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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Dark Knight Rises

Ooooh what's going to happen in the new Batman film? Will Robin be in it? Will the bat-suits have nipples on this time? Will it be as boring as Inception? Will Christian Bale speak in a less-growly voice this time so we might actually understand some of Batman's dialogue?

CALM DOWN BAT-FANS. The answers are all contained in this out-of-print graphic novel (right). I guarantee this is exactly what will more-or-less probably happen in The Dark Knight Rises, out next year:

Batman is on the run, with the Gotham Police Department charged with bringing him in. Reluctantly, Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) heads up the Anti-Batman task force.

Second in command is Max Cort, (Tom Hardy), a cop set on hunting down and unmasking Batman.

When Cort goes to police psychiatrist Prof Hugo Strange (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) for treatment for his growing hatred of costumed vigilantes, Strange injects him with his 'Venom' drug, turning him into a costumed vigilante himself - Bane.

A prowler, Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), is sighted on the streets of Gotham. Thinking she's an associate of Batman, Bane attacks Catwoman, who is saved by Batman. (NOTE: BATMAN AND CATWOMAN MAY OR MAY NOT KISS AT THIS POINT. IF THIS DOES HAPPEN, BATMAN WILL QUICKLY PULL AWAY AND LOOK ANGRY)

Strange orders Bane/Cort to kidnap the Mayor's daughter to frame Batman. While trying to save her, Batman is injected with Strange's Venom drug and flashback to the murder of his parents. This causes him to question the nature of his vigilantism. Rescued by Alfred (Michael Caine), he rationalizes that being Batman represents an act of sanity and order that defies the madness and chaos represented by crime, he goes after Strange and Bane.

Meanwhile, with the help of Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) Batman creates a new streamlined 'bat-mobile'.

In a final battle Batman defeats Bane with the help of Catwoman and reveals Cort and Strange's evil plan.

Batman is exonerated, but Gordon tells him there will always be those who seek to destroy him.

THE END. There you go, you now owe me £12, a massive box of weakly flavoured popcorn and 3hrs of your life.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Deadly Premonition

Rising Star Games, XBOX 360

Deadly Premonition has a pretty straight forward premise: F.B.I. agent Francis York Morgan is sent to the sleepy town of Greenvale to investigate the murder of a teenage girl.


You play the part of York's imaginary friend Zach. Throughout, York chats happily to you about 80's movies and punk bands, seemingly unbothered by the mysterious 'Raincoat Killer' who's picking off the women of Greenvale one by one.

Your investigations around town interrogating the locals are sandwiched in between mind numbingly boring combat sections, picking up such vital clues as 'Sugared Doughnut' and 'Root Beer' and avoiding zombies who kill you by climbing into your mouth.

(These zombies are never properly explained and no other character in the game mentions them. Oh, and also, if York holds his breath, they can't see him. Obviously.)

Your F.B.I. duties also include giving an old woman a lift so her cooking pot doesn't get cold and going fishing.

Deadly Premonition surprises at every turn, and just when you think it can't get anymore ridiculous, it will have you laughing out loud at the screen.

Suddenly, in one level, you're not York anymore but playing the killer - IN THE 1950s. FOR NO REASON. Then, you're taking advice from a cup of coffee. Then, you're following a dog. Then, you're discussing sandwiches with a man in a gas mask to a soundtrack of terrible acid jazz.

The whole thing ends with your love-interest being abused and committing suicide, but not before York has failed to work out the identity of the killer (he's the mutated leader of a cross-dressing sex cult) and allowed 90% of Greenvale to be brutally killed. Hang on, two levels ago we were chatting to Zach about Kevin Bacon movies!

Despite the crushingly dull end-of-game bosses, tedious loading times and awkward controls, Deadly Premonition succeeds as a game because the sheer joy it's programmers put into it shines through. Even though the Twin Peaks inspired story is bizarre, it stays just the right side of nonsensical, always working within the game's own logic. This isn't just a collection of self consciously weird set-pieces - it does actually make sense (sort of). And by the time it's all over, you'll be so acclimatized to Deadly Premonition's world, you'll find yourself craving for obscure jazz and psychic coffee.

This is an ACTUAL GAME and you can buy it here

It's amazing.