See what the team have been playing this week in the Codec Moments’ Week Spot:
Matt: Sniper Elite III Hunt the Grey Wolf DLC (PS4), Destiny Beta (PS4), Trine 2 (PS4), Plague Inc (Android), LEGO Batman 2 (PS Vita), The Swapper (PS4) and New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4)
This week I have not played WATCH_DOGS. I have played lots of other things. The Swapper and New ‘n’ Tasty are both coming as reviews this week, and I’ve nothing bad to say about either of them so don’t feel the need to vent in two different places on the site. I will vent about Destiny though…
When we put up our impressions of the Alpha we were impressed with the way it played and looked, and the potential scope of the overall experience. Activision’s ridiculously high budget was being put to good use. However, we weren’t keen on the unbalanced Strike mission. The beta arrives (load test people, not a true beta test) and we’re loving the way it introduces you to the world and story, and start to get into the lore and potential this game holds. Then we play the Strike mission. Balls… same as before. Unbalanced and as grindy as Tony Hawks Pro Skater with infinite balance round a swimming pool edge. Seriously put me off following through with the pre-order as I don’t want that kind of game. Disappointed.
I moved on to Trine 2 to lighten the mood, lovely game that I’d played on the PS3, in ten minute intervals when the game didn’t lock up because of the controller power saving feature it “forgot” to disable. It’s good on the PS4, I played more of it, might go back to it someday. LEGO Batman 2 got the same treatment, played as respite from the grind, and I’ll definitely be continuing that.
This week’s stand out games though have been Plague Inc. and Sniper Elite III. For Plague Inc., I finally caved and after 2 years of on/off playing, bought all the content packs. The change in tactics and things to manage with the additional scenarios threw me for six and upped the challenge level, and all through some simple additions. The Simian Flu is an inspired piece of marketing genius whoever came up with that. With Sniper Elite III it was all about the DLC and solving the puzzle of Hitler and his double, and shooting Charlie Brooker in the face. I like Charlie’s work, and I know I should feel bad, but I didn’t. It was disturbingly fun.
Highlight: Freeing our simian overlords.
Lowlight: Knowing that we’ve all got the same Destiny…
Cev: Tales Of Xillia (PS3), Destiny Beta (PS4), Closed Beta (PC), Embargo (PS3), and Batman: Arkham City (PC)
This week I have been playing… well… unfinished games, mostly. Betas, previews and such. Destiny has actually made some slight improvements that bring me over to the side of actually quite enjoying the game… though has yet to give me reason to buy it. We (Myself, Matt and Andy) all hopped on, on the second or third night of the beta period and… let’s just say there was a fair amount of laughing… and dancing. Oh, and dying. The fact that two out of three of us out-levelled the strike zone, various strategies were laid out and failed and gear was, perhaps not optimal but good enough, makes me concerned that there is still a balancing issue going on in the group specific instances… we’ll likely hop on again before the beta ends to give it another shot.
I also managed to get over to London for a preview of *Embargo still in effect* and Tales Of Xillia 2, which I really enjoyed. Though, sadly, have yet to have the opportunity to grab a copy of the first. Amazon might be the best bet.
Truthfully, the other stuff I can’t really talk about due to T&C’s or embargos. What I will say about one of them, which I don’t believe would be breaking any rules, is that I’m starting to get the impression Troy Baker has money pouring through his letterbox, rather than job offers.
Oh, actually, I have been playing Batman: Arkham City. I don’t know when it happened but by the looks of it, everybody who owned the standard game on Steam at some point got their version upgraded to the game of the year edition. All outfits, challenges, pre-order bonus’ and even Harley Quinn’s Revenge thrown in for everybody’s favourite price of nothing! I’ve spent most of the time I have with the game in the challenges, as Nightwing (who I’ve recently come to find is actually quite the bad ass in his own right) and especially when I’m in control of him and The Joker is launching thugs, armoured thugs, thugs with cattle prods and mystical ninjas at him in troves!
That’s my week, folks!
Highlights: Full size Kazuya and Jin squaring off against one another in the lobby of the UK offices of the company responsible for their creation.
Lowlights: Not being able to take a picture of them!
Roger: The Walking Dead (PS3) and Destiny Beta (PS4)
After playing several hours of Destiny on PS4, the things I felt or said while playing were curses of exasperation during tough bosses and then during the good times thinking “this game is my Density”. Yes, I did spell it that way on purpose, (Back to the Future fans anyone?). I shortly received a fireteam invite at random from a couple of fellas a few hundred miles away and played through each of the strike Missions on hard difficulty. I love the gameplay and how it reminds me of a sort of Borderlands/Halo hybrid that is much more polished. The music alone is worth the purchase of the game. The way it builds to these momentous crescendos at just the right times of a battle makes the experience for me. Consider the music, it makes the whole situation with the firing of Martin O’Donnel from Bungie a sad affair, but he is a talented musician that will make any new developers proud.
I was originally planning on hitting the lake this past Tuesday, but due to an unfortunate turn of weather events, I found myself stuck indoors. Thankfully the newest episode of The Walking Dead hit consoles and I played through the story whilst my sister watched in utter despair. Seeing her moved in the way she was during the game and her feelings after it was over, really helped cement in my mind to the sheer brilliance of the writers. The way that they can bring emotion and depth to these characters is remarkable. Thinking back on it now, my sister commented that she feels so invested with these characters that she feels as if she were in a way a part of them. My sister has played all of them with me from the very first episode, and the involvement with these characters is deep. Just ask anyone who has been reading TWD comics since day one. Trust me, they also feel invested in the lives of these fictional people and their dire situation.
Lowlights: TWD Vita temporarily bricked my Vita. Sony could not even walk me through turning it on. Thankfully with some determination and long button presses, it finally repowered after trying things that Sony support never recommended.
Highlights: Destiny Beta! Talk about stealing the thunder from Diablo 3 on PS4 this fall, Destiny might just take the cake!
Andy: Sniper Elite III (PS4) and Destiny Beta (PS4)
Well the wee bairn’s still not arrived so I’ve been allowed a very small amount of game time this week. Most of it was spent with Matt playing cooperative Sniper Elite III on Friday night. The open maps and selection of weapons, tricks and traps makes for an even better coop experience than playing the game through solo. On the open areas we would stealthily flank the enemy on two fronts and then take it in turns to pick off guards, using sound masking and relocation as required; when the games throws in a choke point, one of us would seek high ground whilst the other would sneak through with silenced pistol in hand. These approaches mitigate the “oh sh*t, they’re onto me; time to break out the boomstick” moments that tend to come every now and again in the single player campaign. With somebody on overwatch, you always have the opportunity and time to relocate as the enemy takes fire from your comrade; I found myself pushing forward and flanking more often than I found myself falling back and taking stock.
The other game that got some attention on Saturday night was the Destiny Beta. I have to say that I was rather enjoying it even though the ridiculous respawn rate of enemies still persists, but when we entered a strike there was still that definite sense that the game just doesn’t seem to be balanced. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind a challenge, but the poor checkpointing, insta-kill enemies and lack of ammo was just a boring grind. Still Cev and I starting a dance off in the middle of the tower, just to annoy Matt was almost enough to justify a pre-order…
Highlights: Two snipers, one cup.
Lowlights: Destiny called and it started banging on about PPI.