By: Justin Hopkins
When this game was announced was very much on the fence about whether or not I wanted to bother with it. Was a fan of Friday The 13th and then Dead By Daylight. Enjoying Asymmetrical Games, but wasn’t real enthusiastic about what I was seeing from this. Which changed after I played their demo. Having a great time as both Fireteam and playing as the Predator. So much so that I ended up pre-ordering the game. Looking forward to seeing what the full game had to offer and now with an extra day to play. Does it still hold on to its charm. Let’s devein and check it out shall we.
Being an online multiplayer, it doesn’t have much of a story to it. You either play the role of Fireteam, where you work with 3 other soldiers (As long as nothing goes wrong in loading) attempting top complete missions and take down AI. While at the same time, another player is hunting you as the Predator. You win by either escaping on the chopper, downing the Predator while escaping their explosion, or defending it’s body for extraction; you may or may not have to defuse its bomb.
A simple story that works just find. Puts you in the jungle just like Arnie and his men were in the first movie. They make the most of one short map with various different missions. For starting out, works just fine, with room to grow. Hope we get more like a artic temple like from AVP or something off planet.
Breaking down the sides more, we will start with the Fireteam and you got four different Soldiers to pick from; Assault, Recon, Scout and than Support. Each having their own skills and attributes. Assault being your balanced. Recon and Scouts being a little more speedy, but Scout being faster but has less health and can’t carry as much. Support being more armored but slower. You have various perks to play with that can boast your speed, strength, reload and even how much damage you can inflict on the Predator. Wide range of weapons, Assault rifles to shotguns and if you pre-ordered you get the mini gun that I have yet to use, because I like the others a little more, but none of it will help if you aren’t team oriented. The key to playing as Fireteam is working together. Making sure you all keep an eye out on one another and if all four of you are swarming together. Then you’re going to clean up. Stealth can be a thing, especially if you are down members and need to call for reinforcements, but as long as you are working together. Probably won’t get to that point.
Alright, on to the headliner and the one most people, myself included, were looking forward to play; The Predator, or Yautja of you prefer. They come in three classes; Hunter, Scout, and Berserker. Hunter is balanced, Scout if fast and has very little health ( I have not played this class and probably never will. Ever) and Berserker is your tank. The customization is a lot of fun. Picking between male and female and what masks and predlocks you can put on them. Various weapons and traps and I am clearly avoiding gameplay.
I don’t want to seem like I am trashing it isn’t terrible. They are very challenging to learn how to play, because you have to be patient. Mess with the tight group. Try to force them to split up and pick off stragglers or catch the right time to charge them and I think that is where it loses me a little. The wait times are so long, to get into a game, to attempt to break the group up in some chance you even can and don’t have to settle for a yolo play at the end. Meanwhile, their health is atrociously low. It does not take much to be gunned down. The reason I won’t even touch scout. Not when Berserker can be taken out with ease. Not even just playing as the Predator. Don’t even really feel intimated when I go against them. I don’t want them to be walking tanks who eat bullets, but something has to be done to make them a bit of a threat, and I think that a single player mode can help out.
I think a big help can be a place where you can practice playing as the Predator. Learning how to play him more effectively and how everything works against harder AI then people who have been playing shooters for ten plus years. Can practice movements, trap placements and be a better player before going to face others. Not to mention you give people a chance to just play the game, instead of waiting ten plus minutes to play a five minute round.
I know a complaint I have seen is how thick the forest can be and it can be hard to see incoming AI, but I personally like that. Makes them a bit of a bit of a challenge. Adding to their ability to be a threat and they can be. Especially, if you get swarmed and Predator is pressuring with them. All making for more of a fun experience.
With all of that said, Predator: Hunting Grounds is still a pretty fun game to play. Got a fun little shooter with the Fireteam and despite my personal complaints. There is fun to be had with the Predator. You just got to be patient when playing the role and see a lot of potential going forward.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
It is a sad way to kick-off a new year, when you realize that a game you love, is just not for you anymore, but that is the way this year is starting for me. A game that I have loved for the best part of a year and a half, has finally pushed my last nerve and have to walk away. It is sad, but as I look into the new year. There is a lot to be excited for. So, one game may have come to an end for me, I have six more to look forward too. Before I start, got to say, I play on Playstation, so with the exception of my Honorable Mention. We will focus on Sony. Not that there’s anything wrong with PC or Xbox, just going with what I got. Cool, let’s get started than.
HONORABLE MENTION – HELLBLADE 2: SENUA SAGA
The only reason that this is sitting at Honorable Mention and not number 1, is that it is not confirmed for 2020. I haven’t bought an Xbox since the 360. The moment that trailer dropped, I knew I would be getting an Xbox X-Series to continue Senua’s Journey. I loved the first game. Such an intense, beautifully made game, with a gripping story that sucked you in the game with everything they did and can only imagine what they have store for the second game.
6. PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS
It seems that I am in need of a new online multiplayer game and what better, than Predator Hunting Grounds. Seems like a very basic idea. You either play as your choice of Yautja and hunting a team of marines. The Marines are working together to complete their mission and escape alive. The concept art looks fantastic, especially for the Yautja and am really excited to use the bow and you get the skin from the first movie if you Pre-Order. As always, go into it with a bit of caution. Online multiplayers can fall apart quickly, but still willing to give this one a chance all the same.
5. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
This game is probably the one game I know the least about, but am strangely being pulled towards it. It action roleplay game, that sees you playing a young vampire in Seattle, and that was all it really needed to be said to win me over. As you play through, you learn new abilities through factions engaged in a civil war, and I just like it. Wish I could say why. Didn’t even play the first one. Just has a certain vibe that has really won me over, and if they have a fair amount of creative character, would be that much more happy for it.
4. MARVEL AVENGERS
Alright, so the first trailer did not do this a whole lot of justice. The Kamala Khan one though, did a lot better, and with test players hyping it up even more. Don’t know if this was announced, but curious on how many heroes will be involved, and the story looks interesting, and I have a weakness for Superhero games. Have even enjoyed the bad ones, so this one should be a blast. Especially, if we get to play as our choice of characters, or focus a bit more on the lesser known heroes.
3. RESIDENT EVIL 3: NEMESIS
Resident Evil 2 Remake was fantastic and set the bar for how a video game remake should work. They stayed true to what made it great. Tweaked a few things to change it up and gave side stories and than the original versions. We might not get all of that this time around, but with them saying they took what they learned in 2 and carried it over to 3 has me confident going in, and as a bonus, you get the online multiplayer that they have been talking about for some time now, Project Resistance. Capcom has a successful track with their remakes, and have no doubt they can make it at a hat trick with Nemesis.
2. Doom Eternal
I love the Doom Series. They are so much fun. The adrenaline filled carnage of playing Doom Guy. Running around killing everything in your wake. Game literally knows exactly what it is. Oh, this rocket launcher, isn’t enough. Well how about if it shoots multiple locked on rockets? Still want more, how about a movable turret? No, here is a gun that will wipe out everyone in a bloody paste and you get to carry them all around at your ready. Low on ammo. Get up and close for more, or use this chainsaw, and god yes, give me more. Can play these game all the time, and a pre-order for Doom 64. A big yes to even more Doom, and just misses out on the number one slot.
1. DESTROY ALL HUMANS
I don’t think there is any game series that brings back more fond memories than Destroy All Human. A friend of mine way, back in high school gave me a game he swore I could not beat without cheats, it was Destroy All Humans, and I did beat it without cheating. Bought a Wii for the lone purpose to play, Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed. Watched another friend fail for over 4 hours to get any points in human plink-o in Destroy All Humans: Path Of The Furon. I even have the Original on PS4 due to a charity giveaway, but when this game finally comes out, am going to be getting a copy and just getting lost in the world of Cryptosporidium 137 all over again. Graphics look spectacular and hope for some new content, but one way or another. Destroy All Humans is the game I am most looking forward to the most, in 2020
I know, I didn’t say Cyberpunk 2077. I am going to play it, but is a game I know less about than Vampires. I know they have been working on it for a long time and don’t want to look into it at all. Want to go in blind, and because of that. It did not make the list, but I am sure there is plenty more that didn’t make the list. Feel free to drop any in the comments. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank you for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
This might seem a bit odd to talk about. Since there hasn’t been much movement on either side of the ball. Minus some sketchy rumors here and there, but seeing them made me think about their perspective future, and with their future under the Disney Flagship. I am a big fan of both, Predator more so than the Xenomorph and really think there is so much more that can be done, and came up with a bit of an idea that I felt like share with you all today. I don’t want to call it a pitch… but it is my pitch for what I would like to see from a series of movies, two Alien and two Predator and both coming together for a third and where they can go from there. A few things before we begin, while I will be drawing from the comics and other source material. I am far from an expert on them. I am just taking things I feel can fit well into a movie, and going from there. So, if I incidentally change up something, I don’t mean it in malice or anything like that. Want be going into a lot of detail, just enough to make a basic outline and bring it all together, and it goes without saying, this just my opinion. Mixing up the normal for this page and starting a conversation about these two creatures is always fun. With all of that said, lets jump in, with the Xenomorph himself.
I know there is been a fair amount wanting to see the return of Ellen to the franchise, but I think her Daughter Amanda may have more to go off of to reignite this franchise with. I have something planned for Ellen later on, but for now, it is all going to be about Amanda. Taking place after the events of Alien Isolation, and her desire to find out what Weyland knows and what they want with the Xenomorphs and mostly, what happened to her Mom still. It’s almost a driving force for her. She is going to have a team of mercenaries and those who have had their lives affected by the Xenos, and they pretty much going from one Weyland location to the next trying to find something, but the Nostromo incident is well above anyone’s pay grade and patience is getting thin. They know the answers can be found at one of Weylands most High Tech Labs. They wanted to avoid it, but with their string of failures, decide to go all in, and of course, things go sideways. Weyland has been studying numerous Xenomorphs and they get loose during the break in. All the while, Amanda’s genius and ingenuity is on display and she comes off even more dominating at times than those around her. Refraining from drawing to many comparisons to Ellen. No lines or similar moments. Amanda needs to be her own character in her own way and more on that later on. Unfortunately, the computers and destroyed during the chaos, and the whole operation turns into a waste, but her and whatever is left of her team make it out, with a scientist, will call Johnny, and with his help, we go into the second movie with a lead.
While the first movie leans more toward an action roots. The second is going back to its horror. Weyland now knows Amanda is getting closer, and with knowledge of what Johnny knows. They use it to set up a trap for the team consisting of personal military, Xenomorphs and Androids, and it is going to be a bloodbath. All the while, Johnny is going to keep Amanda going and by the end, it’ll be just the two of them and maybe one more who make it out, but they make it out, with a name. Dr. Church. The foremost expert Weyland has when it comes to all things Xeno, but he is stationed on a planet that has been completely overrun by Xenomorphs, and they set off immediately. More on that later. For now, lets go to the other side.
This one is a little harder to do. We have seen a good many versions of the Predator, or Yautja, I would spent the first movie, telling the tale of one Machiko Noguchi. An administrator in charge of Prosperity Wells on planet Ryushi. We got a version of her in the form of Alexa Woods, but we need the real deal. On Ryushi, the Yautja set a group of Xenomorphs loose on the colony to hunt, and Machiko steps up. Doing everything in her power to keep her people alive, but fends off the Xenomorphs to the point she impresses the Yautja on the hunt. To the point, the leader marks her with one of her kill, and she eventually joins there clan and leaves with them. This all should be the first movie. To introduce Machiko, and the Yautja clan.
The sequel picks up with Machiko and her clan on a hunt, not a Xeno one, but some other exotic alien species. Through her eyes, we really jump into the Yautja hierarchy and how they live and really build up the lore here. Lift up the curtain and let us really enjoy their culture a bit. Meanwhile, while Machiko is accepted among her clan. Has issues with other Yautja. They can bring in Yautja known as Shorty, who tends to give her the most grief. For one reason or another, the Yautja have to go to the Alien infested planet to either get a Queen or a new Alien to make eggs and Machiko’s clan is chosen, but before they go. Shorty challenges her for her spot on the hunt, and she gets cheated out of a victory. This is the final straw. After they leave, she decides that she is going to leave, but before she leaves. Sees another ship inbound. One that contains humans. Aware that they are going to be completely overrun. She beelines it to the planet and crash lands in front of them, and of course, it is Amanda and crew and the movie ends with, her saying she is there to help.
We are picking up on where we left off. Amanda explaining why they are there, and while Machiko doesn’t like the idea of sticking around longer than they have to, is moved by her plight and is going to help Amanda find out what happened to her Mom. She has her weapons and with expertise with the Yautja, and things get going early and breaks are very minimum. We have Machiko squaring off with her former clan. Waves of Xenomorphs and Queens. An Empress and different variations of Xenomorphs. An all out fight all the way to Dr. Church. A sinister, twisted man who has been basically playing Dr. Frankenstein on this planet. Using his own security guards as lab rats. They finally do get him alone, and he more than happily, tells what he knows about the Nostromo, and that is basically what she kind of already knows, and that is, no one knows what exactly happened. Ash was sent to collect the Xeno, but everything went wrong when Ellen stepped up and foiled it. All he knew what she escaped in a pod, and the Nostromo blew up. Before Amanda can get her mind around that. A giant tail erupts through the wall, and takes out Dr. Church. Enter the Queen Mother Alien. Machiko jumps in and takes the fight to it, but is outmatched. When Shorty crashes in to help her. In the comics, Machiko kills Shorty after a fight and learns he wanted to actually mate with her. We are playing with that idea and give him a little more heroic demise. Once again, Machiko is alone and knocked down. About to suffer the killing blow, and bam. The Queen Mother gets whacked by a mechanical arm, and we get Amanda in the Mech suit, followed by the line ” Stay away from her you b****.” Made so much more special because they have made no other Ripley comparisons till this very moment. You let it cook and not diminish moment. Together, they vanquish the Queen Mother, prime the lab to blow, and Machiko, Amanda, and Johnny make it out to see the explosion from space. They are going home. Machiko is off to blaze a new path in her life, and Amanda may not know what happened to her Mom, but was not abandoned by her. Ellen went off as a hero. Know Amanda is off to piece together a life with Johnny.
THE ONLY POST CREDIT SCENE
We get a scene, with Lance Hendricks. ( I know he is up there, but they have used CGI on so much worse) talking to a lackey about what a disaster this all was and going through everything lost at the hands of Machiko and Amanda. When another guy rushes in with news. They have received communication, from the escape pod from the Nostromo and when played, it’s the voice of Android Ash and we set up, for a movie around the audiobook, Out of the Shadows.
And that is all I got. I know it is a bit disjointed and can use a lot more love, but like I said, just a quick little outline of where they can go. A conversation of things can do, while we wait to see what they actually do. What do you think. Like it? Hate it? Let me know. In the meantime,
Thank you for reading.