As Dusk Falls set for July 19, 2022 release on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC plus Xbox Game Pass (XGP) and PC Game Pass

Before Microsoft’s megaton acquisitions of Bethesda and Activision-Blizzard, Team Xbox organized its very own Xbox Games Showcase in mid-2020 and one of the announced games back then was As Dusk Falls which I found intriguing and artistic at the same time. The game, which is being developed by London-based Interior/Night in cooperation with Xbox Game Studios Publishing, resurfaced at last during the recent Xbox-Bethesda Games Showcase and here are the hot news…As Dusk Falls will be released on July 19, 2022 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows PC, Steam, and will be available also via Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass! Watch the official release date announcement video below…

For the newcomers reading this, the game is an interactive drama that has a very stylized visual design. To understand As Dusk Falls better, posted below is an excerpt from the official article published at Xbox.com written by Kelly Lombardi. Some parts in boldface…

As Dusk Falls has been eight years in the making for CEO and Creative Director at Interior/Night Caroline Marchal. Her goal was to create a deep interactive experience for all levels of players, something meant to be shared with loved ones. Inspired by prestige TV shows, Interior/Night’s debut game is an uncompromising tale of family, resilience, and sacrifice, coming to Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, Steam, and with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass on July 19.

This cinematic story is brought to life by the performance of actors that are digitally rendered into a beautiful art style, creating a unique experience that plays like a motion graphic novel.

In As Dusk Falls you’ll have agency over the lives of relatable, far from perfect human beings, inviting you to empathize with their real-life struggles and aspirations. Starting in 1998 with a robbery-gone-wrong in small town Arizona, the choices you make have a powerful impact on the characters’ lives in this decades-spanning story told across two intense books:

  • Sacrifice vs Survival: Can you break free from your family’s toxic influence? What will you sacrifice for the ones you love? Can you overcome your past? Your decisions will shape the characters’ fates.
  • Interwoven Destinies: Follow two families in their struggle to survive, protect, and endure through challenges rooted in the previous generations’ mistakes.
  • Experience Together: Reveal insights about yourself and those you play with as you discover the underlying values of your decisions in cooperative gameplay with up to 8 players at a time, locally or online (or a mix). The As Dusk Falls companion app makes making choices in game easy, just use your phone or tablet to vote with or against your friends.

Replay the story again and again to uncover vastly different outcomes for the characters and explore hidden nuances behind every decision. Will your characters survive unscathed? What kind of people will they ultimately become?

The above article ended stating that As Dusk Falls will also be made available on mobile phones, tablets and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming.

A law enforcer in a scene.

Considering the obvious lack of high-profile Xbox-exclusive games for the 2nd half of 2022, As Dusk Falls is definitely on my list of games to play on my Xbox Series X with the benefit of my Xbox Game Pass subscription. As such, its July 19, 2022 release date is good news as it has been two years since the game was first announced. This is an Xbox-exclusive of a very different kind!

In terms of game design, As Dusk Falls is highly unusual and also intriguing to look at. I really am interested to play it and witness how the actors will perform and bring their characters to life on-screen. The mentioned decision/choice making as a gameplay function alone interests me as I used to read Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) pocket books long ago. How high the quality and fun factor As Dusk Falls is a question mark right now but the wait for it will end very soon.

Looks like these two characters are up to something. As Dusk Falls will be released on the Xbox ecosystem.

If you are the type of gamer who loves narrative adventures, decision-making interactivity or if you simply want a really new form of video game that stands out among the rest, watch out for As Dusk Falls on the Xbox ecosystem.

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A Look Back at Bloodshot #6 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

When I was still collecting comics back in 1993, I was more focused on the X-Men 30th anniversary celebration and the expansion of the Marvel 2099 universe organized by Marvel Comics, and the launch of the Ultraverse by Malibu Comics.

Along the way, I heard some buzz about Valiant Comics and Defiant Comics. That same year, Valiant Comics generated a lot of buzz among comic book collectors with the launch of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 and the release of Bloodshot #6. Why Bloodshot #6? It’s because of the literary debut of a character who went on to become an one of Valiant’s icons.

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The cover.

Here’s a nice look back at Bloodshot #6 published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story by Kevn VanHook drawn by Don Perlin.

Early story

The story begins inside a commercial airplane flying over Sydney, Australia. There is a guy wearing reddish business attire socializing with a lady while standing. A lady in red approached him telling him that he should take his seat as they are in the glide path. The guy in red attire approaches a seat man wearing green business attire, asking him if the vacant seat near him was taken.

The seated man tells him to get away. The guy in red places his right hand on him causing a fire during the flight. What happened turned out to be an assassination. The guy and lady in red rush to the nearest emergency exit and it turned out their names are Marco and Leigh. They jump off the plane which explodes several feet away from them. Marco and Leigh left in the air not worried about falling down.

Meanwhile at the airport in London, Bloodshot arrives and is greeted by his pal Malcolm. They arrive back at their residence in London’s east end. Bloodshot has something to do. Over at France, Alicia Guerrero meets with Montblanc at his office and they discuss the courier assignments that involve acquiring a set of components and the three (of four) intercontinental flights that ended in tragedy.

Quality

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Bloodshot shortly after arriving from the airport.

As far as storytelling goes, this comic book sure has a lot of intrigue and espionage leaving the title character Bloodshot with much less spotlight (in terms of narrative, not page appearance). It’s not a problem for me as a reader because the writer Kevin VanHook really took his time to emphasize what has been going on, what’s within the web of international secret operations (that involved killing and explosions) and what’s at stake. Of course, the deepening of the plot makes way for Bloodshot to get involved in a less action-oriented but more intelligent way. That being said, action scenes are subdued for the sake of storytelling. Along the way, illustrator Don Perlin did a good job visualizing the deep plot. Perlin also tried his best making the mission briefing of Bloodshot (which even for its time was cliched) look interesting.

Fans of Bloodshot who love action scenes of shooting and striking, as well as displays of his special abilities, won’t find much of such stuff here.

Conclusion

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Tragedy high up in the sky.

To make things clear to those who are wondering, Bloodshot #6 is significant for fans of Valiant Comics as it marked the first appearance of Colin King who is actually the iconic Ninjak. That fact, however, does not really define the overall quality of this comic book and Colin King’s literary debut is very brief. That way I look at Bloodshot #6, it’s a good comic book laced with a good amount of intrigue and espionage.

For those who are based in the Philippines, Bloodshot #6 is one of the rare American comic books of the 1990s that mentions the Philippines (with Manila as a flight destination) and even showed a few images of it as a location.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Bloodshot #6 of 1993, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that a near-mint copy costs $28.

Overall, Bloodshot #6 is recommended for those looking for gripping, espionage storytelling with the title character. As a collector’s item, the comic book is a must-have for as long as Ninjak and Bloodshot remain popular.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back At Bloodshot #1 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

You must have heard about the live-action Bloodshot movie (starring Vin Diesel) that failed to make big bucks at the box office. Then you must have learned about Valiant Comics.

To understand Bloodshot before reviewing the early-1990s comic book Bloodshot #1, here’s a look at the history of Valiant Comics.

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The cover with chromium and Bloodshot drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith.

In the late 1980s, a team composed of former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief, former Allman Brothers Band manager Steve Massarsky and some investors failed in their bid to acquire Marvel Enterprises. Instead of letting their failure stop them, they went on to establish Voyager Communications with the backing of Triumph Capital. Voyager then created the imprint Valiant Comics which went on to launch its first titles in 1991 with Magnus, Robot Fighter (which started in the 1960s in comics published by Gold Key) and Solar, Man of the Atom (also started in the 1960s through Gold Key comics).

Subsequently Valiant’s first original superhero Rai was introduced followed by other original properties like Harbinger and Eternal Warrior. It was within the pages of Eternal Warrior #4 Bloodshot made his first appearance followed by a first full appearance in Rai #0.

Then in November 1992, the same month DC Comics released Superman #75 (The Death of Superman, Valiant released Bloodshot #1 with a cover price of $3.50 (cover dated February 1993) and a very eye-catching chromium cover of Bloodshot drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith.

Now that the history lesson is done, we can finally explore Bloodshot #1 (written by Ken VanHook and drawn by Don Perlin) in this retro comic book review.

Early Story

The story begins at Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom. Immediately after a man and a woman (both wearing coats and hats) performed an exchange with a briefcase, two other men (also wearing coats) reacted to them but Bloodshot jumps into the action firing his gun, taking a shot to his arm and grabbing the briefcase. Bloodshot escapes from the airport.

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Adulterated action!

Behind the scenes, an old man meets with Thompson and Otomo informing them that Bloodshot was an experiment of theirs under Project Rising Spirit. The project was disrupted when a young blonde male got to Bloodshot and adjusted one of the devices. The young guy was caught by one of the operators until Bloodshot (still bald and naked) got up, attacked the personnel (freeing the young guy), gathered data from their computers and escape.

The old man noticed Bloodshot’s rampage at Heathrow Airport and was able to identify him. He issues orders to Thompson and Otomo.

“I want him returned—I do not care the condition,” he said.

Quality

Looking beyond the eye-catching chromium cover, Bloodshot #1 from the early 1990s is actually engaging and intriguing to read. While it is a superhero comic book, it sure has a dark and gritty tone as well as being noticeably grounded with reality.

With the spectacle, the action is violent and somewhat bloody. It may look tame by today’s standards but back in the 1990s, this was exceptional and it really aimed towards older comic book readers. To put things in perspective, comparing this comic book with the typical Marvel or DC Comics superhero comic book is like comparing an R-rated action film to a PG-13 action or adventure film. Don Perlin’s artwork has a nice flow when it comes to the action and the dialogue scenes.

The writing by Kevin VanHook is good even by today’s standards. I like the way he handled expository dialogue in the first half of the comic book and from that point on, the spotlight was on Bloodshot and his exploits.

There are some weak spots in this comic book. There really was no room for real character development with Bloodshot. The comic book eerily reflected the hero’s approach to doing things: no slowing down, time to take action from here.  That’s not to say it is a brainless read but rather the plotting is decent and relied on the spectacle to make up for the absence of character development. That being said, Bloodshot as a hero who was a victim under his handlers, is hard to like. Based on this comic book alone, he is a rampaging killer looking as evil as the bad guys. It does not help that he is very unstoppable (because of nanites in his blood system which worked to enhance and heal him) and, at least in this comic book, there’s no real sense of danger for him.

When it comes to supporting characters like Sinclair and Malcolm, I can’t help but keep remembering Commissioner Gordon and butler Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman comics.

Conclusion

While it has some flaws in its presentation, Bloodshot #1 is still good and fun to read. On face value, Bloodshot looks like a typical macho action hero with guns but he actually has an interesting personality even though character development was badly lacking in this particular comic book. I also enjoyed the creator’s approach on emphasizing realism by using gangs and secret sinister organizations (which conduct unethical scientific experiments on people) on the background showing that Bloodshot himself is small player in a dangerous game of secret operations.

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As a standalone story, Bloodshot #1 has more than enough good stuff to make up for its flaws and it is worth reading by today’s standards. This is the true value of the comic book that its flashy chromium cover does not reflect. In other words, this comic book is more than just a gimmick.

If you are a collector, be aware that as of this writing, Bloodshot #1 is worth over $40 for a near-mint copy according to Mile High Comics.

Overall, Bloodshot #1 (1993) is recommended. As a piece of amusement, the comic book is so much better than the Vin Diesel Bloodshot movie. That say’s a lot!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com