Before we start I need to make it clear that this blog will be full of spoilers for the recent Rogue One and Suicide Squad, as well as last year’s The Force Awakens, and all of Star Wars in general, so proceed cautiously if things like this concern you.
So when I was watching Rogue One yesterday for the third time, at which point instead of watching the broad strokes of the story you instead focus on more of the details, it occurred to me that not only is Rogue One interesting in the fact that it kills off its entire leading cast (yes I said there were spoilers don’t complain that I didn’t warn you) but also how it kills them. Now of course, as most people know, there were extensive reshoots with Rogue One which may have drastically changed the outcome of how characters died, but that is a discussion for another day, today we will just be focusing on the movie as it is in cinemas.
So it has now been six months since the release of the seventh Star Wars film, and indeed given that it is now out on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Download etc, and also given that today is the May the Fourth, I think it is a good time to re-engage with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Given the low bar that was the Prequels, where we just caught up in the notion of “it’s better than them, well that means it was a fantastic film”, or now with some distance and time (and the dulling of nostalgia) will we find it does not live up to the hype we placed on it? So of course just to be clear there will be full spoilers in this article, so if you have not watched it then now is the time to go make some tea and contemplate the universe.
So within the space of a month, we have two films from two competing companies based on the same premise and one was amazing and the other was a bit crap. So the question is what Captain America Civil War do better than Batman v Superman, and why did this make such a big difference?
The first thing is Captain America is the 13 film, and only now are they starting to get their main characters to fight each other. With BvS it is literally the second film in the series, Batman and Superman might be classic characters of cinema but you have never really had them interacting with each other before. Because of this, there is no history that gives the battle between Superman and Batman any weight, meanwhile, we have gotten to know Captain America, Iron Man and the whole cast so when they fight it means something.
TL;DR – Why do we play Shooter Video Games?, Why do we want to be a hero?, Can we understand?
Spec Ops: The Line was billed as a middle of the road shooter, which was released in 2012 to not much fanfare by its publisher. It wasn’t technically impressive, the only really new thing was sand physics, which were, well something a bit new. The controls were clunky, and even for its time the presentation felt old, enemies appearing from monster closets (or in this case monster shipping containers), the guns and action felt not as refined as its contemporaries, the level design had some issues ‘look a bunch of chest high walls, looks like we are going to have to fight now’ and it does not hold up as well on a second play through (which I did to put together this retrospective). Yet this semester when I have been teaching Media and War at University I have had many long conversations about this game and the profound impact it had on me and the impact it had (or should have had) on the genre.