What did I think: Ready Player One

The boys and I saw “Ready Player One” last night. It was at a nice new Cinemark theatre not far from our neighborhood, and the entire experience was great! The movie was in Real3D & SDX, and they had these cool seats that magically recline. Oh, and the movie was pretty darn good, too.

Judging from the trailers, I was expecting a mediocre movie & plot strung together around pop culture references designed to cash in on middle-aged nostalgia. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie every bit as good as the first Matrix one, only with more comedy thrown in and a mind-blowing number of references to the pop culture of the 1970s, 80’s and 90’s.

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The real Garrett returns! Sort of…

Great news for Thief fans – the original voice of Garrett, Stephen Russell, will be voicing protagonist Corvo Attano in the upcoming Dishonored 2.

One of my beefs with the fourth Thief game was that they changed the voice actor for Garrett. And I also feel like Dishonored was a better continuation of the Thief series than that fourth game was. You could easily play the first three Thief games, then imagine Dishonored takes place in one of the other city-states mentioned. And now to top that off, the man who voiced Garrett in the first three Thief games – Stephen Russell – will be providing the voice for Corvo in Dishonored 2. That’s awesome!


Thief (4) : What did I think?

Well, it took the better part of a year, but I finally finished my first full playthrough of 2014’s Thief game. The fourth game in the Thief series, Thief 4 is officially a reboot, but unofficially, it picks up Garrett’s story about 10 years after the end of Thief: Deadly Shadows. Since it’s supposed to be a reboot of the franchise, it dances around events & factions from the other games without actually mentioning them. First, a little history on the game and the Thief franchise itself.


To start with, I’ll refer to this game as Thief 4, even though its proper name is just “Thief”. Unlike the third game – Deadly Shadows – Thief 4 was made by an almost entirely new team. For those who don’t know the history, Looking Glass Studios – the company that gave us such classics as System Shock 1 & 2, Thief: The Dark Project, and Thief: The Metal Age – tragically went out of business in 2000. The future of the Thief franchise seemed bleak, but many of the people who worked on the original two Thief games ended up at Ion Storm and as a result we got Thief: Deadly Shadows in 2004. A year later, Ion Storm closed its doors as well. After that, it seemed like the franchise was over. However, in 2009, to much acclaim, Eidos announced that they were finally developing a new game in the series, originally to be titled Thi4f (yea, I know). Over the next 4.5 years, that concept evolved into what we got – Thief. Enough history, though. Let’s cut to what I thought of the game as a long-time Thief fan. (The short answer is “Meh.”)

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Status of The Keeper’s Compound site

I’ve had a few inquiries lately as to whether or not my Thief site (The Keeper’s Compound) will be updated/finished. The answer is yes, but I honestly have no idea what time-frame I’m looking at. I’m currently about halfway through the latest game, and usually I play it through it once, then a second time while taking notes & screenshots.

So, yes – ultimately, the site will be updated and/or finished at some point. It may be 2032, but it’ll happen eventually.


P.S. – If you enjoyed the Thief games, I highly recommend Dishonored. It almost seems like more of a Thief game than Thief 4 does, and that’s saying a lot.

Elder Scrolls Online (ESO)

Thanks to ZeniMax, I had a chance to spend all weekend in the ESO beta. I can’t give any details due to the NDA that beta testers have to sign, but suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The game is getting a fair amount of negative press, and I don’t understand why.

Personally, I think the game has LOADS of potential for what it is, and for the record, I plan on purchasing the game when it launches. If you enjoy MMOs and the Elder Scrolls series from Bethesda, I think you should give this a try. It’s not “Skyrim Online”, nor is it the next World of WarCraft, but it IS fun. And that’s about the best compliment I can give a video game.

Skyrim: Dragonborn DLC (Initial Thoughts)

I’ve been playing the new “Dragonborn” DLC for Skyrim the past couple of weeks, and so far my initial thoughts of the gameplay & story are pretty positive. It does seem to have some compatibility issues with a lot of the mods I have loaded, but I guess that can’t squarely be blamed on Bethesda.

So far I’ve done most of the side quests and the first few quests of the main storyline. The main selling point of the DLC was a return to Morrowind/Solsteim, and it definitely brings back the atmosphere from Morrowind. The structures, the ingredients, the island itself – it’s all there. I still think it’s a shame the Dark Elves have a Cockney accent now instead of gravelly voices they had in Morrowind, but that’s a Skyrim complaint in general.

Once I’ve gotten further along in the main quest, I’ll post a review and maybe some screenies.

25 Days to Mists of Pandaria

Less than a month to go until Mists of Pandaria comes out! I’m so excited – I haven’t looked forward to a WoW expansion this much since Burning Crusade back in 2007. When World of WarCraft originally came out, one of the first things I thought was “I want a Pandaren Brewmaster”, and now – finally, 7 years later – I finally get one. Look for a review after I get it. Maybe a while after I get it, since I’ll be too busy playing to post 🙂


Mists of Pandaria logo

Mists of Pandaria – why the hate?

There has been a lot of discussion within the WoW community over the next expansion called “Mists of Pandaria.” The expansion takes World of WarCraft into the mysterious land of the Pandaren, so far only represented in lore by Chen Stormstout, a character in the Horde campaign of WarCraft III. A lot of the discussion has been negative, with the expansion overwhelmingly being called a rip-off of “Kung Fu Panda.” Even my wife has joined the hate, doubting whether or not she will get the expansion for this reason.

I really don’t understand this attitude, since Chen & the Pandaren were introduced in 2002, vs. “Kung Fu Panda” in 2008. If there is any relationship between the two other than coincidence, I would say the film’s character was inspired by the WarCraft III character, not the other way around. Either way, I am excited about the expansion. When World of WarCraft was first announced back in 2004, I told my wife I wanted to make a Pandaren Brewmaster since I thought the character of Chen was pretty cool. I was actually pretty disappointed when I found out that you wouldn’t have that option. Now, with the “Mists of Pandaria” expansion, we will.

Anyway, just my two cents worth on the topic. Below is a Blizzard image of Pandaren concept art, with an inset of Chen’s in-game portrait from WarCraft III.


Pandaren Comparison