Resident Evil: Vendetta is the third CG movie in the series after 2008’s Resident Evil: Degeneration (which I reviewed here) and 2012’s Resident Evil: Damnation. You shouldn’t confuse it with Paul W. S. Anderson’s increasingly-belaboured string of live-action shenanigans, the most recent of which, The Final Chapter, brought that particular series to a spectacularly mediocre conclusion.
What’s it about?
A bioweapon, naturally. When I reviewed Resident Evil VII, I noted that the series’ viruses and parasites are the most malleable narrative tool that the property has, and nothing has changed since then. It’s called the A-Virus this time, and it has been engineered by a vengeful arms dealer (John DeMita) to only target specific unlucky sods of his choosing. On his trail are series favourites Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman) and Leon Kennedy (Matthew Mercer), as well as series not-favourite Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill), who here has been reimagined as a well-regarded university professor with a plot-convenient specialization in vaccine development.
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Video games sure are weird. I mean, only in this bonkers industry could something like Dying Light even exist. It is, for all intents and purposes, the sequel to 2011’s Dead Island in all but name: it’s developed by the same team, it has the same kind of zombies, it has the same pseudo-RPG first-person gameplay, and it even has the same ridiculously stupid weapon degradation mechanic. It isn’t Dead Island 2, though, because that’s being developed by Yager (those’re the guys who made the excellent Spec Ops: The Line) and will be released later this year. So I hope for the sake of both games that they’re not as similar in reality as they look to be on paper, because otherwise the most oversaturated genre in media today will be further saturated by two versions of the exact same game.
Still, Dying Light does indeed exist, so as a fun little exercise let’s try talking about it without mentioning Dead Island every couple of minutes.
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So, Deadlight. It’s funny how a game that clocks in at around two hours start-to-finish can leave me with so much to say about it, but that appears to be the situation we’re in here. This is a fine game with wonderful, simple mechanics which lend themselves to satisfying gameplay and smart, rewarding puzzles. It also has a completely nonsense plot, is littered with genre tropes, and oscillates back and forth between being a masterclass in design and an exercise in controller-snapping frustration.
As it happens, that’s just the kind of video game I love to write about.
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Zombie stories are nothing new. Some prefer their zombies to be fast; some prefer them to be slow. The way zombies came to be is always different. When facing the trailer for The Girl with All the Gifts, you immediately feel it is the run of the mill zombie apocalypse movie. Wrong. This film is something new.
When the movie opens it immediately grips the audience with a tense score that is loud, forceful, and focuses you with narrowing shots that fixate you to the dystopian world we are witnessing. Some movies manage to persuade you that you are about to see something uniquely special in the first couple of scenes, and The Girl With All The Gifts is one of them.
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