This is going to be my first review in a series of video game critiques. Believe it or not, games can be a very useful resource for authors, especially for those who write highly visual genres. Science fiction and fantasy writers could definitely benefit from the open world environments, unusual graphics, action, and creative characters of video games. It's not completely necessary, but I definitely think games can be a fun and addictive resource.
Fallout 4 is one of my favorite games on the Xbox One system. It's a post-apocalyptic first or third person shooter game that covers a huge open world environment. You'll survive on the burned out badlands as a protagonist who's searching for his or her son. The player can use a male or female character and their physical appearance is completely custom made. Fallout's environment was devastated by a nuclear apocalypse, but that doesn't mean the world is devoid of life. The player will encounter many hostile entities, including mutated animals, radioactive zombies called Ghouls, and other humans who are trying to compete for resources. You'll gather a variety of weapons, ammunition, and supplies while traveling through the nuclear wasteland of Massachusetts.
Here are the best parts of Fallout 4. Truthfully, the plot isn't bad for a video game. It's a mystery that becomes stranger and more complex as the game progresses. There's a twist ending, but I'm not going to spoil that part. The gameplay is amazing. It's fun and exciting with a wide variety of firepower. You can use knives and blunt weapons, but firearms are the best choice. The game has a really impressive and creative open world environment. Your character can maneuver throughout the entire state of Massachusetts and encounter various fallen cities along the way. The player will pick up all kinds of interesting items. Junk can be surprisingly useful. It's a depressing, yet beautiful scene of a post-apocalyptic aftermath. It's a lot of fun when you pick up rocket launchers and other sources of heavy firepower. Having trouble with a colossal monster? Nuke it! Just keep in mind that nukes are sparse, so save them for particularly difficult villains. The game litters ammunition, health supplies, and food throughout the environment. I appreciated that part. There's a wide variety of monsters in this game. You'll face all kinds of freakish creatures, including mutant dogs, bears, lizards, crabs, insects, etc. The player will make crucial choices that determines the main character's personality. If you help people and show mercy during the game, the protagonist will be viewed as a hero. On the other hand, the player can murder civilians and steal resources from small colonies. This will give the protagonist a more vilified image. You have the option of allying with specific colonies and organizations. All of them have different goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Once again, the choice is yours. I think steampunk fans will enjoy this game. Fallout 4 isn't really a steampunk game, but I can tell it has influences from the genre. Some people could probably say it's an atompunk game. It's a similar genre to steampunk, except the story usually takes place during the Cold War era and everything runs on atomic power. Many gamers were critical about the graphics, but I thought the decrepit environment was quite impressive. The game also has a useful map that helps the protagonist reach his or her destination. Your character usually has a companion who is also armed. Sometimes, the player's companion is human. You also have the option of using a German shepherd named Dogmeat as a companion. Regardless of who travels with you, a Fallout companion can never die. They can become injured, but you'll never have to worry about them dying permanently. Plus, they can help you kill enemies. All the way around, it's a positive thing. If you're short on food, kill some monsters and cook their meat to replenish health. Yum, let's eat some radioactive cockroaches.
Obviously, I had a lot of good things to say about Fallout 4. That doesn't mean I thought everything was perfect. The gameplay is quite difficult. A challenge can be good, but the gameplay could be really frustrating for me at times. I was less impressed with the design of the human characters. It seemed like they were taken from an outdated system. Food replenishes your health, but it's also harmful. Almost everything is radioactive in this environment. If your radiation levels go too high, it's fatal. So, you need to hunt for supplies that lower the radiation. It seems like everything requires a million bullets to die. I encountered a human raider and it took four headshots to kill him. Are you kidding me? The A.I. is very inconsistent. Sometimes, it's easy to ambush villains. Other times, they can see you a mile away. I found it irritating when someone pelted me with bullets and I couldn't find the assailant. Unfortunately, some of the locations are so heavily guarded by enemies, it's almost impossible to explore certain areas unless you're an expert gamer. Humans are plentiful in this game and most of them are hostile. In fact, there are way too many people in this game for a nuclear wasteland. The player's backpack can only carry a certain amount of supplies. So, you'll have to dump many items along the way. Eventually, the main character builds up strength to carry more weight, but you'll always have to pick and choose supplies. Occasionally, the game has glitches. I got stuck in a doorway one time and had to restart from my previous location. Be careful about burning bridges with other characters and colonies. Once they decide you're an enemy, there is no path to redemption. It takes a long time to level up. Your character can build up strength, speed, social skills, and a variety of other attributes. However, it's such a long grind to increase them.
This was a pretty long review, but Fallout 4 is a very comprehensive game. I hope you guys will consider playing it. Leave a comment if you have any tips for gamers or opinions about this blog. Thanks a lot and stay tuned for my next post.
I hope everyone is having a great summer. 2016 seems to be a huge year for action and adventure films. I saw The Legend of Tarzan and it was very impressive. Let's get started with my review.
Truthfully, this was one of my favorite films of the year. That says a lot because I'm not usually a Tarzan fan. However, this adaptation seemed more unique and interesting compared to its predecessors. The Legend of Tarzan combines the original characters and premise with elements from history. The story takes place in two locations. Part of the film occurs in England and then the majority of it takes place in Congo. The movie specifically takes place during the Victorian period, which I appreciate as a steampunk author. It also includes historical figures, such as the Belgian colonialist Leon Rom and the American frontiersman George Washington Williams. The film includes a lot of themes that were problematic during the 19th century, such as slave trading, resource smuggling, animal poaching, and overzealous colonialism.
In many ways, this version of Tarzan is more realistic than what many viewers would expect. It has a serious plot and believe me, that's a good thing. The realistic elements make the film and characters seem believable. Alexander Skarsgard was an excellent choice for the titular role. He brings a special element to Tarzan and has a very long body that looks great during those sequences of tree swinging. Margot Robbie played Jane as both classy and spunky. The two of them portrayed Jane and Tarzan as an honest and compassionate couple who stand together during difficult times. I also appreciated Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams because he brought some humor and elements of the Wild West to this movie. There's a big variety of animals in this film, including gorillas, lions, wildebeests, elephants, crocodiles, etc. The viewer sees the unique relationship that Tarzan has with all of these animals. Cultural conflicts are another problem that are addressed in this movie. It's more of a grown up Tarzan tale that has a lot of substance. The plot takes its time and has a big emphasis on drama, but the movie doesn't drag at all. Don't worry. There's plenty of action and excitement as well. Steampunk fans, you might actually like this movie. It's not a steampunk film, but the story takes place during the 19th century with plenty of elements from Victorianism and colonialism.
I can't think of many negative elements from The Legend of Tarzan. Maybe some people will be critical about the visual effects. Most of the animals are CGI and they might come across as fake or cheesy to some viewers. This movie actually has a storyline, so people will be disappointed if they wanted it to be a wild action film from beginning to end. Fans of soap operas and romance films will also be disappointed because Jane and Tarzan have a pretty stable relationship. It might not be dramatic enough for those types of viewers. Most importantly, it's not a great film for young kids. Even though it has adventure and animals, many of the themes are dark and with an adult subject matter. So, pay attention to the PG-13 rating.
Overall, The Legend of Tarzan was a pleasant surprise. I highly recommend it. Leave a comment if you have anything to say and enjoy your night at the movies!
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