Tag Archives: Hero

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

In the in fourth first century there can be only war and that is one thing Warhammer Dawn of War has always done right. From a visual standpoint the latest installment looks lovely and units are very well defined. The environment looks very bad in a good way. Since the theme is war and destruction., every thing is ruins and mostly gray and brown. With an every increasing pile of broken bodies and bags of blood. As for the music, it’s moody, instrumental with a touch of heroics. With decent sound effects and it’s easy to pick out the different audio ques. Every unit has a heavy British accent that fits the Warhammer universe quite well. Technically there is a rock paper scissor logic going on, where each squad has various active abilities to lob at heretics and xenos alike. Business as usual, it’s also possible to summon various heroes that has abilities of their own and a quite commanding presence on the battle field. Which brings me to a very annoying and very true problem with games such as these. Micro management from a hell. Some units such as the snipers has to deploy, while some are meant purely for close quarter combat. Some are back line and others are mobile. Combine this with a bit sluggish response times and clunky path finding, where you have to rapidly switch between units to gain the best effect. Sure I can just clump them into a big pile and right click, but that only works against stupid people. A rare commodity in a real time strategy game. Combine that with having to click on various buildings to order units, upgrades such. It does become a handful and quite vexing indeed.

In the open beta of Dawn of War 3 there is only one game mode, where the goal is to crush the power core. Where point capture is key to gaining resource acquisition points. Which in turns summons units. No longer can squads be replenished, they have to be near a base building to do that. Each match gives experience points and skulls that can be used to learn new abilities and special orders for the heroic units. Along with some pr-order bonus skins and some skin that unlocks with level. I can’t say anything about the story mode as it is not part of the beta, it’s purely multiplayer at the moment. However I’m not convinced that Eldar has any chance what so ever to with most engagements. Especially since they are not built for defense. For the most part it feels like the Ork stomps all, eventually. It’s not bad game, just not my cup of tea. Too much micro.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Starcraft 2 Nova Covert ops

Haven Reviews: Starcraft 2 Nova Covert ops

Screenshot2016-08-07 15_43_05 I’m a bit of a Starcraft fan, but a terribly mediocre player of said game series, too much micromanaging. I’ve always been more found of the Command and conquer sidebar. If I have to research, track down the building and click on it, need units? Find the bloody barracks. Also let’s face it; the first Starcraft game has a good story, but a terrible executed campaign. Keep in mind this is just my opinion. Never the less I’m here to talk about Nova.

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She is a ghost, a telegraphically gifted human that goes bump in the night. Her main job is to be a special operative for the Dominion and she is damn good at her job, until she got captured and mind wiped. Yes this is a bit of a cliché way to start a story, however this does not take long to rectify; after all there are only 9 missions or so, where the last three will be released in December. It is very clear that they are going with a more modern and streamlined approach. Since the first mission even has health pickups. People who hardly react to the man next to em getting his neck snapped. Screenshot2016-08-09 00_18_26A highway chase sequence. On top of that a bossbattle when she reach the end of the road. This scene is not very fun and a has a wonky implementation, still an interesting hurdle to pass. All the other missions however are much more traditional, with base building. Where nukes will be auto made and Nova can’t die as long as her command center is alive. During the missions a lot of extra abilities for units can be unlocked. Such as siege tank jump jets,  for those that likes to get around and permanent cloaking for Banshees. Most of the armory makes it into the game and spider mines are back. These self propelled buggers can be deployed from many of the units. Nova herself can also get a lot of gear, such as a shotgun, grenades, a crummy blade and a jump jet suit. A lot of these are unlocked when doing the extra objectives on the map.Screenshot2016-08-09 00_21_00
Since this is Starcraft, the missions also comes with achievements and several difficulties and a simple but intriguing story. Which unfortunately I have heard before, though it is well crafted. One thing of note, it’s a bit on the easy side difficulty wise, due to Novas sniper shot. An ability that renders even a Protos carrier to shreds in seconds and her insane energy recharge rate.

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The music is overly dramatic indeed and have some choir in the background at times. Not a terribly interesting or memorable soundtrack. The graphics and gameplay of Nova Covert ops is nice and well thought out and can be a challenge. Re-playability comes from getting various achievements in game and I can truly say I actually enjoyed these missions, though the wait for part three is very annoying. Pesky cliffhangers. The only exception is the stupid highway chase.

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Ghosts in Starcraft are a weird lot. Take Kerrigan for example, she is one of the strongest Terran telepathically gifted. Yet she has no special abilities in-game, same goes for Nova. Lockdown and EMP does not count. Since both of those effects are provided by special ammunition. If the excuse is neural implants to diminish the power, then why did the make the statement in the first place? Informed abilities that never comes into play are boring. Especially in a strategy game with special units. Probably why some consider humans to be the ones with least psionic potential in the universe. So many neural inhibitors.

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Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Njål Sand

It’s time for a Rebirth

DC, after 5 years of The New 52 has finally done it. They are once again rebooting the Universe and setting things up for a new era of comics. Honestly, it’s less of a reboot and more of DC stepping away from the core ideals of The New 52 and readdressing their series. It’s a return to a form of DC comics we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s important to note that I’ll try and avoid the big spoilers of the book. But in order to properly talk about the implications I will need to address a few key moments. If you’re just interested in the fate of DC comics going forward, we’ll get to that. As for now, I need to go into the details of Rebirth #1 and what they all mean, at least to me.

The book opens with a disembodied voice, that we learn belongs to Wally West. Not the new 52 Wally, but the original. Kid Flash, The Flash, Wally West. He talks about how he’s been gone for a while, trapped in the speed force. He says that ever since Flashpoint (the event that kicked off the New 52) things have been different. Things aren’t right. He says that the only way for him to return is for someone to remember him. First he goes to Bruce Wayne, who is deep in the mystery of the Joker. Batman learns a surprising fact that will propel him into his next arc, when Rebirth properly comes out. Wally is unable to connect with him, and is once again pulled back into the Speed Force. Before he tries to reach out again he muses on the fact that the events of Flashpoint didn’t create the new universe. Someone from beyond time and space has been reaching in and removing bits of time, sometimes decades. Next Wally reaches out to Johnny Thunder, another speedster from the golden era. A member of the Justice Society, Johnny mistakes Wally for his lost companion, Thunderbolt. Wally, unable to make the connection is once again hurled out of existence. Again Wally muses. He says that the one thing that has been missing from the world is Love. The thing that his unknown being has taken is the love and hope that the heroes of this universe once had. Ollie Queen and Dinah Lance, once deeply in love, have been set apart by the being. He witnesses Aquaman proposing to Mera, and realizes that’s the connection he needs to make. He needs to reconnect with his once love, Linda Park.

Here is possibly the most interesting part about Rebirth. This is essentially Geoff Johns saying the thing that has been missing from the new 52 is love. Love between the heroes. Love for saving the world, and crime fighting. New 52 has been so dark and dour, things need to change. There needs to be a sense of happiness brought back to the DC universe. His connection to Linda doesn’t work out. She doesn’t remember who he is and once again he is sent back. At this point he realizes he can’t connect to anyone and he’ll be consumed by the Speed Force. He sees the new Wally West save a little girl’s life and he remarks that he isn’t needed. His mantle is in good hands. He then goes to make one final visit. He goes to see Barry Allen, the current Flash. He goes just to say goodbye. Once again Wally remarks on love. He says Barry always has a smile on his face. He says Barry is the only one left who actually loves his job. He loves helping people in need. Wally says that Barry is the only hero who stops and talks to the people he’s rescued after. Wally and Barry have a heart-felt meeting, even though Barry doesn’t recognize him. Wally tells Barry that he’s the reason Wally’s life is so great. Barry has been an inspiration because of the love he’s shown the world. Wally is no longer so obsessed with returning to existence and is happy to part because of the love for the life he once had. At this moment Barry recognizes Wally and pulls him into existence. Wally then tells Barry about The Being.

We finally have the return of a hero who has been lost to us. We finally know that the new 52 was created not by the Flashpoint, but rather by someone removing love from the universe; someone experimenting on the entire universe, seeing what would happen if love was taken out. This mysterious Being is the DC company, and Wally West was a voice for both the writers wanting to work on something new and the fans wanting a change from the dreary New 52. Over the course of Rebirth we get a few glimpses of other heroes, such as The Atom and Blue Beetle. We see Superman from the Louis and Clark series, as well as the pre-crisis Superman who died in his world and appeared on earth prime. This gives us a good look at what other series will pop up in Rebirth. Ultimately DC is going to return to more light hearted, fun stories. The grittiness of New 52 has put a lot of people off of reading DC and it’s time to change that. Happiness and Love will return to this company and we’ll see what new exciting stories will arise.

As for what’s actually coming out? Well, there are a lot of different rumors about what’s happening. But as far as I can tell, several series are sticking around, several are being discontinued and a bunch are being merged into a single series.

The series going forward are as follows:

• AQUAMAN
• BATMAN
• THE FLASH
• GREEN ARROW
• GREEN LANTERN
• SUPERMAN
• WONDER WOMAN

ACTION COMICS #957
• DETECTIVE COMICS #934
(an inspiration of the return to form that DC is going through, and the notion that the comics will be more like the originals in tone, both Action and Detective will return to their original numbering)

HAL JORDAN & THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS
• JUSTICE LEAGUE
• NIGHTWING
• BATGIRL
• BATGIRL & THE BIRDS OF PREY
• THE HELLBLAZER (John Constantine)
• RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS

• THE SUPER-MAN
• TITANS
• CYBORG
• DEATHSTROKE
• HARLEY QUINN
• JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA
• SUICIDE SQUAD
• BATMAN BEYOND
• BLUE BEETLE
• EARTH 2
• GOTHAM ACADEMY: NEXT SEMESTER
• SUPERGIRL
• SUPERWOMAN
• SUPER SONS
• TEEN TITANS
• TRINITY

As for what’s still around, there are again a ton of rumors. But most sources point to these being the only series going forward and everything else will either be promptly canceled or phased out over time. I for one am really excited about everything. I loved reading Rebirth. I think it was brilliantly written and there is so much more analysis that can be done. I just lightly touched on some major themes and gave a run-down of what happened. If you are interested in a deeper analysis with all the spoilers of the book, please read:

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/23/why-dc-universe-rebirth-is-a-gutsy-work-of-comics-criticism

It’d be unfair to say that what I wrote was entirely from my own ideas, and that I didn’t take influence from the aforementioned article. Happy reading fellow comic fans. I hope you are all just as excited about this as I am.

-Jordan Kamm-