Top 5 Things To Look Forward To In MW2 On Xbox One

Girlfriends around the world, say goodbye to your man for the next couple of weeks. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is officially backward compatible on the Xbox One, which means that anyone who owns a copy of the game can now hop into the mix on his or her next-gen console.

 

We all thought that we’d have to wait for MW2 Remastered to be released later in the year before we could start dropping nukes, but I don’t think anyone’s complaining.

 

 

According to Xbox’s Major Nelson, every account’s multiplayer statistics, unlockables, and downloadable content will stay intact on the Xbox One. Nelson also mentioned that if a player’s account was banned on the Xbox 360 that it would remain banned.

 

If for whatever reason, you don’t already have a copy of MW2, the game is on sale on the Xbox Marketplace for $19.99 USD and $14.99 for Xbox Live Gold Members.

 

In honor of the classic Call of Duty title’s return, here are the top five things I remember about MW2.

 

  1. One Man Army Noob Tubes

 

This perk was one of the most infuriating things from any game that I’ve ever played. One Man Army took away your secondary weapon slot but allowed you to switch to any one of your other classes as if you had just respawned, including the same One Man Army class. This exploit allowed players to have an infinite amount of ammo for their first gun and an endless number of grenades and flashbangs. This led to players equipping the grenade launcher attachment to their primary weapon, using the Danger Close perk, which for some reason wasn’t in the same slot as One Man Army and gave explosives more power, and spamming them like no tomorrow. This strategy was invented by an old school Youtube commentator named ‘WingsofRedemption’ and spread across the game like a virus. It was eventually coined, ‘OMA noob tubing’ because of how easy it was to pull off and how annoying it was to play against.

 

  1. The Maps

 

 

MW2’s maps were as close to perfect as a multiplayer shooter game is going to get. There was an array of map sizes that gave every type of weapon a chance to shine. Close quarters maps like Terminal and Favela made avoiding a fight impossible. With every turn of a corner came another gunfight that you had to win. There were few areas on the map for stationary players to take advantage of and it was nonstop action. Medium sized maps like Highrise and Karachi let assault and sniper rifles do their job a little bit more and allowed for a more strategically inclined approach to racking up kills. Giant maps like Wasteland are where you’d go to try for huge killstreaks and a slower paced game. Every one of them was unique and few were automatic vetoes.

 

  1. Private Game 1v1s

 

 

If you had a beef with someone as a 13-year-old, you wouldn’t duke it out with your fists, that’s just dangerously irresponsible. You’d invite all of your friends to spectate your one-on-one sniper battle on Rust and reap the rewards for being the better player. In MW2’s prime, it got to a point where any trash talk was immediately interpreted as a challenge to a 1v1 on Rust with sniper rifles. Players would put ‘1v1’ in their clan tags when they joined lobbies and wait for the invites to roll in. These games were intense, nerve-wracking, and a ton of fun.

 

  1. Kill Streaks

 

There have never been killstreaks in a shooter as satisfying as those in MW2. For a casual player who didn’t expect to get many kills between deaths, there was the UAV, Care Package, Predator missile setup that provided everything killstreaks should for three, four, and five kills respectively. For more advanced players who were looking to stomp the enemy team into submission, there was the predator missile, harrier strike, AC130 or Chopper Gunner loadout. Once you got to five kills the Predator Missile usually got you to your Harrier Strike, which almost always got you the four additional kills needed for an AC130. The AC130 is my all time favorite multiplayer kill streak as it transports you miles up into the sky and lets you reign fire down upon the enemy team. Then there was the tactical nuke; quite literally a game changer. When equipped, if a player was able to rally a 25 kill streak in a single life the game ended with a press of a button. Nothing was more satisfying than getting that 25th kill, flipping the switch and hearing the countdown begin. The giant explosion and radiation wave that exterminated everyone on the map was an added bonus.

 

  1. Sniping

 

I’m not sure how Call of Duty’s developers managed it, but they perfected the sniper rifle in MW2. Many players saw it as an overpowered weapon because of the one-shot kill potential and unrealistic run-and-gun play style it unlocked for those who mastered ‘quickscoping’. However, running around with the bolt-action Intervention rifle is exactly how sniping in a shooter game should be. It took a high level of skill to pull off and in almost every situation the player who was running around the map ‘quickscoping’ was at a disadvantage, but it was so much fun when it worked. The allure of this style of play was so incredible that every teenage boy wanted to become a sniping pro. Guys started making ‘clans’ and posting videos of their coolest sniper kills. I’m not sure if many people know this anymore but all of those famous FaZe Clan YouTubers who post vlogs every day originated as MW2 players. They were the biggest sniping clan during the game’s prime and used the fame to establish their current success. Anyway, if there’s one thing that I’m looking forward to experiencing again when I download the game, it’s hearing the sweet, sweet sound of the Intervention crackling its one-shot kills across the map.

 

 

So those are the top five things that I remember from the countless hours I poured into MW2. I’m thoroughly excited to download and play the game and I hope that every fan of current shooters gets a chance to play the legendary title.

 

 

 

Andrew’s Double Take: Afro Samurai

For the most part, Americans are learning to fall in love with Japanese influence and archetypes. Anime is steadily making its way into American mainstream culture.

 

Today there are a ton of memes and fan art depicting hip-hop superstars like XXXTentacion as Anime favorites such as Majin Buu or Naruto. Dragonball Z references are popping up everywhere from workout gear to an upcoming Adidas collaboration.

 

However, as popular as Anime gets in the United States it’s rarely ever influenced by Western Culture. Your standard Anime show features a hopeless main protagonist who goes from zero to hero, traditional Japanese garb (martial arts wear, wooden sandals, and oh so many headbands), and scenes that would make even the pickiest of eaters want to scarf down some ramen.

 

 

Afro Samurai is unique in this sense, as it is an Anime that took influence from hip-hop and African American Culture. From Afro Samurai’s Afro to the RZA (Wu-Tang Clan) 5-star production, Afro Samurai was a delicate yet ballsy hybridization of east and west. In case you haven’t watched Afro Samurai, do yourself a favor and buy a copy now.

 

And oh yeah, spoilers ahead.

 

Afros

Afro Samurai’s creator Takashi Okazaki often stated how cool he felt the Afro hairstyle was. When coming up with a concept for his own Anime, he liked the idea of an African American samurai with an Afro as his protagonist. Afro Samurai himself adorns not just any Afro, but a very stylized, over the top Afro. This, of course, leads to his Afro being pierced by swords and other weapons on more than one occasion. It constantly moves and dances about even when he’s standing still.

 

Ninja Ninja, Afro’s companion, has his own Afro, albeit a greyish white one. The look and feel of our main protagonists stand out drastically from the rest of the cast. Most of Afro’s assailants have long Japanese style hair dressed in a ponytail or some combination of cyber modification. The point is that every character other than Afro and Ninja Ninja look like they would fit right into your standard Japanese Anime or Manga.

 

Music Production

RZA of the legendary musical group Wu Tang Clan produced the backdrop and themes for the Afro Samurai series and all of its characters. Afro’s father, who is one of the older characters in the anime, is represented by a more old school soul and funk sound. Justice, the series’ main antagonist, has more of a rock and roll centered theme.

 

 

RZA has stated in behind the scenes interviews that Afro’s father being killed by Justice was like soul/funk being replaced by Rock N Roll. Afro’s eventual coming to grace and the fulfillment of his quest to avenge his father’s death represents Rock N Roll being replaced by Hip Hop. This order of events parallels the evolution of music in the West. As the main protagonist, Afro’s theme is heavily hip hop influenced.

 

Japanese Writer influenced further by American Storytelling

Ninja Ninja was inspired by Alice and Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat. You can see the influence in Ninja Ninja’s devious smile and way of speaking in riddles. Ninja Ninja gawks at Afro’s short comings and jokes about his misfortune. Every step of the way, Ninja Ninja offers cryptic advice and often appears high in trees or upside down, fluttering about.

 

Justice, Afro’s arch nemesis, was also inspired by American storytelling. Justice dons a cowboy hat and two signature six shooter pistols, which clearly portrays the influence of the classic American Western Cowboy. In a way, the lawlessness associated with the quest for the number 1 headband (one of the Anime’s underlying stories) parallels that of the unpredictable and dangerous nature of the Wild Wild West.

 

 

A rogue cowboy with a sheriff complex would fit right into this Japanese land riddled with warriors competing to be number 1. In the Afro Samurai context of a modern yet feudal style Japan, he who wears the number 2 headband can challenge he who wears the number 1. He who wears the number 1, is a god amongst men.

 

Cast and Crew

The most notable of the cast would be none other than Samuel L. Jackson. He plays Afro Samurai AND Ninja Ninja. Talk about talent. Jackson’s role as Afro might not delve too far from a traditional Anime anti-hero with little to say and no care outside of revenge, but Afro Afro is the quintessential embodiment of African American Popular Culture.

“Add one more body to the body toll

May God rest this poor bastard’s soul”

 

As you can see, Ninja Ninja has bars as he playfully rhymes a prayer of sorts over one of Afro’s many casualties. His quips and exaggerations of words like “daaaaaaaaaamn” as well as his overuse of swear words carry a swagger you would typically never find in a Japanese Anime. Ninja Ninja even describes the busty figure and bosom of a Japanese girl who helps Afro recover from a more serious battle when he says, “Admit it, you wanna tap that booty”.

 

 

Never Forget

Never forget that some Japanese nerd who loved hip-hop, soul train, and afros made one of the most bad ass Anime series of all time. Just imagine the gumption Takashi must have had to approach American producers, hip hop artists, and actors with his crazy idea.

 

Thank goodness we embraced him with open arms and worked hard to bring his fantasy to life. As more and more Anime shows flood the market I would personally love to see more innovative pairing of Eastern and Western cultures when it comes to these hyper stylized cartoons.

 

You hear that Japan? Instead of making the 135th episode of Dragonball Super and giving Goku yet another new form, take some inspiration from the West!

A Personal Take On Crazy Rich Asians

When I first heard about the movie, Crazy Rich Asians, my first reaction was skepticism. I thought, “Here we go again, another way for Hollywood to exploit an ethnic minority demographic.” Queue the stereotypical Asian accents and heavy use of chopsticks and decorative origami.

 

However, after watching the movie and taking a closer look, I realized that I was sorely mistaken. Crazy Rich Asians is actually quite accurate in its representation of Asian culture.

 

 

From its cast to its writers, to its director, the film was made entirely by Asians. It’s a movie about Asians made by Asians and that’s apparent from the beginning. If and (hopefully after you read this article) when you watch the film, some scenes I recommend looking out for are the dumpling making and the mahjong playing scenes. The authenticity in these scenes, in particular, can be felt from every shot.

 

 

The film is a romantic comedy about an Asian American woman named Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), who goes to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, for a wedding, only to find out that he is the heir to a very wealthy family. When she discovers that Young’s family is practically royalty she must navigate the treacherous waters of a rich and prestigious family, where money and public face mean everything.

 

This film captures the Asian perspective perfectly and contrasts Asian Americans against those who are born and raised in an Asian country. Very few films have successfully captured the glaring differences between the two subcultures in the past, but Crazy Rich Asians does so exquisitely.

 

Unlike other films that portray Asian actors speaking in a stereotypical ‘Asian’ accent, this film showed a multitude of Asians speaking perfect English. The film’s writers subtly address this when Rachel first meets Ken Jeong’s character, who pretends to speak in an Asian accent before revealing that he’s joking.

 

 

The film portrayed the Asian American best through its plot. Chu is an Asian American and the film captures how despite being Chinese, she is distinctively different from the people who were born and raised in Singapore. Chu strongly portrays her values throughout the film, following her own passions instead of the collectivistic nature that is the norm in Singapore, which is family above all.

 

In this way, the film effectively circumvented the Asian stereotype of Hollywood’s past in a natural way that lined up perfectly with the central conflict of the film.

 

Ultimately, what makes the film so great is its specificity. It focuses on the conflict of an Asian American struggling to fit in with a crazy rich family from Singapore. The film perfectly captures both cultures in a way that can open a new world to someone previously unfamiliar with either of the two. It also effectively develops a subplot that deals with real human emotion, such as the feelings of not being enough and falling in love.

 

 

Because the story was told in such an authentic way, it created a universal specificity that is the hallmark of any great movie. Movies that can immerse you in a world different from your own, but make you empathize with them nonetheless are the ones that deserve a watch. Crazy Rich Asians is not just a movie about Asians for Asians, but a movie that can provide insight into Asian culture for any race of human being.

Metahuman Weekly Recap #3

 

How’s it going everybody, there might be a giant hurricane on its way to Hawaii, but nothings gonna stop us from posting our weekly recaps! Here’s Andrew to break down everything that the Metahumans covered this week!

Metahuman Weekly Recap #3

 

How’s it going everybody, there might be a giant hurricane on its way to Hawaii, but nothings gonna stop us from posting our weekly recaps! Here’s Andrew to break down everything that the Metahumans covered this week!

How Capcom Made Monster Hunter World A Smashing Success

It can be safely asserted that Monster Hunter World is a monstrous success worldwide (pun intended). The game’s PC launch pushed its overall sales past the 10 million mark, which is insane. The game came out on PC a little over a week ago and I’ve probably already sunk in more than 30 hours, which is more time than I’ve put into a game during its launch week in a long time. But what makes it so addicting? Psh, I’m not addicted, you’re addicted.

 

First released in January of this year, Monster Hunter World has seen thousands of players, old and new, jumping online to team up and hunt monster behemoths. Or if you’re like me, attempt it solo because there’s more reward money that way. I’ve never been much of a fan of the series myself, only briefly trying Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on the PSP, so I’m no veteran of the series.

 

 

However, I am glad that I was convinced to pick up World, as the game is fun in more ways than one. Bottom line, it doesn’t feel mundane or repetitive, as one may assume if they were told the game is all about hunting monsters over and over again.

 

In fact, I would go as far as calling Monster Hunter World the Game Of The Year, despite the fact that there are some big titles releasing later this year. That’s just how great the game is in my opinion.

 

But let’s stick with the facts. In June, Capcom stated that the game sold over eight million copies from the console version alone; meaning in the first week the game sold over 2 million copies on PC. This is a huge difference from previous titles like Freedom, where the game only sold three and a half million copies worldwide. While comparing Freedom to World isn’t exactly comparing apples to apples, it just goes to show that the popularity of this title has definitely grown.

 

 

But what makes World more popular than its previous titles? Why exactly is this version gaining more traction worldwide than ever before? Even some of my close friends who have never played the series before are enjoying themselves immensely.

 

That’s just it: it’s beginner friendly. Capcom went down a list of changes from big to small that they believed would make the game more enjoyable for new players. From altering how the range weapon system works to no longer making players manually send harvested materials to their item boxes, these changes are what make the game so enjoyable.

 

 

Other notable differences are how effortless it is to progress through the story. In previous titles, there would be mundane quests that would require a player to kill 10 specific monsters or collect 10 specific herbs. In World, all of the main quests are meaningful and unique. All of the quests that make players grind for seemingly no reason are all optional now.

 

However, the biggest, most enjoyable change of all is the addition of the tracking fireflies. In Monster Hunter World, a hunter must learn to find the tracks of their prey. Once a player collects enough of a monsters’ tracks (footprints, markings on walls, feathers) they can use their tracking fireflies to lead them directly to the monster’s location. This itself is a huge upgrade from previous titles as I feel it adds to the element of hunting.

 

 

As the name suggests, Monster Hunter is all about hunting a monster down so that you can harvest it to make better gear. Gone are the old days of blindly stumbling around, looking for a monster and finally happening upon one randomly. Now it’s all about looking for clues. All of these findings contribute to a research level, which helps determine how quickly a monster can be found.

 

I can safely say from experiences with my online friends that if you’re interested in the Monster Hunter games, this is the game to get involved in. It’s quick, it’s fun, and has massive maps that contain regions that are uniquely different from one another.

 

 

Andrew’s Second Take: Ready Player One

The movie adaptation of Ready Player One is extremely unique. It mixes and mashes a world of references to modern media and successfully creates the feelings of nostalgia and innovation in unison. However, I have a genuine concern that future generations won’t be able to watch the film, let alone enjoy it.

 

Ready Player One’s author, Ernest Cline, loved the 80’s, which is where he drew most of the movie’s references from. The film’s director, Steven Spielberg, obviously had some creative leniency and inserted some of his favorites from the 90’s. The problem here is that at some point in time every reference to 80’s and 90’s culture and media is going to figuratively ‘whoosh’ over the entire audience’s head.

 

The youngest generation we study in 2018 is Gen Z. I am a Gen Y or a millennial. Your parents and grandparents would probably fall under Generation X and the Baby Boomers. We don’t know what we would call the future generation of media digesters but for the sake of this article, I’ll just refer to them as kids in the future. So, hypothetically if a kid from the future picked up a copy of Ready Player One from their dad’s Netflix queue (assuming Netflix is still around), how much would he or she appreciate the movie?

 

These future generations may live in a world where virtual reality is commonplace and could find the parallel between the movie and their current technological and cultural climate fascinating. But would the kid from the future notice that Art3mis’ bike is from the 1988 Japanese Animated Film “Akira”? Hell, I thought the bike was from Tron until a couple of hours into watching Ready Player One’s special features on the 4K Blu-Ray disc (yes future kid, 4K Blu-Ray was a thing). Anyway, let’s dive into the cultural references I noticed that aren’t so obvious and their potential future implications.

 

The Watchmen

If you read The Watchmen graphic novel, you probably have a great appreciation for comic books as a medium of storytelling. Not to mention that you’re totally cool in my book.

 

Early in the movie when Parzival, the dude who created the game that the film is based in, explains the notion of artifacts and their importance in the Oasis, you see a player in a mech suit of sorts. Except the mech suit has the classic blue shoulder pads with stars donned by the Comedian.

 

 

The Comedian is one of the Watchmen who dressed in red, white, and blue to represent his patriotism. However, he never had a mech suit. That means that this armor was designed to look like the Comedian’s costume. Was this in-game avatar inspired by the comic book or film rendition of the Comedian?

 

See how this is already becoming a tier three meme in of itself? To me, it looks more like the film rendition of the comedian, as the head inside the mech has the comedian’s signature cigar and haircut, which is associated with the movie. The reason I caught this reference is not only because I’m the resident comic book nerd here at Metahuman Entertainment, but also because I read a graphic novel from way before my time. How would some kid in the future watching the film catch this? The answer is he or she probably wouldn’t.

 

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is one of those movies that can hold its own even in 2018 when CG technology has rendered it obsolete in every possible way. In case you didn’t realize just by looking at it, the T-Rex terrorizing the racers in the first challenge in Ready Player One, is from the Jurassic Park Film series.

 

 

Some kid in a future generation might just think, “Oh cool, a T-REX,” which is understandable. Jurassic Park is from the 90’s so the T-Rex cameo is more of a nod to director Steven Spielberg, rather than Ready Player One’s author Ernest Cline’s love of the 80’s.

 

Mechagodzilla

I don’t know much about Godzilla, except that it’s a giant lizard monster that pillages Japan from time to time. The King of Monsters has been destroying buildings and fending off armies since the freaking 60’s.

 

 

When Ready Player One’s antagonist, Nolan Sorrento, dons a Mechagodzilla armor boost upgrade during the film’s big battle scene, you probably think it’s pretty dope. It breathes blue fire, can shoot missiles from its hands, and it looks so very badass. But is it based off of Godzilla or an actual mech version of the Japanese cultural icon?

 

I had to do a bit of Googling, but it turns out that there were, in fact, Mechagodzilla appearances in Godzilla films in 1974, 1993, and even 2002. Do you remember that last one? I sure don’t. Unfortunately, there were some differences between Ready Player One’s Mechagodzilla and the actual Mechagodzilla’s from the Japanese Cult favorite film series. Tsk, Tsk.

 

If a millennial like me is already having a hard time remembering Godzilla, then it would only be a matter of time before a kid from the future wouldn’t have a clue as to what inspired Nolan’s battle mod.

 

The more recent cultural references

Location’s themselves prove to be pop culture throwbacks in Ready Player One’s ‘the Oasis’. The classic horror movie, The Shining, makes up a game level for one of the main keys and Minecraft alone makes up its own world. A few even fresher references include Master Chief and his squadron (Halo), Overwatch’s Tracer marching into the final battle, and Batman who you can scale Mount Everest with.

 

 

Let’s not forget Alfred who is also from the Batman legacy, who plays the curator- I mean Jeeves plays the curator. But if you dig deeper, like back to 1930’s deep, you’ll find the movie “Thank You, Jeeves!” According to Google, the curator was based on the late Arthur Treacher’s role as Jeeves in that movie. Interesting stuff.

 

It’s amazing what you learn when you dig through the pop culture archives. Hopefully, this article is all that the kids from the future will need to appreciate the movie. In the distant future, you can probably beam a decade’s worth of pop culture by date range, entertainment medium, and popularity before going through the ancient archives. Either way, I think it’s worth asking questions now.

New Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Characters Have Joined The Fight!

Nintendo conducted a Nintendo Direct presentation dedicated to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate last week and a surprising amount of new information was released.

 

The company used the live stream to reveal five new characters, a couple of new game modes, an option to listen to the game’s 900 song soundtrack, a ton of new trophies, and announce that there will be 103 stages in total with a feature that will let you transition from one stage to another in the middle of a fight.

 

Smash’s newest brawlers are Castlevania’s Simon Belmont and Donkey Kong Country’s King K. Rool. The other three characters will be echo fighters Dark Samus, Chrom, and Richter Belmont. Echo fighters are characters that have abilities akin to those of established brawlers but have different appearances, animations, and slight differences in their skills.

 

Simon Belmont is the main protagonist in Castlevania, a fantasy action-adventure video game based around the Belmont family of vampire slayers and their war with Dracula. Simon’s induction into the ranks of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn’t his first appearance outside of Castlevania. The vampire slayer was a popular choice for cameos in other Konami games such as Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Konami Wai Wai World, and Krazy Kart Racing.

 

 

During the Nintendo Direct stream, Simon is revealed after a short cinematic that involves Luigi’s unfortunate murder by ghoul. Castlevania fans will be happy to know that Simon will don his sacred Vampire Killer whip, Holy Water, and throw crosses and fists to defeat his foes.

 

 

Castlevania’s other Smash character feature, Richter Belmont, appears near the end of Simon’s teaser to assist his relative in fighting off Dracula. He will be Simon’s echo fighter and has a very similar ability set. Richter’s first appearance in the Konami universe came in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, but became a fan favorite after his role in Castlevania: Symphony of Night. The pair will have their own stage called Dracula’s Castle.

 

Fans of the Donkey Kong franchise have wanted another character from the series added to the Smash Bros. ranks for a while, specifically King K. Rool. Nintendo went ahead with the fanservice and announced his induction with a cinematic that featured D.K. and friends.

 

 

King K. Rool is the main antagonist of the Donkey Kong series and first appeared in Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo. Rool is the ruler of the Kremling race and head of the Kremling Krew. While the dude looks like a giant crocodile he has an obsession for bananas, which makes him the sworn enemy of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.

 

 

Rool will shoot his signature cannon gun, throw his crown, throw powerful boxing glove punches, and use a combination of belly slams and claw rakes to defeat his enemies.

 

The other two new echo fighters, Dark Samus and Chrom, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone as they were also highly requested. They will brawl behind classic Smash characters Samus and Roy and brand very similar moves to the originals. I’m not a big fan of using Metroid in Smash Bros. but Dark Samus sure looks badass.

 

 

Aside from the new characters, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will feature Squad Strike battle mode, Tourney mode, Smashdown mode, a new Training mode, and Classic mode. Squad Strike battle mode will allow players to choose between a 5-on-5 or 3-on-3 elimination battle where one player can fight with different consecutive fighters or multiple players can take turns. Tourney mode allows players to construct up to a 32-player tournament, which makes constructing larger Smash battles much easier. Smashdown mode makes it impossible to select a character that was picked in a previous round so one-tricks should probably start practicing.

 

 

The new Training mode will give players a special Training stage that displays the typical launch distance and trajectory of the punching bag depending on the damage. And lastly the classic single-player Classic mode, which is basically any other games campaign mode.

 

There aren’t very many companies that can match Nintendo’s wackiness, but you’ve got to admit that Nintendo Direct gets the job done. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be released on Dec. 7 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch platform. Stay tuned for more information on Smash’s latest installment.

Metahuman Entertainment Weekly Recap 2!

 

Hey Metahuman fans! Our second weekly recap is up on the Metahuman Entertainment Youtube channel. Go check it out to catch a glimpse into what the team covered last week. Thanks for tuning in and stick around for more great content each week.

Let’s Talk Elder Scrolls

It’s BACK! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve all seen the teaser for the next installment of the Elder Scrolls series. If you haven’t, well go check it out.

 

It’s no secret that the Elder Scrolls franchise is a behemoth in the gaming industry and is backed by a huge community that spends countless hours exploring the in-game world of Tamriel. With the sixth installment slated to come out sometime in the near future (we got a trailer at E3, so there’s hope), let’s look back to the first five installments and see how the game has evolved over the years.

 

 

For those who are unfamiliar with this series, Elder Scrolls is an open world role-playing game that allows the player to create and customize their character while taking on a series of quests, which can be completed in any order or fashion, based on the player’s preferred playstyle. There are currently five major Elder Scrolls games that have been released, each focusing on different regions of the continent of Tamriel. The five previous titles in order are Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.

 

The franchise’s first game, Elder Scrolls: Arena, was released back in 1994 for the MS-DOS. It was an open-world action RPG developed and released by Bethesda Software. Upon its release, the game became an instant hit and began to garner the beginnings of the massive Elder Scrolls following.

 

In Elder Scrolls: Arena, the player took the role of an Arena contestant, much like the gladiators of Rome. The basis of the title’s first game revolved around the player being given the chance to fight in an Arena and prove that they were a match for the game’s fiercest opponents. Although it lacked many of the elements that have become familiar to fans of later installments, the game featured an incredibly dynamic system for its time, which allowed players to be free to do what they wanted. For example, the game was one of the first to allow players to explore a town and perform random acts, such as pickpocketing strangers. It was also a huge open-world environment, arguably larger than later installments like Skyrim and Oblivion. This gave players the freedom to cover more ground and explore conquer more dungeons and towns than ever before.

 

 

Although the game featured many other RPG elements, such as an experience points based system, it wasn’t until the next installment, Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall, that the franchise featured its most iconic element: letting players make decisions in-game. In the eyes of many Daggerfall was the turning point for the series as it expanded the boundaries of what a video game could be. Not only did it feature the choice to become good or evil as a player’s character developed, it also introduced the possibility of an array of different game endings depending on in-game decisions.

 

For example, at one point in the game, your character is sent by the Emperor to the land of Daggerfall to accomplish two quests. The first is to release the tormented soul of an old king from his eternal prison and the second is to investigate the disappearance of a secret letter that was sent to a spy in the Daggerfall court. During the quest, you uncover the location of a hidden key, which awakens an ancient golem that has great powers of destruction. After acquiring the key, the player must decide what to do with it, which triggers one of five possible outcomes.

 

 

The third installment of the Elder Scrolls series is Morrowind. Considered one of the most ambitious games of all-time, Morrowind is a true free-roam experience that allows players to create their own path to the end of the game. Instead of the usual, linear game archetype, which guides players from point A to point B, players can completely ignore their original path and explore a random region for as long as they’d like.

 

Morrowind featured a unique combat system that allowed players to perform complex attack combos using button clicks in unison with the directional keys. The game also introduced a different approach to the leveling system that saw player’s characters being rewarded for practicing, training, and studying to increase their proficiency with particular skills.

 

 

This title was the first Elder Scrolls game to introduce a more complex storyline, which begins with a player’s character being transported as a prisoner, before being whisked away to join a secret organization called the Order of the Blades. As the story develops the player learns that his or her character is believed to be the reincarnation of an ancient hero, prophecied to defeat a great evil.

 

However, the true value of Morrowind isn’t in its expansive storyline or its unique leveling system, but rather in the sheer depth of side characters and quests available for players to discover and interact with.

 

The next installment was a generational leap, as it was the first in the series to be released on both the PC and consoles. Oblivion, released in 2006, encompassed everything that made Morrowind great and gave players more freedom to choose how they wanted to play. The game went above and beyond any expectations for Morrowind’s sequel and a great percentage of fans who love the Elder Scrolls Franchise are first introduced through Oblivion.

 

Oblivion was the first in the series to be fully voiced, which only added to the intense immersion experience. Much like Morrowind, players are allowed to choose their own path, either going straight through the main storyline or ignoring it completely and creating their own journey. While it did not introduce new, revolutionary features to the series, the game polished up the unique leveling system and made it easier to understand for new players.

 

 

Oblivion feels more like an extension of the overlying Elder Scrolls story than any of the other previous sequels. The player’s character starts off in a dungeon cell in Cyrodiil and has an interaction with the Order of the Blades almost immediately. Long story short the Emperor of Cyrodiil is murdered and the player is tasked with finding his son, Martin, which is an oddly normal name for someone born in Tamriel. 

 

Anyway, Martin is the only person who can save the mortal realm from Oblivion, the realm of the daedra, and its lord, Mehrunes Dagon. That name is much more Tamriel-esk by the way. 

 

Seeing Oblivion’s overwhelming success, Bethesda took advantage of the momentum and released its next installment, Skyrim, in 2011. Building off the game mechanics that received great feedback in Oblivion, Bethesda introduced new features, namely in combat.

 

Players could finally dual wield weapons, meaning that that left hand was free of a shield. Skyrim also made spells much more intuitive, as a player could use both hands to make a spell stronger or wield a weapon in one hand while shooting fireballs with the other. This and a few other minor changes helped make combat more exciting and realistic than the mundane fighting system in Oblivion. 

 

 

Skyrim also added secondary spells called shouts. Shouts are powerful spells that had to be discovered by exploring different parts of the map. Each one had 3 levels, with every level increasing the shout’s strength, and were unlocked with dragon souls, which were collected by defeating dragons.

 

Set nearly 200 years after the events of Oblivion the player’s character is seen being transported as a prisoner to a chopping block. However, before the executioner can finish the execution, a large dragon appears out of nowhere and starts burning the prison down, allowing the player to escape. It’s soon discovered that the dragon that attacked the player is Anduin The World Eater, a legendary dragon, long thought dead and who is prophesied to destroy the world. It is the player’s destiny as the Dragonborn, an ancient race infused with the powers of the dragon, to stop him.

 

The sixth Elder Scrolls installment has not been officially titled and not much information, if any at all, has been released to the public. Based on the official teaser trailer it can be inferred that the game will take place in one of the regions not explored yet, such as Valenwood or High Rock. Aside from that, it will be interesting to see where the series takes people. If there’s one thing to note, it’s that Elder Scrolls uses similar mechanics to Bethesda’s other popular RPG series, Fallout, which means that there could be some settlement building in Elder Scrolls. This speculation can also be backed by the announcement of the mobile game, Elder Scrolls Legends, which will give players the chance to develop their own town somewhere in Tamriel. There was also some hinting in Skyrim’s Hearthfire DLC that gave players a taste of what it would be like to build your own house.

 

While there is very little information available at this point, it’s an exciting time in the world of Elder Scrolls and it may be time to replay some of your favorite titles before the next installment is released. 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Game Rant, IMDB, DOS Games, EB Games, Games Radar