Producing a Cards Against Humanity custom expansion

1 11 2012

Cards Against Humanity is a great, great game. It is so good, in fact, that I found that new content for the game was coming out too slowly for me. If you go to their website, you’ll see that they encourage remixing and player added content, and the game itself is created under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. So I figured, why not?

It started off as many disorganized pet projects begin; as a Google doc. It was a fairly reflective period as I sat in my chair for lengths of time and thought of as many horrible fucked-up things as I could, being careful to check against the existing official cards for redundancy (and synergy). I asked for help and as more and more collaborators bought in to the effort, I had just shy of 20 people on board, each contributing some hilarious and terrible ingredient to our cesspool of ideas. Before too long we were looking at a hefty list of over 350 entries, quite enough to make the endeavor worthwhile. It was time to carry this thing to term.

Naturally, I wanted to find a method of production that would be the absolute cheapest yet at the same time I wanted acceptable quality and most importantly similarity in materials to the official cards such that the finished expansion would be able to integrate with the actual game as seamlessly as possible. It was an exercise in attention to detail as I examined dozens of fonts to find the correct match (Helvetica Neue 75 Bold if you wanted to know), learned of the correct cut of cards pertaining to width and height, roundedness of the corners, weight of paper stock and types of finishing and varnish available, and learned about resolution, color temperatures, and file outputs that high quality printing projects demand.

My first inclination was to research Chinese printing companies overseas which offered highly attractive rates. However, this soon became problematic due to the high cost of receiving samples which was integral to the process to ensure I got what I wanted. I then evaluated options stateside and while the costs were considerably higher, communication and negotiation with these companies was much more prompt and painless. I eventually settled on a NJ based company called AdMagic, who had very similar cardstock to what I needed and was also open to producing fully customized cards in irregular quantities.

I worked with various members from the AdMagic team to negotiate pricing and to make precisely sure that they understood the nature of the project and what I was trying to accomplish. I wrestled with their provided printing templates to avoid the setup fee and elected to do all the alignment and organization of the image files manually with guidance from the team, the years of self-taught dickering in Photoshop and Illustrator finally bearing fruit. All in all the project was turning out to be a lot of work but with the end in mind I feverishly edited, checked, and rechecked until everything was ready to go to the physical production phase.

However, perhaps I made the folks at AdMagic understand a little too well. Whether they had already heard of Cards Against Humanity, or looked it up on their own initiative, they contacted the creators of the official game about my proposed project; an understandable move from a legal liability standpoint. I was surprised to receive a message from Ben Hantoot, one of the designers of CAH in my inbox and expected bad news. However, I was pleased to hear that after his review of the material, the project had his blessing to move forward with two conditions: Firstly that I must never sell the cards from the custom expansion and second that I append “Kyle’s Custom Edition” or something of the like to the faces of the cards such that they can be differentiated from the official ones. The first item I had already accepted to be true under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0, and the second I was more than happy to oblige. So the CAH guys are indeed as cool as they say and there was finally nothing left to do except send the money to get this thing under way.

So a few weeks and several hundred dollars later the box shows up on my doorstep and I am quite pleased with how the set turned out. The cut of the cards is ever so slightly larger than the originals, noticeable only if you are looking for it, and using protective sleeves on the cards will probably mitigate this entirely. Even though it was grueling and costly, in the end I have a very fine finished product, a greater understanding of the experience of printing and producing physical games, and the smug satisfaction of carrying a project of this nature through to the end and having a pretty banging custom set of Cards Against Humanity that is uniquely my own.

E3 2012 Impressions

6 06 2012

Dead or Alive 5 (PS3): Plays like Dead or Alive. Not sure what else to say. Pretty ladies that get sweaty and dirty.

DmC (PS3): I was pretty curious about giving this a spin to see if it was up to snuff and I think Ninja Theory is beginning to mold this game into something worth paying attention to. The combat controls were a jarring adjustment for me because of some key differences that we’ve come to expect from the standard Devil May Cry series: There is no lock-on button and evasive rolls are scripted to L1 and R1, which took a lot of getting used to. Dante defaults to his good ol’ handguns on square and sword on triangle but some of the conventions have changed, like using the circle button for launcher attacks. The most intriguing part of the new combat system is Angel and Demon mode, which are essentially modifiers that transmogrify Dante’s moveset on the fly by holding down L2 or R2 respectively. Angel and Demon mode cause Dante’s weapon to physically change from the normal sword to either an oversized sickle or a heavy battleaxe. Additionally, it changes the square button as well from standard gunfire to a vertebrae-esque grappling weapon which strongly reminds me of Nero’s devil bringer. These facets require a fair amount of finger acrobatics but there seems like depth and complexity buried beneath. There are combat elements and puzzle elements that are color coded to clue the player in as to which moveset will be effective in certain situations. The visuals were surreal and a departure from what one would expect of typical DMC style…but DmC is carving its own niche and is beginning to grow more comfortable in its own skin it seems. Dante himself seems to have more of the attitude and swagger that one would expect in this showing, as though he himself is settling in to his own shoes.

God of War Ascension multiplayer (PS3): Yeah, I’m going to talk about my own game, wanna fight about it? We had a really good showing today and I think the reception was overwhelmingly positive. As a quick overview you enter the battlefield as either a Spartan or Trojan warrior, champions of the gods all and on a blood quest to gain favor with their aligned deity. There is a small taste of the character customization system, where players can choose different armor, weapons, and magic abilities which grant unique attributes or techniques. The match itself is set in a forsaken desert temple in the shadow of the cyclopean titan Polyphemus straining against his bindings like a mad animal. Scattered across the level are various subweapons, power ups, capture points and sinister traps all of which the cunning opportunist can use to his advantage. The basic combat itself has a healthy depth while being true to GoW gameplay, players must mix light attacks, heavy attacks, grapples, blocks, parries and evasive dodges to counter opponents’ tactics and prevail over the enemy. The gore that one would expect is duly delivered; one can scarcely throw a stone without hitting someone being disemboweled, dismembered, bisected, or getting their skull shattered. At the very end of the match, if you are true champion of the gods, you slice the face of a titan in half with a spear infused with the very might of Olympus. It’s good stuff if I say so myself.

Persona 4 Arena (PS3): It’s a purdy 4 button fighter from Arc System Works. In true Arc System Works fashion, you must internalize and master various eclectic button combinations for moves and system mechanics that you’ve never heard of or seen in any other fighting game and the screen is smothered with icons, gauges, and symbology that must be deciphered like a foreign language. All I know about this game is the grab character fights with a folding chair and his instakill move is called “Brofist.” Tempting.

NintendoLand (Wii U): Being an exhibitor at a trade show has its perks, like not having to beat the crowd to stand in a 2-hour-long line. So I figured it would be a good time to scrutinize Nintendo’s new piece of bastard tech the Wii U. Their centerpiece for the show as a compilation game called NintendoLand which will likely be a launch window offering for the system, featuring 12 minigames drawn from various IP that will showcase some of the potential for the new system’s unique control offerings, 5 of which were on display. First let’s look at the controller:

Controller: I wanted to hate this thing for being fat, unweildy, and grotesque, but it ended up impressing me. The unit is surprisingly light for its size, and the screen is actually very very nice. The motion control capabilities on the device were also fairly impressive, I’d say a notch above the sensitivity and fidelity of the Wii MotionPlus. What is perhaps a concern is that the thing has no wriststrap or other safety device to speak of…one couldn’t help but notice how gingerly the apparatus was handed over by the booth workers. This seems like you could make some expensive mistakes with this thing, especially after playing with buttered snails and astroglide.

Console: Looks like it has a small, compact footprint and the graphics are up to snuff…which is to say it is now simply comparable to the other competing systems. Saw Ninja Gaiden 3 running on it and it looked pretty damn good.

Animal Crossing Sweet Day: Sounds emasculating, looks emasculating, is hilariously fun. This little gem handily demonstrates the Wii U’s potential for asymmetric play and diverse player experiences. In this game, 4 players use sideways Wii remotes on a team while the 5th mans the tablet and uses his own screen. The 4 players have to work together and navigate a small maze area and gather 50 candy pieces in total while trying to outmaneuver the two guard pawns used by the tablet player, who controls both simultaneously with both analog sticks. Obscenely simple fun, but I can see good things in store for this game especially if they bundle the system with a handle of Johnnie Walker Black Label (you can have that one on me, Nintendo).

Takamaru’s Ninja Castle: Showcases the motion control and sensitivity of the tablet well. Plays like an arcade gun game, except you hold the tablet ipad style using motion control to aim and use flicking motions on the touch screen to jettison shuriken into a posse of incompetent ninjas who allow themselves to be seen. I also really dig the aesthetic in this and other NintendoLand entries, kind of a papercraft/origami look that is quaint yet servicable.

Legend of Zelda Battle Quest: Basically a coop rail shooter where some players control swords to hack through the front lines and one player uses the motion control tablet to snipe with arrows. Pretty cool but looks like it would be exhausted quickly.

Donkey Kong Crash Course: The only solo game of the bunch and a real tough mother. In this game you control the most fragile rolling cart on earth and use tilt controls to (very) carefully navigate through a multitiered roller coaster fun house of fiendish design. Compellingly challenging and relentlessly demanding; you go too fast you die, you go too slow you die, you go too hard you die, you go too soft you die, you die, you die, you die. Not recommended for people with Parkinsons or ADHD.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion: A fairly simple little party game with a brilliant concept: 4 players control ghost hunters in a labyrinthine top-down view and the 5th player with the tablet and his own screen stalks them relentlessly looking for openings to murder them. Of course, the ghost is invisible to the 4 main players. The humans have flashlights which reveal the ghost and deplete his hit points, and also can be used to revive fallen players. However, the flashlights have diminishing power and require battery pickups that drop randomly. The game is on a timer which gives incentive for the humans to split up which the ghost can then exploit.

Batman Arkham City Armored Edition: Same game but with gimmicky new cool stuff intergrated with the tablet controller: Motion control batarangs, real-time map screen that’s always open, and bat computer all at the fingertips…might be cool but according to the Rocksteady guy there it’s basically the same game…May be well worth it for Wiii U adopters who haven’t yet played Arkham City (btw, you should be slapped if this is the case).

Aliens Colonial Marines: Floor playable, but I didn’t get a chance to try…dammit. What I did see was that there is a team deatmatch type mode where one side controls the swarming xenomorphs. Saw that there was a merciful 3rd-person camera for the bugs which will hopefully help mitigate the throwing-up-between-matches dizziness problem of previous games. I am just really really hoping this doesn’t turn out to be Aliens vs. Predator -Predator.

Street Fighter x Tekken (Vita): Exactly what you’d expect. Tried it out, didn’t make me want to buy a Vita. I got too spoiled on having 2 shoulder buttons on one side and the dpad/analog still don’t feel right for a fighting game.

Playstation All Stars Battle Royale (PS3): Didn’t play, but noticed the inclusion of Big Daddy of Bioshock fame which has very interesting implications…namely that this game is not at all limited to PS exclusive franchises and now the door has been blown wide open and literally anyone could show up in this game. The imagination wanders far when considering what exactly the roster will look like when the game rolls out in Q4. Could be legendary.

Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed III, Beyond, Black Ops 2, Tomb Raider, Ni no Kuni: Trailers look hot.

That’s all I had time for and I’ll likely be working for the rest of the show…let me know caught your guys’ fancy

Review: Street Fighter x Tekken

9 03 2012

As previously mentioned, this looks to be a very populous year in terms of fighting games, but the premier offering thus far has to be Capcom’s new crossover title, Street Fighter x Tekken which pits two of the world’s most enduring fighting franchises against each other in a once-in-a-lifetime dream battle.

SFxT represents the first of a pair of games which is the result of a collaborative effort between the two companies, and this game represents Capcom’s interpretation, and thus much more closely resembles traditional Street Fighter gameplay than Tekken’s 3D environment. That said, the Tekken characters have all made an impressively faithful transition to the 6-button 2D style and an entire 50% of the game’s cast of about 38 characters are all “new” to the 2D battlefield. On the whole they have done a great job porting the Tekken cast to the Street Fighter system while still retaining many of their signature moves and overall style of each of the characters, and several modifications to the Tekken warriors’ arsenal have been granted to allow them to integrate well and be competent and powerful in the new environment. The cast of characters on both sides are well represented, but mostly defaults to the flagship cast over truly unusual inclusions, but I suppose that should be expected for the first meeting of these two historical franchises.

I was instantly attracted to the Tekken characters because they represented effectively new blood to the Street Fighter format and had incredible depth to explore. However, beginning players may be frustrated using the Tekken characters at first because most players lack knowledge of those characters’ “game plan” to be effective in the 2D arena. Losing repeatedly to Hadoken, Shoryuken, and j.FK will be very discouraging but learning the individual tools to counter and dismantle the older-than-time strategies of the Shotokan and other SF veterans is one of the game’s internal Everests; a difficult climb but a satisfying challenge to master.

In terms of general gameplay, I feel that it is best described as a hybrid/middle-ground between SFIV and MvC3. Basics like footsies and positioning are still integral to play, but lengthy and damaging combos increase the lethality of openings and opportunities. This helps to reinforce the marriage of the two different game styles, with the fundamentals of Street Fighter and the “dead in 2 combos” high stakes of Tekken. Seasoned players of Street Fighter will comfortably adjust to the game, yet it is different enough to warrant new approaches and perspectives and also has an incredible depth of new mechanics to explore and master. There are several aspects of play that warrant some of the game’s nuanced aspects, like utilizing switch mechanics effectively, but these too will quickly become second nature to perceptive and dedicated players. I find this middle-ground gameplay refreshing and compelling; it features both strong fundamentals to reward tactical, disciplined play as well as the flashiness to entertain and freedom to experiment.

SFxT’s included modes may be among the most robust offerings yet from Capcom. The ability to play with 4 players simultaneously in tag-team format is a great inclusion and is natural to the game’s basic play rather than a forced addition, and also is a blast. The online modes also seem to be servicable, and even includes features such as saving replays.

Sadly, it appears that the 360 version of the game is notably inferior in several areas, first of which being the exclusion of 5 console specific characters on the PS3, second being the inability to do team-play locally on Xbox Live.

Overall, SFxT is shaping up for me to be one of the most enjoyable releases of the past many years, cherry picking some of the great aspects from recent and historical releases into a new format that scratches the right spot. It is a game that deserved to be decent and it definitely “crossed the line.”

As for the DLC debacle…that is an article for another day.

Review: Soul Calibur V

5 02 2012

2012 is already shaping up to be a booked year for fighting games and the first arrival comes to us as the Soul series’ 2nd offering on current-gen systems. Soul Calibur V brings a number of new things to the battlefield in an effort to reinvent and inject new life into the enduring franchise with revised gameplay systems and core mechanics. A delicate balance must be struck to create something both fresh and formulaic, where there must be both novelty yet a firm sense of familiarity. Does SCV hit the mark or has the soul finally burned out?

In terms of the story and setting Soul Calibur V represents the furthest chronological leap in the series, taking place a full 17 years after Soul Calibur IV. Many of the veteran souls return to the stage of history, and an equivalent amount of mainstays of the franchise have bowed out to younger replacements, bequeathing their fighting styles onto their progeny or understudies. However, there are also several jarring omissions from the expected roster, as many other staples are inexplicably missing: Seung Mina, Talim, Yunseung, and Zasalamel have been unceremoniously axed (insert Astaroth joke) and have no equivalent or replacement. Is it just me, or do I smell DLC shenanigans?

The core gameplay is of course at the heart of this review. The addition of the Soul Gauge (read: super meter) has overlayed a new aspect borrowed from many other legacy fighting games of meter management and devastating comeback moves that must be integrated into the routines and arsenals of those wishing to master the game. The classic “Guard Impact” mechanic has also been completely revised, requiring usage of a portion of the Soul Gauge to utilize rather than being on on-demand technique. Additionally a new “Just Guard” mechanic has been introduced as somewhat of a substitute to the conventional Guard Impact, but it feels more similar to the parrying system of Third Strike; much stricter in terms of timing and requiring speedier execution to capitalize upon.

The new systems introduce significant considerations in the flow and play of the game, however the overall feel of the characters is very much preserved and familiar. Although there are always tweaks to their movesets between games, many players will find that they can return to their mainstay characters within minutes with the majority of their staple moves intact. Some characters have had a bit of balance tweaks and re-focusing; for instance Tira is much faster and more dangerous with her wide-arcing swings, Astaroth is more sluggish and cumbersome but does truly monstrous damage, and Yoshimitsu may be the most dangerous he’s been since SCII. The wholly new characters Z.W.E.I. and Viola are very unorthodox compared the rest of the cast with their mystic-infused fighting styles, but seem like strong competitors with their difficult-to-read movements and helper mechanics to assault the opponent in tandem (I am reminded of Eddie and Bridget from Guilty Gear). Ezio Auditore of Assassin’s Creed is perhaps the most appropriate guest character of the franchise history and he fits in well with the cast. Due to the absence of conventional Guard Impact, characters with built-in GI moves like Cervantes and the sword-n-boarders have more incentive to use those maneuvers in a match. Although concrete tier lists have not yet emerged, from what I’ve seen I expect Leixia, Xiba, Siegfried, Alpha Patroklos and Yoshimitsu to be in the upper echelons.

Online play is somewhat spotty at the moment, but I’ve played several successful matches with serviceable latency. As far as online modes it’s the best the Soul series has done so far but still nothing to write home about.

Other than conventional versus modes, there are a few side modes worth investigating. Create a character mode is back and quite robust in terms of freedom and customization, but lacks any of the unique styles from previous iterations other than Tekken’s Devil Jin, thus any custom creations will simply imitate an existing character. The wealth of options is impressive, and you can create some authentically slick-looking customizations (or hideously inappropriate abominations, if you prefer). The story mode follows the quest of Patroklos and Pyrrha, Sophitia’s heirs, to reunite and vanquish the curse that has plagued their family for generations. While it’s par for the course on fighting game story modes and therefore fairly underwhelming, it introduces some interesting twists and revelations of the SC world and even a few geniunely thoughtful and introspective moments. You’ll have to wade through it anyway in order to obtain the unlockable characters so be glad it isn’t intolerable.

Even after spending a good dozen or so hours with the game, there is always a difficulty in evaluating any fighting game in its infant months. It is hard to say if the systems and balance are solid enough that the game will be worth playing “for serious” over the long run. Past Soul games have always have exploits or anomalies unveiled that have dispelled the game’s tournament potential but Namco has been pretty good about pushing free updates and balance patches; they’ve already released a 1.01 patch to remove a supposed “fuzzy guard” exploit. All doubt cast aside, what I can say conclusively is that right now, at this moment, the game is damn fun and I’m going to be playing it in the forseeable future. For now, that’s all I need it to be.

Uncle Nightmare will be seeing you all online.

“Fan”-ning the Flames: “Mega Man” in Street Fighter x Tekken

27 01 2012

I do enjoy a good troll once in a while and the particularly epic series of trolling from Capcom over the still-recent Megaman hullabaloo has been good for several chuckles and shakes of the head. However the latest development in this series of trolling has perhaps gouged a little too deep, even for the amused observer, and unearthed a lot of interesting questions about how companies should handle their own intellectual property.

For those who have not been following the Megaman fallout closely, I will give you a brief, abridged timeline of the key events that lead up to the current debacle:

1987-2009: Megaman, a.k.a. Rockman, is one of the most well known and beloved franchises in the history of video games, selling around 29 million copies over the life of the franchise worldwide. The iconic “blue bomber” has starred in a long running series of games, side series, spinoff games, and even his own animated series. Fans eagerly await the upcoming Megaman Legends 3, the anticipated new entry in a highly popular spinoff series.

2010: Keiji Inafune, lead producer of the Megaman series for over 22 years, announces his departure from Capcom due to what is speculated to be “creative differences.”

2011: Trolling begins. Development on Megaman Legends 3 is suspended indefinitely. The long awaited Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is released, with the iconic Megaman being conspicuously absent from the cast, although his partner Zero is included, as well as Tron Bonne from the Legends line of games.

Late 2011: Despite huge volume of fan requests, Megaman is still absent from the follow up Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which introduced 12 new characters to the roster. DLC costumes for various characters are teasing acknowledgements and “tributes” to Megaman.

2012: 25th anniversary of the franchise. Proclaiming that “this is my destiny!”, “Mega Man” is announced for the upcoming crossover fighting game Street Fighter x Tekken and he looks like this:

This is my destiny!

At this point I think it is apparent to anyone what Capcom is up to. Petty revenge certainly comes to mind as a way of getting back at Inafune for bailing on the company by way of mistreating his beloved creation. But it is also a pretty flagrant F U to the fans, who have been clamoring for the inclusion of the classic character in some of the more significant releases by the company which are meant to showcase their “mascot” characters. What is baffling is how a company can blatantly snub one of its most enduring fanbases in such a backhanded way. It makes one wonder who calls the shots in the higher tiers at Capcom and what exactly is going through their mind when they sign off on such things.
The interesting question that ultimately emerges is this: How much respect does a company owe to their own intellectual property? Some companies will often make a mockery of their less successful or unpopular experiments as a way of sweeping them under the rug or “apologizing,” but that is clearly not the case in this instance; Megaman is one of the flagship franchises that put Capcom where it is today, even before the heyday of Street Fighter and the like. What they are doing is effectively holding their own character hostage and further alienating a disenchanted fanbase that represents a sizable amount of their support over the years. Is it permissible? Is it ethical? Is it business smart? We see that you know what you are doing Capcom, but with what end in mind? What will become of the Blue Bomber?

Big questions: If you create a something successful that millions of people love, how beholden are you to the IP and to your fans?

Resident Evil 6: Preview Trailer Impressions

26 01 2012

Just within this week Capcom has rolled out a trailer for the next numbered entry in the Resident Evil franchise, RE6. After some of the problematic and more criticized aspects of RE5, it seems like a golden opportunity to renew the faith in this enduring franchise. Could a return to Leon, hero of RE4 – the best game in the series to date – be a return to form?

As covered in my video of some of the criticisms of RE5, there were several elements of the previous title that seemed to be out of step with the expectations and traditions of the franchise. The following are my biggest points of contention and how I hope RE6 will address these issues:

Genre Identity Crisis
What put me off about RE5 the most was that it didn’t seem to know what game it was trying to be. It was clear that Capcom was trying to take the game in a much more action-adventure oriented direction but seemed to only go halfway on some aspects and overcompensating in others. Gameplay conventions were adjusted to make the game more akin to an action-saturated first person shooter type experience but were not up to snuff compared to other entries of that genre. There were welcome improvements to the formula of the immensely successful RE4, but nothing seemed to mesh together in RE5. RE4 did certainly have a noticable diversion from the series into more action-based gameplay, but at it’s core it was still firmly based as a survival horror game.
The trailer for RE6 has me very hopeful that there will be a return to form in this entry. The trailer was very atmospheric and from the onset sold the entire package as a decisively “horror” game. The foes were suitably grotesque and unsettling, and there was an overarching sense of panic and dread. And yet at the same time, there was a showcase of breakneck action and John Woo-esque maneuvers that the heros can unleash on the shambling hordes. I think that it is possible for these elements to coexist, as RE4 demonstrated, but having all elements of the game mesh together will be what makes or breaks the experience. Altogether, what I’m hoping for is Capcom to cook up the authentically “Resident Evil” experience I’ve been craving and let the actiony spicyness complement the dish rather than overwhelm it.

Underdeveloped Co-op Gameplay
There were whisperings that the co-operative gameplay of RE5 was shoehorned into development to be in keeping with the then-current trends of action games, which RE5 seemed to so badly want to imitate. The result was a somewhat awkward hybrid of current gaming fads and enduring franchise tropes that did neither a great service. However, after the “experiment” of RE5, the franchise has a chance to step up to the plate once again, older and wiser, to take a swing with the experience of the past beneath it’s belt. Indeed, there have been rumors flying around that RE6 will support not two, but SIX PLAYER cooperative play (I see what you did there Capcom). Whether that represents the entire story mode of the game or a separate game mode remains to be seen, but either way RE6 has a better chance of integrating such elements in a more thoughtful way.

Novelty Setting and Exoticism
Speculation on racism aside, the previous two Resident Evils seemed to want to cash in on the horror derived from the unknown, the unfamiliar; to evoke the mystery of the “other” and the feeling of isolation in a place far away from home. It was also probably no mistake since various action games demand faraway locales for their backdrop of wonder and adventure. However, there were a few pitfalls to the approach that was taken, sometimes it felt forced or arbitrary, other times it seemed accessory to the actual events taking place, and other times it became just a tad bit topical. RE6 seems to break away from that direction and bring things back closer to home. The game appears to take place stateside in the town of Tall Oaks, which is a stand in for urban America. Indeed, some of the most effective tropes of horror are derived from the familiar, but twisted and dehumanized, made into something terrible yet recognizable. To echo Leon in the trailer, “it’s Raccoon City all over again,” and this choice may be just what was needed for the direction of the series seeing that the first 3 games, which set the groundwork for the most enduring tropes of the franchise and survival horror in general, all took place there.

After watching the trailer I am very excited for this new game and I have high hopes that it will vault over the bar set by the prodigious RE4 and be a new standard in survival horror and for Resident Evil as a whole.