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The good parts of Jurassic World

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I may have given off the impression in my last article that I didn’t like Jurassic World. I did like it – it just wasn’t amazing. It had plenty of problems but it had some good parts as well, so for the sake of fairness, here’s a list of those good parts. Again, spoilers ahead.

1. The kids weren’t annoying

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Well done, you two. You were tolerable. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

Name the last film you watched that had a child or children that weren’t incredibly annoying. It’s hard, isn’t it? For whatever reason, be it the writing or the acting, kid characters tend to draw a lot of ire from audiences, sometimes to the point where they want the big scary monster to eat them just so they’d stop talking.  Fortunately, Jurassic World avoids that pitfall.

I shared some grievances regarding the kids in the last article, but overall they weren’t terrible. When it came down to it, they never felt like excess baggage, dragging the rest of the cast down and endangering them. They successfully avoided being eaten by the Indominus, and during one of the last escape scenes, they kept the raptors at bay. They actually contributed instead of standing and screaming whilst somebody else saved them.

I’ve also got to give credit to Ty Simpkins, who played the younger brother, Gray. His character may have been a tad generic but he gave a really good performance, especially when he’s running around the park. He captures the excitement a dinosaur geek would probably have at a dinosaur theme park where you can see real dinosaurs. When he constantly runs ahead of his brother, I wasn’t like “Ugh, stop running off.” I was like “Yeah, I’d probably do the same thing.”

2. Jurassic World looks like a real theme park

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Now where’s Splash Mountain? … Wait, wrong park.

When we get our first glimpse of Jurassic World, I was genuinely surprised by how much it looked like a theme park. There was just something about the layout of all the shops and the like in that first shot that I can’t explain. It had things that a dinosaur theme park would have – a safari, a petting zoo, a Seaworld-esque performance (only with a very big and very hungry sea dinosaur).

I even found myself interested in all the business talk. How weird and sad is that? I wouldn’t want a whole film all about the business side of it but what we saw actually pulled me in. Claire talks about how they had to make their own attractions because people were getting bored with the regular dinosaurs. That blew my mind. Of course people would get bored of real-life dinosaurs after a few years. It all managed to make the park seem more real; an impressive feat considering all the CGI dinosaurs running about.

3. Claire’s character arc

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Makes you forget she was in Spiderman 3, doesn’t it?

While it could have been handled a lot better, Claire’s development was decent enough. Character development is always great, especially when it involves a well-dressed professional suddenly becoming a bit of a badass. The moment her nephews are in danger, Claire, despite having drifted away from them over the years, immediately runs in to find them, even if she needs Chris Pratt’s… I mean Owen’s help. And while she’s justifiably terrified of the rogue dinos, there’s a point where she stops caring – she’s been hounded by these things all day along and she’s just had enough.

Sadly, she doesn’t quite get enough cool moments for herself. She shoots a dinosaur off of Owen (which was pretty great) and then there’s her releasing the T-Rex and acting as bait to lure it. And she does all this in high-heels. For some reason, I think that’s awesome, maybe (at the risk of becoming over-analytical) it shows how a woman can get heavily involved with the action and be ‘strong’ without discarding all of their feminine traits. It’s also really impressive – it doesn’t look easy to run around in high-heels.

4. The Indominus could be threatening

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The most over-powered dinosaur ever? Probably.

Again, I complained about how the Indominus Rex would stop being intelligent in accordance with the script, but when we first see it, it succeeds at being intimidating and scary. While not as big as I had hoped, the moment we see that it climbed out of it’s pen, I was worried. And then it turns out it didn’t climb out – it tricked everybody into thinking it left. That is a smart dinosaur and that is terrifying.

Later on, we learn that it knew where its tracker was and pulled it out. We learn that it knows how to camouflage itself. And in the final third, it shows its able to communicate with raptors. Having it be a hodge-podge of DNA and having it understand what it’s capable of and use it effectively was much scarier than just having it be just another big dino. Hopefully, the next movie can do something similar but use it to its full extent, rather than choosing when the dinosaur is a threat.

5. The final battle was goofy

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The T-Rex is actually powered by the nostalgia of Jurassic Park fans.

I remember seeing that scene of Owen riding his motorbike alongside the raptors in the trailer and thinking “Wow, this looks really dumb and I kind of love it. Hope the rest of the film is this silly.” Sadly, it wasn’t. Even when we got to that scene, I wasn’t pumped like I thought I would be. But it was all worth it for that final confrontation with the Indominus.

So the Indominus has turned Owen’s raptors against him and they’ve killed a number of soldiers and the army bad guy. They’ve corned all our main protagonists but Owen chooses to reach out to them. He may as well have said “Remember who you are” because that’s what he’s doing. And it bloody works!

Next thing you know, the raptors have turned on the Indominus. Most of them, however, are killed. It’s clear that they’re not strong enough. So Claire runs to get the aforementioned T-Rex, who attacks the Indominus. It’s a brutal fight but it’s clear that the Indominus is going to win. The T-Rex is knocked to the ground, with the Indominus ready to deal the final blow…

When the last raptor runs round a corner in slow motion with triumphant music and leaps onto the Indominus. The T-Rex gets its second wind and the two work together to defeat the Indominus, knocking it near the pool where the giant sea dino jumps out to eat it.

So, naturally, with the Indominus dead, the T-Rex and the raptor start fighting, right? No. Instead, they stare at each other for a bit before the Rex slowly walks away into the jungle. I was hoping it would bow to the raptor out of respect. It was so cartoony that the only way it could’ve been better if the Rex said “You fought with honour and bravery.” Well, I think that would’ve made it better.

And then to top it off, Owen tells his beloved raptor to leave. For a brief moment, the film wants you to feel for the raptor, forced to go out on its own. All that was missing was a single tear falling from Owen’s eyes as the raptor took off.

Words do not do this scene justice so if you need one reason to go watch Jurassic World, this scene is that very reason you’ve been looking for.

Michael is a graduate from Brunel University, where he studied Computer Games Design and Creative Writing. He denies claims that he did it just to give him an excuse to play videogames. He usually has something to say on the latest news in gaming, film and TV, even if no one wants to hear it.

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Are you eagerly anticipating what Absurd Ventures has in store for us in the coming years

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Activision has recently announced the establishment of a new studio, Elsewhere Entertainment, located in Warsaw. The studio has been entrusted with the exciting challenge of creating a groundbreaking AAA franchise that will captivate players with its immersive storytelling and innovative gameplay. A significant number of employees were let go by the large corporation after the completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King earlier this year.

According to IGN, Activision made the announcement in a blog post, sharing that the team will be based in Poland with additional resources in the US. The studio has assembled a team of highly skilled individuals who have worked on acclaimed titles such as The Last of Us, Uncharted, The Witcher, Destiny, Far Cry, and Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Activision’s response to IGN’s request for a studio logo or official artwork was rather unconventional. Instead of providing the requested materials, they sent over the Cambridge University dictionary definition of the word “elsewhere.”. However, with a discerning eye, one may catch a glimpse of something lurking in the background. The publication acknowledges that, whatever it may be, it has no connection to Call of Duty. Elsewhere Entertainment has been granted full access to Activision’s extensive resources and cutting-edge tools, enabling them to further enhance their production and development capabilities. We may have to wait a while before we find out what they have in store for us.

Curious about Activision’s latest venture, Elsewhere Entertainment? Opening a new studio after numerous layoffs—is it a tasteless move or simply another harsh reality of the video game industry? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Rockstar Co-Founder Dan Houser is currently working on the development of an exciting new ‘Open World Action-Adventure’ game

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Last year, we reported that Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser had launched a new studio called Absurd Ventures, with the aim of developing original IP for all platforms and formats. The new outfit has recently started development on a game that boasts top-notch combat and third-person action in a variety of game modes.

This information is available, as Eurogamer discovered, from a recent job listing on the developer’s website. The company is looking for more people to join their team and contribute to an “open-world action-adventure game.”. According to Eurogamer, it seems that the project they are working on is still in its early stages. They are currently in the process of hiring for important positions like lead designer, lead gameplay designer, art director, and technical director.

Absurd Venture is dedicated to crafting immersive narrative experiences across a wide range of mediums, such as games, animation, books, graphic novels, live-action, and scripted podcasts. Their mission is to create captivating worlds, compelling characters, and engaging stories that span diverse genres. The former vice president of writing at Rockstar, who co-wrote both Red Dead Redemption games, has recently joined the studio. Additionally, Lazlow Jones, a former writer and producer at Rockstar, has also come on board.

Are you eagerly anticipating what Absurd Ventures has in store for us in the coming years? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Assassin’s Creed Shadows, the physical version, requires an online connection for installation

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Players who choose to go with a physical copy of the recently announced Assassin’s Creed Shadows will need an Internet connection in order to finish the installation. This is unlikely to pose a problem for most Ubisoft fans, but it does align with a trend that is worth mentioning. It follows a requirement that was initially introduced in 2023’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and will also be the case with the upcoming Star Wars Outlaws.

As reported by VGC, pre-orders for the game are now available, and a notice on the front box art at retailers such as Best Buy and GameStop states: “Internet connection is necessary for game installation.” For Avatar, players had to install a day-one patch before being able to start the game. However, both Shadows and Outlaws come with a warning prominently displayed on the front of the box.

The lack of a clear explanation for this requirement raises concerns about the long-term preservation of the game, particularly if the servers are eventually shut down. In December, Ubisoft made the decision to delist the original The Crew, effectively ending its run. This unfortunate event may not be the last time we see a game meet a similar fate.

What are your thoughts on Ubisoft’s requirement of an online connection for the installation of its flagship games? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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