The Witcher Character Profile: Dandelion

Witcher

Dandelion is a world famous bard and is the main protagonist Geralt of Rivia‘s best friend and confidant. They first met at a fête in Gulet when he became a companion to Geralt (who welcomed this as he had been alone for a while) when Dandelion had to leave witcher Gulet as fast as possible – because he ‘knocked up’ a girl under the musician’s podium and she had four sturdy brothers who were threatening to geld, and cover him in pitch and sawdust.

Dandelion is a graduate, and later on, professor of Oxenfurt Academy. He only taught at there for a year and rarely visits Oxenfurt, although he still does from time to time to give guest lectures, because he is off travelling the Northern Kingdoms as a minstrel and garners a world famous reputation for doing so in the years to come. He also get’s caught up in many of Geralt’s adventures, and he also acquires his favourite lute on these adventures. During the short story, ‘The Edge of the World’, Dandelion and Geralt are captured by a group of elves and one of them, Toruviel, breaks Dandelion’s lute, much to his dismay. Awaiting his death, Dandelion faints. While he is out the Queen of the Fields appears and communicates with the elves telepathically and tells the elves to not kill them. Dandelion receives a few slaps to wake him up but no other harm befouls him that day. As the elves are leaving Toruviel gives Dandelion a new lute, which becomes his favourite one.

He possess an incredible ability to always find himself in trouble. Of course most of the trouble he get’s himself into is self inflicted, and normally involves a woman. His profession goes hand in hand with his favourite pastime, womanising. Being a bard get’s him in a lot of positions to seduce women, and he never misses the opportunity. When in Flotsam in The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings, he was about to be hanged for debauchery (excessive indulgence in sex, alcohol, or drugs) and burning down a building until Geralt saved him.

One of his best traits as a human is that he harbours no ill will towards elves or dwarves, and that’s a very rare trait throughout the Northern Kingdoms, with non humans and humans at each others throats for many years. Some of his best friends are non human, including Zoltan Chivay.

He is known for many ballads, but his most famous by far is The Lion Cub of Cintra. This is about Ciri and the events that transpired during the Slaughter of Cintra. This too got him in to trouble, as he was attacked by someone attempting to get information out of him about Ciri, until Yennefer stepped in and saved him. He uses Geralt, Yennefer, Ciri and other people he knows and the adventures he’s been on as inspiration for the songs he writes.

Dandelion in The Witcher (Spoilers)

Dandelion does not appear into the first game until the second chapter, at a party which Shani throws to celebrate his arrival into town. This is the first time he’s seen Geralt since he ‘died’, and Geralt doesn’t remember him due to his amnesia, but Dandelion recalls some of Geralt’s past for him.

Dandelion asks Geralt to recover his lute which he left in one of his young, female music student’s bedroom. Oh Dandelion. He can’t go and get it himself as the girls father is there too, and he isn’t very happy. Dandelion needs his lute as he is performing a concert later that evening, and won’t be able to without his lute. He also accompanies him on various missions throughout the game.

 Dandelion in The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings (Spoilers)

Dandelion is the narrator and retells the story between chapters. All of the journal entries are written by Dandelion, from his point of view. Dandelion makes his appearance into The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings in the first chapter. He is about to be hanged for debauchery in Flotsam town square. Upon being saved by Geralt, it is revealed that Dandelion has been working for Roach and the Temerian Intelligence Service as a spy.

During the end of the first chapter, Geralt has to make a choice which will impact on Dandelion’s story. If Geralt chooses Roach’s path, Dandelion would end up in King Henselt’s military camp, where he aims to help Geralt as he doesn’t understand politics. Dandelion ultimately get’s in trouble as he creates an anti Henselt pamphlet, which smears the king. Due to these circumstances he leaves King Henselt’s military camp and fails to reach Loc Muinne in time, meaning this is the end of his story. He continues to recount the stories in the journal through the things that he’s heard from others.

If Geralt chooses Iorveth’s path, then Dadelion ends up in dwarven town of Vergen. He also helps Geralt with a problem with a succubus. The succubus is a demon who takes the form of a gorgeous woman, with the intentions of seducing men and feed off of their energy to sustain themselves. Dandelion had to sing a ballad in the burned village for the succubus to open it’s lair for him, where Geralt would then enter instead of Dandelion. When Geralt and Iorveth left for Loc Muinne, Dandelion chose to stay a bit longer in Vergen to write more ballads after gaining a lot more new material. He relays the rest of the story from things that he has heard from other people.

Best Games Coming Out in February 2015

Games

February 2015 is definitely going to be a month dedicated to action games. Despite the relative low amount of video game releases planned for this month, there are a few notable and highly anticipated titles incoming, such as Evolve and The Order: 1886.Here are the most promising video games coming out this month.

6. Total War: Attila (MAC, PC)

Total War Attila WPAttila is the ninth game from Sega’s Total War series. The game is based on Attila’s historical conquests as one of the most feared leaders of the Hunnic Empire. Total War: Attila is a real-time strategy game that will feature three main factions: the Danes, the Geats and the Jutes. The provincial system will allow players to choose and adapt tactics depending on the circumstances, since each region within a province can be conquered separately. The game will feature a multiplayer mode and several packs of DLC in the release day, which will add further factions, units and campaigns. You can get it here.

Release Date: February 17, 2015     Genre: Strategy
Developer: Creative Assembly     Publisher: SEGA

5. Dead or Alive 5: Last Round (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round WPThe final update of the Dead or Alive 5 series will arrive late February. Last Round will feature over 30 characters and a set of new realistic moves providing the ultimate fighting experience. The game will also feature multi-stages, allowing players to fight in several consecutive environments. Stage interaction, counter-attacks, combos and costumes will remain key elements in Last Round. However, the typical character brutality and elegance will be displayed with further refinement. You can get it here.

Release Date: February 20, 2014     Genre: Fighting
Developer: Team Ninja     Publisher: Tecmo

4. Game of Thrones: Episode 2 – The Lost Lords (iOS, MAC, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)GoT E2 WP

The Lost Lords is the second episode of the acclaimed video game adaptation of Game of Thrones. The new episode is already available and it follows the story of several characters. The journey begins after the massacre at the Twins. It follows Gared’s training at the Night’s Watch – to fulfill his duty to House Forrester he must become a ranger and protect the North Grove. At King’s Landing, Mira  desperately seeks for the Crown’s support. As typical of Telltale Games, this is an interactive graphic adventure based on players’ decisions.

Release Date: February 3, 2015    Genre(s): Adventure
Developer: Telltale Games     Publisher: Telltale Games
 

3. Resident Evil Revelations 2 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Resident Evil Rev 2 WPAnother game of the Resident Evil series is arriving later this month. Revelations 2 will feature Claire Redfield, as the main protagonist, and Barry Burton’s daughter Moira, as a secondary and supportive character. Other confirmed characters are Barry and Natalia Korda, a little girl with special powers. Very little is known about the storyline, except that it will take place between the events of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6. This survival-horror adventure will be released in an episodic form and it will feature a cooperative gameplay mode. You can get it here.

Release Date: February 25, 2015     Genre(s): Action, Survival-horror
Developer: Capcom    Publisher: Capcom

2. Evolve (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Evolve WPEvolve is a sci-fi first-person shooter game set in a distant future. The plot takes place in Shear, a planet with valuable human colonies, that is soon attacked by volatile aliens. In a desperate attempt to defend  Shear, a team of expendable hunters is assembled, setting the main conflict of Evolve. The game will feature four main classes (assault, trapper, medic, support) and four game modes (hunt, nest, rescue, defend) with over 15 different monster types. Both human and monsters have access to unique skills. However, monsters have the ability to hunt smaller monsters and evolve into something stronger. You can get it here.

Release Date: February 10, 2015     Genre(s): Action, First-Person Shooter
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios     Publisher: 2K Games

1. The Order: 1886 (PS4)

The Order 1886 WPThe Order: 1886 is probably one of the most anticipated games of the year and is coming out this month. With the promise of taking full advantage of the next-gen graphical capabilities, this action game will present an alternate history of London, where an enigmatic order keeps the world safe from monsters known as the half-breed. The game will keep certain realism levels by introducing existing monuments and weapons based on historic theories. Some of the unique features in this game involves environmental interaction, lock-picking, small puzzles and group tactics. You can get it here.

Release Date: February 20, 2015     Genre: Action-Adventure
Developer: Ready At Dawn Studios     Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

The Witcher Character Profile: Geralt of Rivia

Rivia

Geralt of Rivia is the main protagonist in Andrzej Sapowski’s The Witcher books, and CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher games. He goes by multiple names, these include The White Wolf (because he has pure white hair and is from the Wolf School), Gwynbleidd (Elder Speech for White Wolf), and Butcher of Blaviken (he thwarted the secret plans of Renfri and her bandits to kill Stregobor and the innocent but as this was not known to the general public it looked as though he killed them for no reason). Although being known as Geralt of Rivia, he isn’t from Rivia. This is because Master Vesemir encouraged all Witcher apprentices to adopt and create a surname so they sound more approachable and trustworthy.

Geralt is a Witcher, which is a professional monster hunter. He was abandoned by his mother at  Kaer Morhen, which is the Witcher’s stronghold, not long after being born. He belonged to the Wolf School, there are three other school’s and these are the Cat School, Viper School, and Griffin School. Geralt was subjected to mutation from a very young age at Kaer Mohen. The mutations he underwent can be fatal to many, however Geralt survived them all during the Trial of the Grasses. The Trial of the Grasses is a trial which all young Witchers-to-be must undergo, they must take a mixture of ingredients (known as the grasses) and this is an extremely painful test, with less than half of all young Witcher’s surviving it. Geralt survived, and not only survived, but his body resisted the changes better than most and because of this he was subjected to even more dangerous and experimental procedures. As a result of the experimental procedures he lost all pigmentation in his body, which is why he has white hair. In return for taking the ingredients and passing the trial, he was rewarded with superhuman reflexes, enhanced speed, strength and enhanced senses. He also  has the ability to open and close his pupils at will giving him night vision. Unfortunately the changes he undergoes leaves him sterile, like all Witchers. He also became a master swordsman due to his intense training from a young age.

Not only being a master swordsman, Geralt has the abilities to produce signs. They are known as signs because they do not need any sort of magical formular to produce them, all they need is the correct hand gesture and concentration. Hence it being called a sign. Signs are forms of simple magic and Geralt can perform all six known signs. These are the Aard sign (a concentrated form of telekinesis enabling the destruction of walls and the ability to throw back enemies), the Igni sign (which is pyrokinetic and allows Geralt to set opponents on fire, or simply to create fires), the Yrden sign (which allows Geralt to place a magical trap on the ground to immobilize enemies leaving them vulnerable to all of his incoming attacks), the Quen sign (which is a protective shield that allows all incoming physical attacks to be absorbed), the Axii sign (which tricks another enemy to fight along side you, becoming your ally for a short time) and the Heliotrop sign (which has multiple uses, in the book it is a magical shield which deflects all magic, and in the Witcher 2 it is a force field which slows down everything inside it, except for Geralt).

Geralt, like all Witcher’s, carries two swords. One sword is made with silver and the other sword steel. He carries both of these swords because the silver sword is for monsters and monster like races. Meteorite swords, which are swords made from meteorite ore also count as silver swords. Steel swords on the other hand are for humanoid races, such as humans, dwarves and elves. Geralt travels the land in search of monster contracts, as that is the purpose of Witcher’s, to rid the world of as many monsters as possible and earn as much coin as they possibly can while doing it. Geralt says that killing the monsters is a last resort, he would rather reverse the curses and save them where possible, such as Nivellen (a character from a short story), a cursed man who was made to look like a beast and Adda, King Foltest’s daughter who was born a Striga as a result of a curse being put upon her while in her mothers womb because of the incestuous relationship between Foltest and his sister (Adda’s mother), also named Adda. Geralt wears a silver wolf medallion (because he was of the Wolf School) around his neck which he received after he completed his training at Kaer Morhen, it is a symbol of the Witcher profession. This medallion reacts and vibrates whenever there is magic nearby, it also is harmful to monsters because it is made of silver, an example is when Geralt realises that Nivellen  cannot be a monster because he touched his medallion and suffered no side effects during the short story ‘A Grain of Truth’.

Geralt’s best friend Dandelion, whom he  met at the fête in Gulet once said, “Is he a good man? I do not think so. Does he try to maintain his humanity? I believe he does.” This sums up Geralt perfectly. He has his own Witcher code of morals and ethics, and tries to stay out of politics and follows his own code. In a world full of unscrupulous, and evil characters, Geralt tries to remain neutral where possible and rarely deviates from doing so.  It is also said that Witcher’s are supposed to have no feelings or emotions, but this is untrue with Geralt as he has a deep, if somewhat complicated love, for Yennefer of Vengerberg. He also develops a fatherly love for Ciri, the only person he considers to be family to him. During The Blood of Elves book, Triss Merigold, a friend and future lover,  falls ill when travelling with Geralt and Ciri and throughout this time Geralt cares and looks after Triss, helping and caring for her, such as cleaning her, bathing her, and helping her go to the toilet. This is all much to the surprise of the dwarves that they are travelling with, who claim that they wouldn’t do what Geralt is doing for Triss, for their wives. She also becomes his main lover in the first two Witcher games. Geralt is a firm believer in choosing the lesser evil, and always chooses violence as a last resort. He will stand up for the innocent, but he will not, where possible, take sides between two equal forces because he knows how much pain and loss he could cause the opposing side.

First Game – The Witcher (Short Summary/Spoilers)

withcer character profile geralt 01

At the beginning of the first game, Geralt seeming comes back to life after he was outnumbered and murdered with a pitchfork by a mob of angry humans, attempting to purge Rivia of non humans. Geralt stood up for the non humans and was attacked because of this. His death was witnessed by many, including his friends the sorceress Triss Merigold and dwarf Zoltan Chivay. After seemingly coming back to life in the first Witcher game he is saved by the last remaining Witchers and returns to Kaer Morhen with no memory of his previous life. During the rest of the first game, The Witcher, Geralt intends to hunt down The Salamandra, an evil organisation who ransacked Kaer Morhen at the beginning of the game and stole the Witcher’s mutagenic potions that are used to genetically alter Witchers. He goes after the two people behind the attacks, a mage named Azar  Javed and an assassin named The Professor. Once he killed Azar Javed it is revealed to him that the Grand Master of the Order, Jacques de Aldersberg betrayed the king and that he is the one behind Salamandra’s operation.

During the game you can make several choices as Geralt, you can remain neutral with Triss Merigold, side with the Squirrels with Yaevinn or side with the Order of the Flaming Rose with Siegfried . Whoever you side with, will ultimately come with you on your hunt for Jacques de Aldersberg, however you will end up going for the Grand Master on your own as your other companion will be injured, or Geralt will trick Triss into leaving him to fight Jacques alone so she will be safe. He is transported to an illusion where Geralt finds and kills Jacques de Aldersberg. Geralt also meets the King of The Wild Hunt who has been following him throughout the game. He too wants the Grand Master’s soul, and they end up duelling for the soul of Jacques de Aldersberg, where Geralt prevails and kills him.

During the epilogue of the game, an assassin attempts to kill King Foltest, who fails due to the involvement of Geralt and ultimately perishes at Geralt’s hands.

Second Game – The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Short Summary/Spoilers)

withcer character profile geralt 02

At the start of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, another assassin, who knew Geralt before he ‘died’, named Letho was successful in his attempt to kill King Demavend of Aedirn and King Foltest of Temeria. Geralt was present when Letho killed King Foltest and was unable to stop Letho from doing so, and was the only person seen with Foltest when he was murdered, therefore he was the one who was believed to have killed King Foltest.

Commander of The Blue Stripes (Temeria’s special forces), Vernon Roach, who Geralt met earlier that day, believed that Geralt was innocent and helped him escape from the dungeon he was being held in and Geralt, Roach and Triss left to go in search of Letho, the real kingslayer and clear Geralt’s name.

Just before arriving in Flotsam, the three of them are attacked by Iorveth the leader of the Scoia’tael (squirrels) who assisted Letho in killing King Foltest. They get out alive thanks to Triss’ magical capabilities, creating a shield bubble that the elven arrows can’t penetrate. Geralt saves two friends, Dandelion and Zoltan from being hung in Flotsam. Later on Geralt tells Iorveth that Letho intends to betray him, and following upon this Geralt has to choose Roach’s path or Ioveth’s.

Following Ioveth’s path leaves Geralt fighting on the side of Saskia the dragonslayer against King Henselt, who ends up being a dragon herself, under the control of Philippa Eilhart. Later on Geralt must choose to save Philippa or Triss (who was previously kidnapped by the kingslayer Letho and is currently being held prisoner in the Nilfgaardian camp) or save Philippa who is the only person who can lift the spell off of Saskia.

Following Roach’s path leaves Geralt fighting on the side of King Henself, against Saskia. King Henself kills Roach’s men and after Geralt defeats Henselt’s personal guard, Geralt can choose to spare Henselt’s life or let Roach kill him. Later on Geralt will have to choose between Princess Anais of Temeria (one of Foltest’s bastard children) or Triss.

If Geralt did not choose to save Triss, then violent riots against all magical users occurs throughout the Northern Kingdoms. If he did save her, then the Conclave is restored. Letho then wants to meet with Geralt, to tell him of the Nilfgaardian plot to damage the Northern Kingdoms. Geralt can then choose to let Letho go, or fight him to the death.

Throughout the game, Geralt slowly remembers parts of his previous life before the events in Rivia.

The games are considered canon and are separate from the stories, all events transpire after the books.

5 Reasons to be Excited for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Solid V

Of all the previews for the most anticipated games to release in 2015 that are set to establish the true meaning of ‘Next Generation Gaming’, there is probably one that you’ve seen or heard mentioned time and time again, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. For many fans of the franchise, it was a nice surprise to see the announcement of this next and potentially final installment to the Metal Gear franchise. If you’re not somewhat excited after what we’ve seen already, which I find very hard to believe, then here are just five of the many reasons you should be excited for Metal Gear Solid V.

Metal Gear goes Open World

When I first heard that the story of MGSV would be told through an open world rather than a structured linear path I was both excited and… worried? I guess that’s the correct word to describe it. Being a huge fan of the franchise for most of my life, I felt this strange array of emotions knowing that this story I grew up with, something near and dear to me, was to be expanded in such a way that it never had been in the past. That was my initial reaction, but now that we are at the stage where trailers and gameplay previews are streaming somewhere right now all over the world, I couldn’t have any more faith in the hands of creator and director, Hideo Kojima, in just how it will all pan out.

The scale and size of this open world is said to be larger than all the maps of previous metal gear games combined which was then demonstrated on Episode 10 of the developer’s podcast ‘Kojima Station‘ back in June, 2014 with the reveal of an aspect comparison image. The world is filled with wildlife, enemy infested outposts, side missions and certain encounters that you may or may never even come across on a single playthrough. For example, in a preview of the ‘African Jungle’ setting, we are shown Big Boss stumbling upon a wolf cub whimpering beside its deceased mother. At first the player decides to ignore this and proceed with the mission but once observing that the pup is now following them, well… how can you say no to that little face?

Snake has the option to use the ‘Fulton Recovery’ feature to extract the cub and send it back to mother base. Later upon return to base this leads to a cut scene presenting the wolf’s growth and training under Ocelot’s wing, now providing the ability to use the wolf, later named D.D (In relation to Big Boss’ newly formed private military company, Diamond Dogs) as an A.I controlled ‘buddy’ to take with you into the field. A player can go through MGSV and may never even encounter this specific event which really expands on a more open approach to how the player experience’s additional elements, hopefully leading them to become more invested in the world and give them a reason to want to explore it’s inch of it. How this will impact the telling of it’s core main story missions is still somewhat unclear, however it does provide the player with the freedom of choice in choosing their own path of infiltration when embarking on a mission, which was limited in previous games to some extent due to the linear constraints of the franchise’s past spaces. Players can also navigate the map using vehicles or horses by any means they see fit.

The Fox Engine

If you’ve played MGSV’s prologue, ‘Ground Zeroes‘, you’ll have experienced a small taste of what’s to come for ‘The Phantom Pain‘. No matter what your opinion is on the initial controversy when consumers spoke up in regards to the game’s length being too short to justify its price upon release, you can’t deny that the game itself performs and is visually spectacular, really, its superb. The new ‘Fox Engine’ allows for a more dynamic and immersive world, featuring a new dynamic weather system, a day/night cycle (Both affecting visibility conditions and A.I. patterns), advanced lighting and photorealistic textures, animations and graphics that look beyond incredible running in 1080p at a buttery smooth 60 FPS. The enemy A.I. actually learns from your gameplay habits; if you tend to aim for the head a lot, enemies in other areas will gather word of this and begin wearing heavier armour/protective helmets.

New Interface/Gameplay Features

Discovering the new interface of MGSV uses a minimalistic HUD was pretty jarring for me at first as I was used to seeing Health/Stamina bars and the classic weapon/item cycle menu but once playing ‘Ground Zeroes’ I understand why the developers chose to alter some of these features. Removing these adds even more to the immersive nature of the game, it gives us the opportunity to soak up all of the game’s gorgeous visual aspects and really get sucked into the overall experience.

The health bar has been replaced with a regenerating health system. Weapons and Items are only brought up by their prompt controls on the D-pad, the soliton radar has traded up for the new tagging system, these significant changes help to create a less intrusive interface. All game menus are now compacted into the ‘iDroid‘, including the map, cassette tapes, briefing notes and the chopper extraction option all which occur live, ensuring further immersion.

Snake’s CQC still has the option to either choke, interrogate or slit an enemies throat and also includes the addition of a chained series of melee attacks for those close up and personal encounters. The ‘hold up’ feature now allows players to order an enemy to lie down or call over another guard as a distraction. Climbing and scaling walls and objects has made it possible to now approach objectives by both a horizontal and vertical standpoint, further eradicating the limitations to a player’s choice of infiltration.

The new mother base allows players to expand upon the mother base management system from Peace Walker. Player’s can now enter and roam the base in-game while managing new recruits, developing/upgrading new weapons/items and expand and customise their own mother base.

Metal Gear Online 3

As a big fan of the previous Metal Gear Online, I can safely say with no regret that I did indeed let out a tiny squeal of joy when stumbling upon the world premiere trailer at Las Vegas’ 2014 Video Game Awards. So far we know that there are two multiplayer options, one involving a tie in with your campaign’s mother base where you as Snake, infiltrate another player’s mother base and get the chance to meddle with or steal items such as artillery, recruits, vehicles and extract them back to your own base. I am still not completely sold on this feature as of yet as I can imagine it intruding with the immersive experience of the single player mode but have I yet to experience it first hand before I can give it any real criticism.

For the multiplayer experience which features two teams battling it out in a series of game modes, players will cooperate with their team using a range of tactics varying from classic stealth action to intense fire-fights in order to succeed. So far the return of the fan favourite ‘Team Sneaking’ mode is confirmed to return as I imagine will some of the other previous Metal Gear Online modes. Similar features in the form of new items from MGO2 make a return such as the tagging system in replacement of the SOP system and the new ‘Husky Plushie’ taking a cuter approach to distracting an enemy in comparison to the ‘Magazines’ from previous titles; you know the magazines I’m talking about, and if you do, you should be ashamed of yourself…

The Story

Metal Gear is notorious for its broad range of intricately connected characters with detailed back stories and its story that spans fifty years between the years of 1964-2014. ‘The Phantom Pain’ is set in 1984, a time which is spoken and referenced to in prior games but until now has not been thoroughly delved into in quite so much detail.

The story will uncover the blurred line of Big Boss’ dark descent into the transformation of a once legendary hero to an anti-villain. Seeing how Big Boss has evolved between the course of ‘MGS3: Snake Eater‘ and ‘Ground Zeroes’ leads me to wonder just how deep this thing really goes and how it will impact him through the course of ‘The Phantom Pain’?

Kojima states that the game is going to undertake a darker, more mature tone in comparison to previous metal gear games to really emphasise in a more realistic approach how crucial this moment in Big Boss’ arc really is. Sensitive themes have already been touched on in ‘Ground Zeroes’ and with themes of torture and the presence of child soldiers in recent trailers, there’s no doubt that this will most likely be the darkest Metal Gear to date. That’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom though, judging from the return of the cardboard box and other classic MGS gimmicks, the developer’s strive to maintain a blend of both serious themes and storytelling with moments of light hearted humour that are never too afraid to go so far as to even break the forth wall once in a while. Those of you reading this on a desktop: if only there was a way to force you to plug your mouse into another port to finish reading the rest of this.

What really happens with Major Zero, a character whose villainous antics that until now, have hidden well within the shadows of the MGS timeline? Who or what is behind Cypher? What really happens to Big Boss? What pushes him over the edge to lose it all? These are all questions that one way or another are answered to some degree in games set after the events of ‘The Phantom Pain’ but we will never know the truth until release sometime in 2015. All we really know is that MGSV takes place nine years (of which time Big Boss has endured a deep coma) after the events of ‘Ground Zeroes’ and will tell the story of Big Boss’ downfall and the eventual establishment of Outer Heaven, bridging the gap between the ‘Naked’ and ‘Solid’ Snake sagas.

Those of you who have been following news on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain are probably, like myself, exhausted with the long wait we have all had to endure since it was first announced after the whole ‘Moby Dick Studios‘ charade back in 2012. To leave this article on a positive outlook just know that there is less time ahead of us than there is behind us and that we have had a chance to play that small sweet taste of what is to come. Kojima is well known for his teasing abilities, I won’t even go into detail on the Christmas 2014 “special announcement“, but a small part of me feels that ‘The Phantom Pain’ will soon be a term gamers will refer to when addressing that heartbreakingly painful task of waiting just that little longer for something extremely worthwhile.

Dying Light: Meet Your Enemies – All Zombie Types

Dying Light

Dying Light has lots of zombies, really a ton of them. But how many are there? How strong can they be? What are they able to do? Learn all about Dying Light’s zombies – their strengths, weaknesses and main traits.

DL z2

1. The Dummy

Truly dead, that’s how dummy zombies act and react to your presence. The dummy kind is probably the most common and weakest enemy in-game. They’re very easy to be killed and they react poorly to noises. Most of the time, you can simply sneak behind them without much effort. Their visual model is normally a severed decomposed male.

Main Trait: None.

DL z32. The Noisy

The screamer is a very common type of zombie and it’s usually displayed as a female dressed in shorts/pants and a top. This type of zombie is particularly weak and it can be taken down in a a few hits. But do not underestimate this creature. She will scream loudly while under attack and as you know, zombies are very sensitive to sound. If there are any other enemies nearby, they’ll move towards your location.

Main Trait: Lures nearby zombies.

DL z43. The Fearless

Some zombies are just bravely stupid, specially the fearless ones. This zombie type will detect you a far distance and move towards your location, even when you’re not making noise at all. They are usually displayed as women with demoniac faces. They are quite aggressive and stronger than the noisy.

Main Trait: Quick detection.

DL z54. The Charger

Not every zombie is slow during the day, the charger zombies possess the ability to sprint towards their target. This movement doesn’t just allow them to reach players faster, it also increases their initial hit damage.This type of zombie has increased stamina. You can identify a charger when you meet a demoniac faced female in skirts.

Main Trait: Quick charge.

DL z15. The Butcher

The butcher zombies can be very dangerous because they’re more resistant to melee damage and they hit harder than the last two types of zombies. Their audition is very weak and they don’t tend to follow up on small noises by themselves. Normally, they only realize your presence when you’re about to hit them. The butchers are visually displayed as athletic males.

Main Traits: Medium resilience and attack power.

DL z66. The Goon

Using ultimate strength, this zombie is extremely powerful and deadly. He uses a long hammer to destroy anything standing in his way. Despite his accelerated normal speed, he has a really slow attack speed. His vulnerability comes upon charge, when his hammer is laying in the ground you can easily execute a back-stab.

Main Traits: Hammer smash, high resilience.

DL z87. The Soldier

Soldiers are slightly empowered zombies that utilize a small weapon to execute their attacks. Their defenses are not the best. However, their attack power and speed is quite potent. If you let them charge on you, then you’ll suffer some serious amount of damage. They normally appear well dressed or in a professional uniform.

Main Trait: Empowered attack.

DL z98. The Devourer

These incredible agile zombies move quickly and possess a lethal charge. If they manage to get close to you, they’ll grab you and bite your neck viciously. As usual, their defenses are nothing special, you can easily kill them if you charge first or break free. This zombie type can be both male and female.

Main Trait: Grab.

DL z109. The Headstrong

The headstrong is a stubborn zombie who’s resilient to damage. No matter how much you hit him, he’ll always try again and again. Their movement speed is quite accelerated but their attack effectiveness is slow and weak. The best way to kill them is to use a high damage weapon.

Main Trait: Medium resilience.

DL z1210. The Fireman

Bombers also exist in the survival world of Dying Light. The fireman zombie is certainly no ordinary creature. They come dressed in a fireman suit with an oxygen bottle in the back. As soon as you take one to the floor, the bottle will become unstable and a violent explosion is inevitable. Since this is a gas explosion it will lure all the zombies around, including two crawlers.

Main Trait: Indirect detonation.

DL z1111. The Crawler

This dexterity based zombie is very cunning and deadly. These creatures are able to move extremely fast, dodge players’ attack and jump over medium-high surfaces, which facilitates chasing. Their attack power is quite high and their defenses are mediocre. Once enraged, they scream a lot alerting all the other zombies in the zone.

Main Traits: Quick chase and dodge capabilities.

 DL z1512. The Putrid

This zombie is very ferocious, strong and agile. Even though they can’t dodge your attacks, they posses many attack abilities, such as charge and grab. You can identify this type of zombie by noticing the green putrid gas coming out of them. Due to this state of decomposition, if they come across fire,t heir bodies will explode and lure crawlers.

Main Traits: Charge, grab, explodes in contact with fire.

DL z1613. The Pyromaniac

These zombies appear bursting in flames. They are fire resistant and they will burn you upon close contact. They are normally very aggressive and easy to kill through physical damage. Luring them into fire traps or throwing fire items at them will not affect their bodies.

Main Trait: Immune to fire.

DL z1314. The Toad

The toad is basically the ranger of zombies in this game. This species is tremendously agile and mobile with the ability to climb, jump and run quickly. Their defenses are very weak and they can be killed in a few hits. However, they’re ranged and they’ll go anything to get in position once you approach them.

Main Traits: Parkour moves and venomous ranged attack.

DL z1415. The Bomber

This suicidal bomber zombie is probably the most disgusting and sickening in-game. This bloated and unstable type will blow up the moment you come close to him, exploding and inflicting critical damage on everything around him, including other zombies. They also lure crawlers due to the explosion’s volume.

Main Trait: Self-detonation.

DL z17 16. The Demolisher

This huge mutant zombie is extremely strong in both offense and defense. He is armored with a policeman’s suit and metal parts, making it almost impossible to inflict physical damage. He also has a quick response to melee attacks, slapping off any opponents that come nearby.

Main Traits: Violent charge, rock projectiles and steady defense.

DL z1817. The Bolter

The bolter are agile zombies that will run away upon contact. They are a result of a scientific experiment and they’re not a treat to players. To kill this creature, you need to sneak undetected and then engage. They’re extremely weak and can be taken down in one or two hits.

Main Trait: Quick escape.

DL z1918. The Screamer

These zombie children might seem innocent but they can be very dangerous. They have an ability to disorient players making their vision blurred. Additionally, they’ll scream loudly luring all the zombies nearby in a large range area.

Main Traits: Disorientation, lures zombies in a large area nearby.

DL z719. The Volatile

The nightmare crawlers only come out at night. They are very powerful cunning creatures able to climb over all sorts of environmental objects. Only speed can outwit this ultimate zombie. Due to their specific abilities, they can easily chase players, as well as kill them through swift melee or ranged blows. They work as sentinels as well, so be aware.

Main Traits: Advanced mobility, parkour moves, calls other volatiles.

DL z2020. The Night Hunter

The ultimate zombie however, is always the zombie commanded by players. The night hunter is a zombie model that distinguishes all other zombie NPCs from a real player. Night hunters have access to skill trees, parkour movements, superhuman powers and special zombie skills, such as the tentacle charge and a global lure scream.

Main Traits: Special skills, advanced parkour.

Retro Corner: Dungeon Keeper

Dungeon

Ah, Dungeon Keeper. You twisted, twisted bugger. I love you so.

You know how it usually is with god games. There are two kinds of player, generally speaking. The first will painstakingly carve out a flowery, cutesy little slice of Nirvana for their followers. Society will prosper, everyone will smell of lavender and rosehips, and they’ll all be polite and considerate to each other. Alternately, there’s the malevolent route: heaving thunderbolts about the place to fry your hapless people in their homes, crush buildings will boulders and avalanches on a whim, and summoning constant natural disasters on a whim just for a laugh.

For me, this dichotomy is best represented by Molyneaux’s Black & White, and its brilliant morality system. But before that, he created Dungeon Keeper, almost exclusively for members of the second group of player. If you’re a pulling-wings-off-of-flies, watch the world burn sort of gal/guy, this one was for you.

This RTS classic hit PC in 1997. It subverted stereotypes by casting you as the evil dungeon overlord, and your enemies as the goodly invaders. Your objective was to take over the world from beneath, by crafting a sophisticated series of dungeons. From your seedy lair, you’d summon and train up an army of hideous creatures to challenge the heroic defenders of each town. Knights, dwarves, wizards… all the usual tedious do-gooders were out to destroy you.

You began each level with just a handful of Imps in your charge. In a battle, these little guys were about as much use as a one-legged kitten in a coma, but they’re essential workers. Your Imps were in charge of digging to expand your subterranean realm, claiming land on which to build, mining gold to fuel your efforts, arming traps and doors… you wouldn’t get very far without these guys.

To build your army, you’d have to claim a portal. These mysterious entry points lay under the earth, and were your first port of call when you start digging. From them, creatures would emerge, each tempted by a different sort of room. Constructing a library, for instance, gave the keeper twofold benefits: dropping your minions inside would order them to research both offensive and defensive spells for your to cast; it would also summon Warlocks through your portal. These powerful ranged fighters were always great to have on your side.

Dungeon Keeper 2

Some of your minions would be simple giant flies, spiders and beetles, but it soon got much more interesting. The Bile Demon was always my favourite, a ghastly Jabba the Hutt wannabe with vicious twin maces where its ears should be. It attacked with brute strength and poisonous gas (by farting, naturally), and is just the kind of horrible thing you’d expect of Dungeon Keeper.

The game became a cult favourite for its unique perspective, its brilliant character design and its skewed sense of humour. I fondly remember the first time I slapped a Bile Demon (another function of the Hand of Evil, which increases your minions’ workrate) and it gave me the finger in response. Dungeon Keeper is liberating, too. Not just for the ‘It’s Good to be Bad’ role-reversal, but also for the range of approaches to each stage.

Will you steamroll the Heroes with sheer force, taking the time in the training room to develop a huge horde of level 10 warriors? Will you allow them to come to you instead, and dispatch them with traps you’ve built in the workshop? Or, indeed, will you focus on smiting them with magic spells you personally cast? So many fiendish possibilities.

Dying Light: 5 Reasons Why You Should Play This Game

Dying Light

Action survival Dying Light is coming out today but the hype seems to be long-gone. Surprisingly, and despite all the won awards, there doesn’t seem to be much attention focused on this zombie apocalypse title from Warner Bros. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean the game is pure garbage or not good enough to receive mainstream coverage. If you’re wondering whether or not you should play this game, then here are five of the most exciting features coming out today.

aaa5. Dynamic Gameplay: Choose Your Own Play Style

Dying Light features RPG elements that let you develop the protagonist and adjust him to your play style. It’s a long and difficult journey from rookie to badass. (Warner Bros, 2015)

Dying Light presents three main ways to progress and survive. In this post-apocalyptic open world, players can choose between strength, agility and stealth play styles, each one with its own pros and cons. Brave players will most likely prefer brute force through challenging encounters, while sneaky players might find hide and seek the best way to outcome danger. But there’s a third alternative involving agility and parkour moves, such as climbing, jumping and sliding over all types of environmental objects. Moreover, players can decide which weapons to use and which ones favor their play style the most.

aa44. Crafting System: Create the Ultimate Weapon

You craft weapons by finding things in the environment that you can use. We don’t want to be super realistic in regards of what you can do with those weapons, so you are able to use certain elemental effects. (Producer Tymon Smektala, 2014)

Finding that special and unique weapon might not be so easy in a world gone mad. But that won’t be much of a problem, at least not for too long. If you collect and combine certain materials, you can create your own desirable weapons. Dying Light focus on melee combat, which means most of the weapon recipes are close ranged. There’s also a small amount of customization that will allow players to attach special effects to their creations, such as fire and electric buffs, as well as other damage-based gadgets.

aa333. Promising Storyline: Fight for Survival, Fight for a Cure

There is no cure right now. I’ve been running tests on both antizin and infected tissue. A cure is possible, definitely possible. (Character Dr. Zere, 2015)

Warner Bros and Techland have been keeping Dying Light’s story in the dark. But that doesn’t mean there is no story. Each released trailer has been containing story fragments suggesting exactly what producer Tymon Smektala stated about the game: “Dying Light is not a zombie game.” It’s well known that Dying Light is action-based but there seems to be a rich and intriguing narrative resting in the shadows. Could it simply be a marketing strategy to keep the suspense alive? Or is it, perhaps, a flawless attempt to mask the obvious? One thing is for sure, this game will count with a strong storyline, where zombies can possibly be cured.

aa52. Asymmetric Multiplayer: Face Unexpected Opponents

Every time the night falls on Harran, your game can be invaded by the Night Hunter, a human-controlled, extremely powerful enemy. Join forces with other players to repel the invasion or go one-on-one with the city’s worst nightmare. (Warner Bros, 2015)

One of the most exciting aspects of Dying Light is the multiplayer versatility system. Besides the co-op mode of four players, the game will also feature an asymmetric mode where human players can control ruthless enemies and invade other players’ games. Sounds like a thrilling feature that can either shape or ruin your fun. Remember, when the night falls, nothing will be the same. Good night and good luck.

aa21. Total Freedom of Movement: Move Anywhere, Go Everywhere

When we started the development of Dying Light, we were committed to innovation. We wanted to give you a freedom of movement unprecedented in open-world games. (Techland, 2015)

Techland’s ambition with Dying Light has always confined freedom of movement. The ideal scenario would be the conception of all necessary conditions to allow players to go wherever they wished through whatever chosen ways. It sounded perfect in theory but in order to keep this innovative promise the company was forced to delay the release date. Despite this, the objectives were achieved and Dying Light presents an extensive open world with an incredible movement system where the only boundary is the sky.

VGamerZ’s GameZ of 2015: #3- Majora’s Mask 3D

Majora’s

Remember Operation Moonfall? It’s like whichever Disney movie it was once told me: if you want something enough, your heart is pure and you really, really whine about it on the Internet, your dreams can come true.

Moonfall, for the uninitiated, was a petition to bring The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask to the 3DS; a spangly Ocarina-style remake. It received extensive support, unlike the usual ‘outlaw peanuts and make my cat president of Australia’ sort of petition you see online. Nintendo, never one to eschew the chance to rake in some cashtacular, caught on.

Majora’s Mask 3D arrives February 13, and is going to be an insta-buy for many gamers. Several of whom will be curious souls who have never played before. In contrast to the blockbuster smash that was Ocarina of Time, this one is relatively obscure; as close to cult status as an entry in such a series can get (Wand of Gamelon and that other CD-i ballache notwithstanding, because they’re crap).

Majora’s Mask is set months after the events of Ocarina. Link is searching for his lost fairy, Navi ‘Hey, Listen’ the Fairy, when he encounters the mysterious Skull Kid. The little masked miscreant leads him through a door into the land of Termina, where the moon is set to crash into the world in three days. This apocalypse-flavoured situation requires a hero, so it’s quite convenient that one has just wandered by.

Majora's Mask 3D 2

That’s the setup in a nutshell. Beyond that, Zelda veterans know the drill: dungeons to cruise through, keys and new items to find in them, bosses to beat, sidequests to try out along the way. It all sounds quite conventional, but there’s no doubt that this one’s reputation as the black sheep of the family is justified.

It’s unusually dark in tone, for one. From the apocalyptic storyline to the Shadow Temple vibe that runs throughout, there’s something distinctly more adult about this installment. It’s telling that the game isn’t set in the familiar land of Hyrule; this was intended to be an experimental and curious franchise entry. It certainly achieved that goal.

Yet, crucially, it’s still built on the same great foundation its predecessor established. More free-roaming Zelda on that spangly new 3D backdrop, which should really be all you need to know. I wouldn’t often rate a remake this highly, but The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is definitely among my most anticipated releases of the year.

The Order 1886: 10 Things We Know About It

The Order

The Order: 1886 is coming out next month on February 20th but what’s really known about this action game? Aside from being a PlayStation 4 exclusive title developed by Ready At Dawn, The Order promises to revolutionize the next-gen visuals in video games. But what about features, plot details, skills and so on? Here’s a list of 10 things that will be included in The Order: 1886.

theorder66

10. Two Enemy Factions United

You really believe the Rebels are collaborating with the Half-breeds? – Isabeau D’Argyll

The Order will count with two main enemy factions: the Rebels, an organized group of outraged citizens who oppose The Order’s repression and tyranny, and the Half-breeds, werewolf hybrid creatures who possess special abilities, such as increased speed and strength. The two factions will unite forces to ensure The Order’s downfall and the consequent ascension of a new era. It’s known that the hybrid race will present a much higher difficulty in the battlefield due to their resilience, regeneration and supernatural powers.

 theorder7779. An Alternative Version of London

The tricky thing was exactly to merge the time frames. We needed to stay believable, to use things that actually existed at the time to make people believe it existed in the form that we have. – Ready At Dawn

The storyline takes place is an alternative recreated version of London, featuring familiar monuments such as the Big Ben, the Palace of the Westminster and the Crystal Palace. Even though the timelines are similar, the environments are quite different due to technological progress. The scientific advancements are obvious during the entire game with the introduction of realistic Victorian objects which were further mainly developed into revolutionary weaponry and transportation.

 theorder558. Weaponry Based on Historic Inventions

For example, the thermite gun is based on aluminum iron oxide, it actually exists and you can melt things the way you do in game. The twist for us was to make it into a weapon. The lightning weapon is also built based on tesla technological theorized at the time. – Ready At Dawn

Most of the weapons in The Order: 1886 might seem unrealistic or even thematic (steampunk). But that’s not accurate, the developer team has explained that most if not all the weapons in game were recreated based on real inventions at the time. Standard guns were recreated based on real models, however the advanced and special power weapons were recreated based on technological theories and models discovered at the time from fields such as robotics, mechanics and electronics.

dsd

7. Four Main Characters

You’ve got the team experience where characters work together but the main focus will be on singular characters. It’s about seeing the game through the eyes of Galahad and it’s really about reinforcing his character. – Ready At Dawn

Based on what Sony has been publishing, it’s known that The Order: 1886 will feature an extensive and rich plot with many characters. However, there will be four main characters in which one of them is the protagonist, Grayson/Sir Galahad. The other three characters will be Grayson’s friends and party companions during his journey – Sir Perceval/Sebastien Malory, Grayson’s mentor and long-time friend; Lady Igraine/Isabeau D’Ardyll, a possible love interest; Marquis de Lafayette, Malory’s apprentice.

theorder116. Environmental Interaction

The Order: 1886 transports players into the stunning realistic and re-imagined Neo-Victorian London, replicating the nuances of actual motion picture cameras and lenses for a more immersive and believable presentation. – Sony Computer Entertainment

There will be a certain degree of environmental interaction in The Order: 1886, inclusively special actions in close contact with certain objects or enemies. For example, players can push and assassinate close enemy targets and they can climb all sort of walls. Rope slide, long jumps and slide over medium objects are three known movements as well. As anticipated, all the interaction moves have been motion captured to reassure the developers’ high standards of realism and immersion.

theorder225. Regeneration and Slow Motion Combat

Blackside is a side effect ability of using the restoration skill, Blackwater. It gives the possibility to slow down time and going faster than anything else, allowing precise targeting. – Ready At Dawn

Two of the most important skills in the battlefield revolve around Blackwater, a miraculous liquid with regeneration powers and beneficial side effects. To regenerate health inside or outside of combat, players can consume Blackwater. Additionally, they will be granted special side effect powers for a limited time, they’ll be able to slow down time, increasing aiming precision and movement speed.

theorder334.Manual Dispositive Unlocking

Probably one of the most unique features of The Order: 1886 is the manual dispositive unlocking, which requires players’ skills and patience to crack locks. Although this feature is not entirely distinctive, since it can be found in other video games, like for example the Thief series, it’s still something not so common to be found making the gameplay a bit more interesting and inspiring. It’s also known that players will be able to disrupt and crack other electronic and mechanical objects.

theorder883. Impressive and Realistic Visuals

One of the main attributes of The Order: 1886 is its visuals capabilities. Based on true next-gen technology, this game is a pioneer in exploring the PlayStation 4 full potential for displaying impressive and realistic graphics. Using the RAD Engine 4.0, The Order promises a new level of image detail, motion and quality. Despite this seemingly heavy performance, Ready At Dawn has confirmed that the game will run smoothly at around 30 FPS.

order32. Storyline Filled with Conspiracy and Intrigue

The Order: 1886 freshly released story trailer has unveiled most of the upcoming narrative’s drama involving tons of conspiracy, intrigue and conflict. Apparently, the whole story will explore the fragility of The Order, showing how vulnerable and exposed the organization is to both outsiders and its own members. Among personal revenge quests, predictable betrayals and complex schemes, The Order: 1886 seems to bring it all.

theorder441. Complete Motion Captured

Everything you see in this game is motion captured, even the gameplay though it’s fully playable. We made sure every move felt real, so we had stunt actors, performing actors, talent actors… Everything necessary to remain true to what you’d expect a real character on film. – Ready At Dawn

Ready At Dawn explained that the whole idea was to reproduce realism as good as the current technology allows. And in this case, every detail counts. The developer team confirmed that every single motion was captured and for that they’ve used real actors from diverse areas to capture all the necessary movements, special moves, expressions and dialogue. All in the name of perfection and of course, realism.

The Order 1886: 5 Reasons Why This Game’s Story is Too Predictable

The Order 1886 is a greatly anticipated action-adventure game coming out this February. But the most of the anticipation might be in vain. Recent information contained in the freshly released story trailer reveals that more than obvious, The Order 1886’s narrative is way too dull and predictable. Here are five reasons why this game’s story won’t be able to amaze anyone.

5. Deadly Supernatural Creatures

orderEvery game has its own bad guys and it’s well known for a while that one of the main enemy factions will consist of deadly “half breeds” or by other words, werewolves. But these are not ordinary werewolf creatures, they’re as fast as lightning and as deadly as thunder. It’s a somewhat strange, yet lethal combination that will (hopefully) bring a certain degree of challenge to the game. Or maybe not, with the amount of high-tech weaponry in game and the common action game difficulty standards, they’ll most likely remain the strongest in cinematic scenes.

order34. Inner Circle Disputes

The Order appears to be a strong organization from the outside. However, not everything is the way it looks like. The Order’s weaknesses are immense and its integrity will shake when conflict scatters over the inner ranks. But that was something already expected, wasn’t it? The good old stories of boys following strict orders forever and ever has become part of the past, at least in the video game dimension. Also, things become way more exciting when your supposed friends backstab you. Unfortunately, it’s hardly a story nowadays if drama and conflict are not present.

order23. The Order’s Mission Will be Jeopardized

For some reason the main character, Grayson, will oppose his associates, including the Order’s master and he’ll do anything to jeopardize The Order’s plan, whatever that might be. Finding compromising data about The Order might change the whole picture… Nevertheless, the expectable drama keeps on going in a seemingly ordinary way. Would it even be any interesting if no one opposed the rules? Besides, victory tastes better when it’s hard to get or in this case, when it gives further content to an extended and obvious storyline.

 order52. Grayson’s Thirst for Vengeance

The old sweet touch of individualism normally comes by the name of vengeance. Just in the last year we had several popular action games using this type of narrative, take for example Watch Dogs and Thief. Now, why would The Order 1886 be any different? It’s a type of story easy to come up with and unfortunately it works just fine. So, Grayson will pursue his individual quest towards revenge. What remains unknown is what type of revenge is it going to be but that’s probably something concerning family or a loved one (isn’t it always?).

order4 1. Enemies United

Having one enemy faction is tedious, having two enemy factions is usual. However, having both enemy factions united is somewhat bizarre. At first glance, it would seem like an epic challenge coming to life but that doesn’t seem the case. Aside from pure conspiracy, uniting enemies is nothing more than a failed attempt to turn a mediocre story into something impressive and enigmatic. Truth be said, uniting the lethal half breeds with the fearless rebels would create an undefeatable force but we all know that in the end, that’s not what’s going to happen. Because… this game sweats predictability and obviousness.