There were a couple of deciding factors for the above statement, neither of which are comic related surprisingly enough. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to be excited for this year with comics, top of my list being the hopeful release of Sunstone Volume 3 in September of this year. No, this newest bout of excitement comes from the world of video games and music. Let’s start with the video games, shall we?
In case you missed this announcement which, as far as I can tell, kind of came out of nowhere, here is the announcement trailer for a title called Ark Survival Evolved. Just take a moment to drink in this particular serving of awesome.
Now there may well have been chatter about this that I missed, I’ll be perfectly honest in that my finger hasn’t really been on the pulse of gaming too much recently. I’ve got my eye on a few things in the works, namely Star Citizen, Halo 5: Guardians, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and awaiting the inevitable Fallout 4 announcement so for me this was a complete surprise. So after seeing this trailer this evening I went on an information hunt to see what this was all about, I mean there’s god damn dinosaurs in it! I’m hugely biased towards it already because I bloody love dinosaurs and then to top it off they throw a bloody great big dragon in at the end. My inner child is screaming right now. But back on track, I’ll briefly go through what I’ve found out so far to save you going on the information delve I went on if, like me, you know nothing of this game.
You play a survivor of, well, something. Ok, I’m a bit hazy on what has been survived but frankly, I don’t think this is shaping up to be a story driven story. The game will allow you to play as either a male or female character, and you must forge a life on an island filled with predators of all shapes and sizes, be they crocs, dinosaurs, dragons or even giant scorpions. And of course, there’s the ever present threat of annihilation by one of those pesky fellow human survivors, you see the meat and bones of this game is a persistent online world. Servers will support up to a whopping one hundred players at once, all scrapping over land, food and various other resources. Land will be a big one, since while vying to stay alive you’ll also need to build yourself a home, a fort which will need to be sturdy and well protected. You’ll start off with a wooden frame, reinforcing where you can until you start mining rocks and metals to provide extra strength and security. There’ll be an emphasis on strength too, you see if you get attacked and enough of the support structure is damaged on your virtual property the place will fall down. This is something that you’ll want to sort out as soon as possible because all of your items will be stored on either your playable character or in various crates that’ll be stored in your virtual base of operations. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the way this game is being built, you’re character will still be vulnerable to attacks while you’re offline.
“What?!” I hear you cry, “how the hell can we hope to stop that?”
Pets. Big, angry pets with teeth as long as your fingers. Those dinosaurs aren’t just there are a challenge. Noooo, you can stop short of killing dinosaurs and other creatures while fighting them, bring them home with you then nurse them back to health at which point you’ll be able to train said creatures to follow your command allowing you to ride them and, yes, using them as a sentry while you’re off doing things in the real world. To top this off, you won’t be limited to one. This is where things get really interesting. “Ark” will be running a day/night cycle with a full weather system, but this weather system and day cycle isn’t just to add a sense of submersion, nope, different weather will affect how quickly you tire, get hungry and thirsty and how far you can travel. Stay awake too long and that will have a knock on effect too. So you’ll need to make sure wherever you are you’ve got plenty of nourishment for you and your dinosaur pets, they will need food and water too. And of course, to make things interesting, the most out of the way and hardest to reach areas of the island will have the most valuable resources, making the dangerous journey out there well worth it if you can make it back with all that cool stuff. So you seriously need to plan ahead, making sure you’ve crafted enough packs to sling over your dino, making sure you’ve got enough food and water for the both of you and enough equipment to defend yourself if necessary.
Now, you remember that whole thing about being vulnerable while you’re away from the game? Well, obviously by default that means every other player will be in the same boat as you, but not only can you rob them blind and kill them while they’re gone, things can get a bit more sinister as the game will allow you to kidnap players characters too. So, the game hasn’t even announced a launch date yet and I already have a plan of action in place. Build a fort, tame a Triceratops, farm for lots of metal, fortify said fort and do all this as quickly as possible. Once this is done, tame a T-Rex, leave that guy to guard all my stuff while I set traps around my compound. Within the fort I will set up a small farm for food for my character and while out setting traps go hunting for food for the Rex. The traps will be set for other players since one of the things you can do is leave signs out for others to see, and once caught I will take them back to the fort and keep them in a prison. Essentially, I’m going to set up a penal colony and capture a shit load of people that have done absolutely nothing wrong. The best one would be to find a group of friends playing together, wait until they’re offline and capture them all, allowing one out at a time to go and do things that I need doing and if they refuse, start killing off their friends characters. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to this. The game will be dropping sometime in the (hopefully) near future on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
So the other thing that has me super excited is the long awaited reunion of Sikth to put some new material together. I’ve been a fan of Sikth for so long now, their music is just so special and unique that no matter how many acts they’ve since influenced and regardless of how good those bands are, no one has managed to capture the magic that Sikth brought to my ears. They way the band are doing this is through pledgemusic, essentially a crowdfunding website similar in theory to Kickstarter. I think. They’ve got an EP set to launch later this year and are kicking off a tour in support of this new material. If you’ve not heard anything from Sikth before, here’s a taster.
If you had no idea what kind of music I lean most towards, that probably gives you a good idea. If this interests you, or you already liked the band but were unaware of this new EP and how you can support it, head over here right now.
The pledge page covers everything from digital downloads to signed vinyl to tees and even advanced orders for tickets to the next slew of shows they’ll be doing once work on the new EP is wrapped. I am so bloody excited! Again, it would seem this has been on the cards as a possibility at the very least for a while but I’ve been a little out of touch with some of the older bands I’ve listened to for years, shifting towards checking out a lot of the newer talent that’s been emerging throughout the last few years. I thought, genuinely believed, musically this year would belong to Nuclear Blast with some absolutely huge albums out already and more giants on the way through the rest of this year but it looks like a crowdfunded band from Surrey is going to destroy that theory completely! Be sure to pledge if you’re interested, there’s still a long way to go until the option to pledge is cut off!
And that’ll do me for tonight, been a long day and so I’m not even going to give this a skim over for any mistakes, I’m just too tired.