Metacritic Predict – Dying Light, Grim Fandango, Resident Evil HD Remaster

Trying to predict the Metacritic scores of upcoming games isn’t something particularly new. Doing it with this level of inaccuracy, however, is a unique and shameful talent. Let’s go!

Dying Light
Techland. Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC. Current UK Release Date: 30/01/15

Dying light

Recently, I put together my 2014 Purge List. The complete record of all the things I wanted wiped from video games by the time I woke up on New Year’s Day morning. Here’s what made the Top 5:

5. Lazy website articles that are nothing more than pointless numbered lists. ( Eurogamer’s Top 5 Reasons Why Pre-Ordering The Order Could Give you Leprosy, IGN’s Top 10 List of Top 10 Lists IGN Would Like to See on IGN. You get the idea.) Right let’s move on to numb……er…

d) Zombie-themed games.

c) Apocalypse-themed games.

b) Zombie apocalypse-themed games.

a) People who call Nintendo “Ninty”. (The most deadly threat to modern society. Even brief contact with such individuals can lead to contamination).

So, with 2015 now here and all that awful stuff eliminated (I assume) what’s this Dying Light about then? An exciting new IP that mixes survival horror elements with overlooked Wii game A Shadow’s Tale? A poignant fictionalisation of the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death disaster? Here we go, Wikipedia:

Dying Light is a zombie apocalypse-themed…” Crap.

Dying Light is being developed by Techland. You may remember them as the Polish studio responsible for Dead Island, the zombie apocalypse-themed game which never lived up to its original trailer, and Dead Island: Riptide, the zombie apocalypse-themed game which never lived up to the original Dead Island.

Dying Light, however, is set to improve on those previous efforts, because it features night zombies. Yep – if you ever wondered what the undead got up to at the end of their daily shambling, Techland finally has the answer for you. Personally, I always liked to think they were putting something back into the community, picking up litter, running youth groups or solving crimes. Like in Baywatch Nights.

nights 3
There are clearly at least 4 undead people in this picture…ok, 5.

By day, the infected in Dying Light are naturally lethargic in both mind and body, exceedingly irritating when they congregate together and stimulated only by the opportunity for an easy snack. In short, they’re the standard stoner zombies you’ve encountered many times before. When the sun goes down though, everything changes. Members of the hoard become more athletic and aggressive, transforming into violent nocturnal antagonists. It’s a dark, unpredictable, alter-ego that surely should be known as a footballer-outside-a-nightclub zombie.

I know I might sound pretty down on Dying Light, but actually, I’m quite looking forward to it. I like the look of Harran – the fictional city that forms the game’s open world seems a believable mix of tourist Shangri-La and local squalor. I like the sound of undercover ops protagonist Kyle Crane – he’s the kind of guy who’d probably think that sprinting down Harran’s main street completely naked and  covered in barbecue sauce sounds like the best plan he’s heard in ages.

Most of all though, I like the ambition Techland is showing here. Attempting to serve up Dead Island’s intense, in-your-face zombie-smashing together with Mirror’s Edge free-running mechanics and Dead Rising’s irreverent inventiveness for dispatching the undead means a lot on your plate. Oh, and let’s not forget that as soon as darkness falls the balance of power shifts and stealth becomes essential for survival. Has Techland bitten off more than it can chew?

Predicted Metacritic score: 78

Grim Fandango
Developer: Double Fine Productions. Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac. Current UK Release Date: 27/01/15.

grim fandango

If you’re into games, the words “grim fandango” don’t immediately conjure up images of some D-list celebrity performing a dance massacre on Saturday night TV introduced by the fossilised remains of Bruce Forsyth and met with a 21-gun salute of crotch thrusts from Bruno Tonioli.

Instead, depending on how old you are, Grim Fandango is either:

a) One of the greatest traditional adventure games ever, or

b) Some weird, crusty old game that’s so ancient it was around even before the headshot was invented which you keep seeing referenced on the internet by weird, crusty old men with salt-and-pepper beards and retro hipsters who spend their evenings playing Loom (whatever the hell that is), whilst dreaming of growing their own salt-and-pepper beards.

Grim Fandango is undeniably a classic, but, strangely, that’s not always a good thing. Would you make it more than five minutes into a screening of, let’s say, Some Like It Hot, before you start thinking, “Ok, I fully appreciate that this is a classic, but what I’d really like to do now is go back to watching Transformers 27: Revenge of the Robo-Kardashians”?

If adventure titles are the gaming equivalent of black-and-white movies, is the reverence shown when their names are mentioned actually going to translate into a significant number of people wanting to experience them again? In the case of Grim Fandango, I think it is.

Sure, there’s nothing in LucasArts’ 1998 seminal noir tale of crime and corruption in the Mexican Land of the Dead that’s going to give you the empty but immediate adrenaline-fuelled head rush you’ll find in Generic Mass Murder Simulator 14. Yet, even that brief summary is enough to sell Grim Fandango.

There’s a unique richness to the world Tim Schafer and Co. created and a real warmth, not just for main man Manny, but for each of the story’s participants, all of whom can quite rightly be referred to as characters. It’s slightly strange writing predictions for a game that’s already such a known and admired quantity. Still, the passion and appreciation shown recently for the likes of The Walking Dead, Gone Home and Kentucky Route Zero means that Grim Fandango is as relevant as it ever was. And with improved controls and enhanced visuals it’s unlikely this re-mastered version is going to be a challenger for Final Fantasy VII’s Phoned-In Remakes title belt.

Predicted Metacritic score: 90

Resident Evil HD Remaster
Developer: Capcom. Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360, PS3. Current UK Release Date: 20/01/15


Resident Evil HD Remaster is the ultimate January 2015 predictions release. Just like Dying Light it’s a game about zombies and just like Grim Fandango it’s a re-release. Well, actually it’s a re-re-release hoping to make lots of money off the outbreak of a deadly virus. A bit like the most recent Band Aid single.

The original Resident Evil came out way back in 1996, with a Gamecube version that featured better graphics and new areas going on sale in 2002. It’s the latter on which this latest update is based, and as one of the world’s biggest Resident Evil fans and former owner of the website (I had to shut it down in the end as I started receiving a lot of non-Resident Evil related submissions), I’m disappointed Capcom aren’t doing more to promote this new edition.

For a start, the name isn’t exactly catchy. A game that includes zombies and remastered visuals should surely be called Resident Evil: Reanimated. And how about getting Rhianna to re-record Umbrella as the new theme song?

Suggested alternative chorus lyrics:

Three classic games before Resi 4 reinvented the basics
Shame number 5 was a little bit racist
Still it wasn’t as bad as 6
That was an undead pile of shi…
Can’t believe Val Kilmer did sue over the design for Wesker
Let’s create a biological apocalypse together
We should all buy shares in Umbrella
Ella Ella eh eh eh

Of the three games I’m previewing here, I’ve got a feeling this one is going to receive the broadest range of scores. There will be those who still love playing with the creaky old controls and camera angles, those who find it more bearable with the improved versions of these Capcom have also included and those who think the whole thing is now more rotten than a twenty-year-old corpse.

Predicted Metacritic score: 80


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