A big release fortnight has passed us recently, no prizes for guessing which 3 games the COMO team have mainly been playing for this Week Spot…
Cev – Dark Souls II (PS3), inFAMOUS Second Son (PS4)
This week has been a fantastic week as the influx of games is starting to pick up. I’ve played Dark Souls II, which I love, but you can read about it here. Most impressively, I’ve played InFamous: Second Son. What can I say? After playing the first two, which I only got around to recently, I was entirely certain that Sucker Punch didn’t really care enough to make a good game. Personal preference naturally, I don’t expect anyone else to dislike the games simply because I do… I just didn’t like them. I thought the second was better than the first but still didn’t really jump out at me as a fantastic game. Second Son is proof that I was wrong about this ‘Sly’ little development company. Second Son, in my opinion, is not only a good game… it’s a freakin’ fantastic one. The story is well written, so much so, that even the big cliche close to the end is done so well that it comes off totally legit.
The gameplay is remastered and, though still having some awkward twisting mid-air, is clearly at it’s finest. The VO is top-notch (between this, the Lightning Returns review and Last of Us… can you tell I’m a big Troy Baker fan?). For the first time in the series, it feels like the voice acting hasn’t been handled by the office space’s janitorial staff and random strangers off the street. Even the ancillary passers-by give surprisingly impressive performances. But the best thing about it all is that it’s just plain fun. I can actually see myself wanting to go back for the trophies in this game, rather than ‘having to’ with those that preceded it. Congratulations, Sucker Punch. This is quite the accomplishment.
Highlights: Every Estus Flask Shard found. Praise the Sun!
Lowlights: That Bell Keeper Covenant is a nightmare!
Has another week gone by? Why does time seem to be moving at double speed at the moment, maybe I am getting old? I feel old, in fact I opened the door last week only to utter the words ‘it’s a good drying day today’ (referring to drying washing). After I had got over the shock of turning into my mother, I set about playing some games. As I seem to have little time for playing the games I really want, I have been hopping in and out of titles as and when I have a moment. Usually this would mean I only play either FIFA 14 or a bit of Resogun, but I tried to play a few other more immersive games, even if it was just for 20 minutes here and there.
I did also play FIFA a little and found my way back to winning form. Alas, I see this as the beginning of the end, as I am already on the highest difficulty and when you smash Man U 4-0 and find it easy… the challenge is gone. I’ve not played FIFA 14 yet online, so maybe it has a stay of execution for a little while.
I jumped back into Battlefield 4 multiplayer and found I had forgotten how to play. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to gaming, I get used to sitting in a certain position, for certain games; a set distance from the TV at a certain angle. Now I have a new set up where the TV is on a wall, twice the usual distance away and I am finding I have to relearn how to play. I will stick with it and report back. I set the brightness to high and played a little Dead Nation as it was free. I am told the co-op is good, which is encouraging, as I didn’t find the single player too entertaining.
After the PlayStation Store decided I wasn’t on a 56k connection, I downloaded Bioshock Infinite. I played the original Bioshock on the PC and it blew my mind and confused me ever so slightly, which I think made a good game. I have not gotten too far into this game, but visually it looks amazing so I am looking forward to putting in some more hours.
Since I have been spending more time pressed against hairy people with dubious personal hygiene regimes on the tube, I have been able to spend a little more time on the PS Vita. I don’t like my Vita much at the moment, I may elaborate more in due course, but lets just say the relationship is a bit frosty. I have been playing a little more Olli Olli, but I don’t know why as I still cannot get past level 3. It does give me more space on the tube as I normally end up cursing like Danny Dyer after a bad run. I have taken a shine to PixelJunk Monsters, I think it fun, addictive, not too easy and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also doesn’t leave me wanting to kill everybody around me as a 720 kickflip has gone a bit wrong.
Highlight: Some good drying days!
Lowlight: I have turned into my mother.
Andy – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4), inFAMOUS Second Son (PS4)
I’ve had very little time to play this week and only managed a few hours on Second Son and another playthrough of Ground Zeroes. Second Son is a great game and looks nice, not as pretty as Ground Zeroes, but good. You swiftly progress and upgrade your skills, leaving you with a plethora of approaches which really enhances the experience; I just wonder if it runs the risk of becoming a little bit samey after a while? I am ready and willing to be proven wrong when I get the chance to put some more time in.
Ground Zeroes continues to impress me with the breadth and depth of what I had thought to be a very short demo of what is to come. It’s worth investing some time in this and seeing what you can get up to…we recommend a BTR + C4 + Ocean.
Highlights: That long range tranquiliser headshot.
Lowlights: Too much real life going on!
Roger – Dark Souls II (PS3)
So it may come as a surprise to no one that I played Dark Souls II this week. Lots and lots of Dark Souls. So I’m about 40 hours in, level 100 and only to Harvest Valley. Although I feel as though I have only scratched the surface, there is an incredible amount of depth and nuance that lets players sink in countless hours all while time is flying by. This is one of the things that helps to make a truly great game. Although I was tempted to continue onward to see what lay ahead, I had a deep yearning to spend some time invading worlds, and invading worlds I did. Well to some extent. You see I recently became a member of the Covenant of Blood and had acquired the Red Sign Soapstone. This allows players to lay down a red version of their summon sign and wait for any person brave enough to summon you into their world. I took this time to become acquainted with the poisonous crevices of Harvest valley and ended up invading and winning over 50 fights in the course of one night. Proudly, I took myself back over to Undead Purgatory to level myself up in the covenant. To my dismay I discovered that for some reason, ranking up in the covenant only works for Duels or actual invasions using the Cracked Red Eye Orbs. So if you are reading this hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and avoid the wasted time. I use ‘wasted’ lightly though, considering I am now rather proficient at PVP techniques with my character.
The next day arrived and I remembered that I never entered Belfry Luna to defeat the Belfry Gargoyles. If you remember the roof top gargoyles from the first game, just picture 6 of them that are more aggressive and powerful and you will get a pretty good idea. While there, I quickly discovered that this area is ripe for constant invasion. It was not uncommon at all to be invaded by two people at once. I decided to join up with the Bell Keeper’s Covenant so I could start returning the favors. I then proceeded to spend the next chunk of time being summoned into others worlds’ with the only goal being their defeat. Not too much time had passed and I leveled up in the covenant twice and received an Invisible Hand Spell. This, as it sounds, allows you to make your weapon in the other hand invisible. This obviously has some serious tactical advantage in PVP matches and I look forward to experimenting with it soon. I did some more research into Covenant of Blood and found the max level reward is a Pyromancy that is unlocked after 500 invasion kills. If I want the Platinum in this game I’m going to need to either get the kills or play to New Game ++++ to buy it from an NPC. I’ve read that the NG + modes are so varied and fresh, that each new playthrough is like another game entirely. This gives me great incentive either way to carry through for many more play sessions.
Highlights: Achieving 50 invasion kills in 4 hours. Victory is mine!
Lowlights: Finding out that all my kills did not count toward covenant rank. Also neglecting my PS4.
Matt – PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD (PS Vita), Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes (PS4), inFAMOUS Second Son (PS4)
So friends, what’s my gaming activity been this week? Slightly varied but ultimately not enough time on anything in particular. First up I continued my PixelJunk Monsters at altitude session, though picked the flight from Heathrow to Manchester for this which gave me just enough time to do one level. I should really be marvelling at the speed with which 200 miles is despatched, but instead I’m moaning about not having chance to smite monsters with arrows and cannons.
When I got home from my week away, I was treated to the sight of two parcels waiting on the kitchen table, inFAMOUS and MGS. Having played MGS before I left, inFAMOUS was the obvious choice to get started on, and I won’t get too much into the details because I’ll be putting a review up soon. In short though, I like it and feel contempt for it at the same time. It’s very pretty but doesn’t challenge itself, and I feel a little let down by it. However, because I’ve not had a lot of time this week to get into it I’ve a lot more of the story to go, and for it to redeem itself.
I made absolutely sure I got a good hour with MGS though, and played the side missions. I was worried the challenge aspect would just mean the same scenarios over and over again, so am nicely surprised that each one is different and forces you to explore different modes of gameplay. The helicopter rescue mission was a highlight because I just wasn’t expecting to be leaning out of the door picking soliders off. I’ve also got the underlying feeling that I’m missing a lot from the game too, and with only 14% complete after doing the story and the side missions, I definitely need to do some more exploring and experimenting.
Highlights: Using C4 to launch an APC off a coastal track into the ocean (hurry up and add YouTube integration Sony!).
Lowlights: Jet lag causing me to feel very tired at the wrong times of the day.
If you’ve been playing something interesting over the week or just want to boast about your exploits, hit us up on @CodecMoments for Twitter, or CodecMoments on Facebook.