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Arkham Knight
is a Rocksteady game, and it wouldn’t be a Rocksteady game without some utterly abysmal design decisions that make you wonder how certain people within the studio both keep a job and make it home each day without gamers, deranged by the frustration Rocksteady’s titles have generated, brutally murdering them.

In Arkham Asylum it was the terrible boss fights, particularly the Ivy one.
In Arkham City it was the Riddler death traps that you continuously encountered before you had the right equipment to deal with them. A problem if, like me, you actually wanted to PLAY the game and you have the hints turned off, because you’re never informed that what you’re trying to achieve is impossible. You’re running on the assumption that the game is actually well-designed and that you wouldn’t be duped into thinking you can accomplish something that you cannot.
In Arkham Knight, it’s the presence of the Batmobile.

Now, there are certain types of game that I am flat out bad at. Racing games, for example. I’m terrible at them, which means I don’t enjoy playing them. I just get angrier and angrier if I try. So, what do I do? I don’t play them. I play things I AM good at, things that I DO enjoy… stealth/action games. Things like the Arkham series.
What are we forced to do in Arkham Knight?
F**k you, Rocksteady. F**k you right in the f**king f**k.
I knew those lazy bastards would do that as soon as the Batmobile was mentioned. As soon as you introduce a vehicle, a hack designer will shoehorn in a race. It’s guaranteed.
Here’s a little tip for any studio head: from this point on, should one of your designers put down on paper “Get from point A to point B as fast as possible” within the design document of any project that is NOT overtly a racing game; fire them. You’re paying them to be creative and they’re not.

Arkham Asylum is, without a doubt, the best of the series, and the best Batman game out there, but Arkham City and Arkham Knight prove Rocksteady didn’t actually know why: it was small, it was focused and it felt complete.
I could, and have, played Arkham Asylum again and again, because it feels like an episode from the animated series (probably because of Paul Dini’s contribution). It’s a great ride, with a fantastic opening, a great setting and a sense of closure in completing it (even if you did have to wade through a badly designed boss-battle to reach it). It feels very “Batman”.

Everything starts to go down hill with Arkham City: it started making things too big, too flabby and key elements of the plot required you know more about Batman lore than you should. There’s a difference between adding something for the fans, as they did in Arkham Asylum, and what we see in Arkham City, and later in Arkham Knight. Who are these suddenly prominent characters who have had no introduction? Why is their reveal supposed to be shocking? Didn’t read the comics? Then you’ll never know.
Bad storytelling.
Terrible world building.
Had they set Arkham City across a couple of blocks of Gotham and just focused on Batman dealing with a turf war between 2 Face and The Penguin: that would have been ace. But instead we get Ra’s Al Ghul randomly showing up, Lazarus pits, Frankengrundy and a weird plan to kill everyone in the super-jail using missiles (If the inmates rely on food from the guards, why not just poison it? If everyone had to go through processing before being dumped in there, why not inject them with something THEN? Why missiles?! Who planned that protocol? Michael Bay?!).
After THAT nonsense, Arkham Knight goes completely off the map by flat-out bringing the apocalypse to Gotham. Batman is just a guy in a cape! He tracks bad guys down and punches them in the face. That’s what he does, that’s why we like him. Dealing with crap of this magnitude is Superman’s shtick, and that f**ker doesn’t even show up in Arkham Knight, despite being mentioned!
Gotham gets covered in a toxic cloud. What do you want Batman to do? Punch it?
As soon as hero duties start being delegated to more capable parties, it stops being a Batman game.
If you want to make a Batman game, come up with a scenario that Batman can believably deal with!

DLC is the final nail in the coffin. Initials seem to raise red flags these days. Games with QTEs don’t actually contain gameplay, and games with DLC generally feel incomplete or unfinished. Arkham Knight’s conclusion, even if you went to the trouble of activating Knightfall in full, doesn’t bring any kind of satisfaction. Arkham Asylum may have ended with Batman flying off to deal with a 2 Face bank robbery, but that felt like a conclusion to the story! Arkham Asylum was over. Done. Dusted. You had turned the last page.
Arkham Knight doesn’t feel like it has a last page. It feels like the last page has been torn out and Rocksteady is holding it hostage until you pay them more money, further poisoning the experience.

The Arkham series has gone from shining example of how to do a licensed game right to a fine demonstration of a corporate money-grab.

All the entries can be seen here:
But the winners are as follows.....
(This was really, really, really hard)
Drumroll, please.

Runners up:


Ollashiro: Love Triangle by ollashiro

Miss-Dutch: 10 Years Sequential Art Entry by Miss-Dutch

Ritualist: Jollyjack art contest by Ritualist

Ksterstone: ::Call Us Beep Us:: by Ksterstone

Harveydentmustdie: Sequential art - Tribute by HarveyDentMustDie

Louizu: Sequential Max : Furry Road by Louizu

Rabbitmaskedman: Sequential Art by rabbitmaskedman

Kawa-V: 10 Years Of Sequential Art by Kawa-V

Hanimetion: SAC entry - Art block by Hanimetion

Best Art:

Whose name I think I got wrong in that earlier video. I do apologise!
Bounty of the Slaughtermaster (Sequential Art) by Mark-MrHiDE-Patten

Funniest image:

”I came to say I’m sorry……and to kill you”
That line just made me laugh :D
j.j. by Marisa (sister) by HamHunterX3
It’s been a while since I’ve felt I could recommend any output from the BBC, given their tendency to axe shows that I’m enjoying (EG: Ripper Street), but a rather splendid series has just concluded that fans of magic and period drama will no doubt enjoy as much as I did.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is set during the Napoleonic era and follows the titular characters as they attempt, and succeed, in the resurrection of English magic. With arguments over what kind of magic is “respectable”, deals with rogue fairies, murder, conspiracy, and the employment of magic in the fight against the French; these two magicians gradually become enemies.
It’s apparently adapted from a book, but I don’t have time to read much fiction these days, so its appearance was a surprise and delight!
I shall say no more. To do so would spoil it. It’s well worth a watch.…

Legendary actor, Christopher Lee, has died at the age of 93.…

Though the man starred in epic film franchises, like Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, he was always associated with Hammer Horror. Specifically, Dracula, whom he played on numerous occasions. The Hammer connection led to him being given roles in many of Tim Burton’s movies; Burton being a die hard fan of the style and genre.

Having generally been the bad-ass face (and voice!) of super-villainy for 50 years, the British had no choice but to knight him, and he became Sir Christopher Lee in 2009.

Now that I have calmed down; here are my thoughts.


Fallout 4 Trailer

My webcomic, Sequential Art, is 10 years old. I started it back in June 2005.
As a little celebration, I thought I’d run a contest (something I’d actually been meaning to do for a while).

It’s fairly straightforward. There will be two top prizes, each awarded to the best of the following: The best image (best art wins. Simple) and the funniest image (Art quality isn’t as important as the idea behind it).
To be in with a chance of winning, all you need do is draw something related to the Sequential Art webcomic. It could be a single character, multiple characters, your own strip, anything. Draw it and post a link to it in the comments section of this journal.

First prize for each of the two categories is:
A copy of Sequential Art Volume 4
A print of the 10 year image (seen below)
A free commission (colour. Single character)

There will also be 10 runners up (total), each of whom will be sent a print of the 10 year image.

Rules and guidelines:

Closing date is June 30th 2015

You can submit as many entries as you like, but don’t spam the same image.

All entries must be family friendly. If it’s not the kind of thing you’d see in the SA strip, it’s not the kind of thing that will win.

You can involve your own characters if you want, but if I’m unfamiliar with them or if you’re using an in-joke that I’m unaware of, it’ll probably hurt your chances.

Colouring in one of my B&W images or tracing something that I (or anyone else) has done in the past has zero chance of winning.

Iron Giant - Brad Bird brings us one of the greatest animated films of all time and an exquisite love letter to 1950s science fiction.

The Incredibles - Brad Bird brings us one of, if not THE greatest superhero movie of all time.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Brad Bird DOES the impossible and brings us not only an action movie masterpiece but one of the few Tom Cruise films you can watch without being overcome by an intense desire to stamp on the grinning midget’s neck.

Tomorrowland...........Brad Bird obviously had some bills to pay.

**** SPOILERS ****

On watching it, the first glaring flaw is that we spend more time on backwater American roads than we do in the titular Tomorrowland. When we DO get there, it's hardly the place of pure inspiration it's built up as. There's a robot, a concrete walkway, some christmas lights and Hugh Laurie. That’s your (underwhelming) lot. All other evidence regarding this fantastic world comes in one of two forms: androids disguised as humans, whose only sign of being a machine is the constant blinking and grinning and the occasional disembodied hand/head being thrown around by the second sign of tomorrow-tech: explosions. If something doesn’t explode in this film, you are generally informed that it has the potential to.

Next we have the characters, who are all as irritating as they are stupid. The girl who is the main focus of the tale (I can’t remember the name, nor can I be bothered to go to IMDB. This movie isn’t worth the effort to provide that level of accuracy) is supposed to be a genius, but she keeps doing the stupidest things. Not in a Doc-Brown-bumbling-eccentricity kind of way: she’s just a f**king moron.
Example A – she finds that pin thing that lets her see Tomorrowland, but she’s physically still in the real world, so moving around causes her to bump into things. Funny, right? Yeah. ONCE. She does it several times, and seems surprised on each.
Example B – The android that joins her says it has a security protocol that causes it to shut down if she asks it too many questions……so straight after she’s informed of this, she asks a question. It’s not funny. It’s irritating.
Example C – During the painful opening, she keeps interrupting the story that George Clooney is wearily trying to tell. Again and again and again. You should not want to KILL the main character before you have even been properly introduced to them!
George Clooney and Hugh Laurie could have been replaced by blocks of wood with pages of exposition nailed to them. They don’t really do much of any interest. George sets off some of the previously mentioned explosions and Hugh wears weird coat. That’s about it.

I also have to mention the younger brother of the main character. Not because he does anything wrong, it’s just I’m freaked out by how much he looks like a child in the Tommy Lee Jones disaster film Volcano…..which is impossible, because that movie was made 20 years ago.

Ultimately, Tomorrowland is a “message” movie. One of those that that preaches the tired "the future will only be a good place if we make it so" line, somehow with LESS subtlety than the likes of Day After Tomorrow.
It also does it with considerably less sense. We get informed that our world is going to end in 50-or-so days, with the main character seeing glimpses of a future where nuclear bombs are going off and every natural disaster is occurring. According to the narrative: her optimism will prevent ALL of that.
Uh… All they seem to be doing at the end of the movie is be bringing more people to Tomorrowland, which we’ve already been told is safe from the approaching apocalypse. Aren’t they needed on Earth?! Also: while I believe movie-logic permits a single character’s optimism to prevent World War 3, I don’t see how it’s going to halt and/or reverse global warming in 50 f**king days. Sorry, kid; your house is still gonna sink.

For a movie that harps on about inspiration and dreaming big, Tomorrowland does very little to actually inspire. Its writers obviously love classic science fiction imagery, there are 3 major nods to The Rocketeer, and it’s clear such films inspired them, but they forgot WHY they were inspiring. Being sat down and told that inspiration and grand ambition are good does not actually prompt one to pursue either. If The Rocketeer was written in the same way as Tomorrowland, Cliff Secord would find the Rocket-pack in the opening act and spend the rest of the movie TALKING about how great it would be to fly rather than actually SHOWING it.
Would that have been as inspiring as seeing him loop ‘round a Nazi Zeppelin in the skies above 30s Los Angeles?

The first Mad Max film, from 1979, is the worst of the lot. “Original” and “Classic” do not equate to “Good”. In my opinion, this is because the world in which Max exists is more interesting than the titular character himself and in that first flick we spend far too much time with him and his soon-to-be-roadkill wife and sprog.
In the sequels, Max exists purely as our eyes upon this world, its insane inhabitants and weird, irradiated charm. Max isn’t the main character, the wasteland is. Max is as much a vehicle as the rusty death machines that tear up the sand.
The makers of Fury Road clearly understood this. It’s right up there with Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome. If you’re a fan of either, you’ll certainly enjoy this latest outing as it’s more of the same: crazy vehicles being driven by crazy people…..crazily.
And then everything explodes.
There’s not really much more to be said about it. It’s a thrill ride that doesn’t try to explain itself, but throws enough bits and pieces of its mythology at you by way of dialogue and visuals that you can come to your own conclusions and be quite satisfied with them.

One thing that does nag at the back of my head, though is: how old is Max supposed to be? He was a cop just before the world fell, but a society such as that depicted in Fury Road would take decades to come together. A place like Beyond Thunderdome’s Barter Town could certainly form within Max’s lifetime, but a generation would have had to go by before the freakshow civilization of War Boys, Bullet Farmers and Pole Cats coalesced. Max would be the same age as Immortan Joe by then.

Just my inner Anthropologist screaming at me. Should probably just ignore him.

I’ve had a few people asking me about Yooka-Laylee, the first game from Playtonic, a tiny developer made up of ex-Rare staff.
I’m guessing people are bugging me about it because I was a concept artist on the least popular of the Banjo Kazooie games, a series to which Yooka-Laylee is the spiritual successor.
Aside from having worked with some of the Playtonic staff during my stint at Rare, I have no connection to the title, nor any inside information about it.
My general opinion of it is: it’s a piece of epic trolling!
With the symbiotic characters, the art style, the googly eyes, even the colour scheme of their logo; the Playtonic guys are basically sticking their finger up at Microsoft and saying “This is what we wanted to be making, not that Kinnect shite you forced us to work on”.
I like that.
I like that a lot.
Best of luck to them!

The BBC recently aired a trio of documentaries following a (rather ballsy) chap called Reggie Yates as he travelled around Russia to speak with people who hold extreme views.
Generally, this kind of thing falls into the usual “Prod a Redneck and film the reaction” kind of journalism: you could go to any country and find people/nutcases with similar views, including the one in which I currently reside. Some of the stuff caught in these documentaries, however, is undeniably sinister, especially the general acceptance and scale of certain things.
There’s one clip with a very pro-Putin model, posing for the camera with a gun, saying “The Enemy will be defeated. Victory will be ours. And if we lose, we will destroy the whole world”.
She makes it very clear that the “Enemy” is pretty much anything west of Smolensk.
It’s a very juvenile view from someone who probably hasn’t travelled beyond the borders of Russia and has a very poor knowledge of world history, but the fact that it’s a view being encouraged from above makes me a little twitchy.
The moment enough people ditch rational thought in favour of hysteria is the moment something very bad happens.

The series is titled "Reggie Yates' Extreme Russia". UK residents can view the series on the BBC’s iPlayer. Folk elsewhere in the world can find it on Youtube (for the moment).…

The first documentary looks at far right groups (rather amusing that there are such groups within Russia, given that they beat their chest so much about being the ones who truly defeated the Nazis) and ultranationalists.

The second documentary looks at gay rights (or lack of) within Russia.

The third looks at the model industry (which sounds odd, given the previous two, but trust me, it’s just as creepy).

An election is fast approaching in Fair Blighty and party leaders are currently engaged in (increasingly American-style) PR campaigns, trying their best to convince us that their brand is the best and that career politicians are not simply oxygen thieves, leaching off the rest of us.
It’s all very dull and boring.
So here’s a pic of some UK political figures….. as lizards.

2015 seems to be the year of potentially crippling threats to my endeavours.
It started with the VATMOSS crap, which is basically the EU putting into effect a poorly planned new VAT law, designed to stop big businesses from exploiting certain loopholes, but at the same time DESTROYING micro-businesses similar to mine.
At first glance, it appears Paypal is joining in the fun with an update to their policy:…

“When providing us with content or posting content (in each case for publication, whether on- or off-line) using the Services, you grant the PayPal Group a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise any and all copyright, publicity, trademarks, database rights and intellectual property rights you have in the content, in any media known now or in the future. Further, to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law, you waive your moral rights and promise not to assert such rights against the PayPal Group, its sublicensees or assignees. You represent and warrant that none of the following infringe any intellectual property right: your provision of content to us, your posting of content using the Services, and the PayPal Group’s use of such content (including of works derived from it) in connection with the Services.”

Now, there are multiple interpretations of the above. Alarmists say it means that any content that is paid for by way of Paypal now BELONGS to Paypal. Technically, if it’s in writing and you agree to it, it is a contract. Paypal could, in theory, swoop in and claim all your IPs. The offending paragraph isn’t so specific as to rule that out.
However, if Paypal DID do that, it would simultaneously set a new legal precedent AND ruin them. Think how widely used the Paypal system is. The second they tried to nab an IP, word would get out and their user-base would vanish, along with their profit.
In all likelihood, the revised policy is just arse-covering and not something to get in a twist about.

***Minor Spoilers***

Even at their worst (Iron Man 2), the Marvel movies (The real ones, not that sh*t Fox and Sony keep excreting) are always a fun ride, well worth the price of a cinema ticket. Age of Ultron maintains that level of entertainment.
Despite having a huge array of characters nibbling at screen time, it never feels as sluggish as the midsection of the first Avengers flick. It rockets along at a glorious pace and maintains focus on its own story, but at the same time, Age of Ultron isn’t as good a tale.
Whereas Avengers felt like the end point that multiple movies had been leading up to, Age of Ultron doesn’t seem to further the series’ overarching narrative. It exists purely so we can spend more time in the company of the characters we know and love. Not a bad thing per se, especially with the usual barrage of fast quips and gags causing some genuine LOL moments (“I’m sorry”), but it does make the movie seem more forgettable than those before it. It has no real beginning and no real end. In the future, when we’re doing movie marathons and watching the Marvel films back-to-back, this will be one of those that you don’t mind leaving for a pee break. To its companion movies, it’s what Two Towers is to Fellowship of the Ring and Return of the King: the middle one where there’s some walking, some talking and some fighting, but we’re really just killing time before the final chapter.
While Ultron is played brilliantly and makes a supurb villain, Baron Strucker and Hydra, whose presence had been built up at the tail end of Winter Soldier, are utterly wasted. Both register barely a blip in Age of Ultron when it seemed they should have had a more prominent role. I don’t mind if the conflict with Hydra is confined to the Agents of SHIELD TV series, but if there’s no space for them in the movies: don’t put them in! Good villains are hard to come by. Use them properly!

Oh, and don't wait until the end of the credits. We get a mid-credits stinger but nothing else...... I was kinda hoping for Spiderman.

So, two teasers of huge movies have been released. Why am I not bouncing up and down in my chair with glee?
I get a bit of stick these days for my supposed, relentless negativity, but it’s only there because of the relentless mediocrity that I keep getting told I should be excited about. It’s been a really bad couple of years for movies. Nothing but reboots and sequels. Nothing that treds new ground. Everything seems more interested in perpetuating a franchise rather than actually entertaining an audience.

It wasn’t the first to appear, but I’m going to start with it: Batman/Superman: Dawn of Justice.
This was probably only released because it leaked. It certainly does the movie no favours. The ham-fisted attempts at drama which brought down the previous Superman film look set to not only continue but intensify. It’s dull, it’s grim, it shows us once again that you can’t write Superman as Batman. He just doesn’t work as a brooding character.
Batman himself appears in the teaser very little, but what is there hints that they still don’t understand why he works better in the comics and animated movies than any of the live action incarnations.
I think the Keaton era Batman came the closest, if not bang-on target: Batman doesn’t talk much. He’s a character of action, not dialogue. He will demand an answer from a villain and that’s about it. If said villain refuses to answer, Batman beats the sh*t out of him and then asks the question again. That’s Batman. He’s to-the-point. He doesn’t threaten to make people bleed, he just goes ahead and does it.

The best example of how Batman should be done is in the flashback scene of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. That’s the damn benchmark. Not even Nolan’s hallowed Dark Knight comes close. Dawn of Justice doesn’t look like it’s even trying.

Also, though not seen in the teaser, there’s the surplus of side characters that we’re going to get. I’ve no idea how that’s going to be handled, but if you look at how too many character introductions has killed previous superhero movies (like the recent Spiderman) and add in the desperation of WB/DC to produce their own Avengers style mega-movie, things don’t look too good.

Next: Star Wars 7.

I have higher hopes for this than Dawn of Justice. I really, really, really wanted to hate JJ Abram’s Star Trek because I felt the time-travel narrative was utterly lazy. It made the characters less like heroes who were forging their own path and more like pawns of fate, waiting to be told what to do next. However, the movie was such impossibly good fun that I saw it on the big screen about 5 times and enjoyed each viewing. I’ve never done that before.

The big gripe I have about SW7 is that it’s ignoring all of the really good material that was produced in the wake of the original trilogy. I was hoping episodes 7, 8 and 9 would be adaptations of the Thrawn trilogy, but it was announced early on that none of the expanded universe was going to be used in the movies.
It doesn’t matter how you slice it: that’s a real slap in the face for all the fans who kept the franchise afloat all these years.
Then there are the visuals, which are very “Abrams”. He’s promised to cull the lens flare, but the teaser is really making his Star Wars look a lot like his Star Trek. Everything’s f**king shiny! Shiny robotic hands, shiny TIE fighters, shiny Storm Troopers. Shiny, shiny, shiny.
And when did the Empire become Space Nazis?! I’m not talking about the way they act, I’m talking about the way red flags are draped everywhere. It’s something I noticed in an episode of the (very, very Disney) Rebels CGI animated series. As a visual metaphor that informs with all the subtlty of a brick, it’s as lazy as the time travel thing I mentioned earlier. You may as well just have a subtitle flash up reading “These are the bad guys. Commence booing”. That kind of crap is a recent development. It was never even in the prequels.

I’ve mentioned in previous journals that I find stories that focus on the Jedi to be rather boring, so, while I will be watching SW7, along with the rest of the planet, I have a feeling I’ll enjoy Rogue One more as it's about war in the stars, not space wizards.

I don't draw other people's characters very often, and I generally advise other people not to either, because, unless you're actually being EMPLOYED to do so; you're not getting anything out of it. You're not promoting yourself or your own ideas but giving a big company free advertising. You're spending time and effort cementing someone else's IP into the public consciousness when you should be doing the same for your own.

That said, messing around in worlds that you did not have a hand in creating is a lot of fun. I do it myself and feel very guilty for it because I should really be focusing on my own.
These fanfiction concepts include:

A massive crossover of science fiction universes that sees Star War’s Empire and Star Trek’s Star Fleet fighting above the titular construct from Halo….which has been overrun by Daleks.

A Sonic the Hedgehog origin story, charting the arrival of Dr Robotnik.

A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tale that focuses on Splinter’s early years.

My take on the Batman universe, which attempts to make the Dark Knight appear more nightmarish and scary.

Roger Ramjet…. I’m not saying anything more, but I have an idea that'll turn it from a goofy old cartoon into something that kicks ass.

And finally, a rewrite of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which drops certain characters and adjusts the motivation of others (Aliens and refrigerators remain).

The chance of me actually getting any of these to any stage of completion is very slim, but I’ve created a new poll because I’m curious to know which you would be most interested in seeing fleshed out, even if it's only a little bit of concept art.

The BBC has decided to drop Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, following some sort of altercation between him and a producer over food being served at the end of a days shooting.…

Very little information has actually been released about the incident. It’s only ever been referred to as a “fracas” in the media and “a bit of a dust-up” by Clarkson’s co presenter James May.
I’m a huge fan of the show and Clarkson’s style of presenting, but if he punched a member of the crew because his food wasn’t hot then axing him is the right decision. There’s a huge difference between an unbroadcast, antiquated, school-yard rhyme (one of Clarkson’s previous “offences”) and physical violence.

Will Top Gear be the same without him? No it won’t. Will Top Gear survive his departure? Yes it will.

Another very popular BBC show is “Have I Got News For You”, which has been running since 1990. For the first 12 years it was hosted by a chap called Angus Deayton, but he was dropped in 2002 because he ended up IN the headlines in a scandal about prostitutes and illegal drugs. There was a question as to if the show could continue without the dead-pan presenter. It’s still running, 13 years on. They just altered the format so that the presenter is a different guest each week, rather than a set anchor.

Provided they don’t do something stupid and start recruiting children to present it (minimum age of 40, please, BBC. Grumpy men in fast cars are funny), Top Gear will endure.

They’re taking another stab at adapting the Hitman videogame into a movie. The trailer looks kinda snappy, with the eponymous Agent 47 appearing to be slotted into a more neutral/villain role rather than the antihero we saw in the 2007 flick (which I have watched a number of times and which still makes NO sense AT ALL).
I think the chap playing the character seems a bit young. I’ve always seen 47 as more well-travelled. This guy looks like he’s just turned up for his first job interview
They’ve also draped the story with some “genetically engineered being” tripe, which suggests it will not break the “curse” of using games as a basis for movies.…

We are unlikely to see a GOOD video game adaptation anytime soon simply because, at the moment, there are always too many cooks in the kitchen. The average “summer blockbuster” always suffers because of studio interference. Adapt a game and you have to deal with a second group of unimaginative businessmen: the publishers who own the IP. They’ll have their own demands as they want their property to be seen in the best light possible.
Try to squeeze a movie through this corporate mangle and the result is always going to be a bland, forgettable piece of crap that does nothing daring, original or even true to the source material.
This also scares off any halfway competent directorial talent. Who the hell would WANT to work under such conditions?

A good videogame adaptation is going to require all parties involved to adopt the same mindset as the creatives behind the recent Marvel movies: serve the audience, not the IP. You serve the audience and THEY preserve and popularise the IP for you.