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Avengers: Endgame trailer breakdown

Marvelites are having a pretty great week. A great Captain Marvel trailer dropped on Monday. Let me tell you, she looked mighty fine. Nintendo announced the return of the long-dormant Ultimate Alliance game franchise at The Game Awards on Thursday. A new Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer is supposed to arrive very soon. And as if to slap a whole cake on top of a cherry, the Russo brothers practically shadow dropped the new Avengers: Endgame trailer on Friday. The trailer reveals very little. But when has that stopped us from going through these a dozen times and look for clues? Let’s jump in.

Here’s the trailer, just in case you do indeed live under a rock.

Tony Stark is stranded in space

Marvel MVP Tony Stark isn’t off to a good start here. He is marooned aboard the Benatar, the Guardians ship. With food and Oxygen rapidly running out, earth’s greatest defender is desolate and helpless. We see him turning his helmet on to record a farewell message to Pepper Potts. The lighting is somber because who can bid a sad goodbye in harsh fluorescence? Him mentioning the end being part of the journey is sure to tug some heartstrings. He is also wearing a similar shirt from the first Iron Man when he was imprisoned by the Ten Rings. A great visual callback to his initial plight in a no-win scenario.

Avengers: Endgame trailer breakdown

Tony’s rescue is a hotly contested topic. We can only but speculate. Does Pepper Potts don the Rescue armor from the comics herself and go after her man? Will Captain Marvel pick him up during her return journey to earth following Fury’s SOS? Does Thor open a Bifrost with his Stormbreaker weapon and save him? Alas, we might have to wait till April for the answer. Or at least until the next trailer.

But what is Nebula’s story?

We also see Nebula hanging about the ship reminiscing and being all sad. There’s another very curious frame in the trailer where she gently caresses someone’s shoulder sitting in the ship. That is very out of character for her. Is she saying goodbye to Tony before leaving the Benatar? Or that is a completely different character at another point in the movie? Marvel has been really deceptive about these in the past. So rule nothing out.

Point Break is pissed

Thor Odinson proved last April that he is the mightiest of the Avengers. Maybe that is why it pains him the most that he could not stop the Decimation. Yes, that is what the head honchos at MCU decided to call the Thanos Snap. This revelation arrives thanks to Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War: The Cosmic Quest Volume Two: Aftermath by Brandon T. Snider. Man, the name of this book needed a Snap as well to cut it down to half.

Anyways, back to Thor. Just look at him. This man right here is ready to get out on that stage and shred Thanos in a rap battle.

The Thanos-crow

The only character who is happily content in the trailer is Thanos. And why wouldn’t he be? He brought balance to the universe, in his own twisted way. Moreiver, as a great comic throwback, we see his armor strung like a scarecrow. He doesn’t need that anymore, because his job is done. In the comics though, Thanos is retreating in disgrace more than gloating over a hard-won victory. But a nice touch nonetheless.

Is Shuri alive?

This is a very important question. The fate of another character hangs in the balance because of her. Last time we saw Shuri, she managed to salvage most of Vision’s data before getting knocked unconscious. If she survived the Decimation, she could be paramount to bring at least one of the Avengers back. Interestingly though, the trailer reveals a scene where she is put under the “missing” tag along with some of the dusted heroes.

That could mean she was slain along with her brother. Or she might be alive but not working with the remaining Avengers yet. I mean, it was them who brought war and death to her home. Does she have her own agenda now? Time will tell.

Hawkeye…or Ronin?

We finally get a glimpse of Clint Barton after his absence in Infinity War in this trailer. Only…he isn’t Hawkeye anymore. He is in the shoes of another comic book character called Ronin. There are some other characters like Echo who operated under this cover identity. But Clint’s stint was more prominent in the comics.

The reason he wasn’t active during Infinity War because of his plea deal with the government. He had a family to protect and care for. Something tells me in his thousand yards long stare here that they might not have survived. Hence, his blatant disregard to government contract.

For reference, here’s the comic book version of Ronin.

Ant-Man is out of the Quantum Realm

This might be the biggest revelation of the trailer. Last time we saw Scott Lang, he was journeying into the Quantum Realm with the help of the Pym family. In a tragic sequence of events, Scott got stuck there after the Pym collective turned to ash. How he got out may end up being the single saving grace for the Avengers family, and the world.

Now Scott was using his trusted friend Luis’ van for the Quantum Realm incident. It might be possible that Luis survived the Snap and came back to rescue Scott through the radio. Or Scott could have gained powers due to excess exposure to the Quantum Realm ala Janet Van Dyne. But that’s unlikely because it didn’t help Janet herself.

Time travel is a safe money bet. Right as he’s venturing into the Quantum Realm, Scott is told by Janet van Dyne: “Don’t get sucked into a time vortex.” That seems to be a pretty on-the-nose warning but also one clear enough for a dope like Scott to eventually realize might be the key to him escaping his predicament. We’ll see.

Speaking of time travel

As the leaked set photos suggested earlier, time travel is definitely playing a big role in Avengers: Endgame. We see a hint of that in the trailer as well when we see Captain America in his winter soldier suit.

Avengers endgame trailer breakdown

We don’t know what’s cooking, but Cap certainly isn’t donning this particular old suit for no reason.

So, that’s it, folks. There is a long five-month wait before we close out on the first decade of MCU. It’s actually a good thing the trailer left out crucial plot points. This lets us converse and speculate about our heroes’ struggle to save a universe torn apart. After all, as the name reveal tells us, it’s about undoing the tragedy that has left them…disassembled.

Red Dead Redemption 2 review: Rage, rage against the dying of the West

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an unabashedly stubborn masterpiece.

I was strolling through the quiet road at the base of Mount Shan on my trusty steed, Epona. Suddenly I came across a rugged-looking man intently crouching over something and talking to himself. It wasn’t long before I listened in and came to know that he was a hunter tracking his prey. We shared a hearty greeting thanks to the contextual button on my PS4 controller. But then he went back to his hunter business. Curious, I followed him from afar just to see the climax of this random event. I wasn’t ready for what happened a couple of seconds later.

Without warning, a huge bear suddenly came out of the woods and rushed straight towards him. The hunter got in a few shots from his rifle but not before the bear jumped squarely on him and viciously clawed his face off. I ran towards the spot but found both of them laying lifeless and still. I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt about my failure in saving him. Maybe if I drew faster, he’d still be alive and we could have shared a chuckle after his successful hunt. Worn with woe, I accepted his fate and rode back into the world.

This is just one of the many, many random encounters in Rockstar’s astonishingly detailed and exhaustingly beautiful open-world western opus, Red Dead Redemption 2. A world unnervingly polished to a marvelous sheen, the sequel’s responsive open-world design ensures it’s a treat to just exist there. It tells a heart-wrenching and worthy story that weaves many character-driven narrative threads into a glorious tapestry. It starts at a deliberately measured pace but soon reaches full steam and gradually culminates in a thunderous crescendo. When the sun has set on the somber tale of not heroes but flawed men and women with dark pasts and desperate futures, you can’t help but marvel at your own journey.

The premise

Red dead redemption 2, Arthur Morgan
Our man Arthur lookin’ real nice

As Arthur Morgan, you have plenty of opportunities to do right by the Van der Lindes.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a follow-up to Red Dead Redemption. And while new and improved in terms of design and execution, Red Dead Redemption 2 is narratively a prequel. The year is 1899, a decade before the events of the first game. The story follows the adventures of Arthur Morgan, right-hand man to charismatic gang leader Dutch van der Linde. Players of the original Red Dead will recall that this gang is the one previous protagonist John Marston originated from. At this stage of history, Arthur, Dutch, and crew are on the run following a failed job in the town of Blackwater.

Throughout the story, the gang exists in a transient state. Moving from state to state, the crew finds itself mixed up in a wide variety of misadventures as they try to regather themselves and pull together the funds they need to finally disappear. As Arthur, you are essentially the gang’s fixer. In addition to participating in the various robberies and related crimes that take place throughout the game, you’ll also find yourself in charge of the gang’s camp. Its is a bustling communal space where you collect quests, manage resources, and just exist alongside the various personalities that encapsulate the gang. But your true calling comes from the wild.

Wild wild West-world

horse
More horses than you could ever want. Question is: why’d you want so many horses?

One of RDR2’s greatest strengths is the lengths it goes to in order to make its world feel like it is breathing on its own. Other Rockstar open world games have largely focused on centering the player in every way. Everything is typically built like a playground, chock full of activities that exist at the forefront, while the various NPCs just sort of mill around. Here, the various cities, camps, and wild areas all feel like they are moving along at a life-like pace. When you’re in your gang camp, you’ll see people doing chores, reading, playing games, and engaging in conversations that have nothing, in particular, to do with whatever quest you’re about to embark upon. These personalities, these people, are the core of what makes Red Dead Redemption 2 go. There is a humanity to these characters that Rockstar games don’t typically seem all that invested in portraying.

When you head into towns, Rockstar’s meticulous craftsmanship gets even more impressive. Each of the many towns and cities has its own character and personality, with the bustling New Orleans facsimile Saint Denis being the crown jewel. The cities are packed with things to do, from taking in a vaudeville show and getting your photo taken to meeting a memorable cast of strangers and perusing the intricately detailed shops. You can dive into a catalog at gun shops and general stores, or walk right up to the shelves and grab what you need.

Ultra-realism

“… And that’s why I’ll need your horse, pardner”

All the exteriors and interiors in the game look authentic to the time period and make you feel like you are visiting a place lost in time. Even the civilian population is remarkable – you can interact with each person you come across. I rarely heard a repeated line of dialogue outside of some random encounters outside the city. New strangers continually pop up offering interesting side missions as well. This is world both alive and lived in. And Rockstar never misconstrues this basic foundation.

But the strongest case for this amazing open-world is its nothingness. Galloping through the path less-trodden, enjoying the simplicity and the Zen-like peace of the western frontier is such a delight. The stretch of calm is at complete odds with the gun-slinging robust action but just as vital to the game’s experience. Light bursting through a tree canopy, rain clouds forming and clearing, evening mists rolling into an eerie swamp- the gorgeous visuals of the game punctuates throughout these spectacular moments.

It’s an outlaw’s life for me

Because ladies LOVE to be wooed by a mysterious guy in a mask with a bloody knife in his hand

As Arthur Morgan, you have plenty of opportunities to do right by the Van der Lindes. You’ll find a settlement for your gang first, of course. Then you quickly learn how imperative it is to keep everyone alive by supplying them with food, medical supplies, and ammunition. You’ll have to rob trains, steal stagecoaches, hold up shopkeepers and civilians on the road, as well as complete missions, hunt animals, or complete bounty missions to earn your keep. On top of this, there’re plenty of other ways to earn money, such as games of Blackjack or Poker, and selling your wares to those that are interested.

Your camp has a group fund to which you can donate your money, as well as a ledger where you can spend that hard-earned cash to improve the camp by upgrading it. Living quarters, building better supply stores, and opening up the option to fast travel across the vast plains- all can be achieved through these upgrades.

Survive

Sounds simple. Ain’t.

Out in the wild, or engulfed in a mission, the three cores of your character need to be kept replenished if you want to survive. Health, Stamina, and Dead Eye all need to remain high or you’ll start to show signs of fatigue. It isn’t just Arthur that has these cores. Your horse is an extension of you, and looking after it is essential. It’s important to bond with your horse because you’ll have access to better abilities. For example, if you’re bonded with your horse it’ll come to you from a farther distance once you whistle it to return. Your horse also acts as your inventory whilst exploring, storing the extra guns and equipment for you to equip while in the wild.

Hunting is a huge part of Red Dead Redemption 2, as is fishing, and both can be done whenever you like. Planning every hunt is just as important as robbing a train. Learning which options are at your disposal can take time. But planning that next big kill proves incredibly satisfying when done correctly. Unlike so many modern open-world games, Red Dead Redemption 2 does not want you to achieve dominance over it. It wants you to simply be in its world, and to feel like a part of it. It’s a crucial distinction and a big part of what makes it all so immersive and engrossing.

The wild bunch

Ain’t no party like a cowboy party

Arthur may be the story’s protagonist, but Red Dead Redemption 2 is an ensemble drama. The Van der Linde gang is more than just another clutch of scoundrels on horseback. It’s a community, a mobile encampment consisting of about 20 men, women, and children, each with their own story, desires, and role. There are villains and psychopaths, drunks and miscreants, and also dreamers, runaways, and lost souls just looking to survive. Each character has their own chances to shine, particularly for players who take the time to get to know them all. From the cook to the layabout to the loan shark, each has become real to me in a way fictional characters rarely do.

The game’s primary tale of Arthur’s journey through the gang’s final days is an extremely compelling one. The performance of Rob Clark as Arthur is a big part of that. Also at the head of the table sits Dutch van der Linde, as complex and fascinating a villain as I’ve met in a video game. Benjamin Byron Davis plays the boss man perfectly, imagining Dutch as a constantly concerned, watery-eyed killer. Time and again I was also struck by how seriously this game’s writers took these characters, themes, and subject matter. Glances of Rockstar’s satiric commentary famous from the Grand Theft Auto franchise can be seen here. But in its heart, the narrative remains about an invading modern world and a grim destruction of the old guard. And it is absolutely riveting in its execution.

See you, cowboy

See you, not-space cowboy

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an incredible achievement in open world gaming. It is an intricate machine that disguises its machinery better than just about anything else that’s come before. It toys with our suspension of disbelief about all those ones and zeroes beneath. Ultimately, it is gaming’s Pinocchio moment- blurring the puppet strings beyond belief. In addition to its lengthy and engrossing campaign, it delivers moments of emergent storytelling more compelling than anything I can ever remember playing. Graphically and aurally, it is top-to-bottom stunning. Rockstar has single-handedly thrust open-world game design to the next generation. And I refuse to ever go back.

Why you should be excited to watch Bohemian Rhapsody

In the 1970s and ’80s, Queen was one of the biggest bands in the world. The British rockers routinely sold out stadiums across the globe. Led by the Zanzibar-born Freddie Mercury, the band was eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hollywood has been working on making a movie about the band for years, and that dream is finally becoming a reality. Called Bohemian Rhapsody – named after one of the group’s most famous songs – it’s set to be released on October 31st. We’re already dusting off our old album covers and re-watching concert videos on YouTube with bated breath and eager excitement. Here’s a couple of reasons why you should too.

Emmy-winning Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

Fans of Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek, the star of the popular “Mr. Robot” on the USA Network, are anxious to see how the shy and restrained thespian transforms himself into a 1970s-era rock star. But if the trailers are any indication, he is well on his way for an Oscar nod. Freddie Mercury was so much more than a wonderful singer-songwriter. He was an enigma, a complete one-off, where his charisma matched his talent and then some.

Casting an actor to embody such a force is by no means an easy task. And to be frank, nobody can ever quite do the man justice. But in Rami Malek, it’s fair to say that we’ve given it as good a shot as we could hope for. Malek seems to have nailed the mannerisms, the style and even the walk of the famed star. And we can’t wait to fully experience the man’s acting chops in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Malek does all the classic Freddies

There’s Live Aid Freddie. There’s leather catsuit Freddie. There is even harlequin leotard Freddie. Red leather trouser Freddie. Fur coat Freddie. Be-crowned Freddie. White jumpsuit Freddie with angel wings. It’s astonishing how many of these costumes are indelibly burned into the memory. And safe to say Malek dons them all with glaring style. Do we actually need another reason to be all over this film?

Behind the scenes drama

Bohemian Rhapsody had been in development since the start of the decade, going through the myriad stages of development hell. British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was first roped in to play Mercury. After numerous disputes over what the biopic would cover, Cohen had left the project in July 2013. Many articles published over those months have stated that Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor wanted to keep the film free from Mercury’s scandalous life events, very specifically his AIDS diagnosis and battle.

In November 2016, Bryan Singer was hired to direct the project. Rami Malek was cast and the film was given the nudge it required by 20th Century Fox and New Regency. However, the film would still see struggles ahead. In December last year, Bryan Singer was fired from the project due to his absences (with one-third of filming yet to be completed). After that, Dexter Fletcher took over the helm. It seemed like there was no end in sight.

However, surprisingly enough, principal photography was wrapped up in January this year. All that’s left to do is wait. Not surprisingly, there has been a significant amount of backlash about the production’s deliberate choice to sanitize Mercury’s salacious life. Safe to say the off-screen drama during this film’s development has been nothing short of crazy. And we can’t wait to finally see if the final product will actually elevate from all this. Fingers crossed!

The greatest hits

Although aptly named, Bohemian Rhapsody is not only about the eponymous song. It’ll tell the story of the band’s 15-year journey from their formation up to their performance at Live Aid in 1985. So excuse us if we are a bit too excited to christen our eyes with some of the best Queen songs on the big screen. “Under Pressure”, a song that came from an impromptu jam session between David Bowie and the band. “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You”, the unrelenting kings of sports anthems. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, Mercury’s tribute to Elvis Presley. “Fat Bottomed Girls”, the true father of Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda. And what about “The Show Must Go On”, May’s heartbreaking tribute to his frontman, who was getting weaker and weaker because of his battle with HIV/AIDS?

This list goes on. We can’t wait to see how the overlords of this project decide to put the classics in just the right moments in the film. We are prepared for a nostalgia overload.

Ultimately, films are all about the notion of storytelling, and with Bohemian Rhapsody we simply have a fantastic story. The band was, and still are huge, one of the most successful ever. And their frontman was a fascinating character, a true enigma, and a quite breathtaking talent. We want to understand him and know more about what drove him, and the dynamics within the quarter. No matter your opinions on their music, it is hard not to be intrigued. For that reason, sign us up.

Daredevil season 3 review: Devil’s Due

Netflix’s attempt at giving Marvel’s more grounded, street-level heroes their platform has been hit-or-miss for the most part since its inception in 2015. But one series has always been more or less consistent in delivering quality content- Daredevil, the man without fear. Be it Charlie Cox’s outstanding performance as both Matt Murdock and the titular vigilante, engaging and investable supporting characters or the best rogues’ gallery (Wilson Fisk in particular) in Netflix’s roster- Daredevil has always been a great lens for this amazing comic book character and his world. And I am glad to report, the third season of Daredevil actually cements this notion even more by taking us on a cerebral redemption journey full of twists, action and a whole lot of self-reflection.

Daredevil season 3 review-HiFi Public

The premise

Right out of the bat (billy club?), things look grim. Matt Murdock just had a building fall upon him, but not before he lost the love of his life, Elektra, for the second time, during the events of Defenders. Soon he winds up at the orphanage where he grew up after his father died, where the nuns in residence nurse him back to health best they can. But the crisis of faith he goes through at the start of the season takes a bigger toll on him than his broken physique.

This emotional exodus of our hero is expertly crafted through Matt’s scenes with the resident nun Sister Maggie, played by Joanne Whalley. The interplay between Whalley and Cox is one of the highlights of this season, as Maggie apparently comes from the school of hard knocks and tough love. She wants to help Matt and to coax him back to the faith he has seemingly lost after his recent experiences, but the nun is not exactly gentle about it, and some dark laughs result at times.

Fisk is back

Matt’s continued descent into spitefulness comes to a screeching halt though for the untimely release of Wilson Fisk from prison. Yes, the Kingpin himself, played by the great Vincent D’Onofrio, is back with a vengeance. The Season 1 villain is one of the best characters in the entire Marvel pantheon. So it’s great to have him back again as a major player this season. D’Onofrio has lost none of the intense, deep-voiced and well-articulated seriousness that made his Fisk so indelible. You are always wondering what’s really going on inside his Machiavellian mind throughout the bulk of this season.

Most of the time when a single villain dominates the adversarial element for an entire run, things tend to get sluggish. But Daredevil NEEDS Kingpin. He needs this type of cerebral foil. Fisk’s tendrils stretch so far and wide, and started way before anyone knew to look for them, that he comes across here like one of the most masterfully meticulous criminals ever. But his greatest masterstroke in this season has to be the intricate foundation he laid in the origin story of Bullseye, one of the greatest Daredevil antagonists.

Daredevil season 3 review-HiFi Public

Dex hits the Bullseye

FBI special agent Benjamin ‘Dex’ Poindexter (Wilson Bethel), a high-functioning and lethally skilled sociopath, is introduced this season. He was shown absolutely primed early this season for getting trapped in Fisk’s long game of subterfuge. Bethel gives a standout performance as the tortured antagonists spiraling down to the rabbit hole from where he will finally come out as Daredevil’s greatest comic book rival ever. And his bouts with Daredevil are a pure cinematic joy to watch. The first fight, where Matt wins the close-up fisticuffs rounds but Dex wins overall because of his unexpected long-range precision strikes, feels like a comic book fan’s dream come to life. And even if you didn’t grow up watching these two characters duke it over the panels of a printed page, it’s still an incredibly savage showing. It’s not the only one as well but I will stop talking about the rest right now.

Rest assured, Daredevil’s action still towers over the rest of Netflix’s Marvel offerings. The fight choreographers have clear ideas about the strengths and weaknesses of the participants of a fight. They executed the scenes with surgical precision. And if you are wondering, this season keeps up with the tradition of a “one-shot corridor fight” in episode four. Needless to say, it absolutely knocks it out of the park.

The usual brilliant supporting cast

When things quiet down from the busier action scenes, the supporting cast do a great job to hold the rest in cohesion. I already talked about how great Whalley’s Sister Maggie has been throughout Matt’s internal struggle. But it’s up to Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) to truly get him back on track from self-destruction. Because Fisk wasn’t just hell-bent on destroying Daredevil’s persona as the savior of Hell’s Kitchen this season. He was after Matt Murdock’s good name too. And when the man without fear was very much full of fear and behaving at his most arrogant and abrasive, it was up to them to show him a brighter way.

Woll was always light-years better than her last show, True Blood. It pleases me greatly that she has a part now that showcases her ability to present viewers with complexities and hypocrisies and subtitles like only she can. No spoilers but there is a scene with her and Fisk that really bolsters Karen. It turns her into a roguish superpower of wicked righteousness. It’s a thrilling game of mental chicken. Foggy, on the other hand, remains the sole foundation of legal righteousness in Matt’s life. His faith in his best friend is unrelenting and absolute despite Matt’s own constant moral jeopardy.

In fact, all three of Daredevil’s lead characters are inherently polarizing. So kudos to our three main players for giving us severely flawed people who we’re still drawn to and root for. It’s because of them that the middle chapters were increasingly great. Instead of falling down the Netflix trope of bloat and bad filler.

Daredevil season 3 review-HiFi Public

Jay Ali’s Nadeem needed more

But some caveats remain. Jay Ali’s FBI agent Ray Nadeem gets a lot of screen time as a newcomer. He has intricate ties to the main narrative. Yet up until the last third of the season, his character doesn’t become engaging enough to be emotionally invested in. His struggle to do the right thing gets vehemently crushed between all the dangling story threads. It becomes a clichéd hodgepodge right before picking up a notch. And while this season has really improved upon maintaining a steady pace in the middle episodes where usually it all goes slow and bloaty, it should be mentioned that there are still signs of unnecessarily drawn out scenes and conversations. Netflix should seriously start to consider producing 10 episode seasons from all their Marvel characters for more tightly paced storylines.

Daredevil season three is just bloody good television.

Charlie Cox, as usual, thoroughly delivers as Matt. He convinces us here of the character’s pain, distressed state, and his eventual redemption. Vincent D’Onofrio’s restrained, grimacing, and mostly internal performance is just a behemoth achievement. The rest of the cast craftily delivers the goods as well. The action is robust, intimate and brutal. Overall, it’s just a great love letter to Daredevil. You don’t have to have Matt’s heightened senses to appreciate it. The devil’s got his due alright.

5 stages of grief after your favourite show gets cancelled

It begins with a subtle sweat. Soon, a cold chill creeps over your entire body freezing the senses, and yet it feels like your head is on fire. Then the laboured breathing starts as you feel the universe collapsing around you. Desperate, you grasp onto the TV screen in one last ditch effort to save it. But all of it fails. And suddenly you stand on the precipice of the dreaded truth.
Your favourite TV show has been cancelled.

Watching a TV show is a hefty investment. Unlike movies, a TV show requires commitment over its whole run, however long it might be. That’s why it’s understandable when the cancellation of your favourite show hits you like a gut-punch. The consequent grief that strikes is no less affecting than even the most heartbreaking of breakups. And besides the actual show, you’re probably also missing the safety of immersing yourself in a reality that’s not your own — which can make the withdrawal all the more painful. Fiction is powerful, you guys, and so is the human ability to repress. Now I am going to illustrate the five stages through that withdrawal that we all go through.

Denial

There’s no denying that your time with the show you loved so much is over. The story remains unfinished. The fates of your beloved characters are in the ether. But there are still ways that you will cling on to the last straws of the show. You will start reading the think pieces you bookmarked to read them later for spoilers. You will find behind-the-scenes interviews, extra scenes from YouTube and devour them in one sitting. Maybe you will patiently read through all the fanfiction available on the internet and designate your favourite one as the official storyline. When you realize you are starting to go through previously clicked links, then the trance breaks and the truth settles in. And your body’s defence mechanism will turn this existential dread into…

denial

Anger

The hole that your TV show left in your heart can only be filled with raw anger. Anger towards the network that cancelled the show which you express in a ferociously worded 140-character tweet intended for the network. Online forums are set ablaze by your fiery comments claiming vengeance and retribution. Being done with that, you direct your wrath towards the show itself for how it had wronged you in a myriad of ways. That little plot hole you forgave earlier is no longer so little. The main character was absolutely wrong to be in a relationship with the secondary character while his true love was the tertiary character. It really did not make sense but how dare the writers of the show claim to know more than you. Eventually, your brain will realize this anger is all just because you’re facing the reality of no new episodes. Then the fury will transition into disbelief at your own self.

Bargaining

Why did I watch so many episodes so fast? I could have made this show last for three more months. I legit skipped my friend’s girlfriend’s birthday party to watch six episodes two Saturday nights ago. If I hadn’t done that, I would have had 2 pieces of that delicious red velvet birthday cake and I would also still have six more episodes to watch. Why did I regularly stay up two hours past my ideal bedtime because I had to know when was John Connor going to kiss Cameron the terminator even though I walked around tired for literally a month?
Why am I worthless?

Depression

This is a really fun time. Remember how your favourite TV show was keeping you safe from the distraction of real-life problems? This is the stage where those start to surface and demand your attention. Pending assignments, work deadlines, and the insufferable social responsibilities keep coiling around you and this time you don’t have your trusty show as a sidekick. In response, all you can do is lie down there and keep thinking about what sort of timeline ramifications might occur now that Sarah Connor is in the future herself. Before long, you try to get out of that rabbit hole to get your life back in line. A temporary reset- before life starts to throw new curveballs your way. This is when the delayed depression wave will hit. You thought you’d finally moved forward, but now you need your comfort show more than over. Things are looking very, very bleak.

Acceptance

Then you’ll find out “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is not Netflix. You’ll go to Season 1, Episode 1 and press play. Thus the cycle starts anew.

Ant-Man and The Wasp: small heroes, big laughs

While the Marvelites are still recovering from their post-traumatic misery disorder after the monumental finale of Avengers Infinity War, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and The Wasp works as a potent antidote to all the doom-and-gloom. Be sure to be effortlessly entertained by a breezy “heist” sequel that never takes itself too seriously. While missing James Gunn’s heart wrenching depth or the Russos’ action sensibilities, this movie stands on its own with a strong cast, great size-shifting action elements and some endearing hilarity.

Thanks to his previous “heroism,” Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) finds himself under house arrest after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are on the run from similar prosecution. Neither parties have spoken in some time, but that’s until Scott dreams he’s inside Janet Van Dyne’s (Michelle Pfeiffer) body – aka Hank’s long-lost-to-the-Quantum Realm wife. Cue a rescue mission.

Ant-Man and The Wasp juggles a couple of story threads with moderate success. First off is using Hank’s quantum gateway to rescue Janet while thwarting black market dealer Sonny (Walton Goggins) from stealing their tech. A house-arrested Scott Lang also must ensure federal agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) doesn’t catch him outside his permitted area. But the movie’s tragic antagonist Ava (Hannah John-Kamen) aka Ghost gets the best story thread of glitching her way to stealing Janet’s essence for her own healing purpose. Marvel has created some truly memorable villains over the last couple of years and while Ghost doesn’t share the highest mantle with Thanos or Killmonger, she definitely gets close with John-Kamen’s tortured portrayal of the character.

Paul Rudd is also stellar as expected in portraying Ant-Man’s average Joe super heroism and fatherhood. His affable personality just works in all of the comedic sequences. But it is Michael Peña’s Luis who steals the funny train. He takes full advantage of the tighter comedy in the script and hyper-babbles to victory under “truth serum” influence. Peña’s that one-line jukebox which keeps cranking out the hits. May every movie feature his mini-voice shrieking with excitement. Evangeline Lilly just crushes it as well this time around fully kitted by the Wasp suit and makes up for her superheroine persona’s absence in the first movie. Wasp’s fight scenes revel in the graceful femininity and the sexy lethality of her comic book counterpart.

Credit is due to the effects teams behind Ant-Man and The Wasp too. As technology increases, so does Hollywood’s ability to superimpose the faces of Douglas, Pfeiffer and Fishburne in flashback ages – which Marvel fashions nicely. Then you’ve got Scott and Hope’s constant ballooning or deflating, which never feels out of place in a visual sense. Cinematography doesn’t exactly break the mold, but it keeps us anchored in worlds of varying magnitudes even in Quantum Realm psychedelics. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids would be proud. Gigantic tomatoes, refrigerator-sized salt shakers, miniaturization scales of otherwise regular sized products and all.

Ant-Man and The Wasp is endearingly earnest, positively punderful and ant-tastic from start-to-finish. While there are weak links weakening the foundation, the final build is a solid romp. This flick may not be essential in the grand Marvel-ous scheme of things, but you’ll be glad it exists. Ant-Man has always been a tremendous supporting character, and that’s exactly what this origin sequel lets Scott Lang do best.

Also, DO NOT miss out on the post-credits scene.

5 cyberpunk games to get on Steam Summer Sale while waiting for Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk isn’t a happy notion. It isn’t a clean and shiny utopian promise, rather a neon hued painting depicting the breakdown of social order. Despite the peak techno revolution, cyberpunk fiction revels just as much in the dystopic future where technology might have ended up doing more harm than good. And yet, somehow this angsty subgenre of sci-fi has mesmerized many of us through the years with its masterstroke combination of lowlife, high tech, AI, mega corporations and so much more. Therefore, it was not surprising when the whole spectrum of gamers was swooning over the reveal of Cyberpunk 2077 at this year’s E3. But the game is in its early stages and years away from release. Now how do we scratch that cyberpunk itch that the game’s trailer has surely conjured up in us? Well, by grabbing some underrated cyberpunk gems from the Steam Summer Sale, of course. We all are aware of the usual heavy hitters like Deus Ex, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon or the rebooted Shadowrun games that encapsulate this genre. But I’ll be going a bit deeper down the rabbit hole today to suggest some games that might not have gotten the same media attention but are worthy of your time all the same. And did I say they are dirt cheap in the Steam Summer Sale?

Dex

Dex is an open world, side scrolling, action RPG that takes place in a far future Cyberpunk setting and takes some inspiration from classic Metroid and Castlevania games. The city of Harbor Prime, the setting of the game, has been beautifully constructed with an incredibly immersive environment.

Dex also possesses a politically intriguing main quest and a somewhat solid gameplay base. It focuses on both melee and ranged combat. If you can tolerate the occasional gameplay hiccups, there’s a lot of fun to be had. It is currently $1.99 on Steam.

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

VA-11 HALL-A is the rare cyberpunk adventure that actually manages to remain interesting until the end with a unique mechanic and loveable characters. You play as Jill who works as a bartender at VA-11 Hall-A. The story is nonlinear and instead of being decided by dialogue options, it changes depending on the drinks you make for patrons at the bar. There are regular clients with their own personalities and the people who work at the bar themselves who slowly grow on you.

Mixing drinks and serving a particular drink to people is basically the main gameplay here. I absolutely love the character designs and the subtle animations at play both in characters and in the bar environment. The title screen itself is worth having a big poster of framed in your room. Go buy it for a measly 10 bucks on Steam.

Observer

Right from the off, Observer is textbook cyberpunk. Grim and brooding with atmosphere, its world feels like a digital recreation of a William Gibson novel. Observer uses this unsettling ambiance to tee up a gripping horror narrative, but it also simultaneously weaves in themes of paranoia and espionage classic to the genre. It had me utterly captivated over the course of six hours, soaking up the tension of its eerie environment and locked into unraveling the mystery of its story.

Starring Rutger Hauer of Blade Runner’s Roy Batty fame, in this game you play as an Observer- an augmented KGB police detective- who’ll wander around a retro-cyberpunk vision of future Poland piecing together an ever-thickening plot. For the most part, the gameplay that translates this story is engaging enough and the game does a good job of shepherding you between objectives without ever feeling as though it’s holding your hand. Observer is currently $6.29 on Steam.

Ruiner

Ruiner is a tense, top-down shooter and a series of equations written in blood, bullets, neon. The maiden game from Reikon Games pretty much demands the fluidity of twin-stick control, even at the cost of mouse-and-keyboard precision. And by “demands,” I mean the game kicked my head in six ways ’til Sunday before I realized the optimal way to play. The game’s world is as red as Carrie on prom night and puts about as much value on human life.

Its harsh cyberpunk aesthetic never lightens up and never gets old. The satisfying combat calculations of the game come together, execute smoothly and consequently gives you a rare cathartic feeling. You can also endlessly tinker with the skill builds that lets you build your own play styles. Grab it for just 10 bucks from the Steam store.

Satellite Reign

Back in 1993, Bullfrog made a ground-breaking cyberpunk tactical combat game called Syndicate. Its 1996 sequel, Syndicate Wars, was one of gaming’s lost Ur-genres, an even darker game about religion in a fully-destructible cityscape. Both were perfect recreations of grim cyberpunk worlds that you had to take over with your gang of cyborgs, by stealth, hacking or straightforward ultraviolence. Satellite Reign (named punningly after Satellite Rain, the most indiscriminately-destructive of Syndicate Wars’ weapons) is a spiritual sequel to those games.

You take control of a corporation seeking to muscle in another corp that’s dominating your city, using a group of four specialized cyborgs. As a tactical combat game, it runs a close second to XCOM, which is saying something. The game’s open world is a grimy labyrinth of urban design, and it’s an absolute joy to explore. You’ll feel like a kid playing with the most badass action figures you could ever have owned, set atop the biggest playset your imagination could handle. If you can survive the unforgiving opening hours of this game, I promise you there is something special in there. And all this for less than $2 in Steam. I mean, talk about getting a bang for your buck.

E3 2018: 5 great games you might have missed

It’s hard to not be distracted by E3 2018‘s huge announcements and dazzling trailers for the next installments of popular series or brand new video-game franchises. Nestled among those bright lights and earth-shattering presentations were brief looks at smaller indie titles that looked just as amazing. Here are 5 games you might have missed out on this E3.

Tunic

During the Xbox presentation at E3 2018, a little fox made a big splash. Tunic is an isometric action adventure that takes the adorable character through lush, sunlit forests and dark, mysterious ruins on a quest to unlock an enigmatic glyph language and defeat the rampaging monsters. The glyphs are even part of the game’s text, making their translation a vital part of your adventure. The calming colors and soothing soundtrack immediately make the game stand out, but don’t let them lull you into thinking Tunic will be a laidback lark around the island.

Sable

Shedworks’ Sable might be the prettiest game of E3 2018 and for a good reason. The narrative adventure from Gregorios Kythreotis and Daniel Fineberg looks like it was torn straight from an ‘80s-inspired graphic novel. The game leans on the kind of detail and simplicity you’d expect to see in The Louvre. It’s an open-world, coming-of-age tale of discovery, bound to be a true Breath of The Wild descendant that fills every corner of your body with butterflies.

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is a gun-fu ballet 2D action-platformer in which a talking banana assists a man with glowing eyes in the mass execution of geriatric gangsters. No matter how I describe it, I can’t do this game justice. Please go watch the gameplay trailer for this game and enjoy the masterful juxtaposition of thoughtful platforming and a brutal murder party. Video games, ya’ll. And kudos to Devolver for taking chances in these single-dev productions and giving platforms for these great games to shine.

The Messenger

In The Messenger you play as a young ninja tasked by the “Western Hero” to transport a scroll that is key to your clan’s survival. Meanwhile, a demon army has launched a full-fledged assault on your village. The visuals look similar to old-school Ninja Gaiden games, but The Messenger promises to expand itself from traditional platformers. There are several portals located throughout each level that seamlessly transition the game from 8 bit to 16 bit. Transporting to two different eras in gaming history serves a crucial role puzzles within the platform too.  The Messenger clearly looked to the past, but its eyes are dead-set on the future.

Daemon X Machina

Nintendo opened its big E3 presentation with a wild new mech game from Japanese developer Marvelous Entertainment. Called Daemon x Machina, the game features incredibly fast-paced robot action, along with a cel-shaded art style similar to anime. Aside from how cool it looks, it’s the pedigree behind it that promises this game’s production value. Driving forces behind the Fire Emblem, Armored Core and Macross franchises are working on this game and it shows on the gameplay. The game’s entire color palette- a mix of vivid reds, oranges, turquoise and mustard yellow- makes it stand out.

Best of E3 2018

The annual E3 video game convention is a gamer’s paradise. This year’s model brought 70,000 insiders and fans to Los Angeles, California for three days of giveaways, tournaments and announcements, blowing minds (and eardrums) with over-the-top presentations of hundreds of cutting-edge games. Though it lacked headline-grabbing hardware news, the expo was jam-packed with impressive upcoming software for every platform under the sun. But some games show better than others. In no particular order, here are my favorite ten games from E3 2018.

Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red has already established themselves as the master craftsmen of video games with their Witcher trilogy. The question remained, however, can a studio steeped in the tropes of medieval fantasy successfully make the transition to futuristic dystopia? And if the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer at the Xbox conference and the 50 minutes behind the scenes demo are any indication, the answer is a resounding yes. While the in-engine trailer hearkens back to how Rockstar introduces its games- a showing of the vibrant world and its colorful inhabitants, the gameplay demo available only to the journalists makes a bold statement. CDPR isn’t treading on familiar grounds, rather it wants to break new ones. Tons of character customization, their trademark stringed quests and choices, a breathtaking open world with a brand new first-person perspective- the Polish developers have set a higher bar than even their previous masterpiece. And I for one can’t wait to get my hands on the final product.

Resident Evil 2

Woe to any team that tries to remake a beloved game and doesn’t do it right. Thankfully, that doesn’t appear to be the case with Resident Evil 2, Capcom’s attempt at remaking the revered horror masterpiece. Incorporating a modern third-person camera from another critically hit entry Resident Evil 4, sharp visuals from a more recent Resident Evil 7 and a more fleshed-out story, the game still retains the classic horror elements along with its great multi-layered puzzles. Resident Evil 2 feels like the game in our memories, rather than that actual game. Which is just what a remake should be, of course.

Dying Light 2

Zombie-apocalypse vision Dying Light 2 is overhauling every system in the game from the lauded first game. Revamped choices and consequences will drastically change how the world reacts to players, with the story written by veteran narrative designer Chris Avellone. The free-flowing parkour movement and creative means of zombie-killing that people loved about the first game are all there with full force, but this time with an open world that reacts to your choices and alliances. I, however, am looking forward to the scariest part of the game, the nights- with faster and more vicious zombies that are relentless in their pursuit for you.

The Last of Us Part II

One would be hard-pressed to name a video game with more emotional resonance than the soulful, harrowing post-apocalyptic survival story of The Last of Us. Following it up seems like a Sisyphean task, but the talented team at Naughty Dog is more than up to the task if their E3 presentation during Sony’s press conference is any indication. The demo made my jaw physically drop with the much-improved gameplay, tense enemy encounters and probably the most ambitious character animations the gaming industry has ever seen. The masterful juxtaposition of the jolly opening scene and the brutal gameplay that followed makes me certain that creative director and writer Neil Druckmann has retained his mastery to switch tones organically from the first game. Starring Ellie at the forefront this time around, the game has added jump and crawl buttons and bigger and more vertically designed levels for some incredible gameplay moments. Safe to say, The Last of Us Part II has set its eyes to surpass the original in every way. And I expect nothing less.

Ghost of Tsushima

Sucker Punch Productions leaves the superpowered world of Infamous behind to travel back to 13th century Japan in a gorgeously rendered open-world adventure game that puts you in the well-worn armor and sandals of Jin Sakai, a samurai coming to grips with the fact that life as he knows it has come to an end. Based on the real-life Mongol invasion of Japan and, more specifically, Tsushima Island- this game is poised to win over the fans of the classic Samurai films and the Kurosawa enthusiasts. With stunning imagery of lush vistas and beautifully rendered combat, this game is an elegant, dazzling experience and looks like a promising new series that I can’t wait to explore.

Devil May Cry 5

After 10 years, director Hideaki Itsuno and the core team at Capcom have reunited to give us the “true” sequel to Devil May Cry 4. We return to Red Grave City, where a demonic invasion has begun. This event attracts Nero, the protagonist- the familiar face you might remember from Devil May Cry 4. Nero has lost his demonic arm, the source of his power. But fear not, the robotic replacement looks just as handy and stylishly cool. The combat and music give off that nostalgic vibes while the visuals have taken a hyper realistic approach. Capcom has recently been a on a role with their crowd-pleasing game lineup. But Devil May Cry 5 is surely the crown jewel of that accolade.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

At first glance, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice can be relegated to another FromSoftware production which draws too much from their already well established Soulsborne formula. But underneath, Sekiro tries to be much different from the bunch. Light stealth mechanics drawn from Tenchu, minimal RPG elements and more focus on swordplay than hacking and slashing makes the game a different beast altogether. Sekiro is set in Japan’s Sengoku period- a time of constant military conflict and social upheaval, but also drawing from Japanese myths and fantastical elements. This E3 didn’t have a shortage on Japan-set samurai action games, but Sekiro sets its own mark for sure.

Anthem

Anthem had a tall order to live up to the last year’s ambitious reveal and on top of that, to break out of the EA stigma that has tainted the publisher’s reputation drastically. Bioware’s own Mass Effect Andromeda’s failure to make a splash coupled with EA’s Battlefront 2 microtransaction fiasco didn’t help as well. But after this year’s E3, I am much more confident in Bioware’s ability to give us a great game than I was before. The way the character’s Javelin exo suits feel is something quite special, as is the transition between flying and hovering and back again. There’s something really nice here, with Bioware nailing intuitive movement across, above and around an open world. More vertically designed levels give the players to maneuver and fly around in more creative ways and tackle enemy encounter accordingly. Taking queues from other shared world shooters and actions games like Destiny and Monster Hunter World, Anthem is shaping up to be a great time sink for those who want to play with friends in a fascinating world deeply rooted in rich lore and mysteries. While we’re busy asking “is this a true Bioware game?” the team itself has moved on and is confident about making a “new” type of Bioware game. Maybe it’s time for us fans to move along too.

Forza Horizon 4

At some point in the past couple of years, the playful, arcade-inflected “Forza Horizon” series passed up the hardcore “Forza Motorsport” simulation line as my favorite racing franchise. The next game puts the pedal to the metal by incorporating changing seasons into its open-world take on Great Britain; race in the snow during winter, across rainy puddles in spring, through sunny pastures and fields in summer and over leaf-filled roads in fall. A technical and mechanical showpiece for the Xbox One, it boasts a special gift for Xbox One X owners: an option to race at a blistering 60 fps. With the new McLaren Senna on its cover, Forza Horizon 4 seems to do the impossible again- to improve upon an already perfect formula. While other “shared-world games” have struggled with their identities and differentiating between the single and multiplayer elements, Forza Horizon 4 juggles those issues like a true master. The online to offline transition is seamless and it never kicks you out of your playing session. The online players outside your party can never grief you on the road.  Overall, this iteration of the Forza Horizon franchise seems to keep its eyes on being the most robust and feature-heavy game in the series.

Halo Infinite

“A piano tune from Halo 3!”
“That was totally Master Chief but with the classic armor style!”
“Is that a Halo ring I see?!”
“Where is this buttery graphics coming from!”

Halo Infinite trailer is responsible for me to lose my voice during this E3 for all the screaming. A lifelong Halo fan, I can’t wait to see where 343 Industries is taking the Master Chief saga after their initial stumble during the first couple of years. After they took the franchise reigns from Bungie, it has not been a smooth sail. But responding heartily to fan feedback, Halo Infinite is being built from the ground up with a brand new SlipSpace Engine featuring all the things Halo fans love. After Halo 5: Guardians failed to excite the fan base, this is exactly the path 343i should follow to regain that trust and goodwill.

E3 2018 preview: predictions and rumors

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), the biggest show on the gaming calendar, is right around the corner. This month, as they now do every June, the best and brightest talents in the industry will descend on a heat-baked Los Angeles to showcase their digital wares to the world. While the numerous leaks and plausible rumors have dimmed the element of surprise to an extent, the E3 hype train continues like a juggernaut nonetheless.

Conference schedule:

While the official E3 show will run from June 12 to June 14, the conferences start from June 9.

EA                        Sunday, 10 June 12:00 AM
Microsoft            Monday, 11 June 02:00 AM
Bethesda             Monday, 11 June 07:30 AM
Square Enix        Monday, 11 June 11:00 PM
Ubisoft                 Tuesday, 12 June 02:00 AM
PC Show              Tuesday, 12 June 04:00 AM
Sony                     Tuesday, 12 June 07:00 AM
Nintendo             Tuesday, 12 June 10:00 PM

Sony

While Sony is surely hard at work on the next generation Playstaion console, it is a safe bet we won’t be hearing anything major on the hardware front this year. Sony head Shawn Layden has also confirmed that the presentation will focus on four main Sony exclusives: Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, Spider-Man and The Last of Us Part 2. Fans can expect deep dives, development updates and new trailer for all of these titles as well as announcements from third-party publishers and indie developers.

Sony is currently at the top of their game in churning out top-tier exclusives. Therefore, all eyes are on the next batch of their offerings as they gear up for this year’s E3. It seems Capcom may reveal a new Devil May Cry as well and what better place to do that other than Sony’s stage. Last year at PSX, From Software turned heads with their Shadows Die Twice teaser. Fans are eagerly expecting the game to be the sequel to the developers’ revered Bloodborne, or their long dormant Tenchu franchise. Whatever the case may be, it is expected to make an appearance in this E3.

Microsoft

Microsoft has a lot to prove this year. While they are adept at offering consumer-friendly services like Backwards Compatibility and Game Pass, their first party stable is failing to effectively compete with Sony’s diverse offerings. It seems Microsoft knows this too as they have boosted their efforts to strengthen their first party catalogue. The amazingly talented Playground Games are set to reveal the next game in the Forza Horizon series, but that is not the full picture. Rumor has it that Microsoft has assigned Playground to make the next Fable game as well. While it is still in early stages, a teaser this year on E3 might serve Microsoft well to get their message of commitment to diversify.

Announcements of new entries in the Gears of War and Halo franchises are also expected. This might be the year Microsoft bites the Battle Royale bullet and introduce a Halo Battle Royale game, but it is all up for speculation. Some third party surprise announcements are surely on the way too. Rocksteady’s rumored Superman game, Gearbox’s Borderlands 3 might turn up on the Microsoft stage pushing the extra horsepower of the Xbox One X.

Nintendo

Nintendo has had a killer 2017, due to two of the most critically acclaimed games in the Mario and Zelda franchises. To keep the momentum going, they are releasing a new Smash Bros. game this year. Built from the ground up for Switch, this one will embrace the eSports scene that’s formed about Brawl and Melee over the years. Kirby and Yoshi are also set to get new adventures in 2018, so I am fully expecting Nintendo to showcase gameplay from both. Last year’s Metroid Prime 4 reveal was a pleasant surprise for many fans, but more surprising would be the fact that Retro Studios is not making it. So while a Metroid gameplay trailer is expected, many including me are also eagerly anticipating Retro’s new game reeveal as well. Exciting times, indeed. I also imagine there’s a chance Nintendo will announce some new kits for its upcoming Nintendo Labo accessory which is now available worldwide.

EA

The last year has been tumultuous for EA, to say the least. From Mass Effect Andromeda’s disastrous launch to the Battlefront 2 micro-transaction fiasco, EA is in desperate need of some goodwill. For sports games this year, it is the usual. Fans will get the chance to see and play the latest EA Sports titles such as Madden 19, FIFA 19, NHL 19 and NBA Live 19. The recently revealed Battlefield V will have a large presence as well, especially the multiplayer. Titanfall Developer Respawn is currently working on a Star Wars game which could see a reveal on the EA stage. But the star of show will definitely be Anthem, Bioware’s latest project. A seeming mashup of Lost Planet, Dark Void and Destiny- I am really intrigued to see more gameplay and a deeper dive of the game.

Ubisoft

Outside of more details on the now-confirmed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and The Division 2, I am fully expecting Ubisoft to roll out the only other remaining Tom Clancy franchise worth its salt: Splinter Cell. The fact that Michael Ironside came back to voice Sam Fisher as a cameo in Ghost Recon: Wildlands might be a sign of a full-fledged post-MGSV Splinter Cell.

Ubisoft blew everyone’s mind last year with an amazing Beyond Good & Evil 2 trailer. A gameplay trailer this year is not farfetched. Whatever the conference ends up being, you can be comfortably sure there will be a dance number during the Just Dance 2019 reveal.

Bethesda

With the recent announcement of Fallout 76, and not much information beyond reported leaks that the game won’t be a traditional Fallout game, I think we can definitely expect to hear more about it at E3. Last month Bethesda released a Rage 2 announcement trailer. Being jointly developed by id Software and Avalanche Studios, a gameplay trailer was released the day after the announcement. So far we have a release window of 2019, which we can hope Bethesda will narrow down during their conference. A Prey DLC is probably going to make an appearance as well. There are also a number of Elder Scrolls games Bethesda could make announcements about on stage this Sunday, namely The Elder Scrolls: Legends, The Elder Scrolls Online and hell, maybe even an Elder Scrolls VI teaser. I am of course most excited about a possible Doom 2 reveal. The original one from 2016 was a blasting success, and I hope the sequel is bigger, better and just a plain old hellish ride.

Square Enix

I’ll kick things off with the most sure thing of the bunch: Kingdom Hearts III. We should finally get a chance to see when we can get our hands on the hotly-anticipated title during this conference, which until recently had a vague window of 2018. Another guaranteed showing, Shadow of the Tomb Raider also had a recent announcement event. A gameplay trailer is definitely on the cards as the game releases this September. Final Fantasy DLC is expected to make an appearance too along with more Dragon Quest XI information. Square Enix may also give us a look of Final Fantasy VII remake gameplay. Revealed in 2015 with thunderous fanfare, it might be time for us again to salivate in anticipation for this one. The most interesting prospect for Square’s presentation may be a gameplay trailer for the already announced Avengers game. Right off the hype train of Infinity War, I am ready to dive in the Avengers hole once more. I mean, who isn’t?

So what are you guys hoping for this year on E3? Share this article and get the conversation going!