My opinion on the Hitman sex nuns

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When I first saw the teaser picture for the new Hitman trailer I was excited. I’m not a Hitman fan but female assassins? Sounds awesome. However, when the trailer was released yesterday, a lot of people were not happy. Sarah Ditum was just one of those people and her piece on CVG explains her gripes with it.

Now I’m a bit fickle when it comes to sexism in games, probably because there’s a very thin line between what’s funny, what’s sexy and what’s just plain gratuitous. For example, many would argue Bayonetta is sexist but it’s not. It’s done in a funny way and doesn’t take itself seriously – that’s when characters like her are acceptable. It’s also why they get away with it in fighting games. But Hitman is a game that does take itself seriously and nun in tight PVC? Really Hitman? For a start that’s unrealistic, PVC and being an assassin…have the men who created this ever worn PVC? Didn’t think so. It’s the same with those ridiculous stilettos. 

In fact the ridiculousness is probably worse than the actual sexism. I like to play as sexy female characters in games, don’t get me wrong but make them believable, make them smart and don’t make them look like ex-porn stars. A few game-loving celebrities on Twitter such as Charlie Brooker and Robert Florence have said they’re going to boycott the game. Brooker went as far as to call it a “piece of shit game” and if anyone sends him a copy he will “throw it out the window”. Strong words. So it’s not just a few women who are a tiny bit upset by this, grown men themselves are tired of games PR nights being held in strip clubs and seeing female characters become nothing more than a bit of eye-candy. 

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Unfortunately, Hitman will still sell millions of copies. It’s a much anticipated game and few gamers aren’t going to decide not to buy it just over that one trailer. The problem is though, this will continue to happen until we do something about it and as we know, the majority of games journos are male and many of them do not have a problem with sexism in games. Hell, some females journos don’t either but this needs to change. All we can do, is tell games companies times have changed and we want the industry to change. Besides, I don’t about you but seeing male, over-muscled men is just as boring as seeing another big-boobed lady in games. So it’s not even about sexism, it’s about realism and I’m pretty sure the next-gen will demand realism. 

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Review: Dark Shadows

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Johnny Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a man who’s cursed with the worst fate a man can suffer – a woman’s scorn. Angelique (Eva Green) is a girl who falls in love with Barnabas but as her affections are unrequited, she plots against him. Unfortunately for Barnabas, Angelique is a witch and she throws his true love off a cliff and curses him with living forever, as a vampire. She turns the towns people against him and Baranbas is locked in a coffin for eternity until 200 years later, construction workers dig him up.  The rivalry between the witch and the vampire begins again.

The real laughs begin when watching Barnabas try to get to grips with the 1970’s but there is something all too familiar about an out of place man in the ‘modern’ ages. In fact, Dark Shadows very much reminded me of Edward Scissorhands – a tale about an outsider who doesn’t understand the world completely and gets driven away by violent villagers.

Although there are these similarities, Dark Shadows manages to be different. The character of Barnabas is fantastically portrayed by Depp, he’s witty, charming and even though he kills a few innocent people – he’s surprisingly likeable. It was also a nice surprise to see Eva Green as a completely different character than we’re used to and she makes the despicable Angelique sexy, seductive and incredibly evil.

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Many people criticise the constant pairing of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton but let’s be honest, it works and it was great to see Burton back doing a proper gothic film again. The sets are stunning, part fantasy, part reality for example the dusty old Collin’s family home is beautiful and really sets the scene for such a family. The make-up and CGI impress too, especially Angelique’s porcelain skin, although I’m not sure every single person in the film needed white make-up. We get it Tim, it’s gothic but don’t over-do it.

Combining the 1700s with the 1970’s was a great idea; mostly for the great music, clothes and hair-dos that go with it. It also meant the film gets a cameo from Alice Cooper himself which Barnabas declares is “the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen.”

Dark Shadows isn’t just funny – there are some wonderfully dark parts to the story, true Tim Burton style. The Collin’s children are misunderstood and have unfortunate pasts and presents, something which Burton loves to do as he felt his childhood was always slightly dark.

Dark Shadows looks good, sounds good and the story between the evil witch and loving vampire is definitely enough to keep your attention span. The humour makes sure the film isn’t too dark but there’s definitely enough sorrow to satisfy any avid Burton fan. And, may I now say, well done Burton for doing a decent vampire love story and welcome back to the genre you are perfect at.

4/5