Friday, September 17, 2021

Why Deathloop Is A Game Of The Year Contender – GI Show (Feat. James Willems)

Click to watch embedded media Welcome back to The Game Informer Show! This week, we're breaking down Blake Hester's Deathloop review impressions and why Arkane Studios has a Game of the Year contender on its hands. We also discuss Dying Light 2 delay news and Eastward, a charming pixel art game. On top of that, we're joined by the one and only James Willems, Co-Founder of Funhaus, to talk about his journey through the video game industry and hear more about his recent voice acting role in Psychonauts 2 and what it was like working with Double Fine.  Follow the crew on Twitter: Alex Stadnik (@Studnik76), Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Marcus Stewart (@MarcusStewart7), Dan Tack (@DanTack), and special guest James Willems (@JamesWillems). The Game Informer Show is a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews. Join hosts Alex Stadnik and Alex Van Aken every Thursday to chat about your favorite games – past and present – with Game Informer staff, developers, and special guests from all around the industry. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. Check out the timestamps below to jump to a particular point in the discussion: 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:03:19 – James Willems Intro 00:19:56 – Dying Light 2 Delay 00:29:23 – Deathloop 00:52:40 – Eastward 01:00:58 – Psychonauts 2 01:03:17 – Gloomhaven Video Game 01:10:03 – The Artful Escape 01:13:57 – Housekeeping 01:18:43 – Community Emails News: Dying Light 2 Delayed To February Dying Light 2 Delayed To 2022 New Dying Light 2 Gameplay Shows Off Impressive Parkour During Gamescom 2021 Topic Of The Show: Why Deathloop Is A Game Of The Year Contender After years of waiting, Deathloop is finally out. The game follows protagonist Colt Vahn as he journeys across the island of Blackreef to break the time loop he is stuck in. The loop repeats itself at the end of every day, and Colt quickly learns that he will have to eliminate the island's eight leaders to escape. Deathloop is a game about learning your enemy's patterns, and it then requires you to exploit them for knowledge and, ultimately, victory. Blake Hester, Alex Van Aken, and Marcus Stewart have an in-depth discussion about why the game is worth playing. Check out our Deathloop review here. The Playlist: Game Informer Staff discuss the games they're playing. Fall is almost here, and with it comes myriad game releases. Dan Tack is here to share his Eastward review impressions and talks about the game's excellent worldbuilding. Next up is special guest James Willems to discuss his love for both Psychonauts 2 (who would have thought?) and his time playing the video game version of the Gloomhaven board game! Finally, Marcus gives us a quick lowdown on what he's playing, including The Artful Escape, the gorgeous indie that features some big Hollywood names! Listener Questions: The Game Informer crew answers your burning questions. This week we're talking about what titles we'd love to lend our voices to, which iconic character would slay at the Met Gala, and the unexpected way we found a video game! Thanks to everyone who submitted questions and Heat Map submissions! We'll be getting to your hot takes in the next few weeks and spacing out each episode. Read their questions below, or submit your own via the Official Game Informer Community Discord or by emailing us at [email protected]:  This question is for James. Are there any other game series that you are passionate about and would like to play a role in similar to Psychonauts? - Carlos Mora (Twitter) Wassup GI show, hope y’all’s having a swaggin week. Got a question about the show. The rich and famous dressed up as their favorite cereal at the Met Gala this year. Others used the limelight to draw attention to a cause of their choice. But I want to know which game characters would be invited to the Gala and what they’d wear to the show. Who do you think would slay? - AnAttackCorgi (Discord) Recently, for the first time ever, I borrowed a video game from the public library while picking up books for the kids. It was Kingdom Come Deliverance, a game I had been hesitant about buying given the mixed reviews. I like it, so I bought it! What is an odd/unexpected way you discovered a game that you liked. Thanks and good luck with the new podcast format! - Phil from Ottawa, Canada
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    Honest Thief Review: By-The-Numbers But Plenty Fun Action-Thriller

    Rating: 

    7.5/10

    Cast:

    Liam Neeson as Tom Carter

    Kate Walsh as Annie Sumpter

    Jai Courtney as John Nivens

    Jeffrey Donovan as Tom Meyers

    Anthony Ramos as Ramon Hall

    Robert Patrick as Sam Baker

    Jasmine Cephas Jones as Beth Hall

    Co-Written and Directed by Mark Williams; Co-Written by Steve Allrich

    Honest Thief Review:

    “Liam Neeson versus [insert enemy here].” It’s the ultimate formula for the action genre since the Oscar nominee found a new niche audience with 2008’s Taken and it’s one that’s delivered such highs as Joe Carnahan’s The Grey, Scott Frank’s A Walk Among the Tombstones and Jaume Collet-Serra’s Non-Stop and though his latest venture, Honest Thief, may not reach the mid-level bars they’ve set, it still proves to be a plenty fun and darkly humorous thrill ride.

    They call him the “In-and-Out Bandit” because meticulous thief Tom Carter has stolen $9 million from small-town banks while managing to keep his identity a secret. But after he falls in love with the bubbly Annie, Tom decides to make a fresh start by coming clean about his criminal past, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents, requiring him to dive back into his criminal skillset to set things right and earn his second chance at life.

    The story of a seasoned criminal seeking an out from his past or a way to redeem it for a better life is certainly nothing new, but the way co-writers Mark Williams and Steve Allrich establish their world and their characters feels like a rich enough tapestry of interesting-enough characters with charming and likable personalities are compelling enough draws to forgive the unoriginality and predictability of the story. The means in which Tom would rob the banks while avoiding detection is a simple and believable explanation rather than a more convoluted or uninteresting approach, the motives behind his past feel grounded and are movingly told once revealed that it allows audiences to maintain the connection they’ve made with their antihero protagonist, a character type Williams has perfected on Netflix’s Ozark.

    In addition to the nicely-written characters, one of the film’s real strong points that helps it stand out amongst the crowd of geriatric action-thrillers is the dark sense of humor that pervades the affair. Whether it’s Jeffrey Donovan’s dog-carrying FBI agent, Robert Patrick’s quick-witted Agent Baker, Neeson’s bluntly honest Tom or Kate Walsh’s easy-to-connect-to Annie, the pacing of the film always feels as though it’s steadily moving not just thanks to the action of the film but from much of the levity the cast all bring to their performances, especially the 52-year-old Burn Notice alum. There’s no denying the burgeoning love story between Tom and Annie is the heart of the film and is relatively sweet to watch, but the bond that develops between Donovan’s Agent Meyers and his reluctantly-owned small dog Tazzie brings out some of the best jokes in the film.

    Much like the story of the film, the action itself is fairly hit-or-miss in its execution, with plenty of pulse-pounding sequences any genre fan is sure to marvel at though many display the smaller budget the film was given. From shoddy CGI fire that could make the filmmakers of the Baywatch remake blush to a few hand-to-hand sequences cutting a little too frequently to hide the use of a stunt double or two, the sequences themselves are mostly enjoyable, even if a little poorly made.

    One of the real shining lights of the film, to no one’s surprise, is the delightfully wicked performance from Jai Courtney as the villainous corrupt Agent Nivens. Time and time again, the Australian performer has delivered charming performances in every role from the antihero villain Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad to a less-prepared Kyle Reese in Terminator: Genisys, and from the moment he’s introduced on screen, he chews up every bit of scenery he can with his performance. He walks a fine line between a knowing understanding that what he’s doing is essentially wrong while also believably trying to convince reluctant partner Agent Hall (a warm Anthony Ramos), the audience and even himself, making for a brilliant performance to watch from start to finish.

    There’s no denying there’s plenty of predictability to Mark Williams’ Honest Thief, but thanks to a darkly humorous script, some exciting action sequences and stellar performances from Jeffrey Donovan and Jai Courtney, as well as strong ones from Neeson and Anthony Ramos, this is an action-thriller sure to please genre fans and those looking for a good popcorn flick.

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