lives.”
Empire has a second trailer for the film starring Samuel L. Jackson, Onni Tommila, Ray Stevenson, Jim Broadbent and Mehmet Kurtulus.
Directed by Jalmari Helander, eOne will release in the UK on May 8, 2015. Hopefully a U.S. date is following.
If the trailer doesn’t load, click here to watch.
Coming very soon via Mondo/Death Waltz will be the vinyl release of Cannibal Holocaust, which was composed by Riz Ortolani. This release marks the first time that the soundtrack will be available on vinyl. It will feature art by Jock and be released on a stunning “Green Inferno” variant.
Death Waltz/Mondo label manager Spencer Hickman states:
One thing that always stuck out like a sore thumb when viewing Cannibal Holocaust was Riz Ortolani’s score, which is beautifully composed, and recorded, offering a mix of traditional orchestration and early synth work. As a stand alone piece of music it’s staggering and I honestly think that if Cannibal Holocaust had a more traditional horror score it would be even more uncomfortable to sit through. As it stands, Maestro Ortolani’s score offers some respite from the violence onscreen and the juxtaposition between the sights onscreen and musical soundtrack have in my opinion never been bettered.
To tease the upcoming release, three tracks from the soundtrack have been made available for streaming, which you can listen to below.
Mondo will also be hosting an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” feast during a screening of the film. More details on that can be found here.
Yesterday we were the very first to share with you international trailer and poster for Academy award winner Alejandro Amenábar’s (The Sea Inside, The Others) Regression, although the trailer wasn’t in English. Now, below we have added for you an English-language version that was released on the heels of our discovery. Again, watch closely and you’ll see the Reaper from Bogus Journey.
Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight, Training Day) and Emma Watson (Noah, Harry Potter) star in the film that looks to be heavily based around a cult. Regression sees the return of Amenábar to genre, where he previously had great success with Dimension Films’ The Others, which grossed over $200 million worldwide.
“Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.”
Regression also stars David Thewlis (The Fifth Estate, Harry Potter), David Dencik (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo) , Dale Dickey (Winter´s Bone, True Blood), Lothaire Bluteau (The Tudors) and Devon Bostick (Diary of a Wimpy Kid).
TWC-Dimension will distribute the film in the United States.