Weekend Whammy: Anno That Game, Zombies & Game of Thrones

Today I bathed my white German Shepard which is an immense task. I’ve got a small fenced in area which is perfect for the actual bathing part, but once he’s loose in the garden the fun begins. Getting dried is an excuse for him to run around the garden like a freaking lunatic, bouncing off of bushes, skidding around corners and sliding underneath the trees. It took something like three hours to get him bathed, semi-dried and semi-brushed. But he had heaps of fun and proceeded to collapse into a sleepy heap. It’s a hard life being a dog.

But anyway. Lets get on with this, shall we? The first review of the week was of World War Z, a surprisingly fun co-op shooter with hefty Left 4 Dead influence. Without question the star of the show are the massive zombie hordes that just come pouring over the landscape. It’s heaps of fun on harder difficulty settings to hold off the tide of corpses with three other people. Ultimately I went in with no real expectations and came out the other side covered in rotting flesh, unmentionable liquids and with a smile.

The other review was of Anno 1800, a city-builder set in the 1800s. Duh. Anyway, I’m a complete noob to this long-running series, so I hopped in with no idea what to expect. Aside from the fact that I generally suck at running cities (everything was on fire within about five minutes) I generally loved my time with the game. Hell, I’m still playing it even after the review, which is always a sure-fire mark of success in my book. Anno 1800 doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but man does it play good.

So, moving on to upcoming reviews I’ve been playing the crap of Mortal Kombat 11. I really like it! And I really dislike it. On the one hand the core fighting feels fantastic, the story has great production values and is appropriately A: ridiculous, B: bloody stupid and C: cheesy. On the other hand they’ve taken the outstanding loot system of Injustice 2 and somehow converted it into crap. Then there’s the lengthy grinds for very little reward, awful monetization and random difficulty spikes. I’m honestly not sure how the review is going to go, yet.

I’ve also got Days Gone! HUZZAH! But I haven’t actually fired it up yet. Boooooooo!

Finally, I’ve got my grubby mitts on Close to the Son, the forthcoming game about a giant floating ship, Nicola Tesla and a whole lot of weirdness. Due to the NDA I can’t say anything about what I think, though, so for now just know that a review will be coming.

Of course the big news this week is that a little film called Avengers: Endgame came out this week. I went and saw it, and I have to say that despite the overwhelming levels of hype Marvel managed to deliver a great ending to this particular chunk of the MCU story. It’s far from a perfect movie and I’m personally argue that Infinity War is stronger overall, but as a closing chapter for this part of the Marvel universe it’s absolutely fantastic. The humour struggled in places, there were a few ideas that didn’t sit well with me and a couple of obvious gaps in the logic, but it has a truly staggering final act filled with amazing visuals and character moments. Maybe I’ll write something more detailed and spoiler-filled about it, I don’t know, but for now I’ll just say that I felt like Endgame tied things up nicely and I’m excited to see what’s next in the MCU.

As I write this the third episode of the final season of Game of Thrones is probably airing. It’s a little weird to think that it’s finally going to be over and that we will have a true conclusion. Thus far the first two episodes have been really strong, and I’m glad that they took the time to focus on character interactions before we hit the action proper, though I hope they don’t just abandon the character stuff entirely in favour of like four episodes of fighting.

Anyway, here’s my favourite moments of the first two episodes, and yes that does mean spoilers:

  • The entire sequence around the fireplace with Tyrion, Tormund, Jaime, Brienne, Podrick and Davos. It was a superb mix of characters. Tormund’s story about the giant cracked me up, and Brienne being knighted was a fantastic moment.
  • Arya and Jon finally reuniting. I can’t believe the last time they were together was in the first damn season!
  • The tense moment between Sansa and Daenerys where they seemed to be getting along before Sansa demands to know what will happen to the North when Daenerys takes the throne. The way Daenerys suddenly hardened and withdrew her hand was great.
  • Jon revealing his ancestry to Daenerys. This goes hand in hand with Daenerys and Sansa because obviously it’s playing up whether Daenerys can let go of her desire to rule. Despite her claims of wanting to break the wheel she’s also ultimately demanding the throne because its her birthright. Kings and Queens ascending because of their bloodline was what messed everything up before.
  • Bran. Just sitting in random places in his wheelchair. How did he get there? How long has he been waiting? How many times has he accidentally been left outside overnight?
  • Ghost being back. Although I am pissed off that he just magically turned up in one random scene with nobody mentioning it.
  • Jon riding a dragon.
  • Jon being stared at by a dragon.
  • Neither Jon nore Daenerys being even a little bit troubled by the fact they’re related. Seriously, incest in Game of Thrones is weirdly commonplace.
  • The Umber kid slowly opening its eyes behind Tormund. Nice little horror moment, there.
  • Cersei being genuinely disappointed that there were no elephants.
  • Samwell finding out that both his brother and his father were burned alive. Absolutely terrific acting throughout that scene. And then Daenerys looking at Mormont like, “you could have fucking warned me, yeah?”

Here’s a random thought, though: why is it we’re perfectly willing to forgive someone like Jaime Lannister and even root for him, but in the real world we’ll decimate a person and their career due a Tweet from years ago or a joke they innocently made? Jaime porked his sister, tossed a kid from a tower, helped kill Ned Stark and has done other various horrible deeds, but now we all like him? It’s weird, isn’t it?

Anyway, I’m signing off. If you fancy supporting the site you can donate a few pennies via Paypal below.

But more importantly, I’d love to hear what you’ve been playing, watching and reading in the comments below.

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