I eventually got to see Prometheus yesterday, having managed to avoid any and all reviews that might have coloured my opinion of it. Being a huge fan of the Alien tetralogy that has learned to be sceptical of all sci-fi prequels, I was naturally very apprehensive, almost as much as when I first sat down to watch The Phantom Menace in New York more than a decade ago (a trip on which I’d spent a grand I could ill afford). But while I came away from that pre-telling seething with barely-concealed rage, I walked out of the cinema yesterday disappointed rather than betrayed – which I hope wasn’t just because I’m older and the expedition much cheaper. For sure there was a lot that bothered me in terms of the story and character motivations, but equally it must be said Prometheus is a largely well acted and expertly staged movie, so I’m going to hold my tongue and try and see it again before passing final judgement. What I will say is that Prometheus has succeed where the risible AvP movies failed; by making the Alien creatures less interesting than they were before, ensuring any future encounters will be much less frightening. Now that the Aliens franchise seems to have been re-routed into Resident Evil territory, Aliens: Colonial Marines has consequently dropped a couple of rungs on my anticipation-motion-tracker.
Rather more uplifting is this story about a teacher that has managed to connect with an autistic student by joining them in their game of choice, Star Wars: The Old Republic. I suspect the story wouldn’t have ended as well had the game been Eve Online.
Still with education, a Scottish company called Interface 3 are putting together an interactive storybook for the iPad called Not Lost in the Universe, which aims to teach children of 4-7 various aspects of science, technology and engineering. It is a rather beautiful title that I hope the finished project lives up to.
I’m always a sucker for weekend retrospectives (we had X-Wing yesterday of course) and, Eurogamer have been raking over the original Metal Gear, a game that’s now 25 years old and a series that I’ve still only barely played. Does that make me a bad person?
Being a fan of the old Carrier Command that is very much looking forward to Bohemia’s island-hopping remake, I found this splicing together of old with new rather delightful, as well as annoying, since it was something I’d planned to do over the coming weeks. Great ex-PCZone minds think alike, it seems!
In a short but very sweet post, PSF reader, commenteer and future contributor (look for his words in the next issue) has a little dig around what he calls the tiny sandbox, suggesting that what the makers of Elder Scrolls and perhaps X should be doing when considering their series’ multiplayer futures is playing multiplayer Freelancer rather than trying to copy the World of Warcraft formula. In the case of Elder Scrolls I would argue there’s room for both mini and massively-multiplayer, but the idea of a small band of friends carving out a stellar empire in their own private X universe does hold appeal.
The most far-reaching story pertaining to games this week has been a ruling by the EU Court of Justice that could lead to a huge change in how we buy and sell digital games. Basically it seems that we are within our rights to sell all those crap games in our Steam, Origin, PSN, XBLA and iTunes accounts, so long as we delete them from our systems. Of course Steam et al will have other ideas about what our rights are, which will ensure plenty of legal fights and choice quotes from David Braben in the near future.
Play: Endless Space (PC), Astronaut: Spacewalk (iOS), The Secret World (PC), Speedball 2 Evolution (Android), Hoodwink (PC), Indie Royale Summer Bundle (PC, Mac, Linux), End of Nations – Founders Edition (PC), Overwatch v1.5.0 for Half-Life 2 (PC)
Invest: MacroBots (PC), HeXit (PC, Mac, Linux), Alpha Colony: Tribute to M.U.L.E. (iOS, PC, Mac), Alien Frontiers (iPad), OuterEdge (PC), Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire (PC, Mac), Skyjacker (PC, Mac), Origin (PC), Shatter of Stars (Browser), Black Space 2 (iOS, Mac, PC), Moon Intern (PC, Mac, Linux) and Jack Houston and the Necronauts (PC)