Daily Archives: January 23, 2015

Grey Goo Review

My first spoonfulls of Grey Goo were surprisingly tasty. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was for a polished, traditional real-time strategy game not made by Blizzard. Developer Petroglyph’s outside-the-box faction design left me with an odd aftertaste regarding balance in potential competitive play, but it definitely hit the spot.

The action takes place in the far future, where technologically advanced humans and a scrappy but noble alien race called the Beta face off against the Goo—self-replicating nanobots that seek to consume everything in their path. Allegiances change and new threats are revealed as events unfold, but there are no story-affecting choices to be made, and bonus objectives in each mission don’t carry over into any kind of advantage in future missions. It’s a setup that would have been par for the course when this type of game was in its heyday more than a decade ago, but has since been rendered almost rustic. Suffice it to say there are few surprises, but what’s here is well done.

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GLAAD Rewards Dragon Age: Inquisition’s LGBT Integration

Dragon Age: Inquisition has been recognized by media advocacy organization GLAAD for its portrayal of LGBT characters, earning GLAAD’s Special Recognition Award.

GLAAD cites Dragon Age: Inquisition’s “many complex and unique LGBT characters prominently integrated throughout the game” as the reason for its inclusion in the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, according to a statement released yesterday.

The Special Recognition Award is reserved for “outstanding media projects for which there is not a competitive category.” Video games do not have their own category in GLAAD’s annual awards.

“For nearly 30 years, the GLAAD Media Awards have raised the bar for inclusion in news and entertainment, transforming LGBT representation in media and moving the dial for acceptance across the globe,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “It’s been a remarkable year for equality, and nowhere is that more evident than in the visibility LGBT people have gained across media.”

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Electronic Arts Servers Currently Experiencing Outages

Electronic Arts is currently experiencing outages affecting EA titles, services and support, according to a notice on the official EA Support Twitter account.

EA is currently experiencing an outage. EA games, services & support may be impacted. We’re working to resolve as fast as possible.

— EA Support (@AskEASupport) January 23, 2015


EA’s support pages are currently down. According to the Origin Server Status page, account services to log in to Origin is offline; however the Store and social services for managing friends and playing games are online.

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Ubisoft Announces Procedurally Animated Climbing Game Grow Home

A cute, vertical adventure game from Ubisoft is climbing its way to PCs next month.

Today the company announced Grow Home, a procedurally animated climbing game that began as a small pet project at Ubisoft Reflections.

Inspired by movies like Wall-E and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Grow Home centers around a robot named BUD (Botanical Utility Droid), sent on a mission to discover new plant life to oxygenate his home world. BUD discovers the Star Plant, a Jack-and-the-Beanstalk-like plant, that continues to grow as he climbs his way to the top.

By independently controlling each of BUD’s hands, players can climb high into the sky and explore the open world’s floating islands and caves. Players can also collect crystals that offer power-ups and ability enhancements to use on their journey.

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EA Details Battlefield Hardline Maps and Modes

Electronic Arts and Visceral Games have taken to the Battlefield website to further detail all of Battlefield Hardline’s maps and modes.

The upcoming first-person shooter will launch with nine maps including Downtown, a map based in the heart of downtown Los Angeles shut down by police. Bank Job is a map where “criminals are plotting a ruthless assault on a high-security bank vault” and The Block  is “home to a notorious criminal ring” fronting as a liquor store and bail bonds office.

Dust Bowl is a small desert town of Joad well-known for meth trafficking problems, while Derailed is set in the industrial Los Angeles of warehouses and scrapyards. Players can battle in a “high-tech and expensive island crib” consisting of small islands interconnected by bridges and waterways in Riptide.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Casts Storm, Jean Grey and Cyclops

The younger versions of Storm, Jean Grey and Cyclops have been cast in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Director Bryan Singer announced on Twitter that Alexandra Shipp will play Storm, Sophie Turner will take on Jean, and Tye Sheridan will star as Cyclops.

“Meet our new and brilliant young mutants” the director tweeted.


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Podcast: X-Men, Deadpool & Suicide Squad

Welcome back to Keepin’ It Reel! In this week’s podcast, Jim Vejvoda, Roth Cornet, and Scott Collura bring you the latest in genre movie news.

We discuss the latest movie news, including Suicide Squad, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Spider-Man’s cinematic future, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Trek 3, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the Poltergeist remake, and Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars standalone movie.

Finally, we wager whether Mortdecai, Strange Magic, or The Boy Next Door have a snow ball’s chance in hell against reigning champ American Sniper at this weekend’s box office.

Download Keepin’ It Reel, Episode 274!

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12 Monkeys Creators Discuss the Time Travel and Characters

12 Monkeys aired its pilot episode this past week on Syfy, telling a new interpretation of the story in Terry Gilliam’s film about a man from a plague-ravaged future traveling through time to the present, where he begins to discover how the plague actually began.

Now that the show has debuted, I spoke to the show’s creators and co-executive producers, Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas, about where 12 Monkeys goes from here. The two spoke about their approach to this week’s second episode, why it was important to separate Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Cassie (Amanda Schull) for a bit, the characters Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) and The Pallid Man (Tom Noonan ) – both who figure prominently in episode two – and more.

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