It’s been a long time coming but I have finally got an h-card sorted on my homepage. Back on the Indieweb train!

Thoughts on A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most recognisable titles in cinema – as is it’s villain, and star, Freddy Krueger. I felt the urge to re-watch this film after my recently-formed gaming obsession with Dead By Daylight. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that much of the film still holds up to modern viewing.

What is A Nightmare on Elm Street about?

Behind the scenes on A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street follows four high-school kids, who are all experiencing almost identical nightmares. Nightmares about a mysterious burnt man in an old jumper and hat with knives for fingers. This figure is none other than one of cinema’s most charismatic antagonists – Freddy Krueger.

Freddy has long been dead, but has since returned to feed on children’s fear within their dreams in order to kill them. While alive, Freddy was exclusively a child killer – and possibly worse in the originally draft – which makes him one of the most despicable of his contemporary killers. Yet, perhaps intentionally, this is juxtaposed with his bouncy, playful actions and the fact that through the course of his films people have come to regard Freddy as a “cool character”.

It isn’t long until one of the children Freddy is hunting, Nancy, takes it upon herself to stand up and fight back against him. This ultimately leads to a showdown where you’ll want to throw your fists up and shout “Fuck Yer, Nancy!”.

A Nightmare on Elm Street artwork

The Effects still hold up

When the Matrix came out in 1999 it blew most people away with its cutting-edge, computed-generated, effects. Less than ten years later and those effects sure did start to look dated – more so now. However, with films that focused on created actual physical effects, this dated effect is lessened quite substantially in my opinion.

A Nightmare on Elm Street, although cheesy in parts, still holds up strongly with its physical effects. Especially those bedroom death scenes from both the start and end of the film. R.I.P. Johnny. And Freddy is every bit as menacing and full of charisma as I’d remembered from watching it years ago.

Nancy in the bath
Nancy in that famous bathtub scene

It’s great when modern films take a leaf out of the books of films like this one. You really can’t beat the authenticity of good-old physical effects. Especially in horror.

A personal favourite favourite of mine of all the film’s effects, is when Nancy is asleep at Tina’s house. Freddy can be seen pushing his way through the over-arching bedroom wall from the other side. And although it’s not too difficult to work out how this could be achieved it is still effing terrifying and highly effective.

Freddy is still rock n roll

Nancy and Freddy

Freddy Krueger is one of those pop culture horror icons who sits beside all of the greats. He sits with characters such as Michael Myers; Pinhead; Jason and Leatherface. He was played so perfectly by Robert Englund and like Doug Bradley for pinhead, will always be tightly linked to his seminal role.

Interestingly what differs Freddy from many of his contemporaries, is his sense of humour and playfulness with his victims. Michael Myers was a silent shape in the darkness; Jason too was silent; Pinhead spoke only in a deep, almost poetic manner. But Freddy just toys with his victims in his cheeky, tormenting way.

Freddy has been a really fun villain to revisit and I’m looking forward to re-watching the other films too. This includes one I’ve never seen before – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. I’ve heard good things about it so will get a hold of that when I can.

In Summary

A great horror film that I think still holds strong today. Wes Craven unknowingly created an icon that would go on to become a household name – like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Coca Cola.

If you’ve never before seen A Nightmare on Elm Street, I urge you to give it a watch. Yes there are some aspects of it that will be dated, such as the fashions and the acting in places. But this really is an important horror film like all of the top films lists repeat. You wont sleep easy till you watch this film.

Interview with Katy Bentz (Steph Gingrich in Life is Strange Before the Storm)

Life is Strange Before the Storm re-acquainted us with some of the characters we had come to love from the original game. But not only that, we got introduced to some new characters also. A favourite of a lot of peoples, myself included, was Steph Gingrich. She’s the girl who you really need to take the time and play D&D with in episode 1.

Steph is played brilliantly by the talented, and always-funny, Katy Bentz. Katy has been building up quite the following, which includes too her growing YouTube channel. Every video she makes is a joy to watch. I was blessed to be able to send Katy some questions – a lot of the same questions that I also asked in my recent Interview with Kylie Brown – that she very quickly replied back with.

The Interview

Please tell us about yourself in as many or as little words as you like.
I am an actor living in Los Angeles, California. Just passed my year mark of living in the city of hustle! I’m outgoing, independent, determined, strong-willed, caring, and passionate. I enjoy to find the simple things in life, as silly as that may sound. We can get so caught up in our day-to-day life that we forget about walks around the block, or watching the sunset. My favorite color is blue and I love Dolphins! 😊
What is your favourite Book?
Not much of a reader, but I read White Oleander for one act in high school and I really enjoyed it. I do love to read self helps books though!
What is your favourite Album?
Omg! Too many. Probably a Say Anything Album. I love anything pop punk!
What is your favourite Film?
(500) Days of Summer anyone? 😊
What is your favourite TV Show?
I really like That 70’s Show. The 100 and Under the Dome are some others I have really enjoyed.
Do you have a favourite film/tv/musical soundtrack?
Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome! But also The Legally Blonde Musical Soundtrack….I know I am all over the place!
What poster / posters do you remember having on your walls growing up?
I had way too many animal posters haha and these two weird ocean space posters…I know…interesting. Oh! And a Backstreet Boys poster where I circled Nick’s face and drew on the other members haha
You’re walking somewhere and your mp3 player has only a little battery left; You’ve only got time for one more song. What song do you play?
Oh man. Too many options. I get on song kicks, where I find songs and listen to them over and over until I can’t anymore haha, so I would say out of my current mix…Touch by Little Mix, such a feel good song!
Was there any defining moment in your life when you knew that you wanted to be an actor and model?
In High School when I was still finding my place amid being a teenager, I quit the dance team and joined the drama club and I’m not sure that that was when I knew I wanted to be an actor. But that was the moment where I felt like I could finally be myself and that my peers weren’t going to judge me. And that was the start of my passion for the arts and everything it stood for.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
Life is Strange: Before the Storm, hands down. I have never felt so amazing about a certain role and I get to see the affect this game and my character have on the players and it’s the greatest feeling.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Works harder than you think you need to work.
Growing up, who were your heroes?
My mom and my peers around me. I never looked very far for influences in my life. My mom meant and still means a lot to me and I always look to her for guidance. One of my best friends in high school was two years older than me and in the drama club. She was someone I strived to be like. She is still my best friend to this day and someone I am riding this journey with, and it’s amazing.
Who is your biggest influence in how you approach what you do today?
My mom again haha and past and current relationships. I feel like the people I am closest with are the ones that see all of me and because they are close to me, they can be honest with me about things that I may need to do differently.
If you could ask any person – living or passed – any question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Honestly, any elder person. And I would want to ask them what advice they’d give their 25 year old self.
In Chloe Price’s journal she writes: “I can never decide if Steph is the coolest or nerdiest person in all of Blackwell.”. What would you say to that? Coolest or Nerdiest?
Coolest!
With Steph being a new character in the already established world of Arcadia Bay, did you feel any pressure in stepping into that world for the first time?
Not at all! I didn’t know the story line prior to recording for Steph, so I came in with a fresh mind, ready to bring the character to life.
Are there any causes / projects that you would like to raise an awareness of to the readers here?
There aren’t specific projects or organizations off the top of my head, but I am a big supporter of anti-bullying projects and efforts. Bullying was a huge thing when I was growing up and I can only imagine what kids in schools are going through now.
Could you tell us a joke?
What’s a plumber’s favorite drug? Crack! I just made that up! Pretty good? haha

Interview with Kylie Brown (Rachel Amber in Life is Strange Before the Storm)

The character of Rachel Amber has been brought to life, in ways we couldn’t even imagine, by the very talented Kylie Brown.

Rachel Amber was but a memory that we caught glimpses of through the eyes of Max’s best friend, Chloe, in Life Is Strange. But now that we have witnessed the events that brought Chloe and Rachel together in Life Is Strange Before the Storm, we can share in those memories together.

I have been lucky enough to be able to ask Kylie Brown some questions about herself, her life and her approach to her craft.

The Interview

Please tell us about yourself in as many or as little words as you like.
Lazily active and very passionate.
Who is your biggest influence in how you approach what you do today?
Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Hanks. I’ve always said that I want a career like Jennifer Lawrence where I go from being in movies that go to comic-con to movies that are Oscar nominated. And Tom Hanks where I can own any role that comes my way.
What inspires you?
I don’t think there’s any one thing that inspires me. There’s a lot of things that do. Like a simple walk around my home town, staring at the Hollywood sign, watching a movie in the theaters, my parents, my friends, watching BTS footage from a movie. Inspiration is everywhere for me.
What annoys you more than anything else in the world?
When people talk during a movie/tv show that I’m watching. I literally hate it …so much… so very much. Just don’t do it.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
I would definitely have to say Life is Strange: Before the Storm is my proudest moment in my career right now, it was so far from my normal acting jobs and I had such a blast filming it and watching it take off.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
You’re on the right track kid, just keep going for your dreams, you’ll get there.
If you could ask any person – living or passed – any question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would ask Jennifer Lawrence, “What’s your favorite kind of pizza?”
Rachel Amber is someone we’ve known for a long time now. We’ve gotten to know her through word of mouth and other characters’ experiences but we’ve never met her. Is there a lot of pressure to portray this brand new person to fit with the Rachel Amber people already feel that they know?
Rachel Amber Missing Poster
Rachel Amber Missing Poster from Life Is Strange

Well yeah! There’s a ton of pressure! Rachel was portrayed as this woman who’s out of this world, and here I am…on earth. I mean really, even her NAME is kickass. Rachel Amber. Like, what?!? My biggest fear was not doing right by the fans, and all I can say now is that I am so honored the Life is Strange community has accepted and welcomed me as their Rachel.

What is your favourite Book?
1984 by George Orwell
What is your favourite Album?
Uhhhhh, the last FULL album I’ve ever listened to was from the Jonas Brothers….so I guess the Jonas Brothers Lines, Vines and Trying Times album? If musicals count as albums, then definitely Hamilton.
What is your favourite Film?
Depends on the genre really.

  • Action (which is my favorite genre): any marvel movie that just came out
  • Drama: Silver Linings Playbook
  • Comedy: Baywatch
  • War (or historical): Saving Private Ryan
What is your favourite TV Show?
Will & Grace (I’m currently watching it as I write this) and Game of Thrones
Do you have a favourite film/tv/musical soundtrack?
I LOVE movie scores and I can’t pick a favorite. But probably Jurassic Park.
Is there anything that you are binge listening to / watching at the moment?
HAMILTON and I just finished binge watching a new comedy on Netflix called The Good Place
You’re walking somewhere and your mp3 player / phone has only a little battery left; You’ve only got time for one more song. What song do you play?
Hakuna Matata from the Lion King so that way if it dies in the middle off the song, I’ll still be singing it at the top of my lungs giving everyone a show.
What was the first poster you ever had on your wall?
Oh wow, I don’t know. I first moved into my house when I was two and my room was decorated like a princess room. Pink walls, princess bedding and princess posters. So I’m guessing the first poster to be on my walls was a princess one that had a princess saying on it.
Could you tell us two truths and a lie?
  1. I’ve known my best friend since kindergarten and we’re still best friends.
  2. I broke my leg three times in two years due to soccer, snowboarding, and climbing on my roof.
  3. I grew up with three boys across the street from me and we would play army and have airsoft wars and one day I got shot right next to my tear duct and was forced to wear goggles every time after that.

*Answers at the bottom of the page.

Do you have any announcements or causes you’d like to raise an awareness of?
I’m a huge advocate for anti-bullying. I was a safe school ambassador at my high school where we would step in and speak up if we saw bullying going on and it saddened me to see how much was going on. And it saddens me even more seeing how much bullying is going on in this world right now, I always thought it stopped when we graduated high school. Bullying is so pointless to me, we are all human beings, we all have stories that no one is aware of, we all have pain that no one understands. No matter what you are feeling, it is valid, no matter what you are going through, I’m here for you. I don’t care if you are halfway across the world, you matter and you are cared for. And if you see someone getting bullied, please speak up. Stand up for your peer. Let them know they are not alone. If we all do that, this world will be a happier place.

*Answers to the two truths and a lie question

Question Truth or Lie?
1 Truth
2 Lie (I’ve never broken anything but my toe one time)
3 Truth

Life is Strange: Before the storm episode 3 (Hell is Empty)

It doesn’t seem like too long ago since Life is Strange Before the Storm was first announced. Now here I am writing up my thoughts on it’s heart-felt, bittersweet conclusion.

In this final episode we follow Chloe as she works to uncover the truth, and whereabouts, of Rachel Amber’s birth mother. As she does so, she manages to uncover some dark truths about certain characters. As we’ve learnt from previous events in this game, most things can’t simply come down to just good or bad; right or wrong. It tends to be dependant on a given character’s perspective.

I’m a little sad that this game has come to its end. However, we do still have the bonus episode with Max and Chloe to look forward to early in the new year.

Everyone has good and bad

Rachel Amber and Chloe Price
Rachel Amber and Chloe Price

Life Is Strange Before the Storm is a game that is great at showing how all people have both good and bad sides. All the characters here are as fully fleshed out as we have come to expect in Arcadia Bay. We’ve seen Chloe do bad things and let people get hurt – but for her love of Rachel. We’ve seen David and his militarist approach to parenting – but then in episode 3 we actually see him soften somewhat to meet Chloe on a middle ground.

But the characters I found perhaps most interesting in forms of their actions and moral compasses, are Rachel’s (birth) mother and father.

Rachel’s father goes through many different guises through Chloe’s eyes as the more she uncovers, the more she learns of his actions and motives – motives that are perhaps ill-advised at times. Meanwhile her Mother, who is initially painted as the bad guy, gets a chance to speak for herself later on. She is a woman who has made mistakes, sure, but who is now willing to give up everything for what she feels is right.

Rachel Amber and Chloe Price photos
Rachel and Chloe posing for photos

You will have a hard choice to make at the end of this episode, which will hinge on whether you want to do what’s right, or what’s good.

The world of Life Is Strange is well known now for its ability to show us fully fleshed-out characters. People who at first appear one way, but later – after the peeling back of layers – show us that there is so much more beneath. In good ways and bad. Before the Storm has continued this tradition with flying colours.

So much more than a prequel

Life Is Strange Before The Storm is just as good, sometimes even better in my opinion, than its predecessor. The focus in on Chloe and Rachel’s blossoming relationship has been an absolute joy to watch. I think now, after seeing their meeting and subsequent story together, that playing through the original game will be a fresh experience. Rachel is no longer just a face on a missing persons poster. Rachel is a complex young woman whose very presence seemed to bring out the best in people – not least of all Chloe Price.

Chloe investigating Frank's trailer
Chloe investigating Frank’s trailer

What impressed me also about the developer’s approach to this story, is that it is not just a prequel that is heading towards what we know comes later. These three episodes are completely self-contained and serve their own narrative, which is done extremely well. I love how there is still enough time between the end of this game and the beginning of the original. Maybe we will see some more stories in the near future?

P.S. Stick around till after the credits

Make sure you stick around till the end of the credits on this one. Where in previous episodes there would have been the next trailer, we are instead shown something entirely different. Something that still makes my skin crawl now, just thinking about it.

Damn you Deck Nine!

Blue Lips [Lady Wood Phase 2] by Tove Lo

A continuation of Lady Wood

Lady Wood was one of my favourite albums from last year and still gets regular plays in my headphones. I was excited to say the least when I heard about Tove Lo’s follow-up Blue Lips [Lady Wood Phase 2].

This album felt more akin to the sweaty underground night clubs I imagine with her music. The kind of clubs where people are pressed tightly together; almost tasting each other’s sweat. The previous album had these moments but Blue Lips felt like these aesthetics were brought more into the foreground. The album’s intro and following lead single, ‘Disco Tits’, gave me the impression that a more deep bass / drum-driven collection of songs were contained.

There was a song from Tove Lo’s short film Fairy Dust, specifically the closing scene… that closing scene, that I didn’t recognise at the time. So I loved it when that very song, ‘bitches’,  came punching through my headphones to close off this album’s first half.

It’s not all boom boom boom

Although I like a good punchy beat-driven album now and again, I was relieved when I heard ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’, the album’s fifth track. It’s proof that she knows, as she sings on Disco Tits, how to dial it back. ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’ is more focused on her beautiful vocals and the direct message of acceptance she’s delivering to her other half in the song.

And baby, don’t ask, then don’t tell
Already know you’re fucked up
And it’s cool with me
My past and don’t ask and don’t tell
No need to share too much
Come on, let it be, ah (and baby)
dont ask dont tell – Tove Lo

This feeling is continued later in the album with the reminiscent ‘9th of October’, which actually started life as a poem that Tove wrote on her Birthday. This, along with the album’s closing track, ‘hey you got drugs?’, are two of my favourite songs from the album.

NSFW (not safe for work)

As I’ve come to expect from Tove Lo’s work, there is a high degree of sexual content in these songs. She’s definitely an artist who goes to places that other artists I listen to don’t. She’s not afraid of exposing herself, both physically and mentally, for her art and I respect that. I say that, not as a pervy guy just looking for filth, but as someone in admiration for her honesty and close to the bone approach to music.

Singers often sing about sadness; happiness; fear; love. But very rarely do they venture into the realms of the sexual. This too is an important part of what it means to be human, so why shouldn’t artists explore these issues too? Tove Lo seems to make up for the more reserved artists by spending a good portion of her album there.

In Summary

As great an album as I have come to expect from Tove, following her Lady Wood. Blue Lips is the continuation of her exploration and revelations in her relationships and the emotions they bring. Although I didn’t find this album as accessible initially, I still love to listen to it when the mood hits me right. And don’t take me to mean less accessible as a bad thing – it’s not. I just find Lady Wood a lot easier to listen to at any time, whereas Blue lips has its time and place for me.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Blood Ties on PSVR

Rise of the Tomb Raider Blood Ties came with the base game as part of the Tomb Raider 20 year celebration. I have previous written about my love for Rise of the Tomb Raider. However, I was not prepared for just how amazing the Blood Ties DLC would be in PlayStation VR.

The same blood ties story

Blood Ties on PlayStation VR is the same story as the normal version. The only difference is that you get to see through the eyes of Lara Croft in the fully immersive environment of Croft Manor. And wow – what a difference it makes. I loved the DLC as it was – I had bought it originally on Steam and played it straight through. But my first job with any new console is always to buy a Tomb Raider game. So with my PlayStation 4 Pro, I bought Rise of the Tomb Raider 20th year celebration.

Lara Croft in Croft Manor
Lara Croft in Croft Manor

The story line has you exploring the manor in order to find her father’s will. Her uncle, Atlas, claims ownership over the manor and so Ms Croft must uncover the will in order to save it. The insights into Lara’s past are interesting as you explore the various areas of the manor. I particularly found the mention of locking the butler, Winston, in the fridge particularly funny. This was a reference to the popular past time for many players of both Tomb Raider 2 and 3.

Also worth mentioning is the gramophone that you can turn on in the library. This will then trigger the playing of the popular Venice theme from Tomb Raider 2. Written by the hugely talented Nathan McCree.

You can taste the rain

Standing in the main foyer of Croft Manor is still one of my favourite things to do on PlayStation VR. Looking around at the beautiful architecture then up to the hole in the vaulted ceiling, I could almost taste the rain coming in. Just standing atop of the bookcases, looking down at the library, just fills me with awe at what the game developers have achieved with this DLC.

The story will take you to all the corners of the manor. Each and every nook and cranny pulled me in for closer inspection. The most atmospheric area for me was the cellar. Not only was the use of the PlayStation controller to control the flashlight highly effective, but I could feel Lara’s trepidation exploring these lower regions of the manor. If I didn’t already know what happens in this DLC, I’d have been scared walking around down there.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Blood Ties Library
Rise of the Tomb Raider Blood Ties Library

Levels of comfort

Like with many of the PlayStation VR releases, there are different levels of comfort available when playing through Blood Ties. The big one is the two options of movement. You can either use the teleport function, which is enabled by default, or use the free roaming option.

Teleport

Using the teleport option allows you to use the controller to gesture on screen where you want Lara to jump to. She doesn’t physically jump there, but there is a smooth use of a fade between the start and end point. If you are worried about motion sickness then this is the best option for you.

Free roaming

Free roaming is just as it sounds – free walking about the manor in the first-person perspective. This is so awesome to experience, however, I did begin to get motion sickness when I would turn one way whilst glancing around another. It was a similar feeling to when I would read a book in a moving car when I was a child. It is definitely worth trying out this option for a short time though – or longer if you can handle it.

In Summary

Rise of the Tomb Raider Blood Ties is absolutely effing incredible in PlayStation VR. In fact, it was incredible anyway – the VR aspect just enhances it to the nth degree. There really is no feeling like being Lara Croft for a while, wandering around the derelict halls uncovering her family story.

I am really looking forward to the next Tomb Raider game that was just announced. I am praying that the developers come up with even more exciting and awe-inspiring ways of incorporating the PlayStation VR experience into Lara’s world in her next adventure.

Charlie Boy (Hammer House of Horror episode 5)

What is Charlie Boy about?

Close up of Charlie Boy
Close up of Charlie Boy

Charlie boy is about a couple, Graham and Sarah, who come into possession of an African idol after Graham’s uncle dies. (Sarah gives the idol the name Charlie Boy). Unbeknown to the couple, the idol is cursed and is in fact a voodoo statue.

After a disagreement with his brother, Graham – sitting at home nursing a drink – takes out his anger on the Statue. He does this as he is looking at a photograph of five close friends, himself and his brother included. The rest of the episode is then about the systematic killing (or accidental deaths) of all who appear in said photograph in the order they appear.

The episode had some juicy deaths in its 51 minutes including a man getting thrown off a horse and on to some plough spikes. Others I can’t reveal for fear of spoiling aspects of it for you, should you choose to watch it. This story is one of the grimmest to watch overall – nobody really has a good time in this one. That being said I do enjoy a good downer of a story – there’s no light without shade.

A weaker example of the series

Charlie Boy had some potential to be a great episode but unfortunately fell a bit short for me. One big thing that let it down was the soundtrack. At times the music felt like it belonged somewhere between Confessions of a Window Cleaner and Foxy Brown. It’s a shame because the idea itself was a sound one that fits with the rest of the series well. It just seemed to be poorly executed by people who had no real vision of what Hammer Horror is.

Graham and Sarah examine Charlie Boy
Graham and Sarah examine Charlie Boy

In Summary

This is one episode of The Hammer House of Horror that I think you could comfortably miss. It does have some redeeming qualities, such as a higher death count to previous episodes. So it isn’t all doom and gloom. But yer, not the best one.

CategoriesTV

Dead by Daylight – The Survival Instinct

What is Dead By Daylight about?

Dead By Daylight is a 4 versus 1 multiplayer game that sets one killer against four would-be survivors. You make the choice as to whether you want to kill or try to survive, after which you are placed in a match group to begin. The killer spends the match hunting down the survivors and trying to impale them on one of the many hooks around the game area. The survivors must avoid and outsmart the killer as they repair generators dotted about the map. Once five generators have been fixed, they can then open the exit and escape.

This article will focus on the surviving aspect of the game as this is my personal favourite.

Survive the night – anatomy of a survivor’s match

As one of four survivors, you will be placed in a random place in the randomly generated game area. The game area is pretty big, but it never ceases to feel claustrophobic. You are all locked within this area and must power up five generators in order to give power to the exit gates.

Generators are easily spotted as they have tall poles with broken lights at the top. Fixing the generators is done by holding R1 for what will seem like forever. However, every few seconds or so you may trigger a random skill check. A skill check is a small quick time event where you must hit L1 at the right time as a pointer moves around an on-screen dial. A small portion of that dial is highlighted and you must tap L1 when the pointer passes through it. Failing this will cause a bang, alerting the Killer to your whereabouts. Succeeding will give you bonus blood points.

Once all five generators are fixed the exit gates will be given power. You must then get to one of the gates and hold R1 at the gate switch in order open it. There are no skill checks for the exit gate but the gate does make one hell of a noise. One of the most excruciating experiences in Dead By Daylight is when you get to the exit gate, are half way through opening it, and all of a sudden the killer’s heartbeat begins beating loudly in your ears.

Falling victim to the Trapper
Falling victim to the Trapper

You are always rewarded for your actions

Generator in Dead By Daylight
Generators in Dead By Daylight can be hard to see for the untrained eye.

Even if you killed, you will still be rewarded blood points for all of your actions in the match. Of course you will get more for surviving, but pretty much every action you perform in the game will reward you with progression points.

You are given blood points for many actions throughout each match:

  • Repairing generators.
  • Correctly hitting the skill checks.
  • Healing your team mates.
  • Reuniting with you team mates across the game area.
  • escaping the killer’s terror radius after being in it (You will hear the killer’s heart beat when you are within it).
  • Keeping yourself alive when impaled on a hook.
The Bloodweb
The Bloodweb allows you to spend blood points for your character’s progression.

These blood points can then be spent on the game’s progression table. This table, known as the Bloodweb, is where you choose which items and skills to purchase for your character. Once the Bloodweb is finished you will advance to the next level. In later levels you wont be able to buy all items on the Bloodweb. Instead something called the entity will take one away with each of your choices. So your Bloodweb choices become more strategic later on.

It’s all about tactics

If the killer spots you and you simply try and outrun him / her, you’re going to die. What you need to learn instead, is how to use the environment to your advantage. Granted, this will take some time and learning the hard way, but there are certain things to know to try and maximise your life expectancy.

Firstly, crouching is king for me. I never stand out in the open – only when I’m behind a tree and even then I’ll probably be crouching. This just means there is less of you to be seen by the killer. Also worth remembering is that survivors play from a 3rd person perspective – so you can peek around corners and over walls without stepping out. The killer, however, has a 1st person perspective – so they are limited to what is directly in front of them. There have been many times when the killer has walked right past me with nothing between us and simply not seen me. Oh – and I was crouching too.

Meg walking lightly on Coldwind Farm
Meg walking lightly on Coldwind Farm

Also keep the noise down. Sprinting and vaulting through windows fast will make noise that the killer can hear. Try to only sprint when you know the killer is far away from you. Lockers are also spread around the map that you can hide in. Be advised though – lockers can be searched and there’s no escape if the killer pulls you out. Be careful not to stay in the same place too long as well. If you decide to remain still, crows will start circling above your head again helping to point out your location to the killer.

There are a couple of ways to defend yourself if you find your self being pursued. Flashlights can be taken into the game and even found in chests hidden on the map. These flashlights can be used to shine into the killer’s face and stun them. I have found this a bit hit and miss for me. However, when I play as Killer, works really well against me – I guess it comes down to practice like all things in this game. You can also pull down wooden pallets as you run past them to block the killer behind you, and potentially stun them. The killer will have to either find another way around to you, allowing you more time to hide; or break it up, which will take precious time for him / her.

In Summary

When I first started playing this game on Steam I was so scared being a survivor. The close-quarter nature of the game and the array of blind corners through out, coupled with no knowledge of the game’s mechanics, made for a terrifying experience. However, I find it to be more and more fun with each match, now that I have gotten used to the game.

I actually re-bought the game on PS4 and now find it even more fun. My tactic is pretty much crouch everywhere and holding L2 is a hell of a lot more comfortable than holding the shift key with my little finger.

The scares never really go away, but they were definitely reduced for me to a more comfortable playing level as time went on.

Resident Evil Kitchen Demo on PSVR

The Resident Evil Kitchen Demo is a little taster that Capcom put out around the release of Resident Evil 7. It shows off, in its short five minutes of game play, the pure horror potential for Playstation VR, and indeed VR in general.

What happens in the Resident Evil Kitchen Demo?

You spend the entirety of the demo strapped to an old wooden chair in a completely run-down kitchen. The Kitchen gave me similar vibes to the Peacock house from the infamous X-Files episode, ‘Home’. Just sitting there in the chair, both my real-life chair and the in-game chair, looking down at my bound-hands, I was already bricking it.

It felt very much like the start of the original saw film too, in that I had essentially woken up with no recollection of how I got there.

X Files Episode Home
The Peacock’s house from The X Files Episode ‘Home’

Once you figure out how to wake your friend up off the floor, he slowly gets up and tries to untie you. This is where my first palpable fears manifested. Behind him, moving in the shadows of the corridor, I could see a figure. A figure that no sooner had I said aloud ‘behind you!’, was already upon him.

Looking directly into the face of the hideous visage of a woman, who looked somewhat decayed and possessed, was a feeling like no other. In VR you can look around her head at the mangled locks of hair; the saliva in her teeth; the killing gleam in her eyes, staring directly into yours.

This is what horror really is

Horror games are always fun to me in retrospect. At the time of playing I experience what the game developers must strive for – prolonged anxiety and a fear to move onward through the game. But there really is no feeling like that of the release of tension after a well-timed, tasteful jump scare. And I have the feeling Resident Evil 7 will have those in spades.

Seeing the twisted and zombie-looking woman up close in my face actually got me turning my head away. I knew, somewhere in my mind, that this was just a game. But that held truth was buried beneath the many layers of fear from this demo. The level of immersion here is unreal and this has somehow awoken a level of computer game experience that I never even knew existed.

On to the full game

As soon as I finished the Kitchen Demo I was online shopping for the full game. I kick myself now for not picking it up in the PlayStation Store sale a few months back. As I type this sentence I am awaiting a confirmation email to come through for me to collect the game.

I have no idea how I’m going to survive this game. Outlast feels like a walk in the park now, compared to this. (It’s not – Outlast is still very scary, but Resident Evil 7 just has a whole new dimension – literally and figuratively).

p.s. I have since bought the game and have played the first hour. It has not disappointed me and I can not wait to write up my thoughts on it in full.