Mel’s 5 Second Game Review: Grim Dawn

Grim Dawn is a fantasy/horror ARPG (action role playing game) in the style of the Diablo franchise, released on Steam by the indie company Crate. Called hack and slash games for their rather simple game play, they’re actually some of my favourite games. I have about 500 hours clocked into Grim Dawn, and I don’t think a minute of that was time wasted. The initial game came out in February 2016. There are two expansions, The Ashes of Malmouth, released in October 2017, and Forgotten Gods, released in March 2019.

The story is simple enough (the world “ended” and there are monsters), but it’s so well crafted that it doesn’t matter. And if you take the time to listen to the quest givers and read the lore, you’ll realise just how dark they went with this. There’s a man who locks his family in his house and is about to set them on fire, rather than face this new world. There are journal entries laying around one of the zones, telling the story of a family of cannibals who are becoming less than human. There’s no swearing or nudity, but I still think this is one game that’s not for kids.

The game-play is standard for this type of game. The camera is above your character and you click the mouse to move around and cast spells. Some spells will require the use of the number keys. The looting system is also standard. If playing with a friend, you each get your own drops, which is nice (Path of Exile could take a page out of that book). What’s not standard is parts of the skill tree. There are shrines all over the map that you have to restore and that gives you a Devotion point. You can then use this point to chose stars on a constellation tree. Each constellation gives boosts to different builds (spell casting, melee, ranged, minion build, etc). I’m not sure I’m explaining this right, so let me show you.

That was the most complicated skill tree I’d ever seen since I started playing Path of Exile last week. But once you get used to it, it’s not so bad.

So if you like Diablo-like games and aren’t afraid of a little horror, then I definitely recommend this game for you. As for me, I give it an 11/10. Bloody perfect!

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road
(2015) Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, Nathan Jones, Josh Helman, John Howard, Richard Carter, Iota, Angus Sampson

FURY ROAD

So I wondered if I should do a review of this film at all. I mean there’s not much to really say about it. There’s virtually no plot, and the acting ranges from ok to mediocre (but at least never downright bad). The best actor in the film, by far, is the always lovable Nicholas Hoult who, somehow, still looked adorable while under all that makeup and prosthetic (just like he did in Warm Bodies, how on earth does he do it??).

But let’s get real for a second, no one who went to see this movie did so for the plot or the acting. The action sequences were, of course, stunning. Most of them were actually done live, with only a little CGI to help, and it really showed. That’s all there was to the film though, start to finish. There are little pockets of dialogue here and there, but mostly it’s dirt road war. Unfortunately, I need more than that to keep me entertained for a whole 2 hours. I made the mistake of stopping the film about 90 minutes in to go to the bathroom and grab a snack, and I actually had trouble starting the film up again. If my husband hadn’t been watching it with me and insisted on finishing it, I’m not actually sure if I would have finished. I probably would have, since there was so little time left, but the fact that I had to think about it should tell you something about how much I enjoyed it, or didn’t, rather. I didn’t hate it, the action sequences were entertaining, but I just wish we’d of had at least some plot and character development. People died from the good guys and it was hard to care, and that’s never a good sign. I also had some trouble with Tom Hardy’s voice (or, shall I say, his grunting), and accent sliding on and off. Either let him keep his accent, or don’t. Don’t let him do both!

All in all, it’s nothing more than a mediocre film with awesome effects and stunts. 6.5/10 (the extra .5 is for Tom Hardy’s lips. Meow.)

M.