Another week flies by and the Codec Moments team takes stock of their gaming exploits over the past seven days. It’s the Codec Moments’ Week Spot!
Roger: Plants vs Zombies (PS Vita) and GTA V (PS3)
Hey all, I’m back and more refreshed than ever! Being able to take some mid-year vacation time was a life saver that allowed my burdens to be temporarily lifted and coming back to wonderful E3 news was very exciting. Although the whiskey and bottlecaps didn’t make it back from the great outdoors, great memories and gorgeous photos are some of the evidence that I have from my great adventure. While camping in the woods with my family, I convinced my parents to listen to the Skyrim soundtrack that I had on my phone. Being the resourceful camper that I am, I hooked up to my Noria Bluetooth speaker and listened away. Being in the pristine wilderness miles from anybody, sitting by the lapping waves of a mountain lake, the Skyrim soundtrack was such a perfect fit. If it were not so peaceful, I might have been concerned with a dragon swooping in when I least expected it. Thankfully this is just real life and a bear was the only thing that attacked. No, not really but it could have happened; we were camping in a Grizzly recovery area after all… so onto gaming.
I recently discovered that one of my friends who recently purchased a Vita was playing Plants Vs Zombies and was about to overtake my Zombie kill count on the leaderboards. I’m a tad bit competitive so after almost two years since I last played, decided to give it a go and knock a few more trophies out of the way. The addicting formula of tower defense that Pop Cap has perfected is the reason why I have played this game on 4 different platforms and beat it over 8 times. I hope it doesn’t come to PS4, this weak willed gamer might buy it… again.
Speaking of buying again, when the news of Grand Theft Auto V being brought over to PS4 caught my ears, I laughed out in joy. The trailer looked incredible. Being able to play the game in amazing graphical fidelity and the ability to transfer your GTA Online progress makes this a must have for me. With the inclusion of GTA V, Metro Redux and The Last of Us Remastered, it’s going to be a busy year of revisiting some of my favorite games in all of their new splendor. Having just come down after hearing about the GTA release, I felt inclined to hop back into GTA V on the PS3. Spending a few hours in Los Santos was a great way to pass the latter half of a day off. Wow, I sure forgot about how much of a psychopath Trevor is… seriously batshit crazy. Story missions proved to be fun for the majority of the time, but I found myself spending a good deal of time doing a GTA past-time: taxiing people around. I’m a pretty good driver at top speeds when it comes down to it, maybe I’ll try my luck in the online portion soon enough. So this once again sums up my weeks’ experience, stay tuned till next week and have fun everyone!
Highlights: Relaxing in the wilderness, GTA V news!
Lowlights: No news about The Last Guardian, the possibility that Uncharted 4 is the last one Naughty Dog wants to make.
Andy: WATCH_DOGS (PS4)
This week has been crazy busy and I’ve spent more time editing a podcast about playing Watch_Dogs, than I’ve spent playing Watch_Dogs; please check out my efforts so that it wasn’t all in vain!
Blatant plug aside, I did get a chance to play a few hours of Watch_Dogs and I’m still loving it! I’ve completed about 28% of the game and I’ve still only just started Act 2, there’s so much going on that it’s easy to get distracted as you end up clearing out gang hideouts and destroying criminal convoys before eventually stumbling across the story again. The only downside is, I expect to be fully upgraded by the time I reach Act 3 and I’m concerned that it might make things a little easy?
Highlights: Grenade launcher + criminal convoy = fun.
Lowlights: Not nearly enough time spent playing.
Yes it’s still Watch_Dogs that fills my Week Spot this week, it probably will for a bit longer yet hey that’s the sign of a good game. As my fellow Codec Moments colleagues mentioned in the recent Codec Call it does have some issues but the overall experience far out ways any small niggles. I have mostly this week been playing multiplayer games and so far I am highly amused. Normal state of play for me – most people are either much better or have more skills, but I don’t care. Capture the flag, I mean file, has to be one of my favourites. I love the absolute carnage that takes place to get your hands on that file. I have also tried and failed to play against mobile/tablet users on the companion app and it’s safe to say I am more of a hunter than a huntee.
PixelJunk Shooter has entertained me on the train this week and I am sold, completely and utterly. Something again so simple can entertain me as much as a multi zillion pound blockbuster. I even accidently completed 1 set of levels twice, I didn’t notice to start with but even after I did I carried on as I liked them so much the first time round. Right enough gushing, it’s the World Cup – lets see if England can follow my feat on FIFA World Cup Brazil and bring the trophy home for us.
Highlights: All PixelJunk Shooter Levels.
Lowlights: Steam pipes are not my friend.
Cev: The Darkness 2 (PC), Batman: Arkham Origins (PC), Batman: Arkham City (PC), L.A Noire (PC), Sniper Elite (PC), The Walking Dead Season 1 (PC), Bad Company 2 (PC), FEAR (PC), FEAR 2 (PC), Far Cry 2 (PC), Left 4 Dead (PC), Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (PC), Zeno Clash (PC), Dead Island (PC), Skyrim (PC), Neverwinter (PC), Awesomenauts (PC), League Of Legends (PC), Dota 2 (PC), Deadlight (PC), Shank 2 (PC), Super Meat Boy (PC), Terrarria (PC), Cave Story + (PC), Yet Another Zombie Defense (PC) and Loadout (PC)
There are two that I actually want to talk about however, firstly, The Darkness 2. It’s been a while since I last played this game and never have I enjoyed as much as I have been doing so at 60fps. The frenetic antics of Jackie Estacado are, as pretentious as it may seem to say, just extremely more enjoyable with the optimal input rate. The story is largely a huge cliché wrapped in the bread of stereotypes, but the gameplay and visuals are delightfully painful and comfortably fluid. You really get that sense of being overpowered with actually being overpowered. For anyone expecting their games to be a playground for them to vicariously wrestle back their insecurity, try The Darkness 2. For everyone else, try The Darkness 2. It’s an enjoyable experience, though lacking in depth, it’s got plenty enough in the single player story alone to be worth the couple of quid you’re likely to pick it up for these days.
Next up is Loadout. This little gem is actually making it’s way to the PS4 in the coming months and I look forward to playing it with anyone willing to join me. A perfect example of the right way to implement a free to play microtransaction system, Loadout leaves the stuff you must pay for primarily within the cosmetic. In other words, you can play the game as much as you like, enjoy it as much as EVERYONE else and the only limitation being that those who fork out money are only gaining access to look different while doing it. Of course, certain things other than cosmetics can be purchased, but they are things that don’t NEED to be purchased. The same situation as League Of Legends that has resulted in Riot Games being credited for allowing people to actually have fun before asking them for their money… and never forcibly begging as soon as the game launches. The game itself, however, is pure insanity. One of the most apt comments put forth in regards to Loadout was Venture Beat’s “Loadout is like Looney Tunes directed by Quentin Tarantino.”. It’s not far off, a simple team based 3rd person shooter with stylized characters and environments. You all run around obliterating one another while fighting to the goals of whichever objective you’re running at that given time. Massive hole in your chest? What massive hole in your chest? Just got your leg blown off? HOP! There’s so much more, too. So, look it up!
Highlights: So much E3 awesomeness…
Lowlights: …None of it is in my hands now.
This week I’ve really got into the WATCH_DOGS story, mainly because I’ve nearly run out of side missions to do. There’s a lot of credit to be given to a game that makes you forget there’s actually a narrative to follow by giving you so many other things to do. Does it get a bit repetitive? Yes, I can’t deny that, but the fun this game delivers outweighs having to do some things more than once. And I still enjoy reading the tags on what people get up to… there are some really good ones around.
I’ve played a lot of PixelJunk Shooter too, great game and free on PS Plus until the end of June, go download it! You can read the review if you want to know more. For my final game this week I’ve downloaded Hitman GO on Android, now that it’s finally out. I somehow missed the announcement that it had come out and hadn’t checked the Google Play Store in a couple of weeks, needless to say it was on my phone faster than prepping a garotte. The game so far seems to be an exact match to the iOS version, with the lovely diomara style giving it a very distinct and clean feel. The puzzle aspect is perfect for quick fix gaming when you’ve only got a few minutes to spare, and there’s incentive to go back and try the levels in different ways to complete the different challenges. Such a great little idea very well executed.
Like the rest of the team, I’ve watched a lot of gameplay footage this week of things that I won’t get my hands on for a long time, but there are two that have stood out. No Man’s Sky by Hello Games just looks really interesting, and the ability to travel between worlds with no loading is something I’ve wanted since Battlefront II and the almost seamless land/space combat idea was brought to the fore. The other is Rainbow Six Siege. That’s the type of game we’re missing at the moment, a pure co-op game, and since Rainbow Six Patriots was cancelled, it’s the only way we’ll be getting our Tom Clancy highly trained anti-terrorist simulator any time soon. Hopefully. Oh, and drop-in/drop-out co-op in Far Cry 4 without both of you needing the game – genius. And the Destiny First Look Alpha has just landed in my inbox…
Highlights: Elephants in Far Cry 4!
Lowlights: Like Cev, it’s too long to wait for some of the games shown at E3.