Good evening! Periodically, I choose a specific punk genre and discuss it thoroughly. The world is full of niche genres and most people aren't familiar with them. Today, I'm covering an obscure genre called gothicpunk, also spelled gothic punk. Some punk genres make more sense than others and this one could be a useful method for creative content if it builds some popularity. Let's take a look at this unusual subgenre of fantasy and science fiction.
What is gothicpunk? Basically, it's a dark, gritty, ominous, and urban setting that usually takes place during contemporary periods. The story and characters typically have a rebellious nature, especially against authority or corruption. Most importantly, supernatural creatures are heavily showcased in these stories. I'm not simply talking about vampire romances or supernatural dramas. The tone is often nihilistic or vengeful and it's not unusual to see apocalyptic themes. Ultimately, the main characters are rebelling against someone. For example, supernatural creatures might be rebelling against mankind. It can be the other way around with humans rebelling against an onslaught of monsters. Perhaps, a particular creature is rebelling against his/her own species. Overall, gothicpunk will be easier to understand if you take a look at some potential examples.
The Chronicles of Darkness and World of Darkness tabletop games are solid examples. In fact, the White Wolf Wiki website has a full page about gothicpunk and how it relates to the franchise. The World of Darkness is a role-playing series that features different types of creatures in urban environments. Vampires, werewolves, mages, demons, changelings, and other beings are common choices. Players can also choose to be hunters who battle these creatures. Several years ago, the franchise was relaunched as the Chronicles of Darkness. There are plenty of goth and punk elements in this series. It's broody, violent, and full of despair. Various factions or groups are pitted against each other. The guidebooks also have artwork that has a distinctly punk appearance. These tabletop games may have been the launching point for the gothicpunk genre.
I'm definitely including The Crow on this list. It's a series of films and comic books that feature a man who was murdered and returns as a supernatural harbinger of doom. There have been several versions of The Crow with different protagonists, but the main story is always the same. In the end, the guilty must atone for their sins, usually in the form of violent death scenes. The graphic design is dark and takes several elements from the goth subculture. It also features extreme violence, which is commonplace in gothicpunk fiction. In a way, the genre rebels against socially acceptable content, so bloody violence and strong sexuality are featured in many gothicpunk works.
The Underworld film series probably deserves to be on this list. It fits the cliche of one species fighting another, such as vampires and werewolves. Mankind doesn't know it, but vampires believe they should rule the world. The protagonist is a vampire named Selene who eventually becomes ostracized from her own species. Like the previous examples, the visual elements have a distinct punk and goth aesthetic. I don't find the Underworld series very good, but it fits in the genre.
I'm much more fond of the Blade comic books and movies. Blade is a hybrid with human and vampire DNA. He makes a living hunting down vampires, so they don't become a serious scourge against mankind. Our antihero is a troubled character who struggles to fight off his predatory side every day. Ultimately, he believes mankind is worth saving from a bloodthirsty race of creatures. Have you seen any of the Blade posters? Wesley Snipe's black costume with the leather coat and sharp weapons fit within the gothicpunk image perfectly.
The Anita Blake books seem to fit in the genre as well. Her work tends to have racier and more sensual elements. Anita Blake is also a vampire hunter, but she finds a lot of gray area in the supernatural world. Some humans are corrupt and evil whereas some monsters like vampires and werewolves have a legitimate moral compass. You'll find all kinds of factions in this book series with various antagonists. Sure, it's a vampire romance, but the series is more explicit and extreme than mainstream examples.
I would also include the Spawn comic books in the gothicpunk genre. The original Spawn character was a man named Albert Francis Simmons. He worked as a government assassin and was eventually murdered by his employer. Simmons was launched into Hell due to a lifetime of violence. He was resurrected as a supernatural being called Spawn and the character rebels against multiple factions. First, he seeks revenge against his murderer and anyone else who was involved in his death. Spawn also hunts down criminals to protect civilians. This antihero also rebels against the forces of Hell to prevent the Apocalypse. The series is a dark, urban fantasy with tons of graphic violence. It was also a series of films, but the comics are much better. You can also view the Spawn television series on HBO.
There's also a film called Daybreakers. It's an alternate version of the modern era where vampires took over the world and are harvesting humans for their blood. Unfortunately, the human race is dying out and the vampires don't have an alternate source for food. The movie includes a small rebellion of both humans and vampires who are trying to end the current world order. It's not a fabulous film, but the gothicpunk element is clear and the premise is interesting.
The Constantine comic books and short lived tv series is also a good example. It's a dark comedy with a supernatural detective named John Constantine who hunts demons. The comic books are violent, but also quite humorous in some ways. It's a dark, urban fantasy with quite a few punk elements. I would say it doesn't have a big emphasis on goth, but the snarky humor, supernatural elements, and gray moral area fits the punk image pretty well. There was also a film adaptation and it was okay, but the comics and television show is better.
At this point, the Supernatural tv show probably fits in this category. It began as a supernatural drama with a different monster every week, but it shifted to a darker and more nihilistic plot with demons and angels. The Winchester brothers are hunters who face all kinds of supernatural horrors. Their journey gets darker, more depressing, and weirder as the show progresses. Should you root for the angels or demons? That's probably not a good idea because both sides are evil and bent on destroying mankind. Nobody can win. I would say the tone and the feud between angels and demons fit within the gothicpunk genre. It's just one corrupt entity fighting another one. Supernatural airs on the CW, but you can also watch the series on Netflix.
The Devil May Cry video games are another great example. Dante is a half human and demon hybrid who destroys Hell spawn both for money and recreational purposes. The series has a long and complex plot about his entire family along with various demons who are trying to turn the earth into a literal Hell scape. It's a twisted and entertaining franchise with bloody violence, creative monsters, and dark antiheroes. Like my other examples, these games combine urban environments with dark fantasy elements. There's a very strong punk vibe in these games, especially in Dante's character development and the overall graphics.
HBO's True Blood works in the gothicpunk aesthetic as well. The show features a young lady named Sookie Stackhouse and she seems to be a magnet for supernatural creatures, including vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches, and more. It's crude, lewd, bloody, and over the top. The setting is a small town in Louisiana that's hiding many secrets. True Blood doesn't have an urban setting, but it works nonetheless. In general, the characters, violence, and sexual content bring out the punk elements. There's also a new antagonist in every season. It's a route storyline. Everyone bands together to bring down the latest form of ultimate evil. True Blood isn't a masterpiece, but it's a lot of fun. This show was based on a book series, titled The Southern Vampire Mysteries, but I know very little about the source material.
I'll give a few examples that are vaguely gothicpunk. Maybe we can call them gothicpunk lite. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel share a few similarities with the genre. There's a punkish appearance to the set design and fashion. The characters tend to be rebellious. You'll also find a plethora of vampires, demons, and other nightmarish creatures in an urban environment. But these shows are also commercially friendly and primarily geared to YA audiences. They're less violent, edgy, and provocative than other items on this list. Regardless, they fit within the genre to a certain extent.
Another iffy example is the Ghostrider comic books. The visual elements, violent nature, and urban locations probably work for the genre. However, I'm not sure if there's a message for rebellion in this series, especially against authority figures. Granted, I'm not an expert on the Ghostrider comics. It might have more punk elements than I realize. The film adaptation doesn't seem to fit the gothicpunk image though. Leather jackets and monsters aren't enough.
That's the end of my discussion about gothicpunk. Do you think gothicpunk works as a legitimate genre? Let me know in the comment section. I actually believe it could work, but hardly anyone knows about this genre yet. I'm going to leave a couple of links if you want to learn more. Enjoy the remainder of the Memorial Day weekend and I'll see you guys next week.
Hello, my fellow gamers! I spent some time playing a few games on my Xbox One, so this would be a good opportunity to write three short reviews. We're getting action and monster mayhem with Doom. Then we're going to solve several mysteries in L.A. Noire. Finally, we're ending this journey with Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, a huge fantasy epic. Hopefully, this post will give you a solid idea if these games are worth playing. Have fun!
Doom is the first game on this list. The Doom Slayer from earlier games is rescued from Hell to aid the Union Aerospace Corporation on Mars. Earth is running out of resources quickly and the UAC is trying to harness power from Hell in a feeble effort to save mankind. This plan backfires with disastrous results. Luckily, our favorite Doom Guy is ready to destroy Hell's monstrous army.
This game is a dream come true for Doom fans. It's just like the classic game, except the gameplay features modern graphics. You'll have the chance to run around the facility while using shotguns, grenades, machine guns, chainsaws, and the infamous BFG. It's very nostalgic and tons of fun.
Doom has a great selection of enemies. The monsters come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Different types of weapons work more effectively on specific creatures. The player will encounter demons in every nook and cranny of the facility, which is a hugely entertaining experience. This game also includes awesome boss fights with super cool monsters.
The weapons are stunning. You'll find weapons all over the map and ammunition is quite plentiful. Enemies respawn frequently and these weapons help out significantly. Periodically, you can upgrade many of these weapons to make the gameplay more impressive. It makes the experience even better because the weapons pack more power as the story progresses. You'll have the chance to splatter demons all over the walls. It's also a lot of fun to grab a chainsaw and hack away at everything. The gameplay is ridiculously entertaining.
I find Doom less irritating than many modern games. There's quite a bit of health packs, ammunition, upgrade opportunities, and checkpoints. It's just not a very complex game, which is perfectly fine. Sometimes, it's good to have brainless fun without a slew of complications.
Even though I enjoy this game, it has some flaws. Don't expect a significant story. The plot is very thin and simple. You'll grab weapons and destroy monsters in a space station. That's basically the entire story. I don't mind, but some players prefer more refined and fleshed out plots.
Upgrading the suit can be a problem. I didn't have a knack for finding many chances for suit upgrades. Naturally, stronger armor makes the gameplay easier later on. But you have to find secret part and it's kind of difficult. As a result, I died all the time, but there are endless opportunities to respawn at checkpoints. Hopefully, you'll find a way to work around this issue.
This game doesn't seem to focus on multiplayer systems. It's primarily a single player game. Actually, I don't really know if the multiplayer mode is bad. However, I heard several negative things. There were many complaints about the multiplayer mode being repetitive and not very much fun. Just keep that part in mind if you prefer multiplayer systems.
Overall, I highly recommend the latest version of Doom. It's a terrific romp with monsters, violence, powerful weapons, and loads of adventure. It's perfect for hardcore Doom fans. I would also recommend it for people who thoroughly enjoy first person shooter games. Most likely, you can find really cheap used copies through Amazon or GameStop. Occasionally, I see new copies at Walmart and Best Buy. You can buy it new on Amazon as well. That's how I purchased my copy.
L.A. Noire is the next game on this post. The story takes place in 1947 through the eyes of a police detective and war hero named Cole Phelps. He receives promotions to the Homicide and Vice divisions throughout the game. Sadly, everything comes crashing down after he has an illicit affair with a singer named Elsa Lichtmann. His career and marriage winds up in shambles, but that doesn't mean Phelps is going to stop fighting crime. The wayward detective uncovers major corruption in the LAPD and tries to redeem his image.
This isn't one of my favorite games, but it definitely has some positive elements. L.A. Noire is a nice break from role-playing games and first person shooters. It's a classic noir tale with detective work, interrogations, car chases, and an emphasis on storytelling. This game has a certain amount of novelty.
I really appreciate the noir elements. It's dark and gritty with a troubled protagonist who's trying to uncover a mystery. This game is interesting, sexy, and full of gray moral areas. It also takes many themes, stock characters, and plot points from the noir genre.
Despite having unimpressive graphics, L.A. Noire is an accurate representation of post-war Los Angeles. The creators did their homework. The landscape looks pretty accurate in terms of architecture, fashion, social norms, and more. It seems quite accurate for a video game.
It's almost like watching a movie. L.A. Noire is very cinematic and unique. The voice work is excellent and the characters are quite expressive. There isn't a lot of action, so the mystery and storytelling takes control. I have an appreciation for cinematic games.
Unfortunately, L.A. Noire has a few serious problems. It's dreadfully slow and long. I couldn't believe how many days it took to finish the game. It's highly repetitive and I grew tired with that element. Seriously, you'll spend an unbelievable amount of time driving from one crime scene to the next. The player also spends a lot of time searching for clues and interrogating suspects. It definitely has novelty at first, but that part wears down after a while. You'll need patience to finish this game.
Hardly any of the characters are likeable. Granted, that's a typical problem in noir. The characters are believable, but it doesn't seem like anyone has a moral compass. For example, Phelps appears to be an outstanding citizen and a hardworking detective in some ways. But in reality, he lies, cheats, and neglects his family. Why is anyone going to root for this guy? Overall, you have to take the lesser of the evils in this game.
The plot okay, but not exceptional. L.A. Noire simply focuses on a detective who's trying to repair his damaged reputation and that's not a compelling story for a video game. Add quite a bit of repetition and the plot becomes increasingly dull. Many players will get bored after a while.
Ultimately, I'm only recommending this game for classic noir fans and people who are looking for something different. L.A. Noire has some very good elements, but it won't be exciting for mainstream gamers. I think you can find new copies, but just get a used game instead. You definitely don't need to pay full price for this type of game.
Let's move on to Assassin's Creed Odyssey. The story takes place in Ancient Greece and the player takes control of either Alexios or Kassandra, who happen to be siblings. Our protagonist is a mercenary who lost his/her family many years ago. Throughout the game, Alexios or Kassandra unravels details about their family while uncovering precursors to the Assassin Order and Knight Templars. This game includes plenty of missions, thievery, assassinations, battles, and other tasks.
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is very good, but it's a mixed bag for me. It definitely has one of the most impressive open world environments in modern gaming. The environment is beautiful, immersive, well designed, and gives the player endless opportunities for exploration. I absolutely love this part of the game.
The story is really interesting and pretty well developed. It's a mystery with a subtle connection to the Assassin's Creed franchise. The plot is substantial and it also features plenty of action. Keep an eye on small details. They can become very important later in the game.
The protagonist picks up many useful items, including armor, weapons, money, and items for trading. Even the most mundane items can have value in the right places. Over time, your inventory will become huge with a lot of variety. It's one of the coolest elements in the game.
Is the fighting system good? Absolutely! Your character can level up and develop different kinds of skills. The player can also upgrade his or her armor and weapons. Even though the gameplay is very different than the average Assassin's Creed installment, it's still amazing. It reminds me of The 300 with clashing weapons, grand battles, and lots of grit. Alternating weapons can be useful, so keep that part in mind.
The world building has many cool elements. You'll encounter historical figures, such as Sokrates, Perikles, Hippokrates, Sophocles, Herodotus, etc. The protagonist also travels to both historical and mythical locations. I remember visiting Olympia, Athens, Ithaca, Naxos, Kephallonia, and more. The player even has a chance to fight mythical creatures, such as Medusa, the Minotaur, the Sphinx, and others. These battles are quite challenging, but also a lot of fun. If you love Greek history and mythology, this game would be an excellent choice.
I have a few complaints. Several parts of the game seem like busy work and chores. I remember completing jobs for other characters that included spying on people, stealing items, and performing other mundane tasks. Sometimes, it's a drag.
Odyssey is also very long. I still haven't finished the main storyline. It would probably take six months for me to complete the game. Overall, this game requires a lot of patience. Don't expect to be in a big hurry.
Upgrading significant items can be an issue. Leveling up skills, costumes, and weapons is a long process that requires special items. It's essential to complete a slew of side missions and that can be fine sometimes, but constant sidetracking becomes frustrating. In fact, I had trouble finding enough side missions to move forward. Obtaining the right items for upgrades can be challenging as well. You almost need a game guide to find everything.
One more thing. This doesn't seem like a true Assassin's Creed game. Odyssey is a terrific adventure in Ancient Greece, but I don't recognize many elements from the main series. Everything seems different, ranging from the story, gameplay, enemies, locations, etc. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag had a similar problem. Both of these games are fun with great action, but they're slightly out of place in the Assassin's Creed canon.
Here's my verdict. This is a high quality game with a handful of issues. It's a great option for people who enjoy open world environments, role-playing elements, and brutal fight scenes. I have mixed feelings about Odyssey, but it's quite popular in the gaming community. Luckily, you can still find new copies almost everywhere. Give it a shot if you're curious.
That's the end of my latest post. Have you played any of these games yet? If so, what did you think? Keep watching for more exciting and interesting topics. The summer is packed with cool movies, sporting events, and new video games. I'm also planning to conduct more steampunk interviews as well. Many of you are probably getting ready for summer break. Party hard, but don't get in too much trouble. Take care!
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