‘Resident Evil 3’ and some of the best videogames coming your way this year

Ubisoft has taken “Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag,” removed the assassins, and kept the awesome pirate battles. (Supplied)
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Updated 15 March 2020

‘Resident Evil 3’ and some of the best videogames coming your way this year

  • Seems like we’ll all be spending a lot more time indoors soon. So we’ve selected the best games set for release in 2020 to help pass those hours in self-isolation

RESIDENT EVIL 3 (REMAKE)

After the success of Capcom’s “Resident Evil 2” remake, it was only natural to expect it to do the same for episode three of its popular zombie-killing gorefest, originally released in 1999. Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira will be reunited in their attempts to escape Raccoon City. Unfortunately for them, Jill’s somewhat rage-y stalker — Nemesis — is back too.

RELEASE DATE: April 3

FINAL FANTASY VII (REMAKE)

News that Square Enix was revamping its game-changing 1997 “Final Fantasy VII” RPG has induced significant blood-pressure rises in gamers of a certain age. It was a game-changer on its release, with Cloud Strife and his oversized sword taking up hours of many lives. Whether it’s good or not, it’s going to sell millions. Thankfully, judging by the demo at least, it’s going to do so deservedly. 

RELEASE DATE: April 10

THE LAST OF US 2

This might be the release with the most to live up to this year. The first instalment of this post-apocalyptic action game, released in 2013, was a work of art — as immersive and engaging as a great movie, with characters that demanded real emotional involvement. (It’s now being developed as a TV show by HBO.) Part 2 is set five years after the original, and sees a grown-up Ellie (without her guardian Joel, at least at first) set on taking bloody revenge against a group of antagonistic adversaries, while still needing to dodge/destroy the infected hordes roaming the world. Like the original, it seems other humans are just as — if not more — dangerous than the monsters.

RELEASE DATE: May 29

GHOST OF TSUSHIMA

This stunning action game set in ancient Japan pits the player (a samurai swordsman known as The Ghost) against the forces of the Mongol Empire. The trailer promised all-out meleé action combined with stealth slaying, set against gorgeous backgrounds. 

RELEASE DATE: TBC, Summer

MARVEL’S AVENGERS

Crystal Dynamics is the developer tasked with turning Marvel’s movie behemoth into a decent game. The voice cast augurs well, as does the gameplay revealed so far. The storyline, wisely, steers clear of the film scripts. Instead, players can choose from Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow or Hulk and set out to save the world five years on from disbanding after being blamed for a disaster in San Francisco.

RELEASE DATE: September 4

CYBERPUNK 2077

The footage released so far for CD Projekt Red’s newest game looks incredible. Set in Night City — a scuzzy, crime-ridden metropolis “obsessed with power, glamour and body modification” — this first-person open-world action-adventure (players can customize their character, a mercenary known as V) demands mastery of heavy, high-tech weaponry and digital spying skills from protagonists. 

RELEASE DATE: September 17

DYING LIGHT 2

The popular parkour/zombie-killing horror game from 2015 gets a much-anticipated sequel helmed by acclaimed designer Chris Avellone (“Fallout,” “Prey”). Set 15 years after the original, you play as Aiden Caldwell — a gifted free-runner and fighter — navigating urban open-world setting The City. Player choices will have major effects on how The City develops (or doesn’t) and on who holds power there. Oh, and night time is still a very, very bad time to be out on the streets.

RELEASE DATE: TBC

SPIRITFARER

Indie developer Thunder Lotus is behind this intriguingly billed “cozy management game about dying.” It’s a low-key, gentle, and artfully illustrated management sim in which you play Stella — a ferrymaster in charge of preparing spirits for — and transporting them to — the afterlife. From trailers, it looks like a sweet and genuinely moving game about letting go of loved ones.

RELEASE DATE: TBC

12 MINUTES

There’s been a lot of hype around this title since its trailer debuted at E3 in 2019. You play a husband stuck in a 12-minute time loop. A really bad 12 minutes in which a very aggressive police officer breaks into your house and accuses your wife of murder. The game plays in real time, and — as creator Luis Antonio explained at E3, “Each time you play a loop, you’re gonna learn more about the situation. And you use your interpretation of the events to decide what to do. The game never gives you any objectives or tells you what to do (next).”

RELEASE DATE: TBC

SKULL AND BONES

In a smart, if unimaginative, move, Ubisoft has taken “Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag,” removed the assassins, and kept the awesome pirate battles. Gamers aim to take control of the 18th-century Indian Ocean, whether in a huge solo campaign, or online against other players’ customized warships. 

RELEASE DATE: TBC


Missing your salon? How to care for your hair while you #StayHome

We speak to a hair expert on the dos and don’ts of at-home hair care. (File/Instagram)
Updated 30 March 2020

Missing your salon? How to care for your hair while you #StayHome

DUBAI: As salon-goers face the closure of spas, salons and barbershops, we speak to Haneen Odeh, founder of UAE’s Snob salon for her take on the dos and don’ts of at-home hair care.

Many men and women who rely on salon visits to keep their lengths healthy could be left wondering what to do between now and their next visit to a professional hair stylist. But just as important is what not to do (read: DIY trim job) to avoid ruining your hair and having to impose your own personal period of self-isolation once the pandemic is over due to a ruined haircut you tried to pull off in the bathroom mirror.

Don’t bleach your own hair
“For those who usually go to the salon to dye their lengths blonde, roots may be starting to show now. And while it might be tempting, I would strongly urge to not bleach your own roots. Lightening dark hair is a very complex multi-step process that requires years of experience and professional grade products only available at salons. Bleaching your hair incorrectly might result in burning and damaging your hair. Instead, opt for a root spray such as the L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Concealer Spray. Otherwise, you can always conceal your dark roots with a headband or try wrapping your hair up with a scarf.” 

Do deep conditioning treatments
“Use this time to nourish your hair with a deep conditioning treatment. A lot of people simply apply it in the shower on wet hair for a few minutes and call it a day, but that way means that your lengths aren’t getting the full benefits of the product. Think of hair like a sponge, when it’s wet, it’s already full of water and cannot absorb anything more. So to make sure the product is fully absorbed into your locks, towel dry your hair after shampooing and then apply the treatment. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse. You’ll see a huge difference.” May we suggest The Let It Go Circle hair mask from Davines, which is designed to boost hydration and revitalize dry and brittle strands?  

Don’t pick up the scissors
“When you’re bored, it might be tempting to pick up the scissors but, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t trim your own bangs or make any big changes to your hair cut on your own. It will inevitably go wrong and you will end up paying more to get it fixed in the long run. Try out some new hairstyles instead. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube so experiment a little and get your hair professionally cut once it’s safe to do so.”

 Don’t over wash
“The more you wash your strands, the more you strip the scalp of its natural oils, and that in turn makes the scalp produce even more oil, which causes you to wash your hair more often — and the cycle goes on and on. Now is the perfect opportunity to give your lengths a break and cut down on the washing. Your hair might get oily, but once the adjustment period is over, you will notice that it will require less frequent washing.”

Do try scalp treatments
“Too often, we pay attention to the lengths of our hair and give our scalp no attention. But caring for your scalp improves the overall health of your tresses, stimulates hair growth and gets rid of dandruff due to product buildup. Scalp treatments range from serums to salt scrubs, so pick a product that suits your hair needs. Le Labo's basil-scented Scrub Shampoo uses black sea salt and menthol to clear away dirt and cool scalps down.”