so. last thing i remember, i picked up a copy of dead island that released in the beginning of the month, and everything else outside of that is kind of a blur. it began innocent enough, sure. couple hours (read: midnight to four am) of solo play, get my fingers dipped a little into the "storyline" of the whole thing, get some weapons, understand the mechanics of it. quality play. tolerable.
then i jumped into multiplayer. and i never wanted to stop. the storyline, as it built up, began to gray out. the characters, both playable and otherwise, ran together and tediously tried my patience. i didn't care what i was doing or why. but i kept doing it. even when i was falling through phantom floors. even while losing weapons i'd worked hours to earn due to save file glitches. even while endlessly dying in the goddamn second act in the overpopulated and unbalanced city map. even then. i kept playing.
and i generally don't have an explanation for it. it felt a bit like that high you get while repetitively losing at the cheap slots in vegas. when all was said and done, i'd clocked about 40 hours of gameplay. and i did NOTHING. i think i found zombie cures for the world? i think i failed? i don't know. but i helped a lot of people collect pills and medicine and weapons. and i'm not sure how any of that panned out. and i also escorted people from one place to another. and they could be okay?
but i made awesome weapons. i slaughtered waves of undead. i leveled up 40 times. and played a co-op game that no matter how vapid and frustrating kept me coming back. to be honest, the game was kind of wack. broken, ugly at times, overly repetitive, and ultimately pointless and not very unique. HOWEVER. it's the kind of playground that was perfect for exploring in the vein of a fallout type game. perfect for leveling and looting like borderlands. and if you're playing with a crew who is down to forgive and let the game be fun for its own sake, it is THE go-to time-killer.
i recommend it, but with caution. i believe there are people who are STILL having issues with the ps3 one as far as matchmaking and file saving goes. but the game was solid enough that i own a copy for each system, and plan on devouring both with multiple groups of people. i also highly recommend using a headset for the game, as lines can get easily crossed with quests being changed and added all the time, as well as collectibles being strewn about the game that you're probably going to want to help your friends collect.
check it out, definitely. i don't know if it's worth the forty hours i threw into it, but at the very least, i had a fucking blast with it.
As the resident graphic novel fiend here at WM, I felt it necessary to post about something I've been obsessing on the past year or so, and that's pretty much anything written by Warren Ellis. Ellis is about as prolific as a writer can get. I own so much of his material and I know for a fact that I'm not even close to having completed my collection of his work. It's a great feeling, because there's still so much out there for me to absorb.
Although he's done some amazing one-off books (the best that come to mind is a great unique 'zombie' story called BLACKGAS and one of the most interesting sci-fi graphic novels I've ever read called OCEAN) and series (he's probably most well-known for TRANSMETROPOLITIAN), it's what he does differently than everyone else that really gets me interested. For instance, above, a series called FREAKANGELS is actually a free web series by him and Paul Duffield that you can read weekly on freakangels.com. It's one of my favorite books ever. Duffield's purple-tinged artwork is so engrossing and crisp, and Ellis's post-apocalyptic (yes, Brian) world about 12 young adults that have strange powers is addictive. Although this is a free series, which you don't see too much if at all in the graphic novel world, I highly suggest you buy the books on Avatar Press once you see enough on the site that you know you're going to like it.
Warren Ellis is not just a writer for books that have images, however. One of my favorite novels of recent memory is his first, a soon-to-be underground classic called "Crooked Little Vein" that I've been suggesting to every one of my 'reader' friends (Bill Hicks reference) ever since I finished it. I love it, my girlfriend just finished it and she loved it, I swear to god I will buy it for you just so you can read it. Such a great world he creates, I love the descriptions and characters within. Not many graphic novelists have the nads to make the jump to novelists; I'm glad that he did, and apparently he's got another one on the way.
What else does Ellis do that is different from his peers? How about experimenting with the graphic novel experience? I just ordered a novella called SVK by Ellis and Matt "D'Israeli" Brooker from getsvk.com - which I'm so excited to get. Take a look at it on the site and you'll see why. Invisible ink that adds a new layer to the experience for the reader, seen only with a blacklight pen that they give to you with the book. It's UK only and cost about $30 to ship, but I don't care. It looks like one of the coolest books out there. The first run sold out in 48 hours.
Anyway, just a suggestion from your friendly neighborhood graphic novel addict. Go to warrenellis.com and check out his offerings.