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Archive for October 2015

Leaked, A Private Correspondence About Bleeding Cool

leak-detection-1-1407wwI understand the following was posted to the Google Group “Martinboz Society for Nerdery, Debate and Appreciation” group and then sent to me. The only editing I have made was to remove personal e-mail addresses. It is best read bottom to top.

On Oct 31, 2015, at 1:07 PM, Brett Schenker <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:

He commented on your article an hinting that due to his refuting a piece of my Edmondson post, this is happening. At least that’s my reading of what he was saying.

What Rich doesn’t know, and off the record, I have leaked email from Image that backs up my reporting. I don’t report things without multiple sources or solid evidence.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/10/22/talking-to-images-eric-stephenson-about-lateness-variants-diversity-star-wars-the-beatles-and-nathan-edmonson/

On Oct 31, 2015 4:03 PM, “Emma Houxbois” <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
You’re exactly right. When I was trying to explain who Rich was to a friend who isn’t aware of him, I described him as “The Piers Morgan” of comics. Rich is a goon and it’s starting to become a bad time to be a goon. Image interview?

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 12:28 PM, Gross, Joe (CMG-Austin) <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
Remember, folks, Bleeding Cool is basically a British tabloid in vision, sensibility and ethics.

Once one understands that, it makes WAY more sense. To me anyway.

Sent from my tricorder. Of course there are typos.

On Oct 31, 2015, at 1:53 PM, Emma Houxbois <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:

At one point he was trying to phrase HMS’ move as “going from Avatar to Dark Horse.” Why, I don’t know, but he’ll trot it out when he thinks it can get him somewhere.

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 7:30 AM, Brett Schenker <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
I think CBS does or did own a site too. Comicvine maybe?

Disclosure is not that hard. We did it all the time when I worked with the ECA which also owns GamePolitics. Any time they ran an ECA related story there was a clear line at the end saying the ECA was its parent company.

I think the Avatar/BC relationship is messed up since Avatar competes with the folks BC covers. There’s always a taint to throw a monkeywrench into things. Not to mention this mess. And Rich’s defense is so full of holes, since I’m pretty sure he ran a blind item about Allie and his behavior.

On Oct 31, 2015 10:18 AM, “Emma Houxbois” <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
I tipped Jude off last night so we can expect more from them soon. My favourite part of that whole thing is the exchange is the bit with JAM. Rich: Follow me. JAM: No.

I didn’t even know that, hell I didn’t realize that Fantagraphics owns TCJ until I read that Storify I pulled the Heidi MacDonald and Johnston tweets from. That explains why Nick Hanover guessed that I was reporting on Avatar when I asked him for that quote. Steve Morris reached out to me to let me know he’ll be writing a clarification of CA’s policy, so I’m pretty jazzed about that.

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 5:59 AM, Brett Schenker <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
Jude is hilarious. Good guy. That Storify is amazing. And Rich will likely be melting down all weekend.

When I write my piece tonight or tomorrow I’m discussing a lot that Avatar owns BC yet that disclosure is not consistently present. And then the other fun conflicts at sites.

On Oct 31, 2015 8:41 AM, “Emma Houxbois” <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
I know, right? I almost pissed myself reading the Storify that The Outhousers attached to their post about the hiring and Rich’s resulting Twitter rampage.

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 5:06 AM, Brett Schenker <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
For once it actually is about ethics in journalism….

This is an issue that’s irritated me before I even started my site. Well done Emma.

On Oct 31, 2015 5:48 AM, “Emma Houxbois” <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
Brett lent me a hand on this, couldn’t have done it without the guidance and inspiration I get from this group:

http://www.therainbowhub.com/dark-horses-hiring-of-hannah-means-shannon-tainted-by-potentially-biased-reporting/

Brett Schenker was Special Assistant for Senator John Kerry, is an Email Deliverability Specialist and the founder and chief blogger of comics website Graphic Policy. Emma Houxbois is a contributor to Graphic Policy and writes for other sites such as the Rainbow Hub. Joe Gross is the Culture reporter/critic for the Austin American-Statesman. Jude Terror writes for The Outhousers. And I’m the co-founder of Bleeding Cool, owned by Avatar Press, just back today from a break in Brighton.

I added a few replies of my own below, just because, but feel free to ignore them. This is just a look at how the sausage is made.

That wasn’t what I was hinting, probably poor wording on my part, apologies. You got leaked e-mail too – can we see it? Why was that section removed from the article? Any chance of Ian Hislop for preference, or even Camilla Wright? But yes, unashamedly tabloid. No blind item about Scott that I know of. I like Jude too and I’m glad you were entertained. Not sure about this “journalism” lark, but getting responses from subjects of articles if possible is always a good thing, I think.

I will continue to try to write honestly and straightforwardly and in a campaigning fashion about comics and the comics industry. I will no doubt fail, and be called out on it but it’s the best way for anyone to learn. It just works best when said to my face.

And on that note, goodnight, and a happy Hallowe’en!

Leaked, A Private Correspondence About Bleeding Cool

Giving Away Comics For Hallowe’en This Year Was A Revelation. And A Revolution.

4843161-bg_cv45_dswmI always give away comic books instead of sweets and candy at Hallowe’en and our house has gotten a good reputation over the years because of it, from both parents and kids. This year though was something else. Because this year there was so many comics that they wanted.

The usuals, Avengers, X-Men, Superman, Batman, Iron Man, all good.

But this year there was a mad keenness in the eye for Batgirl, Ms Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Silk, Spider-Gwen, so many different female focussed comic books that had the desirable marketed branding all over them. Those who knew what they wanted really knew what they wanted, and those who didn’t were encouraged by those who did. Peer pressure is in operation.

One young girl my daughter’s age almost cried over the very existence of Gotham Academy when it was explained just what it was.

And this year there was just more and more and more of it. Throw in Bizarro, Doomed, select issues of Hawkeye as well as Lumberjanes, Steven Universe, Quantum & Woody, Itty Bitty and much, much more.

What can I say. The mainstream comic book industry is finally giving me something more mainstream to give to kids that’s combined with the industrial complex marketing machine that fills their daily lives.

All we have to do is get it into their tiny little hands.

Good luck out there. Just no one slip in a copy of Crossed by mistake, okay?

Giving Away Comics For Hallowe’en This Year Was A Revelation. And A Revolution.

Home Is Where This Comic Is

HomeCover_LetteredBy Joe D. McFee

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz said it best, “There is no place like home.” We all know the well known phase of Home is where the heart is. A little known creator from the Mid west, Todd Black, is taking comic fans on the journey to explore this very concept in his new miniseries called Home.

Why did Todd pick this concept to develop into comic series? Well in his eyes, people spend most of their lives looking for a place of their own, a station in society that a person can feel safe and secure, or in essence a home. He wanted to explore the idea of “where is your home?” through the eyes of some very interesting characters in a sci-fi’ish type fantasy.

Home01 LetteredIn Home, readers will delve deep into the life of Elysia, a young woman who is stuck in life. Her parents have passed, she has no friends, and she is constantly tormented by people because she was born with natural blue hair. These looks and comments about her hair have beaten her down throughout her life, and yet, she loves who she is, she just wishes for something better, something different.

That’s when she sees “The Code”, a living computer code, that Elysia can use to manipulate certain parts of her environment. “So, Elysia now has superpowers?” Not quite. The Code isn’t everywhere, and she can’t choose when it shows up, or what it does. This becomes truly evident when she accidentally opens up a portal to another dimension, and then gets pulled inside. Elysia finds herself in the realm of Altaria, a dimension filled with feral monsters, futuristic knights, and the origins of The Code.

Home02 Lettered

Now in a place totally different than her own world, Elysia must adapt on the fly, help out the mysterious people of Altaria, and try and find a way back home…if there is a way home.

Todd hopes that exploring this concept that he is able to reach readers in the same way that Spider-man has when looking at being the odd person out. When asked about why he developed the comic series home in this fashion, he stated the following:

Home03 Lettered
As the creator of Home, I really wanted to do something I thought was both visual engaging, while also very personal, something that many people could relate to. Visually, between The Code, the Knights of Altaria, the look of Altaria (which I think will surprise people), and how we’re going to show off our monsters The Schrief, there’s a lot of cool fantasy elements.

But what grounds this story in reality is Elysia. Blue hair aside, she’s as “normal” as normal can be. She has dealt with a lot of the struggles people her age have gone through, and more. Elysia I see as a representation of what people sometimes go through in life, and yet she powers on. She’s constantly looked upon as an outcast cause of her hair, yet she loves who she is. She has to work a dead-end job that she actually had to “push along” to get, yet she does the job to the best of her abilities, cause she knows she needs it in order to live. A lot of people have been through that, I have been through it, and in some ways still am. After hearing her story in the beginning of Home #1, I feel you will not only connect with Elysia, but you’ll root for her throughout the miniseries. Especially once things start getting crazy as she arrives in Altaria.

I love character stories, I do those with my current ongoing superhero series Guardians, and I’m going to do that with Home, and I hope you’ll join me as this tale unfolds.

Home04 LetteredLike all comic projects, this is not a solo endeavor for Todd. He is working with a team of talented artists on Home. Dinh Nguyen, Bethany Varni, and Zakk Saam are all working on this series. Dinh has worked as a graphic artist for a few video games for a company in Japan. He is will be responsible for the pencils and inks on this series. Bethany is known for her coloring work on indie comics like Marked, Home, Luchadoras, INFECTED!, and Dust Bowl Dancer. Zakk is known for his lettering talents for several publications from Wayward Raven Media and Avatar Press to name a few. Todd has great respect and love for his team to make Home a reality.

Currently, Home is entering the final week of the kickstarter campaign. Todd notes that there are very special rewards for pledging to the Kickstarter. Such as famous cosplayer AZ Powergirl doing a variant cover for Home #1, and, she did a cosplay of Elysia. The prints of which are part of the $25 and $50 reward tier. This is in addition the other great rewards for donating which range from getting drawn into the comic, to being drawn on a special cover, to becoming a recurring character as one of the Knights of Altaria!

Home05 Lettered

Todd hopes that his series will be a worthwhile fantasy for all to experience. Just like Dorothy’s journey down the yellow brick road, Todd hopes that comic fans will follow Elysia on her journey. Let us hope that this comic find safe passage from its Munchin land of development to it Emerald City of being in readers. Only you can play the role of Glenda and be the “Guardians” watch over this comic so that Elysia can find her way “Home”.

Bleeding Cool Goal: Hi! Todd Black here, if we hit our funding goal by the end of Sunday because of you BC readers, I’ll do a special thank you video for the KS thanking each and every one of you! And…I might do some karaoke…we’ll see how much we make!

 

Home Is Where This Comic Is

Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who: The Zygon Invasion

“This is your country. Protect it from the scary monsters. Also the Zygons.”

A fine episode of Doctor Who for Hallowe’en night!

1. Two Margarines On The Go

d5

This is a fairytale. It is a parable. What is to come is not reality, but something to illustrate something about our lives. Steen Moffat has explicitly said that Doctor Who is a fairytale, in this week’s episode, it’s right there in the beginning, on the tin.

The last time Doctor Who went for an explicit immigration parable, The Unquiet Dead, it did leave the unintended impression that actually all the immigrants wanted to do was take over the world and kill us all. The Zygon Invasion does pretty much the same, though there is far more complexity, nuance as well as big sledgehammers over the head as well. It is simultaneously immigration into the UK over recent decades, the terror threat abroad including training camps and drone attacks, and the fear that we are living in a country about to go under Sharia Law. In reality that is nonsense, in Doctor Who such a takeover is clearly less than nonsense. Here we have a radicalised rogue minority admittedly, but one that has radicalised many more, seized power through infiltration and set to destroy us all, including taking down a plane. Despite all the liberal do-gooder mealy mouthed platitudes about the danger of excessive action radicalising the many, and how every group of people has a small minority dedicated to violent ways, as it stood this was pretty much a BNP/National Front fantasy scenario… that was even made test with the Doctor’s line about benefits. it will take a hell of a job to turn this around next week. Love to see how they do it. It is an Inversion after all.

Time to open that Osgood Box.

2. We’ve Been Here Before

d6

We may have seen nods to the First Doctor and to the Fifth and Seventh with the portrait and the question marks, but this was all about Jon Pertwee. With the seventies/eighties line thrown in, this was The Doctor vs. The Brigadier over the use of lethal force, forty years on. As well as explicit political and social parallels set on a modern day Earth with an international perspective. “Isn’t there a solution that doesn’t involve bombing people?”

d3

Oh yes, and for some reason I never realised how well the Two Osgoods or the Two Brigadiers mirrored the Three Doctors until it was spelled out for me. I am dim.

And now we can add question mark underpants to the sonic screwdriver, and talk all about Osgood as the potential hybrid that Davros talked about, but all this chat about being human or Zygon made me wonder if by any chance the Doctor is half human again, like he was in the nineties… could the Doctor be the hybrid?

3. Young Blonde Sisters Are Always Hiding Something

Across both UNIT and the Zygons, the high command, the police cop, the Brigadier, Walsh  the drone operator, Osgood, Clara, Jac, the soldier’s mother. every character of power in this episode was presented as female.

d7

Especially when they are commanders of the Zygon Empire on Earth. Very Men in Black, and yes the Doctor does make this look good with the sonic shades. This was a great scene in so many ways, for the first two thirds we could be convinced that, as often, the Doctor has got it wrong and he is looking like a creep harassing two girls – until they talk back and suddenly we’re all okay with it. Just remember….

article-2548559-1B12A6A400000578-175_634x374

 

4. Damn Dirty Limeys

d1

Sledgehammer time, deliberately reminiscent of the “No Blacks No Dogs No Irish” accommodation signs of an earlier part of the twentieth century. I hope.

no-dogs-no-blacks-no-irish-sign

The British folk turning up in New Mexico, and the descriptions and observations from the Americans does sound like classic xenophobia… just directed at someone else on the Mexican border than usual. But do beware the unreliable narrator here.

5. Hiding In Plain Sight

d2One of the key way that the parable does work is the fear of people hiding in plain sight. Being ‘The Other’ makes it easier to dehumanise the enemy. The real fear is that they are reds under the bed, your friends, your neighbours, your family. And here that’s who these Zygons become, and soldiers are suddenly unable to do what they need to do mentally in order to kill someone they have never met. This is an exaggerated example of what psychological warfare has often done, one side trying to humanise themselves against the other… the only person immune is Rebecca Front, and that’s because she’s war hardened after going up against the Doctor in a very different guise.

6. The Cronenberg Touch

d8

We had a bit of this with the telepathic controls of the TARDIS but we’re in full blown Cronenberg territory with the Zygon computer, “titivating its fronds”… couple that with the interface in the lift, and the organic, shivering, sweaty, moist computers are back. Then throw in some Ridley Scott Aliens and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers for good measure.. and for thematic purpose too. The red under the beds theme from Body Snatchers is also a parallel here.

7. Trivial Pursuit My Arse

d0

That’s right, Clara sending UNIT to Truth And Consequences was always the plan. Is it even a Trivial Pursuit question? It seems not…. though there was a suggestion that it should be. Another unreliable narrator moment.

You should have know though. A pony tail is the sign of the devil.

8.  Don’t Forget The Anti-Zygon Nerve Gas.

d9

It was taken by someone in a TARDIS? And now the Zygon Clara knows this and has access to the TARDIS? What if it’s still there? Wouldn’t that be a useful way for a rogue Zygon unit to make sure the rest of their population step in line?

This is Chekov’s Gun. You don’t reveal such a weapon exists in the first act without it being fired in the third.

9. Dead, Wrapped In Bubble Wrap

d11Clara is dead again. Said so, explicitly. She isn’t yet, obviously, if the Bleeding Cool theory plays out. But she will be. And this is another of her many possible death to follow being exterminated, being a ghost and being taken to Valhalla.

10. Surface To Air, Aired

d12

This morning, a plane crashed in Egypt, killing over two hundred. A more timid broadcaster would have cut the ending of tonight’s episode, or postponed it a week.

Also, Doctor? Stop getting in a plane that keeps getting blown up.

Bonus Thought:

“There have been reports all across London of strange activities in lifts”

Yes….. one week till part two.

Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who: The Zygon Invasion

Denis Calero’s James Bond Cover Available On eBay

This seems somewhat unique. One of the retailer exclusive covers for the new James Bond #1 from Dynamite Entertainment is available on ebay already… from the retailer. The cover by Denis Calero is being offered by Ssalefish Comics. The new James Bond Series, subtitled Vargr, is being written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Jason Masters and will be in stores November 4th.

To get the cover / comic, check out the auction here.

Bondd_Ssalefish_Concept_Sketch Ssalefish BOND Cover Inks Ssalefish BOND Cover Color

Denis Calero’s James Bond Cover Available On eBay

LEGO Dimensions Adds ‘Hire-A-Hero’ To Let You Play With Characters You Don’t Have…Sort Of

 

11164726_1580442862241137_1705510257179333180_oOne of my big complaints with LEGO Dimensions was that the game too often felt like it was trying to remind you how much you didn’t own. Right in the main levels, you can find little puzzles that you couldn’t access unless you had a certain character. It felt like a cheap tactic to get you to buy more physical toys..

Well, Tt Games have come up with a solution. As outlined by EverybodyPlays, the ‘Hire-a-Hero system has been implemented in a new update, meaning when you come to a puzzle and need to use a character you don’t have, you can pay 50,000 studs to loan the character and solve the puzzle. The kicker? You’ll only get the hero for 30 seconds. When you are spending nearly half your earnings from a level though… it seems steep.

It is good that there is nothing in the main campaign that you can’t experience now though at least. Honestly, this to me anyways, feels a bit like even more advertisement for the characters you don’t have by giving you a brief taste, but like I said, It’s good  more of the game just became playable to all.

LEGO Dimensions Adds ‘Hire-A-Hero’ To Let You Play With Characters You Don’t Have…Sort Of

We Be Geeks Episode 143: We Are Geeks With Rebekah Kennedy

WBG with bkg2 1400

Bleeding Cool welcomes back We Be Geeks, hosting a variety of guests and covering a wide range of geek topics.

Julz is unavailable for this episode of We Be Geeks, so it is left to Mike, Brett, and Derrick to carry on the show in her absence. The guys discuss DCs television line-up, Flash, Arrow, and the newest addition to the DC television universe, Supergirl. Find out their thoughts on both the good, and the bad about the pilot episode of the pilot episode of the CBS show. The guest for this episode is actress Rebekah Kennedy, one of the stars of the horror film Bastard. Rebekah gives the guys insights into filming horror movies, and discusses the details of filming the movie in the middle of the California woods. No need to worry, nothing was spoiled during the recording of this interview.
Subscribe today on iTunes and Stitcher and leave a 5 star review. Leave a voice mail on the Geek Revolution hotline at 321-219-8227. Email us at webegeeks (at) webegeeks dot net with any news, questions or comments.

Follow us:
Twitter: @webegeeks@JulzHendricks@nesofgeek@geek_happenings
Facebook: We Be Geeks

Superheroes by day, Podcasters by night! The We Be Geeks Podcast is hosted by Mike Ehmcke (@webegeeks) Along with Julz Hendricks (@JulzHendricks), Derrick Nadeau (@nesofgeek) and Brett Dasilva (@geek_happenings) as Co-Hosts, this podcast is on fire! You can find us on Facebook as well as the We Be Geeks official site. Check out our Patreon and support the show.

We Be Geeks Episode 143: We Are Geeks With Rebekah Kennedy

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Review – When A Man Is Tired Of London, He Is Tired Of Life

acs-gi-bg1-newI have an odd relationship with the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I don’t give it much thought throughout the year, unless I’m covering it in the news cycle, yet every year, I find myself jumping into Ubisoft’s flagship series quite looking forward to it. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag was one of my favorite games of 2013 and despite having reservations, I feel Unity was pretty unfairly panned in retrospect. It was an alright Assassin’s Creed game that got eaten alive by reports of bugs and glitches. It’s difficult to pretend the series isn’t feeling a little tired at the point now though. While the shift in time and place is not an insignificant change to each title, the fatigue of the same mission and game structure is beginning to weigh on the series due to the annualization of the franchise.

This was my major concern coming into Syndicate. Could it really address the fatigue the series is experiencing? Having 20 hours with the game now, I have to say, the answer to that is complicated.

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is what is being touted as the first ‘modern’ Assassin’s Creed game. Taking place in Victorian London is certainly an interesting change of pace for the series. Now we have trains, electricity, (grapple hooks) and carriages all bringing an extra flavour to the traditional Assassin’s Creed mould. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a huge departure from Unity‘s French Revolution torn Paris from last year, but it is hard to deny that these additions do add a colour and texture to the world that we haven’t seen in the series yet. As a London native, I was continually surprised by the faithfulness of the cities creation, even being able to navigate the map fairly accurately based on the incredibly on point recreation work that Ubisoft have done. It’s not a 1 to 1 comparison of course, but for a condensed version of the city, it’s stellar work. There is a real vibrancy to the space with a neat sense of life brought to navigating London.

Assassins-Creed-Syndicate-4

Inhabiting this world is Evie Frye and Jacob Frye, two twins you will take over in your quest for dominating one of the most important cities in the time period. Unlike Arno from last year, these two have much more going for them as interesting and fun characters. Jacob, while appearing to be ‘generic video game protagonist’ on the surface, actually has a real deal of charm to him. A light-hearted, ‘cheeky’ psychopath, who loves to get hands on and mess with the world by stabing people up when he can. Evie on the other hand is much more considered and grounded of the two. While that could have easily just made her cold and standoffish, there is real charisma to her that is delightful to see play out on screen. She’s one of the very best protagonists in the series since Ezio came onto the scene, and is one of the true delights of the game. In fact, the game is populated with great characters, which has been a problem for the series in the past. Too often the supporting cast of the games have filtered away into the background, but there is a real sense of fun and memorability to most of the major players in the game. Really giving the game a strong backbone is antagonist Crawford Starrick. He is a pantomime villain at points, but he is a just a lot of fun. He is easily the most notable bad guy in an Assassin’s Creed title that I remember, and I loved what little time the game spent with him. That side of things is delightfully good fun.

The narrative has a real sense of ‘jaunt’ to it bringing us one of the most light-hearted games in the series and it is a great look for the franchise. There is real sense of adventure to the title that was missing in Unity in retrospect. It really does harken back to the strengths of Black Flag and that makes it a winner in my book. While there are a few fluffed pieces of dialogue and sometimes there seems to be connective tissue missing from seqeuence to sequence, like two characters all the sudden hating each other with only thin reasons too, I found the process of playing through the twin’s quite enjoyable indeed.

However, that Assassin’s Creed fatigue is real, and Syndicate certainly strains under the weight. The basic structure of the game is still the same and at this point, it is feeling dated. The mission structure here is pretty much the variety you’d expect in an Assassin’s Creed. Go to a place, use eagle vision to spot targets and places of interest and then execute on them. The problem with Assassin’s Creed formula now is that this gameplay is based of systems from the first game. Franchises like Hitman and Far Cry are all about finding your own way to complete your objectives. I find myself gagging for Assassin’s Creed to take from that book. While Syndicate tries to add optional goals in the big assassination scenes at the end of every sequence, eventually almost every mission feels like it is actually just pushing you down a singular corridor. This is a problem as I don’t think the game is asking much of me besides getting to one place to the next and doing the thing I’m expected to. Simply put, there just feels a lack of agency. This structure is just asking too much from a game in 2015 that we’ve seen year in and year out. It’s a massive problem for the series. Syndicate is really hurt by this as well, and I really hope Ubisoft can figure out a way to refresh how all of missions in future games work, because it is consistently becoming one of the weakest part of the series, dragging down everything with it.

moustache

It can be noted that the team certainly tried to shake things up somewhat and give Syndicate something unique with the Gang mechanic in the game. Having you take charge of the Rooks, you can piece by piece take over London from the rival gang already in control. The problem here is the execution though. I understand why the developer would choose not to actually force players to interact with this mechanic, but as a result, it feels inconsequential and like extra side work in a series that really doesn’t need extra side work. Jacob is supposedly the leader of the gang, but when I’m only really thinking about them at all every couple of hours, it’s an issue. I’m pretty sure running a gang in a crime riddled London would be a pretty full on job. This just feels like someone slacking off work. The tragedy is that with more integration into the game and narrative, this could have been a deep and complex system. Instead, it just kind of hangs there limply, only really turning its head to you when you are forced to interact or you get a couple of NPC’s running to help you in a fight.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something else though. Grammy nominated composer Austin Wintory being brought on to do the score was a left field decision, but it has proven to be inspired. The music is really something else, bold in its presentation. It’s one of the most eccentric Assassin’s Creed soundtracks you’ll ever hear, but it the execution is distinctive, adding real texture to the game. It’s stellar work.

Ultimately, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a tough one to fully land on a solid position. While the mission structure feels dated and some connective tissue between scenes is missing, it’s a perfectly enjoyable game. It’s fun romp through Victorian London and brings back a real sense of adventure to the series that hasn’t been with it for a while. In the broader context of playing a game in this franchise every year though, all of the things that drag down the title seem thanks to the labored production cycle of the franchise. This series has serious quality and it shows every year, but it’s framing is becoming tired and old. It’s not enough to put a downer on my experience with Syndicate, which I do believe to be one of the better games in the franchise. Maybe even top three. It’s really a great little title and one worth your time if you are looking to play an honestly good Assassin’s Creed game. This franchise is crying out for an evolution though, and it needs one soon.

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Review – When A Man Is Tired Of London, He Is Tired Of Life

Top 10 Scariest DC / Vertigo Stories Includes Moore, Gaiman And Morrison

DC All-Access has put together their list of the top 10 scariest DC / Vertigo stories of all time. The list is rather interesting including tales from Grant Morrison, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman and the stories include multiple appearances by Morpheus, John Constantine and Etrigan the Demon. The list is narrated by Tiffany Smith and Jason Inman.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Top 10 Scariest DC / Vertigo Stories Includes Moore, Gaiman And Morrison

Marvel’s What The…? Halloween Special

Marvel’s latest episode of What The…? is their Halloween special as MODOK comes up with a plan to infiltrate Avengers Tower by having Gremlin dress as a trick-or-treater. A good plan if it wasn’t for Captain America mistaking him for his (not-so) long lost sidekick Bucky.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Marvel’s What The…? Halloween Special