It’s time once again for the Codec Moments’ Week Spot, where the team talks about what they’ve been playing this week.
Andy: inFAMOUS: Second Son (PS4) and Quake (PC)
This week I’ve had very little time for gaming sadly, even The Simpsons: Tapped Out has fallen by the wayside. But I did make a few hours on Saturday morning, between chores and accounts, for some time with Delsin Rowe and Infamous: Second Son. I’m finding the progression and development of Delsin’s skills a lot of fun and the game’s not proven as repetitive as I’d feared it would be, in fact the various side quests and activities as you clear out the D.U.P. are rather enjoyable; so much so, I’ve quite forgotten about the story quests.
I made a promise to myself a few weeks ago that I would spend more time on my PC playing some classic games. I’ve certainly spent more time on my PC, sadly doing year-end accounts and editing audio is not quite what I’d anticipated… until last night that is. I only went and bought frigging QUAKE on Steam!?!
As I passed through the first Slipgate, the atmosphere, enemies, weapons and secrets to be found all came flooding back to me, as vivid as the first time I ever played it at my friend Tim’s house. What do you expect from a game that was developed by a dream team including John Carmack, American McGee, John Romero and Trent Reznor? The game is as immersive as it ever was with great sound, tight controls (when I remembered how to open the console and the +mlook command) and a brilliant mix of styles. Simply put, it’s exactly as I remember… Shamblers shamble, the nail gun nails ‘em and it still won’t run at full resolution on my PC.
Highlights: Remembering where the nailgun is hidden when I started my new game!
Lowlights: Having to play an 18 year old game at only 800×600 on my 5 year old PC.
It’s been a bit of a strange week for gaming. I caned MGS at the weekend because I’d spent all week talking about it instead of actually playing it, and finally unlocked and played the Deja Vu mission. That is a fantastic piece to play and bring back the nostalgia of Metal Gear Solid and I can completely overlook the Sutherland replacement in it, because it’s just so nicely done. What it really reminded me of though, was not the adventure on Shadow Moses, but the VR missions bonus disc. In fact, all the bonus missions feel a bit like that because it’s the game putting you in fictional scenarios (noted with the pseudo-historical naming) for your enjoyment, and with the signature Kojima light relief/absurdity. Despite all the chatter about the length of the game, I’ve found multiple things to do and try to improve at, particularly when it comes to distance headshots…
After spending so much time in the shoes of Snake, I struggled to find an outlet to provide a counterpoint to the death dealing I’d been up to. Flower is perfect for that. If there’s anything that is the polar opposite to an action stealth shooter, it’s the beautiful realisation of being a petal on the breeze by ThatGameCompany. Flying through the grass, blooming flowers and bringing life and colour to the environment is just wonderful. I’m waiting for the inevitable Journey port so that I can play through that again too. If you’ve never picked up a pad and played any of these games, just do it. They are ones that lend credence to the “games can be art” debate.
Continuing the mood of avoiding games with large amounts of killing, I had a go with The Playroom again, now that DLC has been made available. The additions are quite nice with My Alien Buddy making me grin like an idiot and Ninja Bots actually being quite enjoyable for a basic run-shoot-jump game. The nicest surprise was using the Vita to draw objects for the on screen bots to play with, and it wasn’t long before they were batting a balloon penis around my living room. It had to be done, and I’m willing to bet most of you have done the same.
However, the lure of action got the better of me and I hit Battlefield again for the first time in months. I had to really, having paid for Premium I haven’t been getting my money’s worth. The Naval Strike map pack is a little disappointing from the ones I’ve hit in the rotation so far, not feeling sufficiently different to Paracel Storm for my liking, and being too focussed on small scale, close quarters battles. This wasn’t helped with lag I was getting, and that’s my excuse for doing so poorly. I’ve not played all the new maps yet so I’m hoping there’s a stunner in there, otherwise Dice will need to deliver big time on the next map set to make up for it.
Highlight: Several 100 m+ headshots with a silent assault rifle, to clean out the entire Cuban base in Ground Zeroes.
Lowlight: Every game on Naval Strike having horrible lag.
Cev: Hotline: Miami (PS3), Bioshock Infinite (PS3) and Mercenary Kings (PS4)
Seems like a running theme but I’ve generally been neglecting games for a few weeks now. This week, I’ve been reading more than anything. But I’m not left entirely without. I did get to take a spin on Hotline Miami, which is a lot more engaging that I expected it to be. I can understand why it made Graham’s game of the year. It really does have that “Wait? What happened..? AGAIN!” factor to it and cuts so seamlessly back to a renewed position that you could easily lose hours looping the same chapter death after death after death and enjoying every second of it.
On top of that, I’ve had a chance to spend a little time with Mercenary Kings, It’s ok so far. I’m not exactly leaping out of my chair at how much I enjoy it but I am enjoying it. Metal Slug meets…a more open scale kind of game. It’s great to see Sony remaining consistent with their initiative of using this space to promote more indie/low-key stuff, but it can’t all be Don’t Starve, right? That being said, Mercenary Kings is a fun little title and considering it didn’t cost me a penny, I can’t exactly complain about it.
Lastly, after Bioshock Infinite was made available some time ago, I made sure to claim it before it was taken down, but didn’t download it immediately as I was in no particular rush to re-experience it all. Anyway, I downloaded it on Sunday and gave it spin but…it’s lost all power over me. I’m not saying it’s a bad game, far from it… it’s a really good game. But knowing where the story is going and the fact that, for me at least, the story trumped the gameplay. Outside of leaping around like a mad man, I just don’t enjoy it so much anymore… still, gotta plat it sooner or later right?!
Highlights: Easter sale!
Lowlights: Easter sale!!
Roger: Dark Souls 2 (PS3) and Zelda: Oracle of Ages (3DS)
Dark Souls II, I can safely say is my newest addiction. The one sure way I know this to be true, is that I always find myself back in the world of Drangliec. Slowly but surely I am making progress farther into the game. Although the time is rather consuming, it is never dull. The sense of adventure and exploration that one gets while playing a Souls game, is enthralling and gives an increasingly stronger drive for players to press onward. I spend a large portion of my time in The Gutter, falling from ledges and getting poisoned. If you remember Blight town from DS 1 it is somewhat similar. Imagine an almost pitch black cavern filled with fragile and crumbling scaffolding. There are chalices strewn throughout the level that can be lit to help light a small area. In several places lie these annoying statues that spew poison at you as you walk by. The combination made a rather troubling time for me and finally completing the area was a relief. I then found myself in a new area called Black Gulch, to my surprise the area was filled with fully automated versions of the poison statues that shoot relentlessly. Having very quickly exhausted my supply of Green moss, the wonderful item that removes poison, I decided that it was time to take a break from Dark Souls and move on to something else.
Just yesterday I purchased a 3DS XL, with plans of selling my original 3DS. I have large hands, so I wanted something that was more comfortable to hold for long periods of time. It works very well and the bigger screen is nice for enjoying games a little larger. I ended up playing The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages; the Virtual Console version of the Game Boy Advance Zelda game, that is meant to be played in conjunction with Oracle of Seasons. The format is old, but the gameplay is solid. I am having a really fun time with it and it is really easy to pick up and play in short bursts. Not a lot was played this week, but maybe there will be more in store for me next time.
Highlights: Purchasing a 3DS XL, in like new condition with Animal Crossing New Leaf and Zelda: A Link to the Past, for less than the cost I bought my original 3DS for. I love Craigslist.
Lowlights: The Gutter area in Dark Souls 2. Too similar to Blight Town, but at least the frame rate is kept high!
Graham: Battlefield 4 (PS4) and Grid 2 (PS3)
With the only review copies coming my way being Lego based (these get hoovered up by my son), I have some time to catch up on some of the games that I have not played for a while.
This only equalled Battlefield 4 in the most part but it did leave a little space for some more of Grid 2.
I have noticed since I have been away from BF4, that two things have happened. Firstly, I got killed the other day by a cruise missile! A cruise missile!! Slight overkill, but I want one more than a young child wants to stay up and see Father Christmas. No one in the COMO team knows how to get one so any tips are gratefully received.
The second thing that is back (I think it wasn’t there before), are comedy explosive deaths, you know the ones… Get hit by a RPG or some C4 and boom you fly 100m in the air and land with all the grace of a dead racehorse. Little things please little minds, but it did make me chuckle.
Grid 2 is still ok and that’s all I have to say about that, apart from it didn’t crash for me *cough* Matt…
Highlight: Flying deaths.
Lowlight: New releases a little slow.