Great games: The biggest gaming titles coming your way this year

Great games: The biggest gaming titles coming your way this year
Indie developers Sloclap’s third-person action game looks incredible and promises players “intense hand-to-hand combat.” (Supplied)
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Updated 13 January 2022

Great games: The biggest gaming titles coming your way this year

Great games: The biggest gaming titles coming your way this year
  • From the long-awaited ‘Zelda’ follow-up to brand new fantasy worlds, these are the video games we’re most looking forward to in 2022

‘Elden Ring’ 

Annoying as it may be for those of us waiting for him to finish the “Game of Thrones” novels, the news that George R.R. Martin was involved in crafting the world for this vast open-world third-person perspective action role-player has gamers buzzing. It’s been the Most Anticipated Game at the Game Awards for the last two years. And the fact that Martin’s material has been worked on by the acclaimed Japanese game designer and director Hidetaka Miyazaki (“Bloodborne” and the “Souls” series) makes it an even more attractive prospect. The game is set in ‘The Lands Between,’ which — since the destruction of the titular ring and the scattering of its shards, aka the Great Runes — has been ruled over by the demigods, the children of Queen Marika the Eternal. Each possesses one of the Great Runes, which corrupts them even as it makes them powerful (so far, so Tolkein). You play as one of the Tarnished, an exile summoned back to the Lands Between after ‘the Shattering,’ who must find and recover all the Great Runes to reassemble the Elden Ring.

Miyazaki is famed for his games’ extremely challenging difficulty levels, so don’t expect this to be an easy journey. Players will have to build up their characters’ skills and magic abilities to stand any chance of overcoming all the demigods — but will also be able to summon many spirits, including those of defeated enemies, to help them on the way.

‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2’

The title still hasn’t been officially confirmed, but we will (reportedly) see the sequel to 2017’s excellent “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” this year on the Nintendo Switch. Its predecessor is widely regarded as the finest game yet made for the handheld console. Hidemaro Fujibayashi will once again direct the game, which will be set in the same world of Hyrule, (including the skies above it), but with a new story and different gameplay elements. Details have so far been kept tightly under wraps by the developers aside from a couple of trailers, but they have at least revealed the Link and Zelda will be flying high amongst the clouds — paragliding between floating cities — and exploring foreboding underground dungeons.

‘Starfield’

When the multi-award-winning Bethesda Game Studios (creators of “The Elder Scrolls” and “Fallout” series) announced that it has created its first new universe in 25 years, gamers were understandably wildly excited. The space-themed RPG is set in the year 2330, 20 years after two factions — the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective — engaged in the Colony War for control of The Settled Systems, located around 50 light years away from our Solar System. For now, a fragile peace has been achieved. The developers promise that players of this sci-fi epic can “create any character you want and explore with unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey to answer humanity’s greatest mystery” as you traverse various star systems. Given Bethesda’s stellar track record, it’s hard to see this game being anything but a success.

‘Gran Turismo 7’

By the time this game’s released, it will have been almost five years since we had a new main installment in Sony’s racing sim series. Nevertheless, “Gran Turismo” remains the benchmark by which any driving game striving for realism is judged — it’s not the bestselling game franchise under the PlayStation brand for nothing. What we’ve seen of the game’s visuals are as breathtaking as you’d expect (this being the first installment for the PS5 and all) and the game will feature the return of the much-loved single-player campaign mode, the used-car dealership, and the tuning parts shop among other favorites from the series. 

‘Sifu’

Indie developers Sloclap’s third-person action game looks incredible and promises players “intense hand-to-hand combat” as you guide a young Kung-Fu student on his path of vengeance against the five assassins who murdered his family. “You have got one day, and countless enemies on your way. For every mistake, time will be the price to pay,” according to the publisher’s blurb. What that last bit means is that when you’re fatally injured (which will happen a lot — the developers chose to make the gameplay extremely challenging with a steep learning curve), your magical talisman will revive you. But every time it does, you will age a specific number of years. 

That might make it sound like you’ll need to rush in to every fight and keep hammering away at your numerous opponents before you get too old — but there’s a lot more to “Sifu” than simple button-mashing: Clever use of objects and your environment will be crucial to your quest and you can occasionally avoid fighting altogether with the correct use of dialogue. And ageing isn’t necessarily a bad thing here; you learn from your mistakes, and that wisdom brings greater mastery of your martial arts abilities. 

‘Forspoken’

Another open-world fantasy RPG, this one published by “Final Fantasy” developers Square Enix. In “Forspoken,” you play as a young New Yorker named Frey, who finds herself transported to Athia, a land under the control of the tyrannical Tantas. Frey is welcomed as a savior by the people of Athia, partly due to her newly acquired magical powers. Reluctantly, Frey realizes she must try and fulfill this role, and defeat the Tantas, if she is ever going to be able to get back home. Its director Takeshi Aramaki told gaming site Kotaku that “Forspoken” would focus on “terrain traversal speed and fluidity.” 

‘Dune: Spice Wars’

It may be (it is) a blatant attempt to jump on the bandwagon of the success of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune (Part One),” which many critics considered among 2021’s best movies, but Shiro Games’ real-time strategy game should genuinely appeal to those who enjoy the political intrigue of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novels. The player’s goal is to take control of Arrakis — the harsh desert planet that is the universe’s only source of spice — a rare narcotic mineral that makes interstellar travel possible and is the most-valuable substance known to man and alien. To do so, you’ll need a combination of military might, money, and smarts. And probably a willingness to play dirty. 

‘Gotham Knights’

With Batman apparently dead, and Commissioner Gordon off the scene, Gotham City has become more dangerous than ever for its residents. So, B-list superheroes Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl and Red Hood team up in an attempt to save their city from the machinations of a sinister organization known as the Court of Owls, as well as other supervillains such as Mr. Freeze and The Penguin. Warner Bros’ recent Batman games have been consistently excellent, and even though the Caped Crusader isn’t the star here, hopes are still high. The drop-in multiplayer co-op feature — each character has different special abilities and fighting techniques — should help make up for the lack of a big-name superhero. 


Actress Melissa Barrera talks ‘Scream 5’ wearing a statement jumpsuit by Elie Saab

Actress Melissa Barrera talks ‘Scream 5’ wearing a statement jumpsuit by Elie Saab
The Mexican actress wore a black Elie Saab jumpsuit to promote the new film. Instagram
Updated 16 January 2022

Actress Melissa Barrera talks ‘Scream 5’ wearing a statement jumpsuit by Elie Saab

Actress Melissa Barrera talks ‘Scream 5’ wearing a statement jumpsuit by Elie Saab

DUBAI: “Scream” will hit theaters in Saudi Arabia this week, more than 25 years after the late Wes Craven’s slasher classic thrilled fans. The new film is the fifth title in the cult series and is a direct sequel to 2011’s “Scream 4.” Directed by filmmakers Matt Bettinello-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, “Scream” sees franchise mainstays Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell reprise their roles, while newcomers include Sonia Ben Ammar, Melissa Barerra, Jenna Ortega, Mason Gooding, Dylan Minnette and Jack Quaid.

“Scream” follows a new Ghostface-masked assailant who begins targeting teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town of Woodsboro’s past.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by laChambre (@lachambrehq)

Following the hotly-anticipated movie’s successful release in the US on Jan. 14, Barrera sat down with show host Kelly Clarkson to promote the new film and to discuss her role in the latest installment of the “Scream” franchise. For her appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” the rising Hollywood star decided to don one of the most versatile pieces in fashion — the jumpsuit.

The 31-year-old exuded casual glam wearing a black power jumpsuit from Lebanese couturier Elie Saab’s Resort 2022 collection, which was titled “Infinite Horizons.” The design featured short, layered sleeves, white stitching throughout and a delicate bow on the neckline. The loose track-suit style jumpsuit boasted a black stripe running down the side. The Mexican star paired the look, which was put together by stylist Penny Lovell, with open-toe pumps and a bedazzled Ghostface-shaped hairclip to secure her raven lengths.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lilly Keys (@lilly_keys)

The disco-era favorite that is undergoing a renaissance on the runways — it popped up on the Spring 2022 catwalks of Alberta Ferretti, Etro, Isabel Marant and Fendi — is slowly migrating to the red carpet and photo calls.

Meanwhile, the Monterrey-born star is certainly one to watch. For the past few years, Barrera has split her time between Mexico and the US. After growing up in Monterrey, Mexico, she studied in New York at Tisch School of the Arts, then returned to Mexico to star in telenovela “Siempre tuya Acapulco.” The Clinique brand ambassador moved back to the US to film the TV drama series “Vida” and later to star as Vanessa in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s screen adaptation of the musical “In the Heights.”


Quirky Saudi vintage collector lays down a challenge to the fast-fashion world

Alia Kurdi, a 27-year-old fashion enthusiast, uses shirts from her grandfather’s Versace collection that are often loud and bright in her outfits and receives compliments for her style. (Supplied)
Alia Kurdi, a 27-year-old fashion enthusiast, uses shirts from her grandfather’s Versace collection that are often loud and bright in her outfits and receives compliments for her style. (Supplied)
Updated 16 January 2022

Quirky Saudi vintage collector lays down a challenge to the fast-fashion world

Alia Kurdi, a 27-year-old fashion enthusiast, uses shirts from her grandfather’s Versace collection that are often loud and bright in her outfits and receives compliments for her style. (Supplied)
  • ‘Re-accessorize everything, borrow from your friends and lend them stuff. The perfect way to not buy for occasions’

JEDDAH: A young Saudi fashion enthusiast is trying to make people aware of vintage fashion and the footprint that fast fashion has on the world.

Alia Kurdi is a 27-year-old fashion enthusiast who collects, designs, and sells vintage clothes in Saudi Arabia. She has always felt that, growing up, the only way she could express herself was through her clothes,
“There weren’t many venues for self-expression, and because I am a bit of a radical person, I began showing my personality through my clothes, and that is when I began building this connection to different pieces.”
The appreciation of vintage clothes ran within the Kurdi family. She told Arab News that her grandfather collected Versace shirts that were often loud and bright, “He didn’t dress like the typical Arab man. I still wear some of his shirts today, and people compliment them and are often shocked to find out that they belong to my grandfather.”

I feel like I already have a connection with a piece; I feel called to a store, and immediately from a distance, I know the thing I am going to buy as if these pieces speak to me. Usually, they are extremely special, whether the texture or the pattern.

Alia Kurdi

People in Saudi Arabia have always recycled their used items through charity.
However, the situation has changed as conversations around resale and pre-owned pieces have evolved.
Kurdi said that she began shopping mindfully ever since she learned the footprint that fast fashion had on the globe; that is when she started venturing into vintage and second-hand shops. The collector said that once she had started, she never looked back, and 2022 marks her fast-fashion-free seventh year.
Kurdi advised people thinking of going into fast fashion to start with baby steps and set realistic goals, “One of the most negative things is buying for occasions because people think they cannot repeat. Re-accessorize everything, borrow from your friends and lend them stuff. That will be the perfect way to not buy for occasions.”
The collector said that she loves exploring different streets and shops to find her clothes; she described the process of selecting what to buy as “intuitive.”
“I feel like I already have a connection with a piece; I feel called to a store, and immediately from a distance, I know the thing I am going to buy as if these pieces speak to me. Usually, they are extremely special, whether the texture or the pattern,” she said.

Alia Kurdi has recycled these pants from a vintage skirt. (Supplied)

Kurdi also said that the pieces she selects turn out to be beautiful, and she has developed this compass to find hidden treasures.
She describes her style as an “Emo Unicorn,” someone who likes a lot of black but with loud colors, as well. Her emotions are reflected in the outfit she is wearing.
“I did get a lot of negative comments as I was growing up, and I was very triggered by it. However, now not only have I changed my approach, but people are celebrating it a lot more; they say things like it’s amazing that I have stayed true to myself,” she said.
“Still, a lot of people have said that I was much prettier a few years ago, and I recognize that at that time I was much more insecure.”
She said her favorite piece of clothing is a ‘Google Chrome’ jacket that she bought in Berlin: “It’s black with a lot of bright colors. I broke my spending limit rule for this one jacket because I actually had to have it. So many people have complimented me. I made a friend through it as well. I am so glad that it found me.”
She gave that name to the jacket because the colors looked like Google’s logo. If she were to sum up her style and personality in an item of clothing, this would be it: “It is rough in some spots and soft in some, it is all black but also colorful. Kind of like what I feel all the time.”
The collector has started her own brand where she connects people with pieces with stories, “Diskofrenzy was born because often I will find pieces that were very special but not my size, but I had to collect them and keep them with me. My goal for my brand is to make Diskofrenzy the ultimate go-to for vintage and up-cycled fashion.”
The name connects two very personal things for Kurdi: Disco, which is vintage but is now making a comeback, and she said that she feels a frenzy only when she is dancing or shopping. This is why she decided that the perfect name for her brand would be Diskofrenzy.
She said that people often come up to her and say that only she can pull off a certain style. However, in her opinion that is not true, “Anyone can pull off whatever they want. Just be quirky and weird and a little bit rebellious. Express yourself through what you wear.”


Italian fashion pioneer Nino Cerruti dies

Italian fashion pioneer Nino Cerruti dies
Updated 15 January 2022

Italian fashion pioneer Nino Cerruti dies

Italian fashion pioneer Nino Cerruti dies
  • Cerruti, who dressed many a Hollywood star in his heyday, introduced “casual chic” into men’s fashion when he created the first deconstructed jacket in the 1970s
  • He was one of the leading figures in men’s ready-to-wear fashion in the 20th century

ROME: Pioneering Italian fashion designer Nino Cerruti has died at the age of 91, it was on reported Saturday.
Cerruti, who dressed many a Hollywood star in his heyday, introduced “casual chic” into men’s fashion when he created the first deconstructed jacket in the 1970s.
He died at the Vercelli hospital in the northwest region of Piedmont, where he had been admitted for a hip operation, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported on its website.
Cerruti was one of the leading figures in men’s ready-to-wear fashion in the 20th century, with a style that was at once elegant and relaxed.
“A giant among Italian entrepreneurs has left us,” said Gilberto Pichetto, deputy minister for economic development.
Tall and slim, he always insisted he be the first to try on his creations, many of which were kept at the textile factory his grandfather founded in the northern town of Biella in 1881.
“I have always dressed the same person, myself,” he once said.
Born in 1930 in Biella, Cerruti dreamt of becoming a journalist.
But after his father died when he was 20, he was forced to give up his philosophy studies to take over the family textile factory.
In the 1960s, he met Giorgio Armani and hired him as a creator of men’s fashion.
The duo made a profound mark on the world of fashion, before Armani branched out on his own with his own fashion house in 1975.
Cerruti opened his first shop in Paris in 1967, launching his luxury brand into global fame.
“Clothes only exist from the moment someone puts them on. I would like these clothes to continue to live, to soak up life,” he said.
While French students protested in 1968, he revolutionized fashion by asking male and female models to walk down the catwalk in the same clothes.
“Trousers have given women freedom,” said the designer, who in the 1970s created his first line of women’s clothing.
The man nicknamed the “philosopher of clothing” dressed American actors Richard Gere and Robert Redford as well as French star Jean-Paul Belmondo.
He also made cameo appearances in Hollywood films “Cannes Man” (1996) and “Holy Man” (1998).


US actress Hilary Duff taps Lebanese designer for press event

US actress Hilary Duff taps Lebanese designer for press event
Updated 15 January 2022

US actress Hilary Duff taps Lebanese designer for press event

US actress Hilary Duff taps Lebanese designer for press event

DUBAI: US actress and singer Hilary Duff turned heads this week wearing a pair of heels designed by Lebanese shoemaker Andrea Wazen.

The “Lizzie McGuire” star championed the brand’s Denver pumps in white during a press event for her upcoming show “How I Met Your Father,” which will premiere on Hulu on Jan. 18.

The 10-episode comedy series is a sequel to the CBS hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff)

Duff, who is also the producer of the series, will play the role of Sophie, the show’s protagonist, who tells her son the story of how she met his father.

During the press event, Duff paired the heels with a printed thigh-high dress in blue by US label Rhode that featured a ruched skirt with a side ruffle, elbow-length puff sleeves and a round neckline.

“This whole thang to sit in a chair from 9-7 yesterday doing press, but those shoes and that gloss lid were sass,” wrote Duff to her 19.7 million Instagram followers, complimenting Wazen’s creations.

Duff is known for championing labels from around the world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff)

In November, the star turned to a British-Afghan-Pakistani designer for the 2021 Baby2Baby gala at Hollywood’s Pacific Design Centre. 

The 34-year-old actress was a vision in a dazzling hot pink dress by UK-based label Osman, which featured a plunging neckline, dramatic sleeves and thigh-high slit. 

Duff is not the only celebrity fan of Wazen, however.

In fact, the Lebanese label is shaping up to be the next big footwear brand to watch.

Since launching in 2013, the label’s strappy sandals and stilettos have made their way onto the pedicured toes of A-listers and It-girls across the globe, including Beyonce, Megan Fox, Hailey Bieber, Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Addison Rae, who have all championed Wazen’s creations.

Just this week, US actress Alyssa Milano wore the label’s black Denver pumps during an interview with celebrity interviewer Steve Varley for her new Netflix film “Brazen.”


Model Bella Hadid pays tribute to her late Palestinian grandmother

Model Bella Hadid pays tribute to her late Palestinian grandmother
Updated 15 January 2022

Model Bella Hadid pays tribute to her late Palestinian grandmother

Model Bella Hadid pays tribute to her late Palestinian grandmother

DUBAI: Supermodel Bella Hadid on Saturday paid tribute to her late Palestinian grandmother on Instagram.

The half-Dutch catwalk star shared a childhood photo with her siblings Gigi and Anwar Hadid and their grandmother Khairia Hadid, who died in 2008. “I miss you Teta,” wrote Bella on her Stories.

Instagram/ @bellahadid

The fashion star’s father, US-Palestinian real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid, re-shared Bella’s post and wrote: “With Tata, with the princess of Nazareth Tata Khairia Al-Daher Al-Fahoum Hadid, granddaughter of the king and the prince of Nazareth and Gallalie Daher Al-Omer.”

Daher Al-Omer was the Arab ruler of northern Palestine until 1774, and Mohamed claims that his mother, Khairia, was his granddaughter.

Gigi’s daughter’s name, Khai, is a nod to their grandmother, and Bella is also named after Khairia — her middle name is Khair.

Anwar, the youngest of the Hadid family, is named after his grandfather Anwar Hadid.