Back once again like renegade masters, the COMO crew have their Week Spots on display for you all!
Cev – Grand Theft Auto V (PS3), That’s All Folks (Life)
This week I’ve been busy researching, keeping up to date with a variety of things that I need to keep up to date with but wouldn’t think it worthwhile to bore you with here, working towards a few personal projects I plan to set in motion in the coming weeks and writing a short story for one of them. Game-wise, however: GTAV! As I’ve mentioned before, I have a tendency toward burning through campaigns at launch and then putting them aside for a while to blur my memory of it for when I do a later “nuance playthrough”. Well, that time has come and in all honesty, I could have done with leaving it a little longer. While the storyline is still solid and the mission variety is huge, all things considered, it doesn’t have as much pop as I had hoped it would after the months of silence.
Fortunately for me, the nuances are around in abundance. I discovered a Dark Souls reference, took the time to listen to radio stations I didn’t favour in my first playthrough – which hold the same comedic genius as those I did favour – and even started along the path of the alien presence side story. I love that there is an increasing degree of this almost Elder Scroll-esque wealth of possibilities and can say comfortably that even after four or five returns to it, I’m likely to still be turning up things I’ve yet to encounter.
Such is my personal idealogy behind replay value, I don’t want NG+ in the sense that things are harder but you keep all your stuff. With the exclusion of games such as Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII or Dark Souls – where the game doesn’t really start UNTIL it’s finished – that seems churned out and hollow to me. But here, much like in The Elder Scrolls games, you find that restarting the story is nice though not essential as there is quite literally too much to do over the course of it that leads you to continue even after your protagonist – or in this case protagonists – have reach the climax of their adventure.
Highlights: Praise the sun!
Lowlights: Mr Raspberry Jam… died a very noble death!
Andy – Battlefield 4 (PS4)
It’s been another of those weeks where I don’t get to play many games. Luckily I have had some time with Battlefield 4 and the Second Assault DLC, and as I was a keen Battlefield 3 player returning to these maps has been great fun! Operation Metro 2014 is my favourite map of all time and games are won and lost at the escalator choke points; so many matches seem to turn into a competition as to which side can hurl the most grenades up or down the escalators. Thankfully the combination of the ability to mix things up between squad spawns, and a team that actually adapted to the incoming grenade spam made for a fantastic game. We pressed forward strategically and pulled off a convincing victory, by outflanking the grenade tossing chumps who opposed us. Happy days.
Highlights: Going prone alongside the abandoned Metro trains and letting rip through scores of enemies with an LMG.
Lowlights: Not enough time to play anything else this week.
Matt – Outlast (PS4), Battlefield 4 (PS4).
This week I did it, I braved Outlast and booted the game up. Damn it’s creepy! The first jump-out-of-my-seat-and-change-my-pants moment didn’t take long to come, and the tension just built from there. I can’t say it’s a nice game because it’s grim, and I’ve found I have to play it in anything other than short bursts – it’s frightening.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pull myself away from Battlefield 4 for too long. The recent updates seem to have solved the stability issues, and I’ve played a number of sessions and not had the random crashes to the XMB. The best improvement though is the option to now work from a specific DLC playlist instead of the game auto-selecting just the main maps when you pick quick match. I’ve finally managed to play all the China Rising and Second Assault maps, and they’re a nice change of pace with their layouts. It’s had its criticism with the less than stellar launch, but it feels like Dice and EA have got things working now and Battlefield is going to be a long term time stealer for me.
That’s been it sadly, nothing major in the last week, but it’s the coming week that’s promising. I’ve got Thief, South Park and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 all sat next to me as I type this, and with any luck I’ll actually get chance to play them. Keep an eye on the site for the reviews!
Highlights: Not crashing out of Battlefield 4!
Lowlights: Being on edge for every minute of Outlast gameplay.
Roger: Dark Souls (PS3), Danganronpa (Vita), 999 (3DS).
What a week this past one has been. It feels like I have been very busy, and at that the same time, time has flown by with only a few memories coming to the forefront. I won’t beat around the bush, but to probably no one’s surprise I have spent a fair amount of time in Dark Souls. Some friends and myself had an extraordinarily difficult time trying to meet up in the forest. The Forest Guild had an amazingly fun time invading our games over and over again. Considering this area of the world is not limited to how often and how many players can invade at once, you can imagine that it was quite the challenge to overcome. Well, as it turns out, the old adage rings true: “If you can’t beat em’ join em’”. So that is exactly what I did. Finding myself as a proud member of the Forest Guard, I was able to join my friends in victory after talking to a very, very strange cat. I am talking from the perspective of a person that is enjoying their first run of Dark Souls, so if you have never played it before you may have no idea what I am talking about. On the other hand, if you are a veteran of the Souls games, you may have chuckled of the thoughts of your first times through this entertaining world. All I can say is that it is very rewarding and should be played by any gamer.
Danganronpa – you may have heard of it under the surname Trigger Happy Havoc. The game is a visual novel in the same veins of 999 or Virtues Last Reward. It is a narrative driven puzzle game that encourages players to think outside the box to uncover the hidden secrets. The premise is simple. You are chosen to join this high school reserved for the very best students. You find yourself and the others trapped in the school by an evil foe for the rest of your lives. The only way to escape is to kill another person and get away with it. As the main character, you are not partaking in the murders, but rather are involved in determining the guilty parties. Although I spent a slow Sunday getting engrossed in the new game, I still have not gotten to the first murder. The tension that is building is palpable and I am thoroughly intrigued to see it through to the end.
Upon the knowledge that I began Danganronpa, my good friend Paul encouraged me to get back into 999 and to finally finish it. I am a good ways into my second playthrough and am curious about how my new choices will change the story. So far I am getting to know other characters as well as engage in new puzzles. I am finding the combo to be great and hopefully I will have a progress update for next week.
Highlight: Being summoned into a friends world in Dark Souls. I spawned into the world being surrounded by a Firestorm while doing my Sun Covenant gesture of “Praise the Sun”. It was the best visual ever.
Lowlights: Getting to know characters in a game where there is a good possibility that they will die.
We’ve not heard from Graham this week, but we know he’s been playing Dulux Decorating Simulator 2014 a lot, so we’re guessing he’s been absorbed by that!